Thailand's first twin deficit in nearly a decade to hit baht, Asia's worst-performing currency

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) – Thailand is heading for a rare current account deficit this year with the country missing out on the billions of dollars earned from tourism, likely piling more pressure on the nation’s already battered currency. South-east Asia’s second-largest economy may post a current account shortfall of US$10.3 billion (S$14 billion), or 2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), […]

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Chinese ports choke over 'zero tolerance' Covid-19 policy

BEIJING (REUTERS) – Several Chinese ports are facing congestion as vessels due to call at Ningbo are being diverted and cargo processing is slowed partly due to stricter disinfection measures under China’s “zero-tolerance” coronavirus policy. On Tuesday (Aug 17), more than 50 container vessels were queuing at Ningbo port, China’s second largest marine centre, Refinitiv data showed, up from 28 […]

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Beijing owns stakes in ByteDance, Weibo domestic entities, records show

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – The Chinese government has taken stakes in Chinese entities owned by tech companies ByteDance and Sina Weibo, corporate records showed, amid a widening regulatory crackdown on the industry. News of the stakes and the board seat was first reported by The Information on Monday (Aug 16). WangTouZhongWen (Beijing) Technology, which is owned by three Chinese state entities, […]

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El Salvador bond prices continue to fall, IMF deal holds key

NEW YORK, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Spreads on dollar-denominated El Salvador bonds hit their highest level since November on Thursday, with some investors seeing an opportunity as yields flash double-digits across the curve. Government bond spreads to comparable U.S. Treasuries rose to 920 basis points (bps), up almost 400 bps since early May, when the coalition that backs President Nayib […]

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China partly shuts world's third-busiest port on Covid-19 case in threat to global trade

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) – China partly shut the world’s third-busiest container port after a worker became infected with Covid-19, threatening to further disrupt global trade. All inbound and outbound container services at Meishan terminal in Ningbo-Zhoushan port were halted on Wednesday (Aug 11) until further notice due to a “system disruption”, according to a statement on the port’s electronic data platform. […]

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How Sweden became the Silicon Valley of Europe

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) – As Klarna’s billionaire founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski prepares to stage one of the biggest-ever European fintech company listings, a feast of capitalism, he credits an unlikely backer for his runaway success: the Swedish welfare state. In particular, the 39-year-old pinpoints a late-1990s government policy to put a computer in every home. “Computers were inaccessible for low-income families such […]

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REFILE-UPDATE 3-German bond yields slip after U.S. inflation data

(Corrects to Update 3 in headline, no changes to text) Aug 11 (Reuters) – Benchmark German bond yields dipped from near two-week highs on Wednesday after U.S. inflation data gave no extra fuel to speculation over when the Fed might taper its bond buying. The figures showed U.S. consumer price increases slowed as forecast, although annual inflation overall remained historically […]

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Singapore is 4th most expensive construction market in Asia: Survey

SINAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Singapore is the fourth-most expensive Asian construction market to build in, as the industry deals with a shortage of skilled labour and high material costs. Against this backdrop, tender prices here are expected to remain volatile for the rest of the year, the latest Turner & Townsend’s International Construction Market Survey 2021 showed. Tender prices could […]

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Australia business activity, confidence hit hard by lockdowns: Survey

SYDNEY (REUTERS) – A measure of Australian business conditions worsened sharply for a second month in July as coronavirus lockdowns took a heavy toll on service industries and confidence in general. Tuesday’s survey from National Australia Bank (NAB) showed its index of business conditions sank 14 points to +11 in June, though that was still above the long-term average thanks […]

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Economists see upgrade in Singapore's 2021 growth forecast

SINGAPORE – The health prognosis of Singapore’s trading partners will likely have a significant bearing on how its trade-dependent economy performs through the rest of 2021. However, the phased easing of Covid-related curbs will likely boost private consumption and help compensate for some of the possible loss in growth momentum from the export-driven sectors – mainly manufacturing. Please subscribe or […]

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