Editor’s Picks: 11 July 2017

MATRADE: AEC Helps Boost Malaysian Exports

Malaysia’s exports have increased after the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, with total exports to ASEAN markets rising to RM230.93 billion in 2016 from RM213.4 billion in 2014. Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) ASEAN Unit Director, Raja Badrulnizam Raja Kamalzaman, said the association had eliminated many trade barriers, and trade among the countries should grow further as their economies continued to develop. He added that ASEAN governments have been working together to formulate strategies to increase exports of services, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

 

Belt And Road Initiative Has Important Financial Implications For Investors

China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which focuses on physical infrastructures like railway lines, ports and highways, has important financial implications for investors in Malaysia, said HSBC Bank (M) Bhd. The bank said the initiative, which was announced in 2013, would galvanise infrastructure constructions as far afield as South-East Asia, West Asia, Africa and Europe. “There are already many significant Chinese investments in major Malaysian infrastructure projects.

 

Malaysia to review trade with France after palm oil restriction

Malaysia may review its trade with France and cut buying of French products following a move by France to limit the use of palm oil in biofuels. France said on Thursday that it will take steps to restrict the use of palm oil in biofuels production in a bid to reduce deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, the world’s top two producers of the tropical oil. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said, “I believe that for the Malaysia and France trade to continue to be strong and continue to grow, such attacks against the palm oil industry must stop. I also call on France and other European countries to work with us in addressing their concerns over sustainability.”

 

Goldman analysis has yen topping Swiss franc as safest of havens

When it comes to havens among currencies, the yen is the safest of them all, according to a correlation analysis by Goldman Sachs Group Inc economists. Japan’s currency aligns most closely against corresponding moves in global risk assets in the past decade, Goldman economists led by Kevin Daly wrote in a report yesterday. They compared daily and monthly fluctuations for a basket of 28 global, floating, developed and developing market currencies across two five-year periods from 2007 to 2011 and 2012 to 2016. The yen showed the most consistent negative correlation to global stocks, US oil prices and 10-year US Treasury yields.

 

Retailers redraw Hong Kong expansion plans as rents drop

International and local retailers are looking once again to expand in Hong Kong, amid signs that mainland tourists are drifting back, rents may be near bottom Six out of 10 international and local retailers plan to open new stores in Hong Kong next year, after rents in core shopping districts have plunged 41.2 per cent from the market peak in 2014, according to a survey conducted by JLL. JLL said it had surveyed 50 international and local retailers and found that half of the respondents believe Hong Kong’s retail market has bottomed and will recover next year.

 

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