Breaking News

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 7, 2017

Lead Stories

Coffee Glut Hinges on Whether Top Growers Will Hold Back Sales
By Isis Almeida , Mai Ngoc Chau , and Fabiana Batista – Bloomberg
Current prices aren’t attractive for growers, ICO’s Sette says; Brazil, Vietnam will need to rebuild stockpiles: RCMA’s Gruber
Hoang Thi Thom, a coffee grower in No. 2 producer Vietnam, isn’t keen to sell this year’s harvest.
https://goo.gl/QwXo8j

Asia to Stay World’s Fastest Growing Region by 2030
Financial Tribune
The global economy is continuing its gradual recovery from the financial crisis, with the latest data pointing to a broad-based pickup. However, longer term Asia is seen maintaining its position as the fastest-growing region, with China and India leading the charge.
https://goo.gl/XWtren

One of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges is coming back to life
Zheping Huang – Quartz
As bitcoin sets new highs, China’s cryptocurrency community is feeling low. Following a ban on initial coin offerings, the Chinese government shut down all local crypto exchanges in September, effectively killing bitcoin trading in a country that once dominated the market.
https://goo.gl/5fjq1f

Commodities Crumble Again as China Alarm Bells Sink Metals
By Grant Smith , Eddie Van Der Walt , and Mark Burton – Bloomberg
Nickel hit hardest by commodities selloff in past month; Worries over China’s cooling property market is hurting metals
Stocks and bitcoin may be having a stellar year, but one corner of global markets hasn’t shared the good fortune.
https://goo.gl/on41tz

Norway’s oil fund makes first Asian property investment; Sovereign wealth fund takes stake in 5 buildings in Tokyo and plans more deals
Richard Milne in Oslo – FT
Norway’s $1tn oil fund is eyeing further property deals in Tokyo after making its first real estate investment in Asia.
https://goo.gl/tu1HfU

Exchange News

SGX proposes to enhance continuous disclosure rules
SGX
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is proposing to recalibrate disclosure requirements under the Listing Rules for areas of concern to both the market and the exchange.
https://goo.gl/jLhd3K

ASX chooses blockchain for equities clearing; Australian bourse becomes first big exchange to commit to the technology
Jamie Smyth in Sydney – FT
The Australian Securities Exchange is planning to use blockchain technology to manage the clearing and settlement of equities.
https://goo.gl/BWBMpN

Australia is now home to the world’s first blockchain-based stock exchange
Zheping Huang – Quartz
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) said today (Dec. 7) that it would use blockchain to clear and settle trades, becoming the world’s first mainstream equity market to employ the technology behind bitcoin for its core services.
https://goo.gl/QnYq3P

Regulatory News

ASIC updates guidance on conflicted remuneration
ASIC
ASIC has updated its guidance on conflicted remuneration to more closely reflect a range of regulatory changes since the guide was issued in 2013.
https://goo.gl/gWWJd9

Japanese FSA gets increasing number of enquiries about virtual currencies
Finance Feeds
The number of virtual currency enquiries that the FSA’s Counseling Office for Financial Services Users received in the quarter to September 30th was 26% higher than in the preceding quarter.
https://goo.gl/urxAsc

Investing News

The $64 Million Question: Is Goldman Embracing Tiny Asian IPOs?
By Ben Scent and Crystal Tse – Bloomberg
Wall Street bank ranks 30th among Hong Kong IPO arrangers; Goldman launches $64 million IPO for orthopedic device maker
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has nearly vanished from the Hong Kong IPO scene this year.
https://goo.gl/btPXD1

Japan

London tutoring Tokyo on finance? Gov. Koike in ‘love’ with the idea; Claims international financial hub scheme could boost Japan’s GDP by $260bn
KEN MORIYASU, Nikkei
As Brexit looms and the world looks to Frankfurt as the financial center of Europe, Tokyo looks the other way, tapping the City of London as its partner in its quest to become a hub of international finance.
https://goo.gl/AgrVi6

Japanese MUFG expected to begin buying Danamon stake early next year
Fathiya Dahrul – The Jakarta Post
Indonesia’s financial regulator expects Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. to begin accumulating a stake in PT Bank Danamon Indonesia early next year, as Japan’s biggest bank expands in the most populous Southeast Asian nation.
https://goo.gl/cyoF3p

Efforts to crack down on shadow banking are beginning to bite; Actions include a clampdown on activities such as illegal fund-raising and the regulation of transactions in financial markets
By ASIA TIMES STAFF
Wang Zhaoxing, deputy director of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), said the agency will continue to rectify current market chaos in a planned, step-by-step manner, including a crackdown on activities such as illegal fund-raising and the regulation of transactions in financial markets, Securities Daily reported.
https://goo.gl/hMMwTT

Japan to strengthen money-laundering guidelines; Banks adopting a risk-based approach to flag suspicious actions
Nikkei
Japan will issue new guidelines against money laundering in an effort to prevent funds from getting into the hands of terrorist and criminal organizations and to shake its reputation as weak on dirty money.
https://goo.gl/95VJCL

Mainland China

IMF calls on China banks to boost capital after credit boom; Stress tests show most lenders under-capitalised despite compliance with Basel III
Gabriel Wildau in Shanghai – FT
The International Monetary Fund has called on China’s banks to strengthen their capital buffers beyond what global rules require in order to fortify themselves against the risk of an economic shock.
https://goo.gl/tqTGJq

IMF warns on brewing risks in China’s financial system
Straits Education
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday (Dec 7) warned of brewing risks in China’s banking system as it found dozens of crucial lenders needed to beef up their defences against possible financial crises.
https://goo.gl/zZPfDD

Asian LNG prices at three-year high as China curbs pollution; Production delays and clean air campaign send spot price to highest level since 2014
Emiko Terazono – FT
Chinese demand pushed Asian liquefied natural gas prices to a three-year high, as the country’s importers scramble for supplies in the face of Beijing’s move to reduce urban air pollution.
https://goo.gl/s8zYzz

JPMorgan explains what’s driving China’s growth
Geoff Cutmore , Akiko Fujita, Yen Nee Lee – CNBC
Consumption and innovation will be the two major growth drivers in China in the years ahead as the economic giant moves into its next phase of expansion, a JPMorgan Chase expert said Thursday.
https://goo.gl/i4VMUe

Managing China’s Financial System – New Issue of China Briefing Magazine
China Briefing
Managing-China’s-Financial-System-coverThe latest issue of China Briefing Magazine, titled “Managing China’s Financial System“, is out now and currently available to subscribers as a complimentary download from the Asia Briefing Publication Store.
https://goo.gl/vNcimU

China targets booming online lending as crisis fears build
Business Times
When Jia Xinru needed to borrow money to buy new clothes, order food and buy a projector to screen Breaking Bad on her wall, she had instant access to China’s growing number of lenders via her mobile phone.
https://goo.gl/5Rf38F

Hong Kong

Hong Kong risks losing listings crown to New York; NYSE has become venue of choice for Chinese tech groups in 2017
Emma Dunkley in Hong Kong – FT
Hong Kong is poised to lose its title as the leading global venue for flotations this year, following a drop in the number of local “jumbo” listings and a rising preference among Chinese companies for the US.
https://goo.gl/KF5trZ

Shares in Hong Kong financial firm Convoy suspended after reports of raid by graft watchdog
South China Morning Post
The shares fall 7 per cent after the media reports, and the suspension follows similar action by regulators against companies connected to Convoy executive director Cho Kwai-chee
https://goo.gl/EGtR5P

Indonesia

Indonesia to Ban Digital Currency Transactions by Fintech Firms
By Karlis Salna and Tassia Sipahutar – Bloomberg
Central bank still assessing trading of digital currencies; Bank Indonesia issues new set of rules for fintech companies
Indonesia’s central bank will bar financial technology companies from using digital currencies on their platforms as a global frenzy around bitcoin continues to lure more investors.
https://goo.gl/gsGch1

Indonesia bans fintech firms in payments from using cryptocurrencies
The Business Times
Indonesia’s central bank has issued a regulation banning use of cryptocurrencies by financial technology companies involved in payment systems, and said it is examining whether there’s a need to regulate trading on virtual currency exchanges.
https://goo.gl/AJuLGE

Populist Politics in Indonesia
By Ehito Kimura, Associate Professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
Populist politics burst onto Indonesia’s national stage in 2014 during the country’s presidential election which pitted two leaders with starkly contrasting styles. Joko Widodo, dubbed a “polite” or “technocratic” populist campaigned against the establishment by portraying himself as an affable “man of the people” and a pro-poor reformer with a track record of getting things done. Prabowo Subianto also campaigned against the establishment but more angrily and bombastically, condemning corruption and economic ‘traitors.’ More recently, Jakarta’s 2016 gubernatorial elections saw a surge of Islamic forces engaging in populist-style politics, organizing mass rallies against the Chinese Christian incumbent and claiming that he had committed blasphemy.
https://goo.gl/5bciUm

Singapore

Argentina invites Singapore to next year’s G-20 summit in Buenos Aires
Charissa Yong – Straits Times
SINGAPORE – Singapore has been invited by Argentina to attend the annual meeting of the world’s top economic leaders in 2018.
https://goo.gl/9LBqrg

Singapore overtakes US as most attractive destination for Chinese overseas investments: EIU report
Stephanie Luo – Straits Times
Singapore has surpassed the United States to emerge as the top destination for overseas investments from China in this year’s China Going Global Investment Index 2017.
https://goo.gl/ZT3yJw

Vietnam

China-Vietnam Capital Cooperation Forum Held In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Mondovisione
On 5th December 2017, China-Vietnam Capital Cooperation Forum was held successfully in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Councilor of Shenzhen Stock Exchange (“SZSE”) Wu Lijun, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Ho Chi Minh City Chen Dehai, Head of Ministry of Planning and Investment Foreign Investment Agency Li Guangjun, President of Bank of China Ho Chi Minh City branch Wang Hao and representatives from Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange presented. Persons in charge of CITIC Securities, Essence Securities, Qianhai Equity Exchange, Vietnam Sacon Bank Securities, Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam Securities, Yuexin Securities and Sacon Securities took participate in the forum.
https://goo.gl/gjev3i

Asia Coffee-Weak demand in Vietnam amid erratic weather, prices steady
Mi Nguyen – Reuters
Demand for robusta coffee beans was slow this week in major producer Vietnam at a time when erratic weather slowed down bean processing in the country’s Central Highlands, traders said on Thursday.
https://goo.gl/2K9T6m

Thailand

 

Thailand lags in fintech development in Asia Index hails government push for innovation 7
SUCHIT LEESA-NGUANSUK – Bangkok Post
Thailand ranks seventh out of 10 Asian countries in a Taiwanese consulting firm’s FinTech Competitiveness Index.
https://goo.gl/184REB

South Korea

South Korea (Pre)Issues Ban on Bitcoin Futures Trading; South Korea’s regulator brings down the ban hammer, again.
Samburaj Das – Cryptocoinsnews.com
South Korea’s primary financial regulator and watchdog has banned securities firms from launching bitcoin futures contracts, according to a local report.
https://goo.gl/fJB4Nz

Behind South Korea’s Cryptocurrency Boom; The country is a hub for trading virtual currencies despite a government clampdown and North Korean cyberattacks.
by Yoochul Kim – TechnologyReview.com
It’s well known that South Korea is one of the world’s most wired societies, with near-ubiquitous broadband access and blazing-fast Internet speeds. Now the country is also becoming a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading. South Korea is the world’s No. 3 market in Bitcoin trading, after Japan and the U.S., and the largest exchange market for Ether, Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, accounting for more than 33 percent of its market share. The country is also home to two of the top 15 global digital-currency exchanges (Bithumb and Coinone), both of which have built walk-in centers where investors can conduct transactions in person. Overall, South Korea is believed to have about one million registered daily traders in virtual currency, which is equivalent to about one out of every 50 citizens.
https://goo.gl/LFM7Kd

 

South Korea is ground zero for global bitcoin frenzy
Business Times
Like thousands of South Koreans, Moonsung Bae is infatuated by bitcoin. The 35-year-old financial analyst got his first taste a year ago, before the cryptocurrency exploded into one of the wildest investment stories of our time, and by the end of last month his personal holdings had swelled to half his liquid assets.
https://goo.gl/U4v7g7

Philippines

Philippines becoming more attractive to Chinese firms — report
By Ian Nicolas Cigaral – Philstar
The Philippines is becoming a more attractive destination for Chinese investments, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit as ties between the two countries that had soured over a maritime dispute continue to improve.
https://goo.gl/A7WkND

Malaysia

Malaysia’s fintech industry poised for growth
NST
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s financial technology (fintech) industry has a big potential to expand further, particularly in banking, innovation and high-technology areas.
https://goo.gl/TxSFBP

India

Mauritius regulator opens representative office in India
The Economic Times
The Financial Services Commission, Mauritius today said it has opened its representative office in Mumbai, a move that will further strengthen and deepen its partnership with its Indian counterparts.
https://goo.gl/8VpTaH

Facebook co-founder’s B Capital leads $10M investment in Indian payment startup Mswipe
Jon Russell – Techcrunch
B Capital, the investment firm from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin backed by BCG, has stepped into India after it backed smart point-of-sale company Mswipe in its first deal in the country.
https://goo.gl/jqhFw3

How Power Lines Could Help Lead to Peace in India’s Kashmir
By Saket Sundria and Rajesh Kumar Singh – Bloomberg
Sterlite Power slated to start electricity supply this month; Jammu and Kashmir lack power for a fifth of peak energy demand
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to supply electricity to every Indian household, connecting homes in the state of Jammu & Kashmir might be the toughest.
https://goo.gl/FfYKkV

Australia

Australia has dropped the ball in its relationship with China
by Angus Grigg – AFR
When Australia and China celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relations in 2012, the gala dinner in Beijing was notable for Treasurer Wayne Swann’s mispronunciation of the name of every Chinese dignitary in the room.
https://goo.gl/okDxaq

Bitcoin Boom Makes Aussie a Billionaire for Less Than an Hour
By Tom Metcalf and Pierre Paulden – Bloomberg
The cryptocurrency frenzy has minted another billionaire. For 45 minutes, at least.
https://goo.gl/i49JDD

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About Author

Lothian is executive chairman of John J. Lothian & Co. and editor of the John Lothian Newsletter. He publishes MarketsWiki.com, MarketsReformWiki.com, MarketsWikiEducation.com, JohnLothianNews.com and several industry newsletters.