Bureau Chief, Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina, Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore
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Jul 23, 2015

Thai regulator to shake up mutual fund industry

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s market regulator plans a major shakeup to the country’s 3.5 trillion baht ($100.98 billion) mutual fund industry to meet rising demand for riskier investment instruments with higher yields.

The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to issue regulations by the end of September that would allow the launch of hedge funds and junk bond funds, SEC Secretary General Rapee Sucharitkul told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Jul 21, 2015

BOJ’s Kuroda: Japan’s inflation to accelerate ‘considerably,’ sees no need for more QE

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday he expected inflation to accelerate considerably in the coming months due to a tight labor market, and he brushed off the idea of needing more quantitative easing.

Kuroda, in response to questions after giving a speech, also said consumer prices are still on track to meet the central bank’s 2 percent inflation target sometime around the first half of fiscal 2016.

Jul 21, 2015

BlackRock steps up China drive with new license to raise onshore funds

BANGKOK/HONG KONG (Reuters) – U.S. fund giant BlackRock Inc (BLK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has won a special new licence that will allow it to raise funds in China directly for the first time, a senior executive told Reuters, paving the way for the world’s largest money manager to expand in the mainland.

Speaking in an interview in Bangkok this week, BlackRock vice chairman Philipp Hildebrand, said his company was granted a so-called Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership (QDLP) license “reasonably recently”. He said BlackRock, with about $4.5 trillion in assets, is committed to China and will “do whatever that entails” to provide asset management services there.

Jul 20, 2015

Bank of Thailand says no target for Thai baht

BANGKOK, July 20 (Reuters) – The Bank of Thailand has no
target for the Thai baht but is pleased to see that it has
weakened since April and is moving more in line with regional
currencies, Governor Prasarn Triratvorakul said on Monday.

Thailand’s interest rates are near a record low after two
surprise cuts this year. But lower rates have done little for
the Thai economy as consumers, struggling to pay off record
household debt, keep their money in their pockets.

May 28, 2015

Asia’s migrant crisis meeting unlikely to yield solutions

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A meeting in Bangkok aimed at addressing Southeast Asia’s migrant crisis is unlikely to produce a binding agreement or plan of action to save thousands of people believed stranded on boats in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, participants said.

Friday’s meeting will bring together 17 countries from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and elsewhere in Asia, along with the United States, Switzerland and international organizations like UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

May 22, 2015

Bangkok Bank sees 2015 profit up despite rise in defaults

BANGKOK, May 22 (Reuters) – Thailand’s largest lender
Bangkok Bank expects net profit in 2015 to beat the
previous year’s despite a modest rise in loan defaults as
Thailand’s economy goes through a soft patch, the bank’s
executive chairman said on Friday.

A spike in bad loans as consumers and businesses struggle to
pay back loans amid lacklustre economic growth is eating into
bank earnings in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

May 18, 2015

Export fall means 3 percent GDP growth ‘a challenge’: Thai central bank

BANGKOK (Reuters) – An economic growth rate of three percent for Thailand this year will be a challenge, the country’s central bank governor said on Friday, indicating Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy would expand well below the rate forecast by the government.

Thailand has been hit hard by poor demand for its exports, exacerbating the challenge the junta has faced in managing the faltering economy since seizing power nearly a year ago.

May 14, 2015

Send boatpeople back home, says Malaysia amid growing crisis at sea

KUALA LUMPUR/BANGKOK, May 14 (Reuters) – Malaysia said on
Thursday it would push boats full of migrants back to sea, a
policy that has drawn criticism from the U.N. refugee agency as
thousands remained adrift in Southeast Asian waters.

The UNHCR has said several thousand migrants have been
abandoned at sea by smugglers following a Thai crackdown on
human trafficking and has warned the situation could develop
into a “massive humanitarian crisis”.

May 1, 2015

Thai junta reforms to fail without better charter: former PM

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Any achievements by Thailand’s ruling junta while in power will be lost without significant changes to the country’s draft constitution, Democrat Party leader and former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Friday.

The military toppled an elected government last May and is engineering wide ranging reforms to heal the country’s deep political divisions.

Apr 29, 2015

Berlusconi meeting Thai businessman over Milan stake sale

ROME/BANGKOK (Reuters) – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi met Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol on Wednesday to discuss the sale of a stake in Serie A football club AC Milan, which he has owned for almost 30 years.

A source close to Berlusconi said the meeting may not be decisive but would be “certainly very important”.

    • About Simon

      "Simon Webb is the bureau chief for Reuters in Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina and is based in Bangkok. Simon guides news coverage from five countries with top stories including the political unrest in Thailand and Myanmar's struggle to emerge from decades of dictatorship. Before taking on bureau chief responsibilities, Simon was Asia commodities editor based in Singapore. Members of his team were part of a group that won scoop of the year at Reuters' 2012 journalism awards for coverage of the impact of international sanctions on the flow of oil from Iran. Simon has previously worked in Dubai and London ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      English, Spanish
      Reuters C&E Journalist of the Year 2009
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