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ASEAN+ June 16, 2018 01:00

By Asia News Network

Worker groups raise alarm over peso fall

Labour groups in the Philippines have voiced alarm over the drop of the peso against the US dollar to its lowest level in 12 years, but some business groups are not worried.

The peso closed at 53.27 to a dollar on Thursday, a further deterioration from the 53.23 pesos the day before and a big drop from Monday’s 52.95 pesos.

At 53.27 pesos , the currency is higher than the government exchange rate assumption of 50 to 53 pesos for 2018.

“It’s no cause for concern,” said George Barcelon, chair of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Barcelon noted that other currencies in the region have weakened against the US dollar as well.

 “As long as it works within a range that’s manageable, it’s OK. What’s difficult is the sudden increase and decrease,” he added.

The peso has depreciated against the greenback in the wake of the decision of the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, to raise US interest rates for the second time this year. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Malaysia needs to restore investors’ confidence

While Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is rushing ahead with his daunting list, the country still has much to prove to the global markets still shocked by the corruption and incompetent of the previous government. 

In an opinion piece, Nikkei Asian Review said Dr Mahathir , on the job for less than a month, had already ordered an investigation of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the state fund former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak created in 2009, his first year in office. 

Najib denies wrongdoing but the US$4.5 billion missing from 1MDB, and the US$700 million mysteriously found in the former prime minister’s personal accounts, have sealed his political fate.

“Clawing back those billions will come in handy as Mahathir grapples with a much bigger debt load than was expected. As it turned out, the 50 per cent debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio Najib claimed is closer to 80 per cent. A transparent accounting of what Najib and his enablers did might restore Malaysia’s image in markets,” Nikkei Asian Review said. – The Star 

PermataBank cashes up ATMS with 838 bn rupiah 

Inodnesia’s private lender PermataBank has distributed 838 billion rupiah (US$59.93 million) to its ATMs across the country for the Idul Fitri holiday from June 11 to 21, one of its executive has said.

Richele Maramis, the bank’s head of corporate affairs, said the amount was calculated based on trends during Idul Fitri holidays in previous years. 

“We have prepared [our services] and will resume normal operations at 67 branch offices from June 19 to 20,” Richele said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

Richele said customers would still be able to report any complaints to the bank during the holiday through its call center, PermataTel, which operates for 24 hours. 

She assured that customers would receive responses directly from the call center, while special complaint cases would require further investigation based on the existing service level agreement (SLA). – The Jakarta Post 


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