Asia Business

What is artisanal gold and why is it booming?

15/01 A rapid rise in the price of gold since 2000 has driven millions of people to deposits in Africa, South America and elsewhere where they dig for gold using basic technology.  Full story

U.N. envoy hopes for, but cannot predict, speedy reopening of Libya oil ports

15h58 The United Nations envoy to Libya said on Saturday he hoped but "could not predict" whether eastern oil ports shut ahead of a pending Berlin summit aimed at reaching a truce in Libya would. . .  Full story

U.N. Libya mission "deeply concerned" over disruption in oil production, urges restraint

12h51 The United Nations mission in Libya said on Saturday it was deeply concerned over efforts to disrupt oil production in the country and urged all sides to exercise restraint.. . .  Full story

To defuse palm row, Davos diplomacy likely between India, Malaysia

08h21 Trade ministers from India and Malaysia are likely to meet on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos next week amid a palm oil spat between the two countries, a. . .  Full story

Fanya indium stockpile sold to Kunming Rongke for $416 mln in China auction

05h34 A vast stockpile of the indium formerly held by China's Fanya Metal Exchange was sold on Saturday, in a second attempt, as Kunming Rongke New Materials bid around $416 million for the hoard.. . .  Full story

Eastern Libya halts more than half the country's oil output

02h36 Eastern Libya ports controlled by commander Khalifa Haftar, who is trying to seize the capital Tripoli, are shutting down oil exports, slashing national crude output by more than half and ramping up tensions ahead of. . .  Full story

Eastern Libyan protesters enter Zueitina oil port, announce its closure

17/01 Protesters in eastern Libya entered the Zueitina oil terminal on Friday and announced its closure in response to calls by tribal leaders, a port engineer and witnesses told Reuters.. . .  Full story

Davos diplomacy likely between India, Malaysia amid palm row- official

17/01 Trade ministers from India and Malaysia are likely to meet on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos next week amid a palm oil spat between the two countries, a. . .  Full story

Asia Gold-China sees brisk festive purchases; Indian demand tame

17/01 Physical gold purchases gathered steam ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations in China and Singapore, while demand in India dwindled this week, encouraging retailers to offer more discounts.. . .  Full story

Indonesia to tackle investment red tape with job creation bill

17/01 Indonesia's government plans to submit a bill to parliament on Monday designed to replace dozens of overlapping laws viewed as a barrier to investment, a senior official said on Friday.. . .  Full story

Chinese cities get creative in steadying cooling property markets

17/01 Property agent Yuan Bin thought he must have misheard when news broke on Nov. 11 - China's equivalent of Black Friday - that the Shenzhen government was cancelling a capital gains tax on some. . .  Full story

Malaysia increases February export tax for crude palm oil to 6%

17/01 Malaysia has raised its export tax for crude palm oil to 6% for February, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Friday, citing the national customs department.. . .  Full story

Myanmar president hails 'historic' visit as China's Xi arrives to fanfare

17/01 Chinese President Xi Jinping flew into Myanmar on Friday for two days of talks to shore up massive infrastructure projects in the Southeast Asian nation isolated by the West over its treatment of the. . .  Full story

Indonesian minister says SoftBank offering to invest up to $40 bln in new capital

17/01 SoftBank has offered to invest up to $40 billion in the new capital city Indonesia plans to build on Borneo island, a minister said on Friday, though the Japanese tech conglomerate said no figure. . .  Full story

Japan's Shikoku Electric says to delay nuclear reactor restart after court order

17/01 Japanese utility Shikoku Electric Power Co said on Friday it had been ordered by a Hiroshima court to suspend operations of its only operable nuclear reactor, the No.3 unit at its Ikata plant in. . .  Full story

Asia Distillates-Jet fuel cash premiums rise, cracks hover near multi-month low

17/01 Asia's cash premiums for jet fuel rose on Friday, due to a slight uptick in buying interest for physical cargoes, while refining margins for the aviation fuel lingered close to their lowest levels. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Gain as solid China data fuels risk appetite; Philippines up

17/01 Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Friday, with Philippine shares leading the pack, as encouraging data from China whipped up risk appetite. China, Southeast Asia's largest trading partner, grew by. . .  Full story

World Bank cuts Thailand 2020 GDP growth outlook to 2.7%

17/01 The World Bank on Friday cut its estimate for Thailand's economic growth to 2.7% this year, but that is faster than last year's pace as private consumption recovers and investment increases due to the. . .  Full story

No pigging out on pork delicacies for China this Lunar New Year

17/01 For Xu, a mother and wife from central China, losing her family's entire pig herd to African swine fever almost meant not serving the cured pork, known as la rou, and dried sausage central. . .  Full story

China cbank curbs rates on structured deposits to coax banks to lower lending rates-sources

17/01 China's central bank has moved to curb interest rates on high-yield structured deposits, three sources familiar with matter told Reuters, as regulators seek to guide the country's borrowing costs lower by reducing banks' funding costs.. . .  Full story

Chinese property firm Country Garden plans mass production of construction robots

17/01 China's largest property developer by sales Country Garden is planning to start mass production of construction robots next year to cut costs and raise efficiency, it said on Friday.. . .  Full story

Malaysia sets February export tax for crude palm oil at 6%

17/01 Malaysia has raised its export tax for crude palm oil to 6% for February, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Friday, citing the national customs department.. . .  Full story

Hong Kong stocks log 7th weekly gain on China data, trade deal

17/01 Hong Kong stocks rose on Friday and posted their seventh straight weekly gain, as investors cheered signs of economic recovery on the mainland as well as the signing of a Sino-U.S. trade deal earlier. . .  Full story

Foreigners net sellers of Japanese stocks for second straight week

17/01 Foreign investors were net sellers of Japanese equities in the week ended Jan. 10, as tensions escalated after the U.S. killing of an Iranian general, trimming demand for risky assets.. . .  Full story

China appoints new officials at state power firms

17/01 China has appointed a new chairman at State Grid, the power firm said on Friday, as well as officials at two more state utilities, following its vow to further rein in benchmark prices of. . .  Full story

Taiwan Q4 GDP growth seen steady on easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions

17/01 Taiwan's economy is forecast to have maintained relatively steady growth in the fourth quarter as the island benefited from a rebound in demand for electronic gadgets thanks to fading concerns over the U.S.-China trade. . .  Full story

China stocks snap 6-week winning streak after expected trade deal

17/01 China stocks inched higher on Friday amid more signs of resilience in the world's second-largest economy, though they posted modest weekly losses as trader pocketed gains following a rally underpinned by optimism around a Sino-U.S.. . .  Full story

China markets split on outcome of LPR lending benchmark in January

17/01 China's financial markets are nearly evenly divided over whether the benchmark lending rate will be lowered or kept steady next Monday, a survey of participants showed, after the central bank kept rates on medium-term loans. . .  Full story

China posts weakest growth in 29 years as trade war bites, but ends 2019 on better note

17/01 China's economic growth cooled to its weakest in nearly 30 years in 2019 amid a bruising trade war with the United States, and more stimulus is expected this year as Beijing tries to boost. . .  Full story

Nikkei closes at 1-month high as hopes of global demand boost exporters

17/01 Japan's benchmark share index on Friday marked its highest close in a month, after touching a 15-month peak earlier in the session, as hopes for a rebound in global demand and a softer yen. . .  Full story

China to curb farming near rivers in push to reverse water pollution - official

17/01 China will impose more curbs on agriculture and widen restrictions on industrial development in the next five years in a bid to protect scarce, already contaminated water supplies from further pollution, a government official said. . .  Full story

China stocks firm after GDP data, Hong Kong flat

17/01 China stocks rose on Friday, as investors cheered more signs of resilience in the world's second-largest economy, with risk appetite also getting a boost from the signing of the Sino-U.S. trade deal.. . .  Full story

JGBs supported by cloudy domestic outlook

17/01 Japanese government bond prices found support on Friday from familiar fears that the economy will stay stuck in the slow lane, even amid recent signs of a global recovery.. . .  Full story

China's annual aluminium output slips for first time in decade

17/01 China's annual aluminium production fell for the first time in 10 years in 2019, official data showed on Friday, hit by softer demand amid the Sino-U.S. trade row and large-scale smelter outages.. . .  Full story

China's 2019 pork output plunges to 16-year low as disease culls herd

17/01 China's 2019 pork output plunged to a 16-year low, official data showed on Friday, as the fatal hog disease African swine fever killed millions of pigs in the world's top producer.. . .  Full story

Nikkei hits 15-month high as global demand hopes boost exporters

17/01 Japan's benchmark share index rose to its highest in 15 months on Friday, as hopes for rebounding global demand and a softer yen drove broad-based gains.. . .  Full story

China's 2019 property investment solid, but first sales drop in 5 yrs dents outlook

17/01 China's property investment hit a two-year low in December even as it grew at a solid pace in 2019, adding to recent signs of a slackening in the sector and suggested Beijing might need. . .  Full story

China's 2019 and Dec crude oil runs hit record highs

17/01 China's crude oil throughput rose to a record high in 2019 following the start-up of two mega-refineries, official data showed on Friday, with December posting the highest daily run-rate on record.. . .  Full story

Japan sees smaller budget surplus as govt grapples with mountain of debt

17/01 Japan kept the timing for balancing the primary budget unchanged on Friday but expects to see a much smaller excess than previously thought when it hits a budget surplus, underlining the government's struggle to. . .  Full story

China Q4 GDP grows 6.0%, in line with expectations and hovering near 30-year low

17/01 China's economy grew 6.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous quarter's pace.. . .  Full story

Singapore Dec exports snap 9-month losing streak, but concerns remain

17/01 Singapore's exports rebounded in December after nine months of contraction, confounding expectations for a fall, partly boosted by a sharp rise in pharmaceutical shipments.. . .  Full story

Asia Rice-Thai rates climb to near 2-year high as drought persists

17/01 Thai rice export prices scaled a more than 20-month peak this week as a persistent drought heightened supply concerns, while improved demand from African countries drove an uptick in rates for the Indian variety.. . .  Full story

Japan firms take few steps to brace for increasing floods

17/01 Japanese companies have contingency plans for the floods that increasingly drench this island nation, but most have done little to fortify facilities, relying instead on insurance and securing alternative supply sources, a Reuters poll found.. . .  Full story

Japan firms join global calls to ditch coal-fired power

17/01 Japanese companies overwhelmingly feel Japan should shift away from its dependence on coal for power generation even though a third of firms say this would harm their business, a Reuters poll found, further evidence. . .  Full story

Many Japan firms not prepared for floods; back global call against coal-fired power

17/01 Most Japanese firms have business continuity plans to cope with natural disasters but many have not yet taken direct steps against floods, a Reuters poll showed. The poll also found most Japanese companies. . .  Full story

Egypt's central bank keeps overnight interest rates steady

16/01 Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, unexpectedly halting an easing cycle that began in August.. . .  Full story

Thailand's PTT plans multi-billion-dollar capex over next five years

16/01 State-owned Thai energy group PTT Pcl plans a multi-billion dollar capital spending spree over the next five years, it said on Thursday, that will include expanding in liquefied natural gas and investing in oil. . .  Full story

Malaysia bets on diplomacy, not retaliation, to tackle India palm curbs

16/01 Malaysia does not want to escalate a palm oil spat with India by talking of any retaliation for now, two government sources said on Thursday, after the prime minister's media adviser called for tighter regulations. . .  Full story

Renault, Nissan share 'real desire' to make alliance work - chairman

16/01 Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on Thursday there was a "real desire" within the top ranks of both companies for its alliance with Nissan to succeed, dismissing suggestions the partnership was on the rocks.. . .  Full story

Indonesia takes action to help state insurers

16/01 Indonesia will appoint state financial firm PT Bahana Pembinaan Usaha Indonesia as a holding company for state insurers to improve their finances, a deputy minister said on Thursday, as the government puts together a rescue. . .  Full story

India's import curbs deal big blow to Malaysian palm oil

16/01 India's move to restrict palm oil imports from Malaysia will create a huge challenge for the world's second biggest producer of the edible oil as India has been its top market for the past. . .  Full story

Asia Distillates-Gasoil cash premiums slip amid weaker trades

16/01 Asia's cash premiums for 10 ppm gasoil fell to their lowest in 1-1/2 months on Thursday, hurt by a couple of weaker deals in the physical market. Cash premiums. . .  Full story

Greek gas utility DEPA says wins case over supply deal with Turkey's BOTAS

16/01 Greece's state-controlled gas utility DEPA, earmarked for privatisation this year, has won a legal case over a supply deal with Turkish state energy company BOTAS, DEPA said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Indonesia president sees sovereign fund raising at least $20 bln

16/01 Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Thursday that a planned sovereign wealth fund to finance infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia's biggest economy will raise at least $20 billion once established.. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise after Sino-U.S. trade deal; Thailand leads gains

16/01 Most Southeast Asian markets rose on Thursday, with Thailand leading the pack, as risk sentiment improved after the United States and China signed an interim trade deal to diffuse their 18-month-long dispute.. . .  Full story

Crude palm oil seen capped at 3,300 ringgit for next 6 mths - analyst Fry

16/01 Benchmark palm oil prices will not rise above 3,300 ringgit per tonne in the first half of 2020 and the commodity's recent rally has eliminated its competitive edge over rival edible oils, a top. . .  Full story

S&P sees more Chinese defaults in 2020 as maturities loom

16/01 More Chinese companies will default on bond payments in 2020 as they face a wall of maturities, higher financing costs for weak issuers and a government less inclined to bail them out, rating agency. . .  Full story

Business investment into Singapore surges to seven-year high

16/01 Business investment commitments into Singapore jumped nearly 40% last year to a seven-year high, far more than expected as some key sectors bet on rising demand, a government agency said.. . .  Full story

Room is limited for further RRR cuts in China - official

16/01 China's reserve requirement ratio (RRR) is at appropriate level and there is limited room for further cuts, a central bank official said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

China's outstanding total social financing up 10.7% y/y at end-Dec

16/01 China's outstanding total social financing (TSF) was 251.31 trillion yuan ($36.5 trillion) at the end of December, up 10.7% from a year earlier, the central bank said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Tokyo shares tread water after U.S.-China trade deal; machinery makers lag

16/01 Japanese shares were little changed on Thursday after the United States and China signed an interim deal to defuse their 18-month long trade war, with factory automation machinery makers under pressure on soft industry data.. . .  Full story

Shorter-dated JGB yields fall in line with global peers; trade subdued

16/01 Yields on shorter maturity Japanese government bond (JGB) edged lower on Thursday, tracking overnight moves in U.S. Treasuries and UK gilts, as investors looked past an initial trade deal between the world's two largest economies.. . .  Full story

Thailand's 2020 rice exports forecast to fall to lowest in seven years

16/01 Thailand's rice exports in 2020 are forecast to drop to their lowest in seven year, the country's rice exporters group said on Thursday, as the strong baht reduces the competitiveness against other shippers.. . .  Full story

Rising sea levels threaten sovereign credit ratings - Moody's

16/01 Economic shocks stemming from rising sea levels pose a long-term risk to the sovereign credit ratings of dozens of countries which have large areas at risk of submersion, including Vietnam, Egypt, Suriname and the. . .  Full story

BOJ to keep policy steady, raise growth outlook as risks subside

16/01 The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy steady next week and nudge up its economic growth forecast, as the U.S.-China trade deal and de-escalation in Middle East tensions take some pressure. . .  Full story

China's ZTE plans $1.7 bln A-share sale to fund 5G R&D

16/01 ZTE Corp said it was looking to raise 11.51 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) from a private placement of A shares, and that it plans to use the proceeds for research and development (R&D) of. . .  Full story

Tokyo shares steady after U.S.-China trade deal; machinery makers lag

16/01 Japanese shares were little changed on Thursday after the United States and China signed an interim deal to defuse their 18-month long trade war, with factory automation machinery makers under pressure on soft data.. . .  Full story

Japan posts record machinery orders growth in Nov in boost to economy

16/01 Japan's core machinery orders posted record monthly growth in November, in a bright sign for business spending which has helped sustain a fragile recovery in the world's third-largest economy.. . .  Full story

China's economy estimated to have grown more than 6% in 2019-Vice Premier Liu He

16/01 China's 2019 gross domestic product is estimated to have grown more than 6%, and data for January indicates a better-than-expected economic outlook, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

China's 2019 winter pollution gains offset by worsening in other regions - study

16/01 Smog-prone regions near Beijing and Shanghai posted big improvements in air quality in late 2019, but pollution in other parts of China worsened as dirty industries were relocated rather than shut down, researchers said on. . .  Full story

Japan manufacturers remain gloomy - Reuters Tankan

16/01 Japanese manufacturers remained in a pessimistic mood in January as Sino-U.S. trade frictions and sluggish global demand weighed on the export-reliant economy, the Reuters Tankan survey showed.. . .  Full story

The various ways Lebanon could default

15/01 Lebanon's caretaker finance minister has asked the central bank governor to hold off on a proposed swap of 2020 Eurobonds after ratings agencies warned it could constitute a selective default, a source familiar with. . .  Full story

Egypt issues new mining law regulations -cabinet

15/01 Egypt issued new regulations that appear to eliminate the need for mining companies to form joint ventures with the Egyptian government and to limit state royalties to a maximum 20%, measures long advocated by. . .  Full story

Lebanon central bank governor has been asked to hold off on proposed Eurobond swaps - source

15/01 Lebanon's caretaker finance minister has asked the central bank governor to hold off on a proposed swap of 2020 Eurobonds after ratings agencies warned that it could constitute a selective default, a source familiar with. . .  Full story

Morocco begins talks to curb trade deficit with Turkey

15/01 Morocco said it and Turkey had agreed in talks on Wednesday to review their free trade deal as Rabat struggles to curb its roughly $2 billion annual trade deficit with Ankara, the North African. . .  Full story

India's exports decline for fifth straight month in December, trade deficit narrows

15/01 India's merchandise exports shrank 1.8% in December, falling for the fifth straight month, while the trade deficit narrowed to $11.25 billion from a year ago, helped by lower oil imports, the Trade Ministry said. . .  Full story

Turkish budget deficit leapt 70% in 2019 on government spending

15/01 Turkey's budget deficit jumped 70% last year as the government boosted spending before local elections in the face of a recession, while aggressive monetary stimulus gave the housing market a big boost heading into. . .  Full story

OPEC expects lower demand for its oil as U.S. hits new milestone

15/01 OPEC expects lower demand for its crude oil in 2020 even as global demand rises, it said on Wednesday, as rival producers grab market share and the United States looks set for another output. . .  Full story

Oman's new sultan faces 'balancing act' as credit crunch looms

15/01 Holders of more than $20 billion of Oman's dollar bonds want the new sultan to push through urgent reforms to ward off a credit crunch in the Gulf's worst performing economy.. . .  Full story

Asia Distillates-Gasoil cracks edge higher, cash premiums dip

15/01 Asian refining margins for 10 ppm gasoil climbed on Wednesday, partly due to a dip in raw material crude prices, while cash premiums for the industrial fuel dropped amid weaker buying interest for. . .  Full story

China will increase effective investment - Premier Li

15/01 China will increase effective investment this year and keep liquidity reasonably ample, Chinese state radio reported on Wednesday, citing comments by Premier Li Keqiang.. . .  Full story

BOJ cuts economic view on three regions, stays cautiously optimistic

15/01 The Bank of Japan cut its economic assessment for three of the country's nine regions on Wednesday but remained cautiously optimistic that domestic demand could help offset a slowdown in exports and manufacturing.. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as tariff comments dim Sino-U.S. trade deal optimism

15/01 Most Southeast Asian stock markets settled lower on Wednesday, with Philippines declining the most in a month, as comments from a top U.S. official that tariffs on Chinese goods would remain in place for. . .  Full story

Malaysia's FGV fell short of labour norms, palm industry watchdog says

15/01 The global palm oil industry watchdog said it has suspended the sustainability certification process for some plantations of Malaysia's FGV Holdings, after the world's largest palm oil producer failed to meet labour standards.. . .  Full story

Abu Dhabi energy firm Masdar launches green REIT in UAE

15/01 Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) said on Wednesday it was launching a sustainable real estate investment trust (REIT) with an initial valuation of between 950 million UAE dirhams ($259 million) and 1 billion dirhams.. . .  Full story

Congo launches Chinese-owned Deziwa copper and cobalt mine

15/01 The Democratic Republic of Congo's state mining company Gécamines on Wednesday opened the Deziwa copper and cobalt mine and processing plant, part of a joint venture majority-owned by China Nonferrous Metal. . .  Full story

Piracy spike in Singapore Strait prompts calls for tighter security

15/01 Coastal nations around the Singapore Strait must step up surveillance and patrols of the strategic waterway after a sharp rise in piracy incidents last year, maritime watchdog ReCAAP said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Thailand's tourist arrivals may grow less than 5% this year - industry body

15/01 Thailand is expected to see a less than 5% increase in overall foreign tourist arrivals this year due to a global economic slowdown, intensifying competition and a strong currency baht, a tourism body said. . .  Full story

Hong Kong shares falter before U.S.-China trade deal

15/01 Stocks in Hong Kong edged down on Wednesday after the United States warned that tariffs on Chinese goods will remain in place, hours before the two sides prepared to seal a Phase 1 trade. . .  Full story

China shares slide as investors await trade deal signing

15/01 The Chinese stock market fell on Wednesday, just hours before the world's largest economies are set to sign a Phase 1 trade deal, as the U.S. Treasury Secretary insisted that tariffs will stay in. . .  Full story

Japan stocks slip as tariff comments dent trade deal optimism

15/01 Japanese shares dropped on Wednesday, snapping a three-session winning streak after a top U.S. trade official said current tariffs on Chinese goods would stay for now, prompting investors to lock in profits from recent gains.. . .  Full story

JGBs supported by trade-deal caution, 5-year auction

15/01 Japanese government bond (JGB) prices on Wednesday were supported by comments from a top U.S. official that current tariffs on Chinese goods would stay for now after the signing of a preliminary trade deal. . .  Full story

Jet refining margins shrink on warm winter, weak aviation demand

15/01 Asian refining profit margins for jet fuel have slumped to their lowest in more than eight months, weighed down by weak aviation demand and a drop in the use of heating oil due to. . .  Full story

China Q4 growth seen hovering at 6.0%, more policy support expected

15/01 China's economic growth likely hovered at its weakest in nearly 30 years in the fourth quarter as demand at home and abroad remained sluggish, though there were some signs of improvement late in the. . .  Full story

State-owned Chinese aluminium maker's bonds plunge after S&P downgrade

15/01 U.S. dollar bonds issued by a state-owned aluminium producer from China's western province of Qinghai plunged on Wednesday after S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company on Tuesday following a missed semi-annual coupon payment.. . .  Full story

BOJ cuts economic view for 3 Japan regions, maintains for 6

15/01 The Bank of Japan on Wednesday cut its assessment for three of the country's nine regions in a quarterly report analysing economic conditions across Japan, while maintaining its view for the other six. (Reporting by. . .  Full story

China stocks tick lower before Phase 1 trade deal

15/01 Chinese shares fell on Wednesday after the U.S. Treasury Secretary said tariffs on Chinese goods will stay in place, even as the two countries prepared to sign a Phase 1 trade deal later in. . .  Full story

Indonesia posts smaller trade deficit in December

15/01 Indonesia's trade deficit narrowed in December, following its largest trade gap in seven months in the prior month, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

China central bank injects $58 bln of loans but keeps rates steady

15/01 China's central bank extended fresh short- and medium-term loans on Wednesday but kept the borrowing cost unchanged, as it seeks to maintain adequate liquidity in a slowing economy and ease a potential crunch ahead of. . .  Full story

Nikkei slips off 4-week high on caution over U.S.-China trade deal

15/01 Japanese shares eased on Wednesday after hitting a four-week high in the previous session, as comments by a top U.S. official that current tariffs on Chinese goods would stay for now made investors. . .  Full story