Asia Monitor

Comprehensive country-by-country macroeconomic analysis, risk appraisals, latest market data and forecasts for Asia

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Key stories from this month's issue...

Political Risk Analysis - Political Upheaval To Continue In the Run-Up To 2017 Elections - OCT 2016

Australasia & South Pacific September 2016 / Papua New Guinea / Political Risk

The failed no-confidence vote against Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill in July is unlikely to resolve the political turmoil which has rocked the country since 2014. However, we believe that the national election due in mid-2017 could see the controversial leader voted out of power, leading to the possible resolution of the existing political instability. That said, the government could impose a state of emergency and defer the election if civil unrest continues. Should that happen, we will be looking to downgrade the country's short term political risk index score as well as its economic outlook.

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Economic Analysis - Downgrading Growth Amid Restructuring Efforts - OCT 2016

China & North East Asia September 2016 / South Korea / Economy

We are downgrading South Korea's 2016 real GDP forecast slightly to 2.6% from 2.8% previously despite the economy's stronger than expected expansion of 3.0% in H116. This is to reflect mounting headwinds from the restructuring of the shipbuilding industry and the spillover effect this will have on the broader economy. In addition, ongoing weakness in the Chinese economy and high levels of youth unemployment will continue to weigh on growth.

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Economic Analysis - Patel's RBI Governor Appointment Signals Policy Continuity - OCT 2016

South Asia September 2016 / India / Economy

We believe that the selection of Urjit Patel as the new RBI governor, after Raghuram Rajan's term ends on September 4, signals continuity with the central bank's inflation-targeting efforts and should dismiss fears of a politically-motivated appointment. Despite being less outspoken than Rajan, Patel will likely resist political pressure for further interest rate cuts, and continue taking initiatives to clean up bad assets in the banking sector.

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Economic Analysis - NLD Reform Agenda Still Lacks Necessary Depth - OCT 2016

South East Asia Vol 1 September 2016 / Myanmar / Economy

The NLD's highly anticipated economic plan, revealed in late July, fails to provide a sufficiently substantive framework for the badly-needed economic reforms in the country. In particular, we note that more depth and clarity will be needed in the areas of infrastructure development and industrial reform.

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Economic Analysis - Downgrading Growth Amid Persistent Headwinds - OCT 2016

South East Asia Vol 2 September 2016 / Malaysia / Economy

We are downgrading Malaysia's 2016 and 2017 real GDP forecasts to 4.1% and 4.7% respectively from 4.5% and 5.0% previously, as the economic headwinds in Q216 are unlikely to abate over the coming quarters. Ongoing weakness in the Chinese economy and domestic headwinds will continue to weigh on growth. However, we expect the stabilisation of oil prices to lend some support to the economy over the coming quarters.

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