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...

Economic Analysis - Budget Aimed At Retaining Support Ahead Of Elections - OCT 2017

Australasia & South Pacific August 2017 / Fiji / Economy

The Fijian government's FY2017/18 (July-August) appears to be an election budget aimed at the parliamentary elections that will be held in 2018 with tax cuts and increased spending on education and the sugar sector. While increased investment in infrastructure will be positive for development over the longer term, the government's efforts to raise revenue appear to be limited. We thus believe that the government will not be able to hit its budget deficit target of 4.5% of GDP, instead forecasting the figure to come in at 4.9%.

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Industry Trend Analysis - Online Banks To Be A Catalyst For Fintech Disruption - OCT 2017

China & North East Asia August 2017 / South Korea / Companies

The provision of a banking license to Kakao Bank marks a further step in the development of the fintech industry in South Korea and is likely to see banks push for greater deregulation amid a difficult operating environment as the rise in online banking poses a threat to conventional banks. We believe that the provision of a license will be positive for the development of more digital services and e-commerce, providing new avenues of growth in the financial sector.

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Political Risk Analysis - Thimpu To Seek To Improve Ties With Beijing - OCT 2017

South Asia August 2017 / Bhutan / Political Risk

Ongoing tensions between India and China over the territorial dispute in the Doklam region between China and Bhutan highlights the foreign policy challenges that Bhutan faces and we expect these challenges to persist as both China and India seek to expand their respective spheres of influence. With concerns rising within Bhutan over the scope of India's influence, Thimpu will likely seek to gradually develop relations with China to counterbalance India.

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Economic Analysis - Current Robust Growth To Be Sustained Into 2018 - OCT 2017

South East Asia Vol 1 August 2017 / Thailand / Economy

We continue to see a combination of improving global trade, low oil prices, and renewed political stability as the perfect combination for fostering economic growth in Thailand, and leading indicators suggest that robust growth will continue in the near term. For growth to accelerate, however, we would likely need to see some signs of reform in areas such as attracting foreign investment and improving corporate governance at the country's state-owned enterprises, which seem unlikely for now. As such we are maintaining our real GDP growth forecasts of 3.4% for 2017 and 2018.

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Industry Trend Analysis - Construction Forecast Upgraded On Strong Growth, Sizable Project Pipeline - OCT 2017

South East Asia Vol 2 August 2017 / Malaysia / Industry

We have upgraded our five-year forecast for Malaysia's construction industry on the back of strengthening public, private and foreign investment in infrastructure, especially from China. The size of the country's project pipeline is immense relative to historical figures.

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