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Asean Confidential - Premium Investment Insight

Update alert

Malaysia 1MDB listing-plan set to stall, restructuring looms

Debt-laden Malaysian state fund 1MDB is now widely viewed as toxic, with its yields close to junk status, following the cancellation of its debt-raising exercise. As a result, we think 1MDB will struggle to raise cash if it proceeds with its planned IPO, and will ultimately be forced to sell off prized assets to avoid default.

05 Mar

Backlash against Aquino threatens cornerstone Mindanao bill

We believe recent challenges to Philippine President Benigno Aquino pose no serious threat to his rule. However, resurgent unrest in Mindanao could hamper his efforts to secure a peace deal in the region, which may in turn affect the viability of some big-ticket investments.

03 Mar

Thailand's sluggish economy: falling imports offset weakness in exports

Thailand began 2015 with a current account surplus, but falling imports and weak exports suggest its economy is still struggling to move forward because of continuous political instability. 

02 Mar


Commodity price slump dominates macro agenda

The impact of falling commodity prices continues to dominate the macro discussion in Asean. While consumers are set to benefit, governments face serious challenges in keeping their economies on track.

18 Feb

Big Call

Indonesia – building the future

President Joko Widodo's plan to invest billions of dollars into the country's creaking infrastructure is ambitious, and could significantly boost economic growth, but many obstacles to progress remain.

18 Feb


Thai consumer debt continues to rise

A year ago, Asean Confidential warned of the rapid expansion in household debt in Thailand, arguing that while no crisis was imminent, credit-fuelled spending could no longer spur private consumption. While growth in consumer borrowing has decelerated rapidly over the past year, household debt continues to rise.

12 Nov


Motorcycle buying sentiment revs up despite falling sales

Asean Confidential consumer data suggests that motorcycle purchases could rebound in 1H15 following a regional contraction in 2014. According to our latest brand survey, Honda and Yamaha remain the most popular manufacturers among Asean 5 consumers.

18 Feb

Capital Investment

Vietnam oil refineries stuck in pipeline

New oil refineries in Vietnam could boost industrial development, enhance domestic energy security and reduce a yawning trade deficit. But despite bold government promises, many construction projects remain a long way from breaking ground.

18 Feb

Thailand – a mixed outlook for Isan

In this regional analysis, we examine three urban centres in Isan – north-east Thailand – finding little cause for short-term optimism on either consumption or industrial activity, but we remain bullish on the region over the longer term.

18 Feb

Thailand – southern malaise to continue?

In this regional analysis, we examine the three biggest cities in southern Thailand, finding that recent sluggish development is set to continue in 2015, largely due to weak infrastructure links, falling rubber prices and growing household debt.

14 Jan

Myanmar gets connected

The opening of Myanmar’s mobile phone market has provoked fierce competition between Telenor and Ooredoo as the new licensees look to exploit a virtually untapped market. We expect rapid growth in the sector, though the telecoms companies will face significant logistical and regulatory challenges. 

06 Aug

Lift-off for Myanmar’s real estate and banking sectors

Our research looks at the rapidly advancing property market in Myanmar, where foreign developers are driving a construction boom, though legal deficiencies continue to provide reasons for caution. Similarly, the opening up of the banking sector is attracting strong foreign interest, though the government will carefully limit the activities of the first foreign licensees.

09 Jul

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