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Asean Confidential - Premium Investment Insight

Update alert

Thailand tourist arrivals up for second month

Chinese tourist arrivals have driven most of the recovery in Thai tourism in 4Q14, and we understand that mainland Chinese are responsible for much of the retail spending by tourists at Bangkok's largest malls, owned by firms such as Central Pattana (CPN:SET). We note that the authorities do not account for retail spending when they calculate tourism receipts.

18 Dec

Bakrie’s re-election as Golkar head poses threat to Jokowi's reform agenda

Aburizal Bakrie’s strong-arm tactics have aided his re-election as the leader of one of Indonesia’s most powerful political parties. We believe that this may hurt Jokowi’s ability to push ahead with reforms. 

05 Dec

Vietnam’s property reforms could benefit Vingroup, Keppel Land

Vietnam’s National Assembly passed an amended Housing Law that removes a number of restrictions on foreign ownership of residential property. We believe that this heralds a growing commitment to reforms, and benefits companies with exposure to the high-end market such as Vingroup, Lotte, and Keppel Land. We also note that the government has just halted a proposed plan to increase the cap on foreign voting shares in certain Vietnamese industries, from 49% to 60%.

04 Dec


Weak commodity prices, slowing credit and elevated political risk – a mixed outlook

The outlook for South-east Asia for 2015 appears challenging as governments face pressure to find new means of economic stimulus. 

10 Dec

Big Call

Indonesia in 2015 – Moving on from Suharto?

The outlook for Indonesia in 2015 is positive in light of the government’s commitment to reform but growth is unlikely to exceed 2014 levels. External imbalances remain a key challenge for policymakers.

10 Dec


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


Instant noodles – ubiquitous and cheap

Instant noodles will remain popular in South-east Asia, supported by positive trends that include its demographics and strong demand from young consumers, as well as the proliferation of convenience stores. 

10 Dec

Capital Investment

Iskandar’s inevitable condo oversupply

Approximately 27,000 high-end properties will be completed in just two areas of Iskandar between 2014 and 2018. This supply onslaught constitutes a major distortion of the market and, with prices having reached Kuala Lumpur levels, we expect construction plans to be scaled back.

12 Nov

Unlocking Mindanao’s potential

Several issues which have hindered investment in Mindanao in the past, such as security and power shortages, are now being addressed and this progress is spurring fresh investment in Mindanao island. We estimate that Mindanao’s GDP could grow 50% over the next decade, driven by mining, palm oil, rubber and new cash crops, such as cacao and coffee. 

10 Dec

Palm oil – biodiesel mandate to lift industry

With palm oil prices at five-year lows, moves by governments in Malaysia and Indonesia to push ahead with plans to increase the amount of palm oil in biodiesel could be a game changer. Corporates are also braced for a scramble for land in 2015 when a moratorium on forest clearance in Indonesia ends.

01 Oct

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

Latest Report

2014-12-11 Report

11 Dec 2014

Mindanao’s golden opportunities: the glittering promise of gold and nickel

Having ignored Mindanao – the Philippines’ second largest island – for the last two decades, foreign interest has finally resurfaced.

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