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Asean Confidential - Premium Investment Insight

Update alert

Thailand: further election delays likely

Thailand's ruling military junta has approved a nationwide referendum on the draft constitution and stated that as a result, the promised election cannot be held until the second half of next year. We are highly sceptical that a complete and transparent referendum will be conducted – meanwhile, the military has made itself an excuse to stay in power another six months.

21 May

Thailand: GDP growth underperforms again

The Thai economy grew 3.0% YoY in the first quarter, an improvement over 4Q14 but still a woeful underperformance. Aside from the resurgent tourism sector, the country's main growth drivers continue to splutter and stumble. We see little hope of a turnaround in the remainder of the year.

20 May

Indonesia's trade woes deepen, current account improves

The slowdown in Indonesia’s economy is reflected in the biggest YoY fall in monthly import growth since 2009. However, this slump is set to bring further positive adjustment to the country's current account balance, which recorded its smallest deficit in 1Q15 in three years.

19 May

Macro

Asean markets lag Asian rivals

Asean stock markets have been generally sluggish this year, amid an uncertain global picture. However, domestic instability is also to blame, as political wrangling undermines confidence in a number of regional economies.

13 May

Big Call

Malaysia – Prime Minister Najib Razak on the edge

Malaysia is facing a leadership change, likely at next year’s Umno general assembly, as Prime Minister Najib Razak battles opposition from within his own party and public anger over alleged corruption.

13 May

Finance

Consolidation looms in Philippine banking sector

A handful of conglomerate-owned giants dominate the banking sector in the Philippines and are in rude health. But the sector is set for a shake-up following the relaxation of rules on foreign ownership, as well as the planned sale of a mid-size state-owned bank. 

13 May

Consumer

Mixed picture for TVs, laptops

While discretionary spending continues to increase across the Asean 5 region, Asean Confidential consumer survey data indicates a slight deceleration in its growth, and consumers in Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines reported decreased spending on electronics.

13 May

Capital Investment

Vietnam SOE sell-off slowly accelerates

The Vietnamese government has, in the last few months, reaffirmed plans to sell stakes in state-owned enterprises – a process known domestically as equitisation – but the pace of this privatisation remains slow and we expect many big foreign-led deals to remain on hold until beyond 2016.

15 Apr

Indonesia’s consumer slowdown

Indonesian GDP slid to 4.7% YoY in 1Q15. While lower commodity prices played a role, a slowdown in private consumption – driven by the weaker rupiah and slow credit growth – also dragged significantly on the economy.

13 May

Thailand – a lack of momentum in the north

In this regional analysis, we find that despite benefiting from a boom in tourism, Thailand’s north is suffering from the same lack of economic momentum we have observed across the country. Nonetheless, the region has enormous long-term potential.

18 Mar

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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