Fri, Jul. 22, 5:23 AM
- U.S. prosecutors have linked Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly siphoned from one of the country's economic development funds, according to a lawsuit seeking the seizure of more than $1B of assets from 1MDB.
- The move sets up a rare confrontation between U.S. prosecutors and an important partner in trade, the fight against terrorism and China's military expansion in Southeast Asia.
- ETFs: EWM
Oct. 6, 2015, 3:46 AM
- After five years of talks, a dozen nations across the Pacific Basin clinched an agreement on Monday that will reduce tariffs in countries making up 40% of the global economy.
- Negotiators worked round the clock over the weekend to settle many tough issues surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including auto trade, dairy exports and monopoly periods for next-generation drugs.
- News of the accord also helped trigger today's modest bounce across Pacific bourses involved in the TPP: Australia +0.3%, Japan +1%, Malaysia +0.7%, New Zealand +0.6%, Vietnam +1.9%.
- ETFs: DXJ, EWJ, VNM, EWA, EWM, IAF, DFJ, DBJP, ENZL, NKY, AUSE, JOF, EZJ, JEQ, JPNL, DXJS, EWV, SCJ, KROO, HEWJ, JSC, JPP, EWAS, FAUS, QJPN, FJP, DXJT, JPMV, DXJC, DXJR, DXJH, JHDG, QAUS, DXJF, HEGJ, HGJP, JDG, JPN, HAUD
Sep. 21, 2015, 5:17 AM
- Malaysia's ringgit - Asia's worst performing currency of the year - is expected to show some recovery once issues surrounding indebted state fund 1MDB are resolved, announced the country's central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
- Prime Minister Najib Razak has been fighting for political survival after leaked documents showed he received some $700M in his private accounts from entities linked to the fund.
- More probes are also surfacing. The FBI recently opened an investigation into the allegations surrounding 1MDB, although the scope of the review is not known.
- ETFs: EWM
- Previously: Anti-government protests weigh on Malaysia (Aug. 30 2015)
Aug. 30, 2015, 8:50 AM
- Thousands of protesters gathered in Malaysia's capital for a second day on Sunday demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak despite police warnings stating the rally was illegal.
- Najib has been fighting for political survival after leaked documents in July showed he received some $700M in his private accounts from entities linked to indebted state fund 1MDB.
- The financial scandal has spurred an exodus of capital from Southeast Asia's third-largest economy and has partly contributed to the ringgit's plunge to a 17-year low earlier this month.
- ETFs: EWM
Aug. 24, 2015, 4:47 AM
- Global markets continue to sell off after panic selling in China continues. Stock markets closed lower across Asia, led lower by a 8.5% drop in the Shanghai Composite Index.
- The lack of any official policy move by China contributed to the broad sell-off of shares in the nation. Financial stocks took some of the hardest losses.
- ETFs: FXI, TUR, VNM, EPI, EWA, EWY, INDY, EWS, ASHR, THD, EWH, SCIF, EPHE, CAF, IDX, YINN, KWEB, PGJ, EIDO, GXC, EWM, FXP, EWT, INDL, PIN, INDA, HAO, INP, IAF, EPP, IIF, INXX, YANG.
May 7, 2015, 4:46 AM
- The International Monetary Fund warns the balance of risk in the Asia-Pacific region is tilted toward the downside due to rising debts and a stronger U.S. dollar.
- Although Asia is still seen as a global growth leader, the agency sees a slowing trend.
- The region is forecast to have a growth rate of 5.6% in 2015 and 5.5% in 2016, according to the new IMF survey.
- Positive factors for Asia in the near future include moderating commodity prices, strong labor markets, and solid demand from the U.S. and Europe.
- ETFs: FXI, DXJ, EWJ, TUR, VNM, EPI, EWA, EWY, INDY, EWS, ASHR, THD, EWH, SCIF, EPHE, CAF, IDX, YINN, KWEB, PGJ, EIDO, GXC, EWM, FXP, EWT, INDL, PIN, INDA, HAO, INP, EPP, INXX, YANG, VPL, TAO, CHIX, PEK, CHIQ, CQQQ, DFJ, MCHI, AAXJ, INCO, QQQC, DBJP, SCIN, ENZL, NKY, AIA, ASEA, SMIN, XPP, AUSE, EWSS, YAO, IDXJ, EZJ, JPNL, DXJS, EWV, ASHS, YXI, CN, CHXF, FCA, CHNA, CNXT, AZIA, CHII, CHIE, ECNS, KROO, SCJ, EWHS, AXJL, DVYA, CHIM, HEWJ, JSC, ITF, KBA, KFYP, KORU, JPP, FCHI, ADRA, DXKW, FKO, HKOR, EWAS, FTW, PAF, FHK, FAUS, DBKO, QJPN, FPA, JPX, FJP, JPMV, DXJT, DXJR, DXJC, QKOR, AXJS, DXJH, QAUS, JHDG, AFTY, UXJ, DBAP, AXJV, IPAC, QTWN, DXJF, PAK
Dec. 31, 2014, 11:34 AM
- Nearly all the ETFs involved are single-country funds, with 22 seeing reduced fees, and 19 increases. First up is the list of funds seeing cuts and the number of basis points:
- EWA 3 basis points, EWO 3 bps, EWC 3 bps, EWQ 3 bps, EWG 3 bps, EWH 3 bps, EWM 3 bps, EWS 3 bps, EWP 3 bps, EWD 3 bps, EWL 3 bps, ENZL 3 bps, EWU 3 bps, EWK 2 bps, EZU 2 bps, EWI 2 bps, EWJ 2 bps, SCJ 2 bps, EWW 2 bps, EWN 2 bps, EIRL 2 bps.
- Next are the funds with increases; all are by one basis point: EWZ, BKF, ECH, EEM, EIS, EZA, EWY, EWT, THD, TUR, ERUS, EPU, EWZS, MCHI, ECNS, INDA, EIDO, EPHE, EPOL.
- Previously: Vanguard lowers fees on 12 ETFs
Dec. 16, 2014, 5:42 PM
Jan. 3, 2014, 9:34 AM
- The SET Index (THD, TF, TTF) falls 0.5%, adding to Thursday's 5.2% decline — Thursday marked the worst start to a year for the country's equity market in at least two and a half decades.
- Thai shares are now trading at around 10.5X forward earnings, which is the cheapest they've been since the summer of 2012.
- "Market sentiment is very weak with no foreseeable solution on the current political deadlock in the near future,” the CIO of the country's largest private money manager tells Bloomberg.
- In other regional action, Indonesian shares (IDX, IDXJ, EIDO) are lower by 1.6% and stocks in Malaysia (EWM) fall nearly 1%.
Dec. 9, 2013, 10:43 AM
Oct. 31, 2013, 10:37 AM
- Indonesian shares (IDX, IDXJ, EIDO) fall 1.4% to two-week lows, in a move attributed to underwhelming quarterly earnings. Nevertheless, the JCI closes out the month with a solid gain of nearly 5%.
- Other regional shares are weaker as well, with Singapore (EWS, EWSS) and Malaysia (EWM) off by more than 0.5% — in the absence of an identifiable catalyst, the underperformance is (of course) blamed on U.S. monetary policy being "less dovish than anticipated."
- Meanwhile, Thai shares (THD, TF, TTF) rebound, rising 0.8% after falling 1.7% on Wednesday.
Oct. 25, 2013, 9:56 AM
- Malaysian shares (EWM) end largely flat after hitting all-time highs Thursday. Notably, Prime Minister Najib Razak's 2014 budget has been released. Highlights include: Property tax raised to 30%, 20%, and 15% on properties disposed within three, four, and five years respectively; goods and sales tax (implemented 17 months from now) of 6%; subsidy programs will be "gradually restructured." (more details here)
- Elsewhere, the Bank of Thailand has cut its 2013 GDP forecast to 3.7% from 4.2% citing a "slowdown in private consumption [and] fiscal stimulus [that] fell short of expectations." (full report) SET (THD, TF, TTF) -0.8%.
Oct. 24, 2013, 9:24 AM
- Two straight days of foreign inflows help Indonesian shares (IDX, IDXJ, EIDO) close at five-week highs, as the JCI rises 1% in Jakarta.
- Meanwhile, Malaysian stocks (EWM) are sitting at record highs as investors seem optimistic about the possibility that Prime Minister Najib Razak's will take steps — including reducing fuel subsidies and instituting a consumption tax, although implementation of the latter option is likely years away — to cut the country's fiscal deficit.
- Other regional movers: PSEi (EPHE) -0.8%, Vietnam (VNM) -0.6%
Oct. 17, 2013, 9:18 AM
- Not surprisingly, Southeast Asian shares are moderately stronger on the heels of the debt deal in Washington. Regional stocks are higher across the board, although some markets trimmed gains after the midday break.
- Across the region: Philippines (EPHE) +1.2% as the PSEi hits a four-week high; Indonesia (IDX, IDXJ, EIDO) +0.6%, Singapore (EWS, EWSS), Thailand (THD, TF, TTF) +0.3%, Malaysia (EWM) +0.3%
Oct. 11, 2013, 9:35 AM
- Southeast Asian markets are higher across the board on optimism regarding the U.S. political stalemate.
- Shares in Thailand (THD, TF, TTF), Indonesia (IDX, IDXJ, EIDO), The Philippines (EPHE), Singapore (EWS, EWSS), and Malaysia (EWM) rise 0.4%, 0.75%, 0.8%, 0.3%, and 0.55% respectively.
- Virtually all indices are sitting at multi-week highs.
Oct. 7, 2013, 8:44 AM
- Malaysia's state oil firm Petronas plans to spend $35B to develop shale gas assets in Canada and build a liquefied natural gas export terminal linking the country to Asian markets.
- Petronas had previously said it would spend $20B to build two LNG trains on Canada's west coast, including a pipeline to be built by TransCanada (TRP) from fields in the shale-rich Montney region; the trains are expected to be ready by 2018 or 2019.
- Petronas is in talks to sell stakes in the entire project to potential LNG buyers and has finalized one such deal with Japex (JPTXF.PK).
- ETF: EWM.