OPPO F9 makes its debut in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: OPPO launched the latest product F9 in Malaysia, making it the sixth generation of OPPO F series, equipped features such as fast charging, dual rear cameras, and gradient appearance. For the first time in OPPO’s smartphone series, OPPO F9 ships with VOOC Flash Charge. This technology, independently developed by OPPO, has a charging […]

China regulator asks financial institutions to support infrastructure

BEIJING: China’s banking and insurance regulator has asked financial institutions to give more support to infrastructure investment, importers and exporters, and creditworthy companies experiencing temporary problems. In a statement posted on its website, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) also called on the institutions to raise the proportion of medium- and long-term loans […]

Malaysia to retain 4.9 per cent growth amid ‘adjustment period’

KUCHING: The overall economic growth momentum for Malaysia in 2018 is expected to remain resilient at 4.9 per cent, moderately lower than our initially forecasted 5.2 per cent, on the back of robust private consumption and slowing import activity, RAM Ratings observed. It pointed out that the big reveal of the government’s key fiscal policy […]

Singapore’s PM Lee lays out plan to curb rising living costs

SINGAPORE, Aug 19 — Singapore’s government will ensure the cost of housing, health care and education remains affordable as households worry about rising living costs, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said. While the economy is doing well,…

Tesla board torn between service to shareholders and iconic CEO

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19 — Tesla Inc’s board of directors is at a critical juncture, wedged between a larger-than-life figure to whom many are personally close and their larger responsibility to shareholders. Elon Musk’s astonishing interview…

S&P, Moody’s downgrade Turkey’s credit rating

ISTANBUL: Two major rating agencies downgraded Turkey deeper into junk on Friday, warning on inflation and bemoaning lack of clarity from the government on how it plans to deal with ongoing financial turmoil, including sharp declines in the value of the lira.

“We forecast a recession next year. Inflation will peak at 22% over the next four months, before subsiding to below 20% by mid-2019,” Standard & Poor's (S&P) warned, lowering Turkey one grade.

Since the beginning of the year, the lira has dropped more than 35% against the dollar, much of that coming this month. This follows a poor year for the Turkish currency in 2017.

Moody's pointed at concerns over the independence of Turkey's central bank – which has not raised interest rates – and a lack of transparency from Ankara. Conditions are “likely to fuel inflation further” and there is an increasing risk for a balance of payments crisis, Moody's said, as it too cut Turkey's sovereign rating one notch lower.

Fitch, another agency, did not change its credit ranking but warned that without a return to “an orthodox monetary policy response” and a change in the government's rhetoric, Turkey will struggle to restore economic stability.

Turkey has a series of compounding issues facing its economy, including corporate debt and inflation.

Additionally, markets have been spooked by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rhetoric against raising interest rates and beliefs in heterodoxical economic theories.

A worsening relationship with the United States has only added to the woes. The two countries have slapped tariffs on each other. The US also imposed sanctions on two leading Turkish ministers, accusing them of serious human rights abuses.

While a range of issues sit at the heart of the dispute – including disagreements over Syria and Ankara's warming ties to Moscow – Turkey is holding in detention US citizens, including Pastor Andrew Brunson. The US wants them released.

“Turkey has been a problem for a long time. They have not acted as a friend,” Trump said outside the White House just hours after a Turkish court refused to release Brunson, who has been in detention in Turkey since October 2016.

“They should have given him back a long time ago. Turkey in my opinion has acted very very badly,” the president said, indicating more measures could yet come down. “We have not seen the last of that. We will not take it sitting down. They cannot take our people.”

The measures from the agencies came hours after the Finance Ministry in Ankara announced a raft of new measures to ease the way for loans to the banking and real estate sectors against “economic attacks”.

The Industry Ministry meanwhile announced a new package to support small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs, state-run news agency Anadolu said, without providing details.

Turkish markets will be closed for a week after noon tomorrow (5pm Malaysian time) for the Eid al-Adha holidays. After four days of recovery, the lira slid 8% against the dollar in Friday trading. It had recovered somewhat from a rout on Monday, when it fell to 7.24 to the dollar.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that Washington was considering further sanctions in response to the continued detention of Brunson. – dpa

Dr M: We’ll go all out to forge better ties with China

BEIJING: Kuala Lumpur will go all out to forge better ties with Beijing as this will bring mutual benefits for both sides, said Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said focusing on economic development rather than confrontation should be the way forward in terms of relations between Malaysia and China.

In this regard, Chinese businessmen are welcome to invest in Malaysia, he said when addressing some 400 top Chinese entrepreneurs and business leaders here today.

Mahathir is on a five-day official visit to China.

The prime minister also made it clear the new Malaysian government’s stand with regard to investments from China.

“We’re not against any Chinese company but against Malaysians who borrow huge sums of money to carry out unnecessary projects,” he told the China Entrepreneur Leaders Forum.

Mahathir noted that Malaysia has had a relationship with China for almost 2,000 years. “Today, China’s trade with Malaysia is the biggest compared with other countries in the region,” he said. – Bernama

Tariffs will hurt US more than rest of world, Maersk says

COPENHAGEN, Aug 19 — The US economy will be hit many times harder than the rest of the world by an escalating global trade war, according the chief executive officer of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S. Soren Skou, who runs the world’s biggest shipping…

Iran says no Opec member can take over its share of oil exports

LONDON, Aug 19 — Iran told Opec today no member country should be allowed to take over another member’s share of oil exports, expressing Tehran’s concern about Saudi Arabia’s offer to pump more oil in the face of US sanctions on Iranian oil…

Benettons go from preachers to pariahs after Genoa bridge disaster

ROME, Aug 19 — For half a century, Italy’s Benetton family has preached compassion through eye-popping ads for its eponymous clothing line that have included photos of a dying Aids patient, a black woman breastfeeding a white baby and, most…