alarm bell


US debt hits record under Trump, Republicans mum

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 — More massive than the US economy, the national debt hit a new record of US$22 trillion (RM89.7 trillion) under President Donald Trump but Republicans who traditionally rail against debt and deficits have remained mum. The sum…

Nissan CEO calls for Renault board to review Ghosn findings

PARIS, Jan 15 — Nissan expects alliance partner Renault's board to back its ousting of Chairman Carlos Ghosn once it sees evidence from the Japanese carmaker's investigation, Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa said in a Monday newspaper interview….

Most Asian markets up with eyes on China-US trade talks

HONG KONG, Jan 8 — Asian markets mostly rose today with a little more optimism in the air than in recent weeks as China and the US hold trade talks and the Federal Reserve flags a more dovish stance. Wall Street provided another positive lead,…

Macron, Abe to discuss Renault-Nissan at G20 as feud brews

TOKYO, Nov 30 — French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the Renault-Nissan alliance’s future with Japan’s prime minister at the G20 summit in Argentina today, seeking to defuse a brewing diplomatic row over the balance of power inside…

Wall St tumbles as weak industrials add to dour mood

NEW YORK, Oct 23 — Wall Street sank more than 1 per cent today as disappointing forecasts from industrial bellwethers Caterpillar and 3M piled on to concerns over Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic isolation, Italy’s finances and trade-war fears. All…

Sliding currencies trigger palm oil demand concerns

KUALA LUMPUR: Sliding emerging market currencies are ringing alarm bells among traders concerned that palm oil demand will weaken across the region from China to Iran, as reduced purchasing power cuts into imports into countries like Turkey and India.

With a plunging Turkish lira dragging down peer currencies, traders say they already see Indian buyers bargaining with key suppliers in Malaysia, the world's no. 2 producer, for lower prices. Importers also forecast fewer shipments to China and the Middle East this year.

Slowing demand will weigh on benchmark palm prices, already trading around two-year lows. The benchmark price for the oil used in everything from cosmetics to soap was down 0.4% at RM2,207 (US$538.29) a tonne yesterday morning.

“Palm oil demand has been soft in 2018. One big reason has been the weakness of importer currencies,” said edible oil analyst Dorab Mistry, citing the Indian rupee as an example.

“I do not think the palm market has appreciated how much edible (oil) demand we have lost in 2018.”

Indian imports slumped 33% in July from last year as higher duties and a depreciating rupee – the worst-performing emerging market currency in Asia this year – made dollar-denominated imports more expensive.

Buying in August will further decline, said one Kuala Lumpur based-trader. Indian buyers have been asking for lower prices to offset the lower rupee, he said, leading sellers to reduce prices in hopes of capturing some demand.

“Malaysia is trying to compete by selling at lower prices,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Sellers will do this as long as weakness in the Indian rupee is there.”

Chinese buyers are also deferring contracts to September, when Malaysia's zero rate crude palm oil export duty will kick in and lower costs, said traders. – Reuters

China ploughs US$144b into shantytown redevelopment so far in 2018

BEIJING, Aug 16 — China has invested 990 billion yuan (approx. RM 589 billion) for a massive urban redevelopment project in the first seven months of 2018, the housing ministry said today. China’s central bank has injected hundreds of billions…

China’s empire of money is reshaping lives across New Silk Road

SINGAPORE, Aug 2 —  China is building a very 21st century empire — one where trade and debt lead the way, not armadas and boots on the ground. If President Xi Jinping’s ambitions become a reality, Beijing will cement its position at the…

Vietnam property tycoon bets big on new airline

HANOI, Aug 1 — Pressed by poverty into work when he was 14, Trinh Van Quyet now presides over a Vietnamese property empire and is betting billions on a new airline in Southeast Asia’s crowded aviation sector. The 43-year-old tycoon clawed his…

Carrefour, Tesco deal to squeeze suppliers, big and small

PARIS, July 4 — A deal between Carrefour and Tesco to team up on global purchasing will help them not only cut prices but also expand their own-label ranges, tightening a squeeze on major brand producers such as Nestle and Kraft Heinz. The…