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Asian bonds sell off in May as investors hunt for better yield

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BENGALURU: Asian bond markets witnessed a second consecutive month of outflows in May and will likely come under more pressure as major central banks tighten their monetary policies this year. Data from central banks and bond market associations showed foreign investors sold a total of $3.8 billion in India, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Malaysian bonds in the last month. “The recent monetary policy decisions by major central banks such as the ECB announcing to end its bond buying programme soon, and the more hawkish view by the U.S. FedRead More


China, Nepal to build Tibet-Kathmandu rail link

BEIJING, June 22 — China and Nepal have agreed to build a railway connecting Tibet with Kathmandu, among a raft of deals signed during the Nepali prime minister’s visit to Beijing, reports said today. Nepal is seeking closer ties and much-needed…


Most Asian currencies set for losing week, Indian rupee gains

NEW YORK, June 22 — Most Asian currencies trod water today, and with the exception of the Indian rupee they were set to end the week lower, partly due to concerns over a brewing trade war and caution ahead an Opec meeting later in the day. The…


Asian currencies hit by stronger US dollar, Indonesian rupiah slumps

SINGAPORE, June 21 — All emerging Asian currencies weakened against a firming US dollar today, as comments by the US Federal Reserve chairman on the pace of rate hikes and a pick-up in US yields fuelled the greenback. Treasury yields rose…


Lapses at many levels of bank led to India’s huge PNB fraud — Probe

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: A US$2 billion fraud at India’s Punjab National Bank (PNB) may have been orchestrated by a few rogue employees, but it escaped detection because of widespread risk-control and monitoring lapses in many areas of the bank, the bank’s own internal probe has found. PNB, India’s second-biggest state-controlled lender, has previously alleged that a […]


Most Asian currencies firm as investors re-assess trade war risks, Philippine peso falls

SINGAPORE, June 20 — Many emerging Asian currencies firmed against a steady US dollar today, a partial recovery from the previous session's losses on fears of knock-on effects from a China-US trade war. Today's trade may reflect market…


AirAsia Group denies allegations in CBI report

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd (AAGB) has strongly refuted all allegations made in a first information report (FIR) by the police in India, including any impropriety in obtaining government approvals. The group said it would pursue all legal remedies to address the allegations against AirAsia Bhd, AirAsia India Pte Ltd, AAGB Group chief executive officer […]


AirAsia strongly refutes India CBI allegations

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Group Bhd (AAGB) lambasted the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) first information report (FIR) lodged against the low-cost airline, based on information from an unnamed “reliable source.”

“We question the motives of the unnamed person, persons or organisation that lodged this FIR but we will cooperate fully with the Indian authorities in accordance with due process provided in law,” it said in a filing with the stock exchange.

AAGB refuted strongly all the allegations made in the FIR as baseless, unsupported and unjustified and will vigorously challenge these allegations.

The FIR claimed that unknown public servants have engaged in a criminal conspiracy involving AAGB, AirAsia India, group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, deputy CEO Bo Lingam, four other named parties and unknown public servants and unknown private persons, to expedite the approval process and change in aviation policies to suit AirAsia India, by lobbying with stakeholders in the Indian government through non-transparent means.

AAGB explained that its move, together with other aviation players, to lobby the Indian government to remove the 5/20 rule was done in compliance with the law and without any unlawful payments. The 5/20 rule inhibits competition and the development of a healthy aviation sector that endures for the benefit of the Indian consumer.

“Further, AAGB has had an internal review and concluded that there has been no wrongdoing by either Fernandes or Lingam.”

AAGB said the joint venture with Tata Sons Ltd to set up its low cost carrier in India carrying the AirAsia brand, was primarily due to the sterling reputation and integrity of Tata Sons in India.

“All required approvals were obtained through normal channels and it took more than a year to get these approvals. Given Tata’s more than 100 years track record and that of AirAsia’s reputation, we refute any inference of impropriety in obtaining these approvals.”

AirAsia Investments Ltd holds 49% equity in AirAsia India, while the remaining 51% is owned by Tata Sons (49%) and two individuals on the board (2%) who are Indian nationals.

AAGB reiterated that all the allegations in the FIR are unfounded and are without any rational basis and are wholly inconceivable in the context of corporate governance norms in Malaysia.

“Accordingly AAGB denies all allegations of wrongdoing and will pursue all legal remedies available to address these allegations.”

Meanwhile, AAGB said AirAsia India lodged an FIR against former CEO Mittu Chandilya last year over the contract with HNR Trading Pte Ltd which was unauthorised by the company.

It also submitted a forensic audit report by an accounting firm in India to show that funds were illegally siphoned out of the company through that unauthorised contract.

“We believe that the Bangalore police are still investigating although much time has lapsed.”


A billionaire’s folly becomes nightmare for bankers in India

MUMBAI, June 19 — This onetime hilltop paradise is becoming for some a hell on earth. The days of zero crime are over. Garbage collection is sporadic, so litter soils the man-made lake. Storefronts are vacant. Signs of neglect are everywhere:…


Bbazaar Malaysia sees strong uptick since Jan

KUCHING: As an online marketplace giving consumers access to customised rate quotes on loans, credit cards and personal finance products, BankBazaar Malaysia sees strong uptake for its services since it began operating in January this year. BankBazaar International chief executive officer Vipin Kalra unveiled to The Borneo Post that it had since received nearly 500,000 […]