Archive for August 21st, 2013

Malaysia next in crosshairs as Asian contagion risks grow

By Stuart Grudgings
Reuters | Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:08am IST

Aug 21 (Reuters) – Indebted, commodity-dependent Malaysia will be in investors’ crosshairs on Wednesday as heavy selling of Indonesia and India’s currencies threatens to spread to other Asian economies seen as most vulnerable to a withdrawal of U.S. monetary stimulus.

After Indonesia, where concerns over a gaping current account deficit sparked a stock market and currency rout this week, Malaysia and neighbouring Thailand are seen as the most vulnerable Southeast Asian markets to contagion effects.

“There is a lot of resemblance to prior crises like 1997-98. We have had two countries going down, India and Indonesia, and now you have got to start thinking about the third and fourth countries,” said Pradeep Mohinani, a Nomura credit analyst in Hong Kong.

“The likely candidates would be those with high fiscal deficits, slowing economies and high foreign ownership of government bonds. Thailand and Malaysia tick most of the boxes in that regard.”

Economists say that both those countries, as well as the fast-growing Philippines, are to some extent protected from major turmoil by their much stronger external balances compared with Indonesia and India.
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DAP gives Utusan Malaysia 48 hours to answer letter of demand

by Hasbullah Awang Chik
The Malaysian Insider
August 21, 2013

DAP national legal head Gobind Singh Deo has given Umno-controlled daily Utusan Malaysia 48 hours to respond to a letter of demand over two defamatory articles.

The two articles headlined “At last the drama has ended” and “Kit Siang manipulated CEC elections?”, were dated August 17 and 18.

The first article quoted the Equity Report said to be written by a Father Augustus Chen, while the other report was that DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang had manipulated the party polls last December.

“The article quoting the Equity Report had no verification. Editor Zulkifli Jalil and reporter Kasthuri Jeevendran as well as Utusan Malaysia, have to answer all the allegations,” Gobind said at the party’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

DAP also wanted Utusan to reveal who was the real author of the booklet and has demanded for the apology within the stipulated time.

Gobind added that the Utusan editor and reporter should be clear about journalism ethics and should have verified allegations contained in the booklet before publishing the article. Read the rest of this entry »