Big predators wait in wings

February 3, 2004

Some companies are already reaping the rewards of a bold decision to invest in Indonesia’s banking sector, but one investor is asking how long they will be able to operate before the big banks decide to move in.

Removal of deficit takes priority

February 3, 2004

When Indonesia graduated from the IMF programme at the end of last year, it brought to an end a traumatic six-year relationship, but since then the country has emerged stronger and more fiscally disciplined.

Pakistan agrees to sell majority stake in Habib

February 3, 2004

Pakistan has decided to sell 51% of the shares of Habib Bank to the Geneva-based Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) for about $400m in one of the country’s biggest privatisation deals ever, writes Farhan Bokhari.

Singaporean solution is best defence against unemployment

February 3, 2004

At a time when growth does not necessarily mean more jobs, governments must take a proactive stance to keep people in work.

The view from Singapore’s hot seat

February 3, 2004

Karina Robinson interviews Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on developments in the region and in his homeland.

Taiwan’s outlook hangs on poll

February 3, 2004

Prospects for economic upgrade and liberalisation depend on the results of the coming presidential elections. Dennis Engbarth reports from Taipei.

Crime no longer pays

February 3, 2004

The cost/benefit analysis for prospective financial criminals in Taiwan has shifted sharply toward higher costs in the wake of the national legislature’s passage on January 13 of stiffer penalties for a wide variety of offences and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s willingness to prosecute influential perpetrators.

China expands foreign access to local markets

January 5, 2004

China’s top banking regulator played Santa Claus to foreign banks weeks before Christmas last year, announcing measures that gave them greater access to the local market.

HSBC takes local stake

January 5, 2004

After a long-term presence in India, HSBC has surprised everyone by buying into the local banking sector in an apparent strategic shift, writes Kala Rao in Mumbai.

Japan: not yet out of the woods

January 5, 2004

The government’s rescue of Ashikaga regional bank illustrates that, while Japan’s economic outlook has improved, there are still areas of concern.

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