Latest articles from Simon Montlake

Singapore accelerates overseas acquisitions

September 4, 2006

Temasek Holdings, owned by the Singapore finance ministry, is spreading its wings in Asia, expanding its portfolio of financial services and banking assets. Simon Montlake reports.

Unbridled by uncertainty

May 2, 2006

Thailand’s banks are riding out the political uncertainty left by the departure of prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Simon Montlake reports from Bangkok.

Timor-Leste: Asia’s newest nation spies oil

October 3, 2005

Simon Montlake reports from Dili on the government’s plans to turn petroleum wealth into long-term economic development in Asia’s poorest country.

Microcredit takes root in recovering system

June 6, 2005

Cambodia has made it through a tough time and come out the other side with a respectable degree of political stability – and microcredit lending, which provides much-needed loans to the poor, has emerged as a financial front-runner. Simon Montlake reports from Phnom Penh.

Investors acquire taste for exotic bond deals

June 6, 2005

A string of small securitisation deals is encouraging finance companies in Thailand to take a closer look at this class of bond, though hurdles remain, says Simon Montlake.

No distractions from sell-off momentum

March 7, 2005

Indonesia’s banks are going back into private hands as the government continues with its economic reform plans, despite the huge post-tsunami rebuilding task it faces. Simon Montlake reports on progress.

Tsunami fails to dent optimistic outlook

February 2, 2005

Simon Montlake reports from Bangkok on the pre-election mood and discovers that the tsunami disaster has not dented Thai bankers’ confidence.

Going offshore without baggage

August 2, 2004

Brunei’s relatively new status as an offshore financial centre has enabled officials to pass quickly the necessary legislation to make it a world-class location. Simon Montlake reports on the country’s attractions for foreign banks. Brunei is among the newest entrants to the competitive field of offshore financial services. In the last four years, it has introduced legislative and regulatory reforms to position the oil-rich sultanate as an attractive tax-free jurisdiction for international banks and other financial companies.

Banks battle for customers

August 2, 2004

Competition is heating up for a share of Brunei’s consumer finance market. Simon Montlake talks to local banks and foreign entrants about their strategies. Newcomers to Brunei might be surprised to find that its small but affluent population of 340,000 is serviced by no fewer than nine domestic and foreign banks. In a country roughly the size of the US state of Delaware, a branch is never too far away, with some staying open until 10pm on weekdays for late-night transactions.

Brunei diversifies to sustain growth

August 2, 2004

Oil has made Brunei a wealthy country. However, if the current economic growth is to be maintained, the tiny Asian sultanate requires a wider spread of industries contributing to its income. Simon Montlake reports.

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