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MARKET WATCH 07 JAN, 2019

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Survey shows that the service sector is all set to sustain growth in 2019.

Services sector slowed down a bit in December, a private survey revealed on Friday. This follows a report that points to a slowdown in the manufacturing sector in same month. The result of the Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey, shows that the services sector dipped to 53.2 in December as against 53.7 in November. Since Manufacturing PMI also slowed to 53.2 in December, the Composite PMI was also down, recording 53.6 in December. Just like manufacturing, survey for Services PMI is conducted among purchasing managers of over 400 private companies. These companies belong to five sectors: consumer services, transport and storage, information and communication, financial and insurance, and real estate and business services. An index over 50 shows expansion and if it goes below 50, it indicates contraction.

Expansion mode.

According to the report, service expanded further at the end of 2018, as strengthening demand continued to translate into new business gains. Although growth of new work and activity moderated from the recent November high, companies hired additional workers to a greater extent. Supporting the uptick in job creation was an improvement in business sentiment and easing cost inflationary pressures. Expenses rose at the weakest pace in over one and a half years. Pollyanna De Lima, Principal Economist at IHS Markit, said that India’s service sector continued to enjoy positive levels of activity in December, with new business and employment remaining on an upward path. However, except for jobs, rates of expansion slowed slightly to form a somewhat disappointing end to 2018. She also observed that services companies took a breather from rising expenses as cost inflation eased to a 19-month low. This softening enabled firms to hire extra staff to a greater extent, whilst hiking their charges only marginally.

Source : Business line

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Interest equalisation for merchants to benefit 40% of textile exporters

The extension of the interest equalisation scheme is set to benefit nearly 40 per cent of textile and apparel exporters in India, according to experts. Provided for pre- and post-shipment of textile and apparel products, the scheme offers 5 per cent interest subvention on working capital loans borrowed from banks for all products manufactured and exported by medium and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The scheme is available at 3 per cent on 416 specified tariff lines for non-MSME players. However, it was earlier available only to manufacturer-exporters, not to merchant exporters. Last week, however, the government extended the benefit to merchant exporters, which form a major part of India’s textile and apparel exports. “Around 40 per cent of textile and apparel exporters will benefit from this scheme. Working capital loans will be available at lower interest rate and will lower the cost of production in India. India’s exports of textiles and apparels would be competitive in the world market to the extent of benefit under the scheme,” said Siddharth Rajagopal, Executive Director, The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil). Both manufacturer-exporters and merchant exporters require finance to execute export orders, so the decision has come as a huge relief for merchant exporters as the cost of export finance will come down substantially. K V Srinivasan, Chairman of Texprocil, said, “MSMEs constitute a significant part of the textiles sector and play a crucial role in textiles exports. However, unlike large manufacturers, MSMEs do not have the expertise and resources to sell their products in the export markets. So they have to depend on the merchant exporters to export their products.” The coverage of merchant exporters under Interest equalisation will encourage them to export more products from the MSME sector, which contributes significantly towards employment generation, especially for women. Meanwhile, industry players have urged the government to cover cotton yarn under the scheme. Cotton yarn is the only textile product that has not been given any benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy, although it is a value-added product with substantial value addition taking place within the country. “Inclusion of cotton yarn under the scheme will encourage exports of this product which in turn will benefit the cotton farmers,” Srinivasan said.

Source: Business Standard

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VP Naidu urges textile industry to develop culture of innovation

New Delhi : Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday called upon the textile industry to develop a culture of innovation, diversify products and tap newer markets for increasing India's exports share in the global market. Addressing the outreach event on 'Accomplishments and Way Forward for Textile Sector', the Vice President acknowledged that India's export performance has not been up to expectations for a variety of reasons. "It cannot be business as usual and the industry has to rise to the occasion and ensure that the share of India's exports reaches double digits from approximately 5 per cent at present. You need to diversify your products and tap newer markets," he added. Pointing out that India enjoys a unique advantage of having abundant raw materials and the presence of manufacturing in all segments of the textile value chain, Naidu asserted, "The sector needs to improve supply chains, focus on research, cost optimisation and scaling-up to achieve greater competitiveness and a higher share in the production and export of top items traded in global markets." Observing that this was the ideal time for the industry to discard outdated technology and modernise its machinery to be globally competitive, he added, "The availability of raw materials, low cost and skilled manpower was an added advantage for the Indian textile industry, which is expected to reach USD 223 billion by 2021." The Vice President emphasised that quality has to be the mainstay for India to sustain exports in the global market in the face of stiff competition from Bangladesh and Vietnam. Referring to various measures taken by the government like allowing 100 per cent FDI and Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme to accelerate textile industry's growth, Naidu advised the industry to focus on innovation and value addition for improving the global competitiveness of the Indian textiles and apparels. "Innovation is the key. We have to come up with innovative and exclusive products if we have to expand our footprint in the global arena", he added. Naidu also stressed the need for promoting waterless dyeing by adopting new technology. At the event, the Vice President presented the Threads of Excellence Awards to various organisations and individuals who have shown their excellence in the textile industry.

Source: Business Standard

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Smriti Irani inaugurates outreach event of Textile Ministry

Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani today inaugurated an outreach event of Textile Ministry in the national capital on Sunday. During the event, a book on the Textile Ministry's initiatives and achievements in the last four and a half years was also launched. Another book, which estimates per capita and aggregate demand of textile and clothing industry by region, gender, area and income group, was also revealed. The textile industry is estimated to produce millions of jobs in coming years.

Source : Yahoo

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SLPA port tariff revision takes everybody by surprise

 The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has substantially raised its port charges and other related tariffs effective from January 1, 2019, a move that has taken importers, exporters and other key stakeholders by surprise, as it will drive up costs for manufacturers and consumers alike. SLPA has more than doubled some of the tariffs and reduced the concessions available on demurrage among others in what could be termed as an overhaul in the tariff structure, Mirror Business reliably learns.For instance, ports wharfage tariff for export containers and import containers and handling of their LCL cargo or less than container loan cargo, has been exorbitantly increased. “In fact the tariff increase was so intense in US dollar terms; wharfage tariff has been more than doubled,” a freight forwarder told Mirror Business on the condition of anonymity. According to him, the demurrage-free times have been reduced too. The twenty-foot rate has been increased to US $ 35 from US $ 16, and forty-foot price to US $ 70 from US $ 32. In addition, the LCL charges have been abolished and a box rate has been introduced— which is an increase with a new mechanism, making small exporters and importers indirectly vulnerable for a greater increase than stipulated. The new Port and Shipping Minister Sagala Ratnayake is said to be unaware of the development as the plans to increase port charges were believed to have been hatched during the tenure of Ratnayake’s predecessor, Mahinda Samarasinghe. SLPA made headlines with the dawn of the New Year last week, for its handling of seven million containers— the largest volume it handled in its entire history, up from six million in 2017. “What is the logic behind a tariff hike at a time when the SLPA is already making great strides in revenues through massive transshipment volumes and when it is relieved from the debt burden of the Hambantota port?”, a trader questioned. He also opined that what the SLPA has done is in contrary to the government’s much touted trade facilitation programme. Last week, the Export Development Board (EDB) spelled out its plans to further uplift the country’s exporter community. The minister in-charge of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, said the country needs to bring down the barriers to trade and should be more outward-oriented. An exporter Mirror Business talked to said, the SLPA as a trade facilitation institution, should have reduced the charges to boost exports and helped the government to reduce cost of living of the consumers, specially at a time where transshipments are growing exponentially.  He further pointed out that a hike in charges with volume increases is not good management, and what is required is a reduction in unnecessary costs and elimination of delays to become more efficient to increase SLPA’s bottom-line performance. Meanwhile, the hike in charges could be a double whammy for traders in the textile manufacturing sector, as they import a large volume of intermediary goods to be used in textile manufacturing. One trader in the textile manufacturing industry claimed that the tariff revision is a clear violation of the freight payment gazette issued by the government. He pointed out that as these tariffs are denominated in dollar terms, SLPA becomes the only beneficiary in the supply chain, which benefits from the currency depreciation. Industry sources said that the new Ports and Shipping Minister Sagala Ratnayake and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have been notified of the development. “We expect a quick resolution from the minister, PM and the SLPA as it is an unjustified increase and a process change without understanding the repercussions and the country’s interest at a crucial time. Whoever is responsible for this should be questioned for such unprofessional behaviour,” insisted a trader.       

Source: Daily Mirror

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Ministers propose to shield small units from GST burden

NEW DELHI: A group of ministers has recommended several steps for making life easier for small businesses under goods and services tax (GST), including backing a plan for raising the registration threshold, while another panel has cleared the decks for levying state-specific calamity cess, sparing the burden on consumers across the country. A ministerial group on MSMEs, headed by junior minister for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, on Sunday supported the proposal to increase the registration threshold beyond an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh but could not agree on the new limit, leaving that decision to the GST Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, which is scheduled to meet later this week. While the law committee had recommended doubling the threshold to Rs 40 lakh, which was supported by the Delhi government, Bihar was seeking an increase to Rs 50 lakh. Besides, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi has also floated a proposal for a flat payment for businesses with annual turnover of Rs 50-75 lakh, a facility that was available under the value-added tax regime. A higher threshold will put several small businesses out of the GST net and address the oft-repeated concerns about unnecessary compliance burden ahead of this summer’s general elections. But it will also make the system more prone to leakages as several businesses will not be tracked. The ministerial panel has, however, backed a simpler facility for a ‘composition’ scheme — with a flat 5% levy and much-simplified returns — for service providers with turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh. This plan was rejected earlier as there were fears that it could be misused. Currently, the composition scheme is available to small manufacturers and traders, where the limit is to be increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore and the GoM has suggested that these businesses be allowed to file annual returns instead of making quarterly filings. They will, however, be required to make quarterly tax payments with the challan capturing some of the details. The other GoM, headed by Bihar’s Sushil Modi, which also met on Sunday, sorted out a long-pending issue of allowing states such as Kerala to levy additional tax to meet expenditure related to natural calamities.

‘GoM proposes 1% cess levy for Kerala for 2 yrs’

Instead of agreeing to an increase in the GST rate nationally, the panel agreed to suggest a cess that will be levied by the state concerned but will need specific clearance from the GST Council. “Kerala had asked the GST Council for levying cess to fund rehabilitation work. The GoM has recommended to the Council that Kerala be allowed to levy 1% cess for two years,” Sushil Modi told reporters after the meeting. The GoM has also recommended amendments to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act to increase the borrowing limit for funding natural calamity-related spending by the states. There was also a suggestion to have a permanent cess for natural calamities, which was rejected by the ministerial panel. The proposal came as the Centre is seeing a significant dip in collection from the national calamity contingency duty, imposed on several products as many of the items are now covered under GST. As a result, the annual collection in the kitty is projected to shrink to Rs 2,500 crore from around Rs 5,700 crore in 2015-16. With a smaller corpus, the Centre would now have to allocate funds for the purpose. The stand taken by the GoM addresses concerns of several states that did not want their consumers to bear the burden of a state-specific natural calamity. Besides, there would have been issues related to distribution of the taxes that were collected through a higher GST. Ministers thought that states would themselves be prudent in imposing a cess as they would not want consumers to be unnecessarily burdened.

Source: Times of India

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Expedite GST on energy: PMO

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office has asked nodal ministries to speed up efforts to bring all states on board for the inclusion of oil, natural gas, electricity and coal under the ambit of the goods and service tax (GST). States have been reluctant because so far, they have the freedom to levy their own taxes — a significant part of the state revenue. Niti Aayog had reached out to the PMO with a blueprint to make the energy sector more competitive and ensure uniform pricing across India, a senior government official told ET, requesting anonymity. “Nodal ministries have taken recognition of the directive from the top and have initiated discussions with all stakeholders and states,” the official added. The next meeting of the GST Council will be held on January 10. Various stakeholders, including consumers, have demanded the power sector be brought in the ambit of GST, which may lower tariffs 10%.NITI Aayog is of the view that such a variety of subsidies and taxes distorts the market and promotes use of inefficient fuel. It has pitched for the same GST rate for all forms of energy as its absence has made both exports and domestic production uncompetitive. This is because there is no input credit available on these items. A uniform GST would enable a level playing field. Currently, there is a large bias in favour of renewables in the GST policy. Inputs to renewables generation attract GST of 5% while inputs to thermal generation attract a higher rate of 18%. “There should be no discrimination between renewables and thermal energy. All inputs going into both forms of electricity generation should receive tax credits,” the Aayog suggested, adding that GST would then become neutral between different forms of electricity generation, as should be under a good tax policy. The Centre collects Rs 2.5 lakh crore as tax on oil while almost Rs 2 lakh crore is collected by the states. While the Centre is in favour of widening the GST net and bringing these products under the uniform tax regime, it would require huge compensation to the states, which bank heavily on revenue from these energy sources.

Source: Economic Times

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GST ministerial panels decide to hike exemption threshold for MSMEs; favour Kerala levying 1% cess for 2 years

A ministerial panel under the GST Council has decided to hike the exemption threshold for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) beyond an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh, a media report said. The panel, headed by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, however, has not decided the new limit, leaving that decision to the GST Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, The Times of India reported. Currently, businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh are exempt from the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Modi, who is a member of the panel on MSME relief, said the GoM was unanimous that the exemption limit for the MSMEs which are a supplier of goods should be increased but there was no unanimity among states. Hence, it was left to the GST Council to decide. While Delhi suggested that the limit should be hiked to turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh, Bihar suggested it at Rs 50 lakh. Another suggestion was to levy GST of Rs 5,000 for MSMEs with turnover between Rs 50 to Rs 60 lakhs, and Rs 10,000-15,000 GST for those businesses with turnover between Rs 60-75 lakhs. "Under the earlier excise duty regime, businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore were exempt. So it was felt that there was a need to give relief to the MSMEs under GST," Modi said. Another ministerial panel has cleared the decks for levying state-specific calamity cess. The panel under Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi approved a levy of 1 percent 'calamity cess' by Kerala for a period of two years to fund rehabilitation work in the state hit by floods. The goods and services, which will attract the 1 percent cess, would be decided by Kerala, Modi said, adding that if any other state wants to levy the 'calamity cess' it has to approach the GST Council for approval. Besides, the Group of Ministers under Modi has also suggested to the GST Council to allow states hit by natural calamity to borrow more than the permitted limit. The GST law provides for the levy of special taxes for a specified period to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster. While the GoM on MSME was constituted in August last year, the same for 'calamity cess' was set up in September. The GST Council in its meeting on 10 January will discuss the recommendations of the two ministerial panels. The Shukla-led GoM has also suggested to the Council to allow businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore to avail composition scheme, up from the current Rs 1 crore. It also suggested that dealers under the composition schemes be allowed to file returns annually, even as they would continue to pay their taxes. Currently, composition scheme dealers file returns and pay taxes quarterly. Also, it suggested that a composition scheme be extended to service providers with an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh. Such service providers can pay GST at 5 per ent. The GoM has also suggested that businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore be provided with a free accounting and billing software by the GST Network.

Source:  First post

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 06-01-2019

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1256.36

USD/Ton

-0.69%

1/6/2019

VSF

1968.24

USD/Ton

-0.22%

1/6/2019

ASF

2345.29

USD/Ton

-0.52%

1/6/2019

Polyester POY

1179.20

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

Nylon FDY

2649.56

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

40D Spandex

4760.47

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

Nylon POY

5488.37

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

Acrylic Top 3D

1448.52

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

Polyester FDY

2503.98

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

Nylon DTY

2489.42

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

Viscose Long Filament

1390.29

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

Polyester DTY

2940.72

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

2664.11

USD/Ton

-0.27%

1/6/2019

32S Polyester Yarn

1958.05

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

45S T/C Yarn

2853.37

USD/Ton

-1.01%

1/6/2019

40S Rayon Yarn

2489.42

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2969.83

USD/Ton

-0.49%

1/6/2019

45S Polyester Yarn

2474.86

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2110.91

USD/Ton

0%

1/6/2019

10S Denim Fabric

1.34

USD/Meter

0%

1/6/2019

32S Twill Fabric

0.81

USD/Meter

0%

1/6/2019

40S Combed Poplin

1.09

USD/Meter

0%

1/6/2019

30S Rayon Fabric

0.64

USD/Meter

0%

1/6/2019

45S T/C Fabric

0.69

USD/Meter

0%

1/6/2019

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.14558 USD dtd. 06/1/2019). The prices given above are as quoted from Global Textiles.com.  SRTEPC is not responsible for the correctness of the same.

 

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Bangladesh textile sector saw investment of Tk6,900 crore in last five years

Bangladesh’s primary textile sector, a backward linkage industry for the country’s $30.60 billion apparel sector, saw an investment worth Tk6,900 crore in the last five years, owing to growing demand for fabric and yarn.  According to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), from 2014 to 2018,local entrepreneurs invested an average of Tk1,380 crore per year in the primary textile sector. During this period, 44 new textile mills also became members of the association. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, BTMA President Md Mohammad Ali Khokon, said: “Primary textile sector of Bangladesh has turned into very a strong backward linkage industry for the RMG (Ready-made Garment) sector. Currently, local manufactures are capable of supplying 85% of yarn and fabric, along with 40% of woven fabric,required by the knitwear sector. "This means the primary textile sector has been unable to fulfill 60% demand of woven fabrics, resulting in investors pouring in funds to grab the remaining market share," Khokon added. "Additionally, banks were very enthusiastic in financing the primary textile sector, which resulted in more investment," said Khokon, also Managing Director Maksons Spinning Mills Limited. Economists opined that new investment will strengthen Bangladesh's position in the global value chain,and also help reduce import dependency. Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem said: “This increase in investment will raise Bangladesh's competitiveness in the global market. Bangladesh will also attain a better position in the global RMG value chain.”

How to attract more investment

Stakeholders think more investment can be attracted to the sector, which has not taken place as expected due to a lack of infrastructural support and unavailability of utility services.    “While Tk6,900 crore is no small amount, a good number of  investors could not invest in the sector due to a lack of infrastructure, and limited supply of gas and electricity,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, managing director of Envoy Textiles. "I hope this Tk6,900 crore investment triples in the next five years,as the government is setting up Special Economic Zones [SEZs] and developing the country's infrastructure," said Salam, also a former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association(BGMEA).

Does Bangladesh need FDI for the textile sector?

Since Bangladesh is highly dependent on import for higher end fabrics, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector would further boost the textile industry. “Bangladesh cannot become strong in non-cotton products and local investors are not interested in this area. However,the woven fabrics sector, especially the manufacture of high end or value added products are highly dependent on imported fabrics,” said Khondaker Golam Moazzem.   FDI in these segments can be a solution for Bangladesh to move towards value added products, the economist added. Sector insiders also opined that FDI can be allowed to some extent, especially in the high end segment. According to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, in 2017, Bangladesh’s textile and apparel sector received foreign investment worth $421.68 million, which is 15.70% higher than $364.44 million in 2016. As per the BTMA, there are 430 yarn manufacturing mills, 802 fabrics manufacturing mills, and  244 dyeing-printing finishing mills in Bangladesh, along with 32 denim fabrics manufacturing mills and 22 home textile manufacturing mills.   

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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Turkey: Textile workshop patches dreams of refugees

Ankara : A shirt-manufacturing workshop in the western city of İzmir offers a chance to start over with a new job and income for refugees in Turkey along with disadvantaged Turkish citizens. Set up by the Turkish Red Crescent, the workshop brings together Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees, along with refugees from various African countries and locals. It is one of the prominent charity's many projects to rehabilitate victims of conflicts who took shelter in Turkey, to help them socialize and integrate into society. Launched a few years ago with a few sewing machines and less than a dozen rolls of fabric, the workshop reached out to thousands of people in a short time, providing jobs and incomes for refugee families and impoverished Turks. While they learn how to sew shirts, refugees are also taught Turkish to help them adapt to their new life in İzmir, a city situated on the shores of the Aegean Sea, a gateway to Europe for many illegal migrants. Refugees, either fleeing wars or poverty, chose to stay "in this place where we can rebuild our lives," as one refugee in the workshop put it. Some 21,000 people, from victims of conflicts to Turkish drug addicts, found jobs after attending the workshop to start their lives over. Some went on to set up their own small textile businesses. The local governorate and a chamber of textile businesses endorsed the project that later expanded to new vocational training programs, from hairdressing to agriculture, computer literacy to jewelry design to welding and such. "I forget every pain I suffered and found a new family here," Siba, a 35-year-old Syrian refugee woman, one of the participants in the workshop, said. "I came here to learn how to sew, but I also healed my spirit. I learned Turkish too and am now experienced enough to set up my own business," said Siba, who fled the ongoing civil war in Syria. Mustafa, a 27-year-old Syrian refugee said he was able to support his family by sewing shirts. "Turkey gave us a new life, hope and bread," he said.

Source: Daily Sabah

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Thai Textile Industry Public Company Limited (TTI) Is Yet to See Trading Action on Jan 6

Shares of Thai Textile Industry Public Company Limited (BKK:TTI) closed at 25 yesterday. Thai Textile Industry Public Company Limited currently has a total float of 50.00 million shares and on average sees 12 shares exchange hands each day. The stock now has a 52-week low of 23 and high of 36.  Thailand’s Recovery From 1997 Asian Financial CrisisThailand has long been gradually growing as one of the best economies Asia has. It supports a lot of companies like Thai Textile Industry Public Company Limited with many new clients. With its own efforts geared towards a fast-paced economy growth, Asia is able to thrive.

Thailand’s Role in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis

Amid the setbacks it had put Asia through, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis nonetheless served as a trampoline that facilitated an enormous jump in the Asian economy from the ground up. The turmoil had started in Thailand after the national currency fell. As a result, the country had suffered from bankruptcy due to the lack of foreign currency support. What was originally a national economy dilemma rippled to other parts of Asia, greatly shaking the economies of Indonesia and South Korea as well. Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, and Philippines had also been affected. Lessons from this crisis were lifechanging for a lot of businesses at the market, including Thai Textile Industry Public Company Limited.

The Recovery

Eventually, Thailand and all of Asia had been able to recover from the repercussions that the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis brought. Specifically, equity and foreign exchange markets in Asia had been able to stabilize, slowly leading the region to a much-needed healing. The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), just like how Thailand had played an important role in the dilemma, had also played a major role in the recoup process. Until now, it is helping not only the country but the entire Asian economy to grow further, efficiently offsetting the losses accumulated in the past. The SET is the primary stock exchange in Thailand. Founded on April 18, 1975, it is one of the youngest stock exchanges in Asia. Despite this, the SET has already proven itself to be as valuable as any major stock exchanges in the world. The pre-market morning session on the SET starts at 9:30 a.m., and ends anytime between 9:55 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The regular morning session starts anytime between 9:55 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., and ends at 12:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the pre-market afternoon session starts at 2:00 p.m., and ends anytime between 2:25 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The regular afternoon session starts anytime between 2:25 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and ends at 4:30 p.m. Lastly, the post-market session starts at 4:30 p.m., and ends anytime between 5:00 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. The SET Index is the benchmark index weighing all the stocks listed on the SET. It is too broad of an economic indicator, which is why it is divided into two sub-indices: the SET50 and the SET100. This structure make the work of Thai Textile Industry Public Company Limited easy. The former tracks the 50 biggest stocks on the SET while the latter tracks the 100 biggest stocks. A stock needs to be included in the SET100 before it is included in the SET50. The SET50 was first published in August 1995. It measures stocks using a base value of 1,000. Its rebalancing happens semi-annually every December and June. Thailand is home to endless growth potentials, making it ideal for investors to penetrate the Thai equity market today. Thai Textile Industry Public Company Limited engages in manufacturing, spinning, and distributing yarns, apparels, and fabrics. The company has market cap of $1.25 billion.

Source: Fine Examiner

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US beats Pakistan to second largest buyer of Kenya goods after deal

Kenya’s exports to the US hit a fresh record in the three months ended September 2018 after Washington and Nairobi signed trade deals late June, data collected by the statistics office shows. Washington bought goods worth nearly Sh14.23 billion in the July-September 2018 period, data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showed last week, overhauling Pakistan to become the second largest buyer of Kenya’s goods. The value of exports to the US, largely textile and apparels, in the review period was Sh1.12 billion higher than a similar period a year earlier. The export earnings from the world’s largest economy were also higher than Sh12.46 billion in the second quarter of 2018 and Sh9.26 billion in the January-March period. President Donald Trump’s administration has been warming up to Nairobi since mid-last year when Washington sent in two high-powered delegations on trade and security for bilateral talks with authorities in Nairobi. The US Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) – a think-tank that advises Mr Trump through his Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross – was in Nairobi from June 27-29. The meeting culminated in signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which set out a framework where Kenya and US authorities will be assessing investment opportunities. US Under-Secretary for Commerce Gil Kaplan, who led the delegation of about 60 business executives, said American firms were keen on cutting deals with Nairobi under the ambitious “Big Four” plan with initial deals worth nearly Sh10 billion being inked. “Kenya is a wonderful partner for further trade, development and commercial relations,” Mr Kaplan said during the signing of the MoU. “We have been incredibly impressed by the sophistication and the thoroughness that they have looked at the problems that they are facing.” Land-locked Uganda remained the biggest buyer of Kenyan goods in the review period with an order bill of Sh15.09 billion.

Source: Business Daily

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America’s Lost Markets

The world turns even if America doesn’t. That’s certainly true on trade, where a rebranded Trans-Pacific Partnership has begun with the new year in 11 countries two years after President Trump withdrew. The biggest losers are American producers. The CPTPP, as it’s known, entered into force in Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore last week, where it will slash 95% of tariffs on goods among its members, which account for 13% of global GDP. The others include Vietnam, where CPTPP is in force Jan. 14, and Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru, which are in the midst of ratification. All but 20 or so of the more than 1,000 provisions in the original TPP remain in the revised agreement. Suspended provisions include U.S. priorities such as longer copyright periods and eight years of patent protection for biotech drugs. But other advances in intellectual property remain, as well as provisions protecting foreign investors and making state-owned enterprises more competitive. Despite the U.S. withdrawal, member economies still stand to make significant gains—some $147 billion in global income benefits, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The research finds Malaysia and Singapore would see additional increases of 3.1% and 2.7% in real income by 2030, respectively. According to another estimate, Vietnam will see textile and apparel exports grow $3 billion among CPTPP countries. Canada is due for a larger GDP boost than if the U.S. had remained in the pact, and that comes largely at the expense of U.S. farmers who are likely to be edged out of Japanese markets. Tokyo’s regular 38.5% tariff on beef, which applies to the U.S., will fall to 9% for imports from Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Ottawa estimates total beef exports will increase 10% as a result. U.S. Wheat Associates President Vince Peterson said in Washington last month that U.S. producers’ 53% market share in Japan risks “imminent collapse” upon implementation of the CPTPP. U.S. wheat exports to Japan will face an effective 40-cent a bushel price disadvantage with Canada and Australia. The news isn’t much better for U.S. pork, as Europe exceeded American pork exports to Japan in dollar value in 2017 for the first time in a decade. An imminent EU-Japan free-trade agreement will increase the European advantage. U.S. pork exports to China also face a 62% duty from Beijing’s retaliation in response to Mr. Trump’s tariffs. The President’s trade supporters say his tariffs are merely short-term costs that will lead to better trade deals. But withdrawal from TPP is a deadweight economic loss because it has led to no other trade concessions from anyone. The U.S. and Japan are again talking about a bilateral trade pact, but the easier and far quicker path to open Japan was TPP. The revised TPP is also spurring reform elsewhere. Vietnam is easing restrictions on foreign retailers and raising a foreign investment cap for financial companies as part of the pact. Malaysia is allowing banks from CPTPP countries to open twice the number of branches previously allowed. The U.S. withdrawal from TPP was one of the worst own-goals in recent economic history. Mr. Trump isn’t likely to reconsider in the next two years, but perhaps the next President will.

Source : WSJ

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Vietnam privatizations hit wall as TPP arrives

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnam is on pace to miss a five-year target for cutting state ownership of its economy by 2020, as the effort to attract more foreign investment loses steam amid turbulent market conditions. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Jan. 1 reiterated his determination to meet the goal, one of Hanoi's pledges as a member of the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Shrinking the role of state-owned enterprises to promote competition is crucial under Asia's newest multilateral trade deal, which took effect in late December. In December 2016, Hanoi set a target of reducing the number of wholly state-owned enterprises to 103 in 2020 from 583 in fiscal 2016. But this number still topped 500 at the end of 2018. With only 11 privatized so far in fiscal 2018 -- far below the initial plan of 64  -- Hanoi is expected to fall short of the fiscal 2020 target. 2019 will be a year of "stronger commitments to restructuring public investment and state-owned enterprises, as well as credit institutions," Phuc also said on Tuesday. But prospects for economic reform remain uncertain. Dang Quyet Tien, head of the Ministry of Finance's Corporate Finance Department, acknowledged in November that the pace was behind schedule "even though the government has ordered enterprises to speed up the process and threatened them with punishment." Josephine Yei Pheck Joo, the CEO of SaigonBank Berjaya Securities, worries that the U.S.-China trade war will harm global market performance. Vietnam -- a major importer to the U.S., Europe and China -- would particularly suffer, with the sales of shares in state-owned enterprises further delayed due to reduced investor demand and lower offering prices. Andy Ho, chief investment officer of VinaCapital, suggested that "continued legislative reforms that make the equitization of SOEs more efficient should enable the government to achieve its goals faster." "These legislative reforms should also consider aligning the interests of various stakeholders to accelerate the pace," he said. The 103 companies to be kept as 100% state-owned include Vietnam Electricity, PetroVietnam and Vietnam Railways. They are concentrated in 11 sectors that the communist state regards as the most sensitive areas of its economy, including defense and public security. Hanoi's effort to open its economy to foreign investment has run into market headwinds. In September, Vietnam National Shipping Lines, or Vinalines, raised only $2.33 million from its initial public offering, far below the target of more than $200 million. VTV Cable, one of the country's leading cable television companies, in April canceled its IPO after only one bidder registered for the auction. Many companies, such as Petrolimex and construction materials business Viglacera, delayed or canceled auctions of state-owned shares as few bidders stepped forward. To participate in the TPP, Vietnam must improve the market environment to promote greater competition than required under the World Trade Organization, which the country joined in 2007. State-owned companies account for about 29.4% of government enterprise tax revenue, which makes up more than 60% of the country's gross domestic product, according to 2017 data from the General Statistics Office. Private companies account for a 42.7% share of this tax revenue. SOEs employed 1.2 million people as of December 2017, or 8.3% of the total labor force in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City -- Vietnam's biggest budget contributor by virtue of its stakes in SOEs based here -- asked the central government in October for permission to delay privatizations and divestments scheduled for 2018. The city chairman proposed spreading the planned reform of 39 SOEs over the next two years -- 32 in 2019 and seven in 2020. Hanoi has asked for more time for consideration. Ho Chi Minh City has openly argued that the local SOEs face difficulties meeting the strict regulations for privatization. These companies are required to return state-owned lands, which requires a major adjustment in assets before an IPO. Challenges also include the valuation of brands and intellectual property rights in order to secure strategic investors. Some other state-owned enterprises have asked for delays by themselves, including third-ranked mobile carrier MobiFone and Vietnam Paper as well as the Ministry of Transport, which owns more than 80 such entities. Yet the number of wholly-owned SOEs in Vietnam has plunged from around 12,000 in 1996. The fast-growing economy prompted many of these enterprises to list, divest or dissolve. Around 800 of these enterprises have been privatized, and there were 152 listed SOEs on two local main stock exchanges and one secondary market in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as of December. Hanoi also has set targets to reduce its stakes at 406 state-owned  enterprises that held IPOs in recent years. The ratio of ownership reduction ranges from 2% to 98%, such as offering 10.04% of Vietnam Airports Corp., 24.86% of Petrolimex and 53.48% of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group. Some 30 SOEs completed the divestment process in the past two years, completing about 10% of the target. Apart from wholly owned state enterprises, Hanoi has partial ownership in 106 SOEs including PV Power and Vietnam Paper. The state ownership level ranges from 50% to nearly 65% at 27 more SOEs such as Vietnam National Chemical Group and MobiFone. State ownership tops 65% at four additional enterprises, such as Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group.

Source: Asian Review

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