Asia

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Tuesday its central board had decided to create a separate supervisory and regulatory cadre within the bank after reviewing the current supervisory structure, Reuters reported. The board also reviewed the current economic situation, global and domestic challenges and various areas of operations of the central bank, along with the medium-term strategy document covering the RBI’s Mission Statement and the Vision Statement.

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Dollar loans to Chinese borrowers have cratered this year, thanks to both a decline in demand and increased wariness among lenders amid escalating U.S.-China tensions, Bloomberg News reported. Syndicated dollar loan issuance to Chinese borrowers has tumbled 62% from the start of the year through May 17, to $7.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest level since 2012. “Volume is unlikely to rebound anytime soon,” said Fang Lei, a Hong Kong-based managing director of Asia Pacific debt origination and advisory at Credit Agricole SA.

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Signs of a turnaround at its marquee Jaguar Land Rover unit may not be enough to ease the challenges facing India’s oldest and most-storied business empire, Bloomberg News reported. The Tata Group bought the British luxury carmaker in 2008 for $2.3 billion, and it’s lately become a drag on the salt-to-software conglomerate, racking up losses in three quarters through December. Although Jaguar posted a net income of 119 million pounds ($151 million) this week, debt at owner Tata Motors Ltd.

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Congo Republic’s senate on Monday voted to restructure some of its debt with China, a move that the International Monetary Fund has said was necessary to unlock financial support, the finance ministry said. Negotiations over a bailout for the oil-dependant economy have dragged on since 2017, as Congolese authorities failed to convince the IMF they were doing enough to control the national debt or tackle corruption, Reuters reported.

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Turkey’s battered economy is set to leave recession later this month thanks to a politically-driven surge in bank lending and public spending — but analysts warn that key vulnerabilities remain unaddressed and the recovery is likely to be shortlived, the Financial Times reported. Growth figures due to be published at the end of May are widely expected to show that the country emerged from its first contraction in a decade in the first quarter of 2019.

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Pakistan’s central bank has increased interest rates, as expected, citing the need to contain inflation and a devaluation of the rupee, which has shed nearly 6 per cent in two months, the Financial Times reported. The State Bank of Pakistan on Monday raised its key policy rate 150 basis points to 12.25 per cent. The rupee has fallen about 5.9 per cent against the dollar since March. Analysts said the rate rise was made in line with Pakistan’s IMF commitments to secure a $6bn loan to stabilise the country’s weak economy.

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Singapore’s government has downgraded its growth forecasts for this year, as the Asian city state posted its worst quarterly economic performance in a decade amid a slowing global economy and trade upheaval, the Financial Times reported. The global trade hub’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday that it now expects Singapore’s growth for 2019 to come in at between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent. Previously the government had forecast economic expansion of between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent for the year.

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Reliance Capital Ltd., Anil Ambani’s financial services company, protested against a three-step downgrade by Care Ratings that put its credit score two notches above junk, Bloomberg News reported. Care Ratings cut the firm’s long-term debt program to BBB from A and kept it on credit watch with developing implications, according to statements from Reliance Capital and the rating company on Saturday.

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India’s debt-ridden Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) said on Sunday that Japan’s Orix Corp has expressed an interest in buying out the remaining 51% stake in IL&FS’s wind energy assets, Reuters reported. Orix Corp plans to buy the stake to exercise its right under the terms of an existing agreement that allows Orix to match the price offered by the highest bidder for buying a stake in the wind power plants, IL&FS said.

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India’s central bank said on Thursday that shadow banks with asset size of more than 50 billion rupees should appoint a chief risk officer in a move to tighten regulation after a series of defaults at top lender Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services’ (IL&FS), Reuters reported. The government took control of IL&FS last year after its default triggered fears about contagion in India’s financial sector.

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