Asia Pacific

Western countries must be careful not to create new dependencies on China as they are weaning themselves off Russian energy supplies amid Moscow's war on Kyiv, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned on Monday, Reuters reported. "We see growing Chinese efforts to control our critical infrastructure, supply chains and key industrial sectors," he said on a visit to Spain. Stoltenberg urged allies to increase the resilience of their societies and infrastructure. "Chinese rare earth minerals are present everywhere, including in our phones, our cars, and our military equipment," he said.
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The board of a Swiss-based trust fund managing some $3.5 billion in frozen assets seized after the Taliban took power last year is meeting in Geneva for the first time on Monday, a Swiss government spokesperson confirmed, Reuters reported. The frozen central bank reserves were recently transferred from Washington into the 'Fund for the Afghan People' where U.S. officials say it will be shielded from the Taliban. The latter has condemned the transfer, calling it a violation of international norms. The agenda of the meeting is not yet public.
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Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government will fulfill its external debt commitments including the repayment of a sukuk bond that’s due in the first week of December, Bloomberg News reported. “There is no chance of default. Repayment will be done on time,” he said in a televised message on Saturday, adding that arrangements for debt repayments for next year have been done “in principle.” Dar estimated the country’s current account deficit would be at $6 billion at the end of June 2023, half that of an earlier projection.
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Germany's foreign ministry plans to tighten the rules for companies deeply exposed to China, making them disclose more information and possibly conduct stress tests for geopolitical risks, a confidential draft document seen by Reuters said. The proposed measures are part of a new business strategy towards China being drawn up by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government as it seeks to reduce its dependency on Asia's economic superpower.
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FTX’s investors are continuing to deal with the fallout from the cryptocurrency exchange’s bankruptcy. In a statement today, Temasek, the investment firm owned by Singapore’s government, said it wrote down its full investment in FTX, “irrespective of the outcome of FTX’s bankruptcy protection filing,” TechCrunch.com reported. Temasek invested $210 million USD in FTX international, giving it a minority stake of about 1%. It also invested $65 million for a minority stake of about 1.5% in FTX US, in two funding rounds from October 2021 to January 2022.
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China dialed down its short-term cash injections to the banking system, as the government bond market steadied following this week’s steep losses, Bloomberg News reported. The People’s Bank of China added a net 9 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) of seven-day liquidity via its open-market operations, compared with 123 billion yuan on Thursday, after a rare selloff in the onshore bond market spooked fixed-income investors. The yield on 10-year bonds climbed two basis points to 2.82% as of 9:33 a.m. local time. It fell four basis points Thursday.
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Japan’s inflation hit its fastest clip in 40 years in October, an outcome that puts the central bank in an even more awkward position as it tries to explain the need to stick with monetary stimulus to pursue stable price growth, Bloomberg News reported. Consumer prices excluding fresh food climbed 3.6% in October from a year ago, with the acceleration driven by processed food and the fading impact of mobile phone fee cuts, the internal affairs ministry reported Friday. The reading outpaced a 3.5% forecast by analysts and marks the fastest price growth since 1982.
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Banks, financial institutions and other creditors of stressed companies have realised Rs 2.43 lakh crore through NCLT-supervised insolvency resolution processes against total claims of Rs 7.91 lakh crore till September 30, 2022, the Economic Times of India reported. So far 532 CIRPs (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process) yielded resolution plans, said the quarterly report of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). "Till September 30, 2022, the creditors have realised Rs 2.43 lakh crore under the resolution plans.
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The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has directed to initiate insolvency proceedings against realty firm Ansal Properties & Infrastructures on a petition filed by 126 flat buyers of one of the company's housing projects, the Economic Times of India reported. A two-member bench of the insolvency tribunal had admitted the plea moved by 126 flat/villa buyers of Ansal API's real estate project The Fernhill located at Sector 91, Gurgaon.
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Former Comanchero bikie boss Mohamad “Mick” Hijazi is facing bankruptcy at the hands of the taxation watchdog after allegedly failing to cough up more than $500,000 in debt, WAToday reported. Federal Court documents show that the Australian Taxation Office is pursuing a sequestration order against the 47-year-old’s estate in a bid to recoup the funds owed. The court action relates to a $556,165 bill Hijazi was handed by the New South Wales District Court, but allegedly failed to pay.

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