Asia Pacific

Turkey’s banking watchdog will continue tightening its grip on commercial loan access by further restricting companies holding foreign currency from borrowing liras, stepping up efforts to prop up the local currency and cool lending, Bloomberg News reported. The new rule announced on Oct. 21, and set to come into effect on Tuesday, will bar commercial lira loans to corporate borrowers if they hold more than 10 million liras ($537,000) in foreign currencies and if the amount exceeds 5% of total assets or annual sales.
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Sri Lanka's key inflation rate eased to 66% in October after hitting 69.8% in September, the crisis-struck country's statistics department said on Monday, Reuters reported. The still extremely elevated Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) reflected a 85.6% jump in food prices in October and a 56.3% climb in the non-food group, the Census and Statistics Department said in a statement. However, the pace of food inflation slowed from a all-time high of 94.9% in September.
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Japan said on Friday that it would subsidize around 20 percent of the average family’s electric bill, part of a sweeping economic package that comes as the country struggles with high food and energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a yen trading at decades-long lows, the New York Times reported. The total package, which weighs in at over $200 billion, includes a wide variety of economic measures, ranging from individual payments to families with children to fuel subsidies for the transportation industry.
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Japan's factory output fell in September for the first time in four months as manufacturers took a hit from rising costs for raw materials and the global economic slowdown. But in a brighter sign for the world's third-largest economy, retail sales grew for a seventh straight month, raising hopes for a sustainable boost in consumption after the easing of COVID-19-related border controls for foreign tourists earlier this month, Reuters reported.
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Past financial crises are haunting South Korean policy makers as they rush to support a local credit market that’s quickly gone from one of the world’s safest to teetering on the brink, Bloomberg News reported. As Korea gets swept into a global debt market rout, corporate treasurers and market regulators in Seoul are staring down one of the most rapid deteriorations in the nation’s credit market ever. The rout is one of the worst in Asia’s local-currency markets amid a broader fixed-income slump this year.
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Australia’s central bank faces a tough task in deciding whether to persist with smaller interest-rate increases or U-turning back to outsized hikes to try to gain control of hotter-than-expected inflation, Bloomberg News reported. Financial markets and most economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the Reserve Bank will deliver a second straight quarter percentage-point rise at Tuesday’s meeting. That would take the cash rate to 2.85%, the highest level since April 2013. But there are still some high-profile dissenters and doubters.
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Turkish bankers have confronted top officials over rules that saddled them with government bonds and kept rates artificially low, according to people familiar with the matter, warning of massive risks in case monetary policy becomes far less accommodative, Bloomberg News reported. In a recent series of closed-door meetings with key decision makers, bank executives pressed complaints against regulatory measures that forced them to buy government debt, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions were private.
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Australian inflation raced to a 32-year high last quarter as the cost of home building and gas surged, a shock result that stoked pressure for a return to more aggressive rate hikes by the country's central bank, Reuters reported. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed the consumer price index (CPI) jumped 1.8% in the September quarter, topping market forecasts of 1.6%. The annual rate shot up to 7.3%, from 6.1%, the highest since 1990 and almost three times the pace of wage growth.
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Major Chinese state-owned banks sold U.S. dollars in both onshore and offshore markets in late trade on Tuesday to prop up the weakening yuan, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Such dollar selling comes as the Chinese currency is facing mounting downside pressure, with the onshore yuan hitting the weakest level since December 2007 and the value of yuan against currencies of its major trading partners at a five-month low. The selling of dollars by state banks in early U.S.
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China's cabinet issued rules on Tuesday to promote private businesses, including incentives for financial institutions to lend to them, in its latest move to support an economy facing multiple headwinds, Reuters reported. The rules aim to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of private businesses and expand employment, China's cabinet said in a notice published on its website. "Private businessmen are important market players, playing an important role in booming the economy and increasing employment." The Tuesday rules also banned abusive charges to the self-employed.
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