ARAB TIMES, SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2012 BUSINESS 37 China mulls stronger controls China to expand rare earths reserves Carpenters sit on their China is studying new measures to 70 Chinese cities tracked by the China plans to add 18,000 tonnes of rare trading partners. The report did not offer a fig- motorcycles with their beef up controls on the property government increased in July from earths to its strategic reserves following an ure for the size of current reserves. boxes of tools waiting sector, state media said, amid June, latest official data showed. agreement with a domestic producer, a state- Another Chinese newspaper said last for clients at a corner signs of rebounding housing prices. That represented a doubling from linked newspaper said Friday. month that China had already started the pur- street in Hanoi on Aug The housing ministry is “closely 25 in June. The government agency that manages chase — using state funds — and storage of 24. Vietnam’s inflation monitoring” changes in the proper- The price rebound came despite reserves will buy light rare earths from the rare earths for strategic reserves. has slowed to 5.04 ty market and “is studying with rel- government tightening policies for country’s largest producer, Inner Mongolia The latest report said the new deal fol- percent year-on-year evant departments further policies more than two years that have Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-tech Co, lowed lower prices, and the transaction could in August, its lowest to strengthen market control”, included prohibitions on buying the National Business Daily said. take place as early as next month. The rate in nearly three Xinhua news agency said late second homes, an increase in min- China produces more than 90 percent of Baotou company declined to comment on the years. (AFP) Thursday, citing an unnamed offi- imum down-payments and the the world’s rare earths, which are used in report. But stock of the Shanghai-listed firm cial. introduction of property taxes in high-tech products, and its control over the ended the morning up 1.20 percent at 38.06 New home prices in 50 out of the certain areas. (AFP) elements has sparked a dispute with major yuan after the news. (AFP) Overseas investors deterred by graft, red tape and lack of economic reforms India’s FDI inflow plummets 78 pct in June NEW DELHI, Aug 24, (AFP): Foreign hot destination for foreign money. Pakistan rupee sinks to record low against dollar direct investment in India slid by 78 per- They have been deterred by a string of cent in June, official figures showed on graft scandals, suffocating red tape, high Friday, amid mounting worries about cor- inflation, sharply slowing growth and the ruption, bureaucratic delays and lack of government’s inability to further open up economic reforms. the economy in the face of fierce political KARACHI, Aug 24, (AFP): The Friday, down from 94.70 on today,” said analyst Mohammad light sweet crude for delivery in Foreign direct investment (FDI) in opposition. Pakistani rupee sank to an all-time Thursday, and has now lost 33 per- Sohail of Topline Securities. October was at $95.68. June tumbled to $1.24 billion from $5.66 The central bank said India could help low against the dollar Friday on cent of its value against the US cur- “These factors have contributed An official in the Ministry of billion in the same month a year earlier, reverse the investment decline by short- high oil prices and forex reserve rency since March 2008. to the panic in the currency mar- Finance said Pakistan was set to figures posted on India’s Department of ening investment approval times and fears as the country prepared to “The increase in the international ket.” pay $397 million to the IMF on Industrial Policy and Promotion website sorting out land acquisition issues. repay nearly $400 million to the oil price... has affected Pakistan’s In Asian oil markets on Friday, Friday and hoped it would have a showed. On Thursday, central bank governor International Monetary Fund. foreign exchange reserves and they Brent North Sea crude for October “minimal effect” on the forex For the financial first quarter to June, Duvvuri Subbarao cited the example of The rupee fell to 94.75 to the could suffer further with the repay- delivery stood at $114.54 a barrel, reserves, which stand at $15.18 bil- greenback in trading in Karachi on ment of IMF’s installment due while New York’s main contract, lion, according to the central bank. FDI tumbled year-on-year by 67 percent Singapore, an investment hub, to stress to $4.43 billion, according to the depart- the importance of doing away with cum- ment, with big drops in construction, real bersome rules that deter business. ects,” he said in the bank’s annual report. acquisition process for industrial proj- overhaul its dilapidated ports, airports, POSCO’s plans to build a $12-billion estate, mining, and business and financial “There is a need to make doing busi- services. ness easy by adopting models like the one However, the same day, the govern- ects. highways and other infrastructure seen as mill. The scheme has hung in limbo Overseas investors have increasingly in Singapore where multiple ment postponed deciding on proposed Experts say foreign investment is vital key to boosting growth. since 2005, running into trouble over been giving a wide berth to the country of agencies/ministries sit together to quickly changes to a long-awaited land acquisi- for India, which needs to fund a $1 tril- Among a host of stalled high-profile land rights and environmental clear- 1.2 billion people, until recently seen as a give a decision clearing investment proj- tion legislation intended to ease the land lion scheme over the next five years to projects are South Korean steelmaker ances. $5 bn wiped off during week Asia condensate demand to double Vietnam markets slump as banking scandal spreads by ’16, opens mkt to new suppliers HANOI, Aug 24, (AFP): Vietnam’s nies, licensed in real estate, through stock markets have lost more than which he funnelled millions of dol- $5.0 billion in value this week since lars to amass stakes in other banks About 550,000 bpd splitter capacity to start up in next 4 yrs the arrest of two top bankers, as in his family members’ names, Tuoi experts warned the scandal could Tre said. tip the fragile banking sector into The central bank had said Kien’s SINGAPORE, Aug 24. (RTRS): Asia’s condensate demand is Yet, by the time these facilities come online, condensate sales from top suppliers such full-blown crisis. arrest was not related to the ACB — as Qatar, also the world’s biggest LNG exporter, are slated to fall as the nation feeds expected to double by 2016 as refiners and petrochemical local demand that is expected to rise with more splitters coming up there. That will open Both the founder and the director where he holds a less than five per- general of Asia Commercial Bank cent stake. One banker based in Ho makers build splitters to process an abundent supply of the the Asian market to condensate supplies from Russia and North America, traders and were arrested this week for eco- Chi Minh City said the authorities super light crude into raw materials for making plastics and analysts said. “Within the East of Suez region, we’ve kind of hit a hiatus” in new supply, said Al nomic crimes, triggering a run on were trying to “ring fence” the key for producing better quality gasoline to feed demand. Troner, president of Houston-based Asia Pacific Energy Consulting. “But I think that’s deposits and forcing the central institution. South Korea, China and Singapore are building distillation units that cost bank to provide emergency liquidi- Others warned however that it going to give the window of opportunity for extra-regional sellers to start coming in.” less than one seventh of a typical refinery to process large volumes of conden- Condensate splitters of close to 550,000 barrels per day (bpd) in capacity would start ty to the institution. would be hard to restore public trust sate produced along with liquefied natural gas (LNG). operating between 2012 and 2016, industry data showed. After a three-day slump, markets in the bank, after the arrest of Hai rallied Friday with the benchmark who worked at the ACB for 15 Condensate splitters mainly produce VN Index up 1.75 percent, but the years. naphtha. Asia is short of the product, especially the heavy grade needed for combined market capitalisation of The $384 million in withdrawals making aromatics, which is used for mak- the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by depositors was recorded over ing plastics, synthetic rubber and poly- exchanges had dropped by $5.62 Tuesday and Wednesday, the ACB’s ester. It is also used as an octane booster billion dollars since Monday, new director general Do Minh Toan in gasoline. according to VietStock data. said according to state media “Asia needs a lot of naphtha because of The arrest of Ly Xuan Hai late reports. the petrochemical production, especially Thursday for “deliberate wrongdo- The bank counts global banking in China where it produces end products ing causing serious consequences” giant Standard Chartered as one of for many countries,” said Victor Shum, came just hours after the Asia its “strategic partners”. The British managing director for downstream ener- Commercial Bank announced he group has so far remained silent on gy consulting at IHS Purvin & Gertz. had resigned from the position of the matter. China’s consumption of plastic may grow director general, Thanh Nien Le Tham Duong of the Ho Chi by up to 7 percent this year after stalling in reported. Minh City-based University of 2011, analysts said. While a slowdown in It deepened the problems facing Banks told AFP that the case could Europe is weighing on the country’s indus- ACB, Vietnam’s largest private eventually have a positive impact. trial output, there is little doubt of a revival bank, which has seen its share price in demand in coming years. System Large petrochemical makers such as dive nearly 20 percent and had jit- tery depositors withdraw at least “We can’t leave the system as it Dragon Aromatics in China typically is... it is time to clean it up. Today have a condensate splitter at their plants $384 million since its flamboyant to offer some control over costs by reduc- founder was arrested Monday. ACB may have some difficulties (but) it will be certainly be much ing reliance on naphtha, said a Singapore- On Friday, Fitch ratings agency based trader. placed the ACB on Rating Watch better” in future, he said. In the meantime, most foreign “They can at least have the option of Negative saying the arrests could buying condensates or naphtha, depend- lead to “potential adverse impact... investors “are still in ‘wait and see’ mode,” Singapore-based Tony ing on the prices,” he said. on depositor confidence in ACB Volume and its credit profile.” Nash, managing director of IHS It left the overall bank ratings — consulting, told AFP. These two Splitters also make a smaller volume already among the lowest in Asia arrests are “not a wholesale indict- of middle distillates — the most prof- Pacific — unchanged but said it ment of the Vietnamese banking itable part of the barrel — ensuring a fat- would “closely monitor the poten- system... yet.” ter return for these companies. On Monday, the bank’s co- Yet, condensate exports from Qatar tial impact,” of this week’s develop- will slip below the current 500,000 bpd ments. founder Nguyen Duc Kien was arrested on allegations of “illegal once a 146,000-bpd splitter at Ras Laffan Lost trading,” triggering the largest ever starts operating in 2016, offsetting about ACB shares rose 3.8 percent drop on the country’s main stock 110,000 bpd of new condensate output Friday, having lost nearly seven exchange. ACB’s share price has A man walks in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm as Japan’s Nikkei 225 index falls 100.94 points to from the Barzan gas project, according to percent each day for the last three dropped some 15 percent. Seeking 9,077.18 in Tokyo, Aug 24. (AP) Tasweeq and Poten & Partners. In Asia, condensate output will days. to reassure the public, the central increase slightly in Australia and in The broader risk “is that people bank then said that Kien’s alleged lose confidence in the (private) crimes were not related to his past Mining boom not over: cenbank governor Southeast Asia, but most of it will be con- sumed domestically, analysts said. banks and there is a massive bank activities at ACB and pledged extra Asian supply is expected stay flat at run... it is a systemic economic liquidity to the bank. about 740,000-750,000 bpd, said Victor risk,” one banking sector foreign expert told AFP on condition of anonymity. Kien withdrew from the manage- ment of ACB in 2010, but still holds stock there and in other Vietnamese Australia cbank rules out intervention Shum, managing director for downstream energy consulting at IHS Purvin & Gertz. North America is expected to step up After a decade of rapid, chaotic banks. SYDNEY, Aug 24, (AFP): Australia’s Ferguson said: “You’ve got to under- tracts to make plastic banknotes. condensate exports following a shale gas bank liberalisation, Vietnam has 42 Information is tightly controlled top central bank official Friday ruled stand, the resources boom is over. The The scandal was exposed by boom, while Russia is looking at sending domestic banks, many of which are in Vietnam, but there has been spec- out intervening in currency markets to commodity price boom is over and any- Australian media in mid-2009 and more condensate east as oil demand in overloaded with toxic debt. Last ulation that the arrests of Kien and rein in the booming local dollar, which one with half a brain knows that.” police were called in, but a confidential Europe stagnates amid the euro zone cri- year,the government announced Hai were related to efforts by the is squeezing some industries. The Reserve Bank of Australia pre- memo emerged this week suggesting at sis. aggressive restructuring plans but communist government to reform The Australian dollar is trading dicted in its quarterly outlook on mone- least one senior RBA official knew of A revamp at the Panama Canal will the drive has stalled. the banking system, which has the around 104.34 US cents and has been tary policy this month that the boom the allegations long before they became allow bigger tankers of 160,000 dead- Multi-millionaire Nguyen Duc highest level of bad debt in Asia and consistently above parity with the would end “somewhat earlier than pre- public. weight tonne to pass through, facilitat- Kien, 48, a shareholder in some of is hurting growth, currently running greenback this year, around 70 percent viously thought”, putting it at “some- The Sydney Morning Herald said it ing condensate exports from the US Vietnam’s largest financial insti- at around 4 percent. higher than the lows it experienced dur- time in 2013-14”. showed recently retired deputy gover- Gulf Coast, Troner said. “The US is ing the global downturn. Stevens said there was no reason to nor Ric Battellino was given a detailed going to start exports before 2015 and tutions and one of the founders of Much of the debt is owed by state- the Russians are already mobilising ACB, was reportedly involved in owned conglomerates that were Canberra has previously warned that alter his view that the pipeline of proj- memo cataloguing alleged bribery and the Aussie is likely to remain at a high ects that helped the country avoid reces- corruption inside NPA, or Note Printing additional volumes to go east by next drafting the bank reform plans. encouraged by the government to year,” he said. “The distance is slightly His fall highlights the high-risk borrow money during the global level for years as it comes to be seen as sion in the global downturn would slow Australia, in 2007. a safe bet amid global turmoil. more than previously expected. greater, they are both long-haul car- economic environment where economic crisis in 2009 and 2010 to Reports said the memo contradicted goes, but this is formidable competi- “the line between violation and try to create jobs. But many of them But the strong dollar — which first ❑ ❑ ❑ several statements made by Stevens to a breached parity with the greenback in tion.” non-violation when doing busi- used the money to expand into other Central bank governor insisted there federal parliamentary committee in Towards the second half of the decade, October 2010 — is hurting some local 2011 that the RBA did not know of ness in Vietnam is very small,” ventures, including speculation in industries, with tourism, manufacturing had been no attempt to cover-up alleged Brazil and East Africa could also be one Hanoi-based Vietnamese ana- the property market, and have been bribery at its note-printing subsidiaries bribes and corruption before the 2009 potential suppliers as they step up natural and education exports particularly hard- media reports. lyst told AFP. unable to repay the money. Efforts to hit. as he won support from senior politi- gas production, he said. “One can be a very successful clean up the system are believed to cians. The development sparked a media Russian producer Novatek was already Reserve Bank of Australia governor frenzy and calls for an independent businessman today, but can turn be causing tensions within the coun- Glenn Stevens told a parliamentary Pressure mounted this week for an selling Porvosky condensate to North into a criminal the very next day,” try’s tightly intertwined political and independent inquiry into the bank’s inquiry by the Greens party, but Stevens Asian users, traders said. committee he thought the currency denied failing to alert police fast due to the communist country’s economic elite. would be trading lower, given slowing handling of the scandal, but Stevens Still, the Middle East will play a dom- said it had “at all times” dealt appropri- enough. inant role in Asia’s condensate market. opaque legal and political systems, ACB, owned 15 percent by global growth and changing circum- While it had been claimed the memo he said. Standard and Chartered, was con- stances for terms of trade. ately with authorities and responded Qatari exports will continue and Iran may honestly to questions. pointed to corruption, legal advisers be become a regular supplier as conden- Kien, who was widely seen as sidered one of the better run of the ❑ ❑ ❑ “There was no attempt to hide any “did not view it that way”, he said. sate production is expected to offset being close to the Prime Minister, more than 40 banks in Vietnam. “It is completely without foundation declining crude output in the country. Australia’s central bank governor information,” he said in a testimony to a has been accused of wrongdoing at Fears of more arrests are causing said Friday he sees no immediate sign parliamentary committee. to suggest that this process ... represent- Iran’s condensate output is expected to three smaller financial companies political uncertainty and unnerving of an end to the country’s mining boom, Eight executives from two firms ed an attempt at a ‘cover up’ by anyone rise by 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) by where he is chairman. those with exposure to banking a day after the resources minister either wholly or partly-owned by the in the Reserve Bank,” said Stevens. 2020 as it will start up several phases of He evaded banking regulations stocks, contributing to the decline declared it was over. bank — NPA and Securency — are fac- He added that the bank had done a lot gas production at its vast South Pars field by setting up a web of shell compa- in investor confidence. Glenn Stevens weighed in on the ing claims they conspired to bribe offi- of work to tighten controls at its two despite project delays, according to debate after Resources Minister Martin cials at foreign banks to secure con- note-making companies. FACTS Global Energy.
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