ASEAN DAILY BRIEFING 19 March 2008 Country Reports Singapore Chinese firm buys Singapore power generator for US 3.06 bil dollars 싱가포르 Tuas 발전소 30.6 억미달러에 중국기업에 매각 State-linked Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings said it has sold one of its three main power generators to a Chinese company for 4.235 billion Singapore dollars (3.06 billion US). Temasek said in a statement it has signed a share purchase agreement with SinoSing Power Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Huaneng Group, for the sale of Tuas Power Ltd. The transaction is expected to be completed by March 24, said Temasek, which is selling all three power generation firms under its stable as part of efforts to liberalize the domestic energy market. Beijing-based China Huaneng is China's largest power generation company and owns a 50 percent stake in Australian power generation joint venture-firm OzGen. Singapore's ban on tobacco ads will apply to Grand Prix F1: report 담배광고 금지 자동차경주 F1 에도 적용 Singapore's strict laws banning tobacco advertisements will apply to the city-state's inaugural Formula One Grand Prix in September, a report said. The sport's first-ever night race around Singapore's streets will take place on September 28. A spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Industry told the Sunday Times "the publication or display of any acknowledgement of sponsorship of a tobacco company would, as a general rule, be prohibited." Tobacco companies have traditionally been huge sponsors of F1 teams but these have reduced significantly in recent years amid moves by authorities, especially in the European Union, to bar such sponsorships. Singapore Airlines plans all business-class flight to US 싱가포르항공 미국행 논스톱 비즈니스클래스 항공 취항 계획 Singapore Airlines plans to launch all-business-class nonstop transpacific service between Newark and Singapore in mid-May on five reconfigured planes and add a Singapore-Los Angeles route in September. The flights would represent the industry's first all-businessclass transpacific service, and would replace all nonstop two-class service between the locations. Travelers seeking economy class service between Singapore and Newark or Los Angeles will be restricted to onestop flights. Singapore Airlines said it would phase in the new service in the middle of May, and begin daily service between Newark and Singapore by the end of June. Malaysia Malaysia to maintain fuel subsidies 연료보조금 지급 유지키로 Malaysia plans to maintain state subsidies despite record crude oil prices. The government would look for alternative ways to tackle the subsidies, which now stand at 43 billion ringgit ($13.6 billion). Malaysia will also keep its ban on offshore trade in the ringgit currency. The ban on offshore ringgit trade is the last major remnant of capital controls Malaysia imposed to protect its economy from currency speculators during the 1998 Asian financial crisis, and some economists say it still deters foreign investors. Gulf Petroleum eyes $5bln Malaysia refinery project 걸프석유사 말레이시아에 50 억달러 정유공장 건설 채비 Qatar-based Gulf Petroleum Ltd will begin construction of a $5-billion oil and gas complex in the Southeast Asian nation as soon as it wins approvals from Malaysian authorities. Gulf Petroleum is leading a consortium of Gulf banking and energy firms to build the complex, consisting of an oil refinery, a petrochemicals project and storage facilities, and intended to serve as a regional hub for its Asia-Pacific activities. Malaysian PM Abdullah cuts size of cabinet, appoints new Trade Minister 말레이시아 내각규모 축소 및 통상장관 교체 Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday he had cut the number of cabinet positions from 90 to 68 in his post-election administration and that more than half were "new faces". The prime minister dropped long-serving Rafidah Aziz from the trade ministry, replacing her with outgoing agriculture minister Muhyiddin Yassin as the country's new trade minister. Indonesia Survey sees slower business expansion in first quarter 1/4 분기 사업확장, 보다 완만할 듯 Expansion in the business sector is likely to slow down in the first quarter of 2008, emulating a similar trend in the previous quarter, a Bank Indonesia survey says. According to the survey released Monday, the nation's business sector expanded by 15.25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, a drop from 21.99 percent the previous quarter, which was the highest quarterly growth recorded in 2007. In the first quarter of last year, the sector contracted by 0.24 percent. It is estimated the decline in the last quarter will continue into the first quarter of this year, in part because of slower demand, the survey found. Most respondents said interest rates were the main barrier to investment, followed by poor infrastructure, banking access and licensing procedures. Govt considers opening up gasoline market 정부 가솔린시장 개방 고려 The government is considering revoking a subsidy for the sale of premium gasoline after 2009 to cut subsidy spending and to encourage new players to join the market. To-date, state oil and gas company PT Pertamina has enjoyed a monopoly in Indonesia. Head of downstream oil and gas regulatory agency BPH Migas Tubagus Haryon said his agency had been drafting a proposal to let the price of premium gasoline currently sold by Pertamina fluctuate according to market prices. The plan aimed to not only reduce the state's subsidy burden but to also help guarantee there would be no scarcity in the fuel because numerous companies would help provide the fuel. However, the plan would likely not be implemented until after the next presidential election in 2009. The current government had pledged not to increase the price of domestic fuels until the end of its term because it had increased prices twice in 2005. Vietnam Private firms get go-ahead to tender public services 민간기업들 공공서비스 입찰에 사전허가 얻어야 Domestic and international organizations and individuals can now provide public services via Government contracts, according to a regulation. Conditions for contractors under the regulation include public service value of over VND500 million (US$31,250), possession of a relevant business certificate and healthy finances. Contractors must also provide a monetary guarantee of their finances. Organizations must provide proof of their legal status. Once companies have submitted all the legal paperwork, they will be considered within 20 days. The regulation lists 23 public services, including tertiary and vocational training, printing State ordered publications and organizing sports and culture festivals. Work started on $40m apartment, shop centre in HCM 호치민시에 4 천만달러 투입 아파트, 쇼핑센터 공사 개시 Construction of a 28-story building, which will serve as a commercial centre and luxurious apartment complex in west HCM City, began last Saturday. The US$40 million project was developed by Thai Thinh Capital and financed by Dong A Joint-stock Commercial Bank. Built on a prime location in District 6, in the heart of the Cho Lon (Grand Market) area and in proximity of Binh Tay Market only 500 m from the HCM City’s East-West Highway, the buildng will include a commercial space and luxury apartments. The building will have eight floors for office space and 20 floors for apartments. Construction is scheduled to be completed in two-and-a-half years. India Indian call centre employees Asia's fastest in switching jobs 인도 콜센터 직원, 아시아에서 가장 빈번하게 직업 교체 The call centre employees in India are the most frequent job-hoppers among their Asian peers with an average job tenure of as low as nine months, a new survey says. According to an annual report for the Asian contact centre industry released by callcentres.net, the average job tenure of call centre agents in India is the lowest at 11 months, while it is even lower at nine months for those having left their jobs in the past one year. Finance Minister: India's economy to grow by over 8.5% in next few years 인도경제 향후 몇년간 8.5% 이상 성장 예상 According to the Financial Express, Finance Minister P Chidambaram stated that India's economy was expected to maintain a growth rate of over 8.5% in the next few years. Chidambaram also said that the recent stock market volatility was in conformity with the situation in stock markets all over the world. Thailand Bank of Thailand: high oil prices could impede economic recovery 태국은행 : 고유가 경제회복 발목잡아 News agency TNA citied Bank of Thailand (BoT) analyst Siripan Nakornthap stated in an article recently that Thailand's inflation rate was likely to increase and its economic recovery was likely to be impeded by increasing oil prices. According to Nakornthap, crude oil prices are likely to increase to USD 120 per barrel this year from USD 109 per barrel at present. Nakornthap said that there was a requirement to adopt an alternative energy policy in view of the surge in oil prices. Nakornthap also said that as a long-term solution, the government should invest in the construction of a mass transit system and should encourage energy conservation. Thailand, Myanmar sign investment agreement 태국-미얀마 투자협정 체결 Thailand and Myanmar signed an investment agreement last Friday during the official visit of Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to Myanmar. The agreement aims to protect Thai investors and to increase foreign investments in Myanmar. Thailand is one of Myanmar's largest investors and trading partners.