ASEAN Today Business brief – Bank Indonesia (BI) will maintain its benchmark interest rate at 4.75%

Betty Ho, analyst 


  • Bank of Thailand highlighted that the 1.5% rate continues to be relevant for economic recovery. The deputy governor Mathee Supapongse said Thailand does not face low inflation trap.
  • Gold Diamond Holding Limited and Prasert Arayakarnkul acquired 50% stake in Keystone Estate Co., Ltd. from Unicorn Enterprise Co., Ltd. for THB 950 million.
  • Thai President Foods Public Company Limited (SET:TF) agreed to acquire President Rice Products Public Company Limited (SET:PR) from Saha Pathana Inter-Holding Public Company Limited (SET:SPI), President Holding Co., Ltd. and others for THB 8.6 billion.


  • Bank Indonesia, better known as BI, will maintain its benchmark interest rate at 4.75%. The bank intends to keep the nation’s macroeconomics stable.
  • Meiji Co., Ltd. entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire an additional 50% stake in P.T. Ceres Meiji Indotama from Delfi Limited (SGX:P34) and PT Perusahaan Industri Ceres for $8.3 million.


Kofi Annan said on Thursday (March 16) that Myanmar should immediately start allowing Rohingya Muslims to return home and ultimately close rundown camps for the displaced in its western Rakhine state.


  • Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, deputy PM said on Thursday (March 16) that Malaysian investigators used a DNA sample from a son of Kim Jong Nam to confirm the identity of the murdered half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.
  • Consumer spending in Malaysia is expected to gradually recover in the second half of this year. Affin Hwang Capital Research was optimistic that while consumer spending would take longer to recover, macroeconomic indicators such as private consumption and the ringgit’s performance show encouraging upside potential this year.


  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) proposed a revised limit of 10 coins per denomination in a single transaction, and invited feedback in a public consultation until April 6.
  • Ematic Solutions Pte. Ltd. announced that it has received $2.4 million in funding from Wavemaker Partners, MDI Ventures, Walden International, Convergence Ventures. Ematic Solutions Pte. Ltd. provides email marketing solutions in Singapore. It offers Bye-IQ, an application that facilitates smart visitor interaction, automation, database enhancement, and repeat purchase features; and Hi-IQ, an automated application that enhances email subscribers. The company was incorporated in 2011 and is based in Singapore.
  • Mercatus Co-operative Ltd. acquired A Portfolio of Properties from NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited and Thomson Plaza Investments Pte Ltd. for approximately SGD 650 million.


Vietnam on Thursday (March 16) called on all companies doing business in the country to stop advertising on YouTube, Facebook and other social media until they find a way to halt the publication of “toxic” anti-government information.

Greater China

  • China remains the second largest sovereign debt holder of US dollar (US$1.05 trillion of US debt in January 2017). This was US$187 billion less compared to figures in December last year.
  • The China Banking Regulatory Commission’s recent limits on home loan quota growth have caused a number of banks to stop providing home loans.
  • Taiwan said for the first time publicly that it is capable of launching missiles at China, as the government yesterday unveiled a major defence report warning of increased risk of Chinese invasion.
  • Beijing, Shanghai rise in startup ecosystem rankings while Singapore, Bangalore sink. Global Startup Ecosystem 2017 Report noted the two countries ranked well in terms of funding – in both ease of access and quality – reflecting China’s high levels of liquidity.
  • Alibaba eyes AR in cars. It led a US$18 million series B round for WayRay, a Switzerland-based startup specialising in augmented reality products for cars, such as its AR navigation system that overlays directions onto the car’s windshield.