Australia left its key interest rate unchanged today at a scheduled meeting of the central bank. Reports yesterday suggested that the rate, which is already at an all-time low of 2.75%, could be cut on weaker economic data released on Monday. But the Bank says that easier financial conditions now in place will contribute to a strengthening of growth over time. “The inflation outlook, as currently assessed, may provide some scope for further easing, should that be required to support demand.”
Japan’s government is expected to announce this week that it will deploy its huge public pension funds lake of over US$2 trillion in investments into equities and foreign assets as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy. This would be the first time the country has used its public savings to support ‘Abenomics’, which aims to grow the economy by boosting consumer spending and corporate investment.
Singapore’s top banking brand DBS has secured a two-month deadline on its planned takeover negotiations for Indonesia’s Bank Danamon. The deal, which would be valued at about US$6.8 billion, is facing significant regulatory hurdles – Indonesia has okayed the acquisition of 40% of its bank, but if DBS wants full control, Singapore has to agree to a reciprocity deal for Indonesian banks.
Bank of America has confirmed that George Lin – who left Credit Suisse in February – has joined the bank as Asia head of retail, consumer and healthcare investment banking.
Citi says it will open six more Asian desks for corporate clients over the next year, adding to the 13 already opened to service the bank’s main Asian corporate clients doing business across the world. The new desks will be located in Africa, Latin America, Russia and South East Asia and Korea.