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Daily Dispatches – Rate cuts on the horizon down under

RBA boss hints at rate cut (image: The Australian)

RBA boss hints at rate cut (image: The Australian)

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has kept the door open for interest rate cuts in a speech that highlighted the challenges facing Australia as it tackles the end of the mining investment boom.

Stevens reminded the markets of his recent comments that the inflation outlook might afford some scope to ease policy further, if needed, to support demand.

”The recent inflation data do not appear to have shifted that assessment,” he said said about last week’s second-quarter inflation figures.

CPI data were mixed but still pointed to a subdued inflation level within the central bank’s target band.

HSBC’s chief economist for Australia Paul Bloxham told the paper that Stevens’ speech was ‘downbeat’ and ”marked the first occasion the RBA seems to have declared that mining investment is now past its peak”.

Bad debts more bad news for Chinese lenders

The South China Morning Post reports that borrowing costs at mainland banks are the highest in over a year relative to government debt issues, and the slowdown in the economy is raising concerns that bad loans will climb.

Benefits for small businesses

In yet another sign of the leadership’s determination to stimulate economic growth, China has announced cuts in VAT and other reductions in taxes on small businesses.

People’s Daily reports that the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday that this move is expected to affect more than six million small and micro businesses, and reduce tax revenues to the state of about USD$5 billion.

Bring out your debt

Asian Banking & Finance reports that Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC), established by the government to rescue dozens of banks crippled by Asia’s highest ratio of non-performing loans, is now open for business.

But analysts say plans for VAMC remain vague, as Vietnam’s central bank has given few details about how the asset management firm will operate.

Malaysian banker assassinated

Bloomberg reports that police are looking for three suspected contract killers after Hussain Ahmad Najadi, the founder of AMMB Holdings Bhd, was shot dead in Kuala Lumpur yesterday after a business meeting at a temple.

Aussie bureaucracy gets ‘rap’ on the knuckles

Peter Strong, who heads up the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia has come up with a novel – and memorable – way to protest against the plethora of red tape that faces small business owners in that country.

He has recorded – using his own poetry as the lyrics – a rap video called Red Tape Nation that bemoans the lot of Australian entrepreneurs who he says generate half the country’s GDP. You can also see the video here.

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