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Southeast Asia launches $1 billion facility for green infrastructure

Reuters

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CHIANG RAI, Thailand (Reuters) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and major financiers on Thursday launched a facility to spur more than $1 billion in green infrastructure investments across Southeast Asia.

The facility offers loans and technical assistance for sovereign projects in areas such as sustainable transport and clean energy, the ADB said during the meetings of ASEAN’s finance ministers and central bank governors.

“Through the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, ADB will support ASEAN governments in developing green and climate-friendly infrastructure projects,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in a statement.

It will mobilise a total of $1 billion, including $75 million from the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF), $300 million from the ADB, $336 million from KfW, 150 million euros from the European Investment Bank, and 1 million euros from Agence Francaise de Development.

It is part of a new “Green and Inclusive Infrastructure Window” under the AlF, a regional financing initiative established by ASEAN governments and the ADB in 2011.

Since then, the AlF has committed $520 million for regional energy, transport, water and urban infrastructure projects.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Banking

BOT relaxes rules to Curb Strong Baht

the Bank of Thailand (BOT) decided to relax regulations to facilitate capital outflows to help promote capital flow balance and lessen pressure on the baht.

Boris Sullivan

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The Thai baht has been under pressure due to imbalanced capital flows in the current environment of highly uncertain and volatile external conditions, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) decided to relax regulations to facilitate capital outflows to help promote capital flow balance and lessen pressure on the baht.

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Banking

Bank of Thailand cuts rate by 0.25% to 1.25 per cent

The latest cut brings the Bot’s policy rate to an historical low, which the bank maintained from April 2009 to July 2010 during the subprime global financial crisis.

Bahar Karaman

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​On 6 November 2019, the MPC voted 5 to 2 to reduce the policy rate by 0.25 percentage point from 1.50 to 1.25 percent, effective immediately. Two members voted to maintain the policy rate at 1.50 percent.

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Banking

Thailand’s loss of trade privileges with US is credit negative

The development is credit negative because Thailand’s export-oriented economy is in a difficult external environment given that a broad-based export slowdown and strong Thai baht are weakening the competitiveness of goods exporters and the country’s tourism industry.

Bahar Karaman

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Thailand’s loss of trade privileges with US is credit negative amid challenging external environment, according to an article from Moody’s Credit Outlook, 4 November 2019 issue.

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