WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Formally declaring China a currency manipulator may scratch a long-term itch for US President Donald Trump, but the move provides few new tools that have not already been employed in two years of trade negotiations with Beijing. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin issued the declaration late on Monday (Aug 5), after China's central bank let the yuan slip below the psychologically important level of seven yuan to the dollar. The move marks the first manipulator designation since 1994, when China was declared a manipulator. The main purpose of such designations under a 1988 US currency law was to force negotiations with the offending country over their foreign exchange practices, but the United States and China have been locked in comprehensive trade negotiations - including on currency issues - for more than two years without result. It is difficult to see how a designation will change the situation other than fanning trade and currency war flames, said Mark … [Read more...] about US branding of China as currency manipulator: What happens next?
Report of foreign bank and financial accounts
Indonesia’s foreign debt grew 7.4 percent year-on-year (yoy) in May to US$ 386.1 billion, a slowdown from the 8.8 percent yoy growth recorded in April, according to Bank Indonesia (BI). The government and BI accounted for $189.3 billion of the debt, while the private sectors and state-owned companies (SOE) were responsible for $196.9 billion, the central bank announced on Monday. “The external debt increase in May was mainly triggered by the need for debt payments and the rupiah’s depreciation against the US dollar,” BI said in a statement as reported by Antara. Meanwhile, the government’s external debt up to the end of May was at $186.3 billion or a 3.9 percent yoy increase, compared to 3.4 percent yoy in the previous month, particularly triggered by the issuance of the government’s global bonds. However, government debt in May was lower than in April, which was recorded at $186.7 billion, thanks to debt payments worth S$500 million ($368.57 … [Read more...] about Foreign debt grows 7.4 percent, recorded at $386.1 billion
FRANKFURT: Banks in Estonia have not yet plugged all the gaps in their money laundering controls, the Baltic state's regulator told Reuters, pledging to maintain a clampdown in the country at the center of one of Europe's biggest financial scandals.Estonia's efforts to tighten money laundering controls at its banks follows a scandal at Danske Bank which has been ejected from the country after coming under investigation for 200 billion euros (US$228 billion) of suspicious transactions that flowed through its Estonian branch.Kilvar Kessler, Estonia's top bank supervisor, said he had also concluded an investigation of money laundering controls at Swedbank, as well as making checks on other lenders including SEB.Kessler said his investigations had shown that, although there had been improvement in banks' attitude to money laundering, there were "still weaknesses in the control systems"."Most of the risk is the past but some of the risk elements are still there," said Kessler, who heads … [Read more...] about Estonia warns of risks in wake of money laundering scandal
BSP tightens rules on selection of external auditors MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has tightened the guidelines on the selection of external auditors for banks and financial institutions to preserve the integrity of financial reports and transparency in the financial system. BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the Monetary Board issued a resolution approving the revised framework on the selection of BSP supervised financial institutions. Diokno said the revised guidelines is in accordance with the cooperative arrangement among financial sector supervisors including the BSP, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Insurance Commission (IC), and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC), under the auspices of the Financial Sector Forum. The BSP chief said the regulator considers the external auditing profession as a partner in promoting the integrity of financial reports and transparency in the financial system. Under … [Read more...] about BSP tightens rules on selection of external auditors
IRAN’S ULTIMATUM Iranian President Hassan Rouhani notified European nations that he would give them 60 days to choose between following President Trump or saving the nuclear deal by engaging in oil trade with Iran in violation of American unilateral sanctions. Starting on Wednesday, he said in a widely anticipated speech, Iran would begin to build up its stockpiles of low enriched uranium and of heavy water, which is used in nuclear reactors. Should Europe fail to compensate for the unilateral American sanctions, he said, Iran will resume construction of the Arak nuclear reactor, a facility that was shut down under the deal. The tough message from Teheran comes as the United States deployed a second aircraft carrier strike group to the West Asian region, citing threats from Iran. While the perceived threats likely arise from intelligence reports about the speech Mr Rouhani delivered our US Bureau Chief Nirmal Ghosh says the developments have caused alarm in policy circles … [Read more...] about Asian Insider, May 8: Iran runs out of patience