- The Sun Daily reports that 14 Malaysian companies have made it to Forbes Asia’s ‘Best Under a Billion’ list. Other Southeast Asian countries to figure include Vietnam with 10 companies represented, Singapore with six, Thailand with five, Indonesia with three and the Philippines with two.The list ranks public companies with annual revenue of between US$5 million and US$1 billion. They are also screened for return on equity.
- The Philippines economy has slowed in the second quarter. Weakness in construction and industry offset growth in consumer spending.The economy grew 3.4% April-June following growth of 4.9% in the first quarter.
- Malaysia has dismissed a warning by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) about a resurgence of the deadly bird flu virus. Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai has told the New Straits Times that no new cases had been reported.
- Dr Tony Tan has been sworn in as Singapore’s seventh President. The newly-elected leader has served as the head of five ministries over his political career, and as Deputy Prime Minister. Dr Tan told the nation during his swearing-in that ‘Singapore remains a work in progress. That is true literally, as we engage in land reclamation and redevelopment of our island nation. But it is also a metaphor for the relentless reinvention we have had to pursue in order to stay above water.’
- Fitch Ratings Asia-Pacific sovereign group has upgraded the outlook on Thailand’s long-term currency rating from negative to stable. But the agency warns that political stabilization and appropriate handling of monetary and fiscal policy will continue to influence the rating.