Latest: Temasek looks at US Phillipines bases, Australian dollar dives and Japan talks crisis, Australian gdp falls.
9 March 2001
Singapore Government-controlled Temasek Holdings has offered to turn two former US military bases in the Phillipines into major logistics and trans-shipment hubs. Subic Bay, the former US naval base, could become a regional container port, and Clark air base would become a regional logistics centre.
Australia’s currency has taken a dive, to a low of US50.65c, and Japan seems at last to be acknowledging that its economy has headed towards crisis, helped there by the belief that the cracks could be smoothed over. Along with that realisation comes a flight from the yen, which fell to a 19-month low against the USA dollar. The finance minister, Kiichi Miyazawa, told a parliamentary committee Japan’s finances were close to collapse. Japan chose stimulus packages as its way out of the 1987 collapse, but debt has reached 130% of gross domestic product.
8 March 2001
Australian gross domestic product fell 0.6% in the December quarter, cutting the annual growth rate in half to 2.1%. GST got plenty of blame, helping to lower the rate of construction. The Reserve Bank cut 0.25% off the cash rate, taking it to 5.5%.