This Week on the Frontiers: China Splashes Out
Pakistan received some welcome news this week with the revelation that China plans to invest as much as $46 billion there as a core part of its efforts to open new trade and transport routes across Asia. China’s newly-established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and its Silk Road Fund could be used to help finance the spending plans, a senior Chinese official said.
Sri Lanka surprised the markets with a half-percent rate cut. Research firm Capital Economics said more rate cuts could be on the way, but that “the central bank does appear to be in a state of flux that increases the uncertainty in predicting its next move.” Standard Chartered predicts Sri Lanka will shave another half-percent off rates soon.
Vietnam is pushing ahead with its efforts to clean up its banking sector, unveiling two mergers this week. Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade, better known as VietinBank, said its shareholders approved a plan to merge with the unlisted Petrolimex Group Commercial Joint Stock Bank and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, known as BIDV, said it would absorb the unlisted Mekong Housing Bank.