China on Monday started to reduce bank card fees for retail merchants, saving them over USD1 billion, a move Chinese central bank said will benefit retailers and consumers but hit banks' intermediate business.
The People's Bank of China cut the fees in a bid to boost the willingness of merchants to accept bank card payments as China strives to trim reliance on trade, hit by weak demand following the global financial crisis, and shift toward domestic consumption to power the world's second biggest economy.
Dah Sing Bank is set to launch the first mobile POS service for credit card payment with Visa in Hong Kong in Q1 2013, the organization said recently.
The number of super-rich in Asia is set to reach 2.67 million people by 2015 with a net worth of an estimated USD16.7 trillion, Swiss private bank Julius Baer said on Tuesday.
The findings, announced in its 2012 Wealth Report focusing on Asia, indicated that the region's High Net Worth Individuals were largely immune from the economic ills affecting the rest of the world.
This was because of Asia's economy, which continued to grow thanks to "domestic demand supported by robust job growth", the bank said in a statement.
The Philippines central bank said on Tuesday it expects annual inflation in August at 2.9 to 3.8 percent due to higher food prices and utility rates, but sees consumer prices staying manageable over the policy horizon.
Australia's central bank upped its annual growth forecast on Friday after a strong first half, but it warned that resources investment – a key driver of the economy – would peak by 2014.
The New Zealand Reserve Bank has kept the official cash rate at 2.5 percent, saying the eurozone's sovereign debt woes are hanging over New Zealand's trading partners and the bank is watching the region for any signs of deterioration.
Governor Alan Bollard said there was a "limited risk" for the eurozone to "deteriorate very significantly" and that the bank is keeping close tabs on the situation.
China's factory downturn worsened in June as a key activity index hit seven-month lows, data expected to fuel expectations the central bank may seek more policy easing to kick-start an economic recovery.
China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 50.2 in June, above expectations but down from 50.4 in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday.
Singapore’s central bank says a survey of analysts shows the economy will likely grow 3 percent this year, more than the previous estimate.
The survey of 21 analysts released on Wednesday by the central bank showed that growth will likely be led by construction expanding 6.2 percent and manufacturing up 3 percent.
The Philippine economy grew a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in the March quarter from the previous three months, slightly below market estimates, but the central bank is still expected to keep its policy rate on hold at its June meeting.
Annual growth in the first three months of the year was 6.4 percent, the economic planning agency said on Thursday, faster than a market forecast of 4.6 percent.
Singapore inflation hit a slightly higher-than-expected 5.4 percent in April, increasing the chance that it may exceed a government forecast for the year and putting pressure on the central bank to keep a tighter monetary policy.
A Reuters poll of 12 economists had forecast a rise of 5.3 percent. In March, the year-on-year inflation rate surprisingly spiked to 5.2 percent from 4.6 percent the previous month.