Money Matters: Morning business news round-up for April 8, 2014

Catch up on the morning's top business headlines with The Straits Times Money Desk's daily update.

1. Singapore SMEs can now use IP assets as collateral for bank loans. Under a new $100 million dollar IP financing scheme launched on Tuesday, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can get their IP assets valued by a panel of professionals and use them as collateral for bank loans.

2. Bank of Japan keeps policy on hold, maintains upbeat view on outlook. As expected, the central bank voted unanimously to maintain its pledge of increasing base money, its key policy gauge, at an annual pace of 60 trillion to 70 trillion yen.

3. Sembcorp expands into China's Hubei province with new $20.5m project. The Singapore-listed company's subsidiary Sembcorp (China) Holding will own a 95 per cent stake in the venture. The remaining 5 per cent will be held by Jingmen Xinyuan Investment Company, which is wholly owned by the Duodao District Government of Jingmen city and a business arm of the JCIP Administration Committee.

Money Matters is The Straits Times Money Desk's new series of online business news exclusives.