Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Aug 12, 2016

Fewer than 60 Raffles’ Banded Langurs are left in Singapore, while the species is threatened by habitat loss and conversion in Malaysia.
Fewer than 60 Raffles’ Banded Langurs are left in Singapore, while the species is threatened by habitat loss and conversion in Malaysia.PHOTO: DR LEONG TZI MING

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Friday, Aug 12, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Plan to protect Raffles’ Banded Langur to be unveiled

A strategy plan to help protect the Raffles’ Banded Langur, or banded leaf monkey, will be unveiled today (Aug 12).

Fewer than 60 Raffles’ Banded Langurs are left in Singapore, while the species is threatened by habitat loss and conversion in Malaysia.

Stakeholders from 31 organisations, including Wildlife Reserves Singapore, have developed a long-term plan to save them.

China’s Foreign Minister to visit India


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to hold talks with his counterpart, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in India. PHOTO: EPA

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in India today (Aug 12) for a three-day visit.

He is expected to hold talks with his counterpart, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Saturday (Aug 13), amid strains in China-India ties.

Both sides are likely to have candid discussions over China’s blocking of India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Press Trust of India reported.

Malaysia to release Q2 GDP


The Kuala Lumpur city skyline seen from the KL Tower on Aug 9, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Malaysia will release its gross domestic product for the second quarter today (Aug 12), amid estimates that the pace of economic growth declined for a fifth straight quarter in April-June, thanks to still-weak global commodities demand and tepid private investment.

Annual growth was down 4.0 per cent in the second quarter ending June 30, down from 4.2 per cent in the first three months this year.

Any figure below 4.2 per cent, will be the worst period since the third quarter of 2009, when the economy contracted 1.2 per cent. Chief among the reasons a further slowdown is anticipated is weak net exports, hurt by anaemic global demand, according to ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service.

Hong Kong to release Q2 GDP


Shoppers cross a street at the Causeway Bay shopping district in Hong Kong, on July 22, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hong Kong’s economy may have picked up in the second quarter after it started 2016 with a whimper, economists forecast, as the city readies to release its GDP figures today (Aug 12).

Downside risks from slowdowns in retail and property markets and a sluggish Chinese economy were the likely causes of its clouded growth prospects.

Economy in the April-June quarter is estimated to have expanded at an average annual pace of 1.03 per cent, an improvement from the first quarter’s 0.8 per cent.

Growing headwinds, including a slowing Chinese economy on which the city overwhelmingly depends, could weigh on sectors such as trade, tourism, logistics and financial services, analysts said.

Euro area Q2 GDP expected to increase by 0.3 per cent


A vendor gets a five Euro bank note from a customer at the central market in Athens, on July 8, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Euro area will today (Aug 12) release its estimated gross domestic product (GDP) rate for the quarter ended June 30, amid reports of flat activity in France and Italy, and a slowdown in Germany.

Growth is expected to be 0.3 per cent for the quarter over sluggish domestic demand after three consecutive strong quarters.

Euro area’s GDP is expected to continue at an annualised rate of 1.4 per cent for the second half of this year.