Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Feb 3, 2016

The first open-bidding exercise for certificates of entitlement (COEs) for this month will end at 4pm today. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Wednesday, Feb 3, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

All eyes on February COE bidding

The first open-bidding exercise for certificates of entitlement (COEs) for February will end at 4pm today (Feb 3). All eyes are on this exercise as car buyers are expecting COE prices to slide further from this month, when an expanded quota kicks in.

For the period of February to April, there will be 7,366 certificates - or 21.1 per cent more - available for cars, according to an earlier announcement by the Land Transport Authority. The growth comes largely on the back of more vehicles being scrapped as they reach their 10-year statutory lifespan.

South Korea's new stimulus package

People walk through the Hongdae shopping district at night in Seoul, South Korea. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

South Korea will unveil its stimulus package for the first quarter today (Feb 3), with plans to help companies increase investments and hire more workers, according to Finance Minister Yoo Il Ho. The minister said the package will also include measures to stimulate private spending ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays, hoping to offset the extended export slump that is threatening growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy, which grew at its slowest pace since 2012 last year.

BOJ to release crucial minutes

Bank of Japan (BOJ) will release minutes of its January 2016 meeting today. PHOTO: REUTERS

Bank of Japan (BOJ) will release today (Feb 3) minutes of its January 2016 meeting last month when it had decided to adopt a negative interest rate policy. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's strategy to penalise a portion of banks' reserves held at the central bank will complement the record asset-purchase programme that has expanded the BOJ's balance sheet, analysts say.

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