Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Sept 22, 2016

Molly, the National Library Board's improved mobile library that visits underserved communities.
Molly, the National Library Board's improved mobile library that visits underserved communities.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Thursday, Sept 22, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Molly the mobile library gets a facelift

Since its launch a few years ago, Molly, the library on wheels, has been quietly reaching out to underserved communities as the neighbourhood’s book exchange corner and to encourage them to discover the joy of reading.

Molly visits various organisations and places such as primary schools and homes for the elderly. It can also be found at community centres and residents’ committees in housing estates during the weekends.

On Thursday (Sept 22), Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, launches the Library Board’s brand new mobile library.

In addition to basic library services, Molly comes equipped with a wheelchair lift, a new feature that provides greater convenience for wheelchair users and their caregivers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet head of Bavarian sister party

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a meeting with the National Regulatory Control Council on Sept 21, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the head of her Bavarian sister party will meet on Thursday (Sept 22) to seek ways to resolve differences over their migration policies as part of preparations ahead of next year's federal election. 

Dr Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union are in a spat over the chancellor's refusal to meet Bavaria’s demand for an annual migration cap of 200,000 refugees allowed into the country each year.

The meeting comes after Dr Merkel’s party saw electoral defeats this month amid a surge of anti-migrant parties.  

Singapore Exchange to hold Annual General Meeting

SGX Centre 1 (left) at Shenton Way Road in the Raffles Place District. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Singapore Exchange is holding its annual general meeting on Thursday (Sept 22), the last for Mr Chew Choon Seng as its chairman.

Mr Chew, 70, will retire after 12 years on the board, including the past five as chairman. He will be succeeded by board director, Mr Kwa Chong Seng.

The appointment of Mr Kwa, 69, as the new chairman caps an illustrious career that has seen him helm several big corporations over more than four decades.

Indonesia's central bank expected to cut benchmark interest rate

An entrance at Indonesia's central bank Bank Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 21, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Indonesia’s central bank, due Thursday (Sept 22) to unveil a policy decision hours after one from the US Federal Reserve, is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate for the fifth time this year in a bid to nudge economic growth higher.

Last month, Bank Indonesia (BI) trimmed its economic growth projection for the year, saying annual growth pace would likely weaken in the third and fourth quarter from April-June’s 5.18 per cent, due to spending cuts by the government.

Since then, Governor Agus Martowardojo has repeatedly said BI may ease monetary policy again in September or October.

Low inflation and a strengthening rupiah helped create room for BI to cut its previous benchmark rate, the 12-month reference rate, four times this year, by a total of 1 percentage point. August’s annual inflation rate was 2.79 per cent, the lowest since December 2009. 

Bank of England to publish statement from latest meeting

Pedestrians walk past the Bank of England in London on Sept 13, 2016. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee is due to publish a statement from its latest meeting on Thursday (Sept 22) after an active summer that saw it respond to the UK’s Brexit vote by cutting a capital buffer for banks and easing leverage restrictions.  

The Monetary Policy Committee also lowered its key interest rate to just 0.25 per cent on Aug 4 and indicated it could go even lower, a move that has implications for banks’ net interest margins and household borrowing.

FPC members have previously highlighted consumer debt as one of the key risks to financial stability.

They may also review risks such as the current account deficit and commercial real estate, as well as assess the impact of the steps it took to help banks after the EU referendum.