TNT More News, Rumors and Opinions Monday Afternoon 11-13-2023



Harambe:  Central bank ceases bill issue amid increasing interbank interest rates | Vietnam+ 11.13.23


The State Bank of Vietnam(SBV) has ceased bill issue after nearly two months of using the channel to withdraw cash out of the banking system.


On November 9, 20 trillion VND (820.2 million) of bills came to maturity, but the SBV did not issue new bills for the first time after seven consecutive weeks of using the channel. It meant a corresponding amount of money was pumped back into the banking system.


On the day, though the SBV continued to offer to buy valuable papers with a seven-day term, no banks participated in the auction.


Previously, in the context of a liquidity surplus in the banking system and the lowest interest rate in the interbank market since the beginning of 2021, the SBV reopened the bill channel to withdraw cash out of the banking system on September 21 after more than six months of ceasing the channel.


According to analysts, the SBV’s bill issue move was aimed to adjust liquidity in the banking system in the short term, which is expected to push up Vietnamese dong-denominated interest rates in the interbank market with an aim to reduce the interest rate gap between the US dollar and the dong to indirectly support the foreign exchange rate.


The SBV’s statistics showed from September 21 to November 8, 2023, the SBV issued a total of nearly 360.35 trillion VND in bills, with a term of 28 days. By November 9, 2023, bills worth 185.69 trillion VND came to maturity so the cash returned to the banking system. Bills worth 174.65 trillion VND are under circulation and will mature in the near future.


The SBV ceased bill issue in the context that interbank interest rates have rebounded from the lowest level.


According to the SBV’s data, the average overnight interbank interest rate of dong-denominated deposits on November 8 was 0.83% per year, a sharp increase compared to the 0.14% interest rate applied on September 21 when the SBV reopened the bill issue channel to withdraw cash out of the banking system. The interest rates for one-, two- weeks, and one month also increased by 0.3-1 percentage point.


In addition to the increasing trend of interbank interest rates, the US Federal Reserve (Fed)’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged in the last November meeting caused the value of the greenback in the international market to reverse and decrease sharply, which helped reduce pressure on the domestic foreign exchange rate.


In fact, the USD/VND exchange rate has also decreased continuously in recent days. On November 9, 2023, the greenback selling price at Vietcombank – the bank with the largest foreign currency transaction scale in the banking system – was listed at 24,250 VND per dollar, down 0.9% against the previous week.




Harambe:  US, Indonesia to discuss potential for deal on EV minerals  | Malay Mail | 11.13.23


The United States and Indonesia on Monday will discuss how to advance a potential minerals partnership aimed at stimulating trade of the electric vehicle (EV) battery metal nickel, according to three people with direct knowledge of the conversations.


Next steps that could move the countries toward formal negotiations on the partnership will be discussed when Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits the White House for a meeting with US President Joe Biden on Monday, according to one of the people.


The Biden administration is still concerned about environmental, social and governance standards in Indonesia and is examining how a deal might work, the sources said. The administration also plans further consultations with US lawmakers and labour groups in the coming weeks, one of the sources said.


“There’s a lot of work to do before we are able to formally announce negotiations on a critical minerals partnership,” the person said.


The White House did not respond to a request for comment.


Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest nickel ore reserves, in September asked the United States to begin discussions for a trade deal for critical minerals so that exports from the South-east Asian country can be covered under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).


Most of Indonesia’s nickel is processed into crude metal but the government is keen to develop an EV supply chain to use the vast reserves of nickel, which can be processed into battery materials.


“The overall momentum is promising, but (we) don’t want to minimise the fact that there is a fair amount of work to be done here,” one of the people said.


Indonesia’s nickel supplies are the world’s largest and nickel mining there has been blamed for heavy deforestation and water pollution.


Under guidelines for the US law issued in March, Washington has required that a certain amount of critical minerals in EV batteries be produced or assembled in North America or a free trade partner, for EVs sold in the United States to be eligible for tax credits. Indonesia does not have a free trade agreement with the United States.


The Biden administration is also discussing ways to carve out any nickel that is extracted from Indonesia but processed in China from receiving the IRA credits, one of the sources added.


One estimate puts the global market value for the nickel industry at US$33.5 billion in 2022, though the market is over-supplied.


The only US nickel mine is set to close in a few years, and the country has no nickel smelter, a risk to Biden’s goal for the United States to lead in EV manufacturing.


The government last year gave nearly US$115 million to Talon Metals, to partially fund a nickel processing plant in North Dakota that will supply Tesla Inc.


Talon is seeking permits for its proposed Minnesota nickel mine, but has faced opposition from Indigenous people. Many US miners have said that the Biden administration should focus more on approving domestic projects than seeking international supply.