Article: US reaches deal with Vietnam on currency manipulation

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US reaches deal with Vietnam on currency manipulation

KUWAIT TIMES, 19 July 2021

WASHINGTON: The United States and Vietnam on Monday said they had reached an agreement to resolve a dispute over the value of Hanoi’s dong currency, which Washington had briefly accused it of manipulating. Washington in April withdrew its accusation, but Vietnam remains on the US Treasury’s “Monitoring List” for scrutiny of its currency policies.

The new agreement will resolve the dispute between the two countries, according to the joint statement. “Treasury and the (State Bank of Vietnam) have had constructive discussions in recent months through the enhanced engagement process, and reached agreement to address Treasury’s concerns about Vietnam’s currency practices,” the statement said. Continue reading “Article: US reaches deal with Vietnam on currency manipulation”

Article: Operation HAECHI-I intercepts $83M in online financial crimes

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Operation HAECHI-I intercepts $83M in online financial crimes

Help Net Security, 02 June 2021

Amid an exponential increase in online fraud, an INTERPOL-coordinated operation codenamed HAECHI-I mobilized more than 40 specialized law enforcement officers across the Asia Pacific region. Over six months of coordinated intelligence collection and joint operations, police were able to intercept a total of $83 million in illicit funds transferred from victims to the perpetrators of cyber-enabled financial crime.

Officially concluding last week, Operation HAECHI-I focused particularly on five types of online financial crime: investment fraud, romance scams, money laundering associated with illegal online gambling, online sextortion and voice phishing. Continue reading “Article: Operation HAECHI-I intercepts $83M in online financial crimes”

Article: Asian Police Seize $83 Million in Operation Against Online Financial Crime

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Asian Police Seize $83 Million in Operation Against Online Financial Crime

ISOBEL VAN HAGEN, 01 June 2021

Focusing on romance scams, online sextortion, investment fraud, voice phishing and money laundering associated with illegal online gambling, police in nine Asian countries arrested more than 500 suspects and seized US$83 million, Interpol said on Thursday.

Authorities worldwide have repeatedly warned that online fraud is continuing to increase and have stepped up joint efforts to fight it.

This operation, codenamed “HAECHI-I,” assembled law enforcement across Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Between September 2020 and March 2021, they opened more than 1,400 investigations of online fraud and while many of the cases remain ongoing, Interpol said, 892 cases have been solved. Continue reading “Article: Asian Police Seize $83 Million in Operation Against Online Financial Crime”

Article: Interpol intercepts $83 million fighting financial cyber crime

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Interpol intercepts $83 million fighting financial cyber crime

Sergiu Gatlan, 30 May 2021

The Interpol (short for International Criminal Police Organisation) has intercepted $83 million belonging to victims of online financial crime from being transferred to the accounts of their attackers.

Over 40 law enforcement officers specialized in fighting cybercrime across the Asia Pacific region took part in the Interpol-coordinated Operation HAECHI-I spanning more than six months.!–more–>

Between September 2020 and March 2021, law enforcement focused on battling five types of online financial crimes: investment fraud, romance scams, money laundering associated with illegal online gambling, online sextortion, and voice phishing.

The stolen funds were blocked from getting into the scammers’ accounts following multiple joint operations and months of collecting intelligence on the attackers’ operations.

Throughout Operation HAECHI-I, Interpol agents opened over 1,400 investigations targeting cybercrime in the Asia Pacific region (i.e., Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), with 892 cases having already been solved and the rest still being investigated.

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Article: Macao gambling group retreats from Japan bid amid controversies

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Macao gambling group retreats from Japan bid amid controversies

ZACH COLEMAN, 23 May 2021

HONG KONG — Suncity Group, the Macao-based gambling company, has pulled out of the running for rights to run a casino resort in Japan.

The group is the biggest junket agency in Macao, bringing in high rollers from China and other countries to wager millions in VIP rooms it operates inside other companies’ casinos in the world’s largest betting hub and elsewhere. Through listed arm Suncity Group Holdings, it also runs its own casino resorts near Hoi An, Vietnam and Vladivostok, Russia and is building another in Manila’s Entertainment City gambling zone. Continue reading “Article: Macao gambling group retreats from Japan bid amid controversies”

Article: Vietnam seeks avoidance as currency manipulator in future

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Vietnam seeks avoidance as currency manipulator in future

Saigon Investment, 06 May 2021

Professor Eswar Prasad at Cornell University believes that the US Treasury report this time includes more intensive analysis and shows a less overtly political approach than previous reports during the Trump Administration. However, to avoid being labeled as a currency manipulator again in the future, Vietnam needs to do much more concerning trade and currency issues, rather than just tackling short term problems.

Subjective decision Continue reading “Article: Vietnam seeks avoidance as currency manipulator in future”

Article: Japan analysts says US Treasury unconcerned over yen manipulation

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Japan analysts says US Treasury unconcerned over yen manipulation

Eamonn Sheridana, 19 April 2021

Japan is on the ‘monitor’ list having satisfied 2 of the 3 US criteria, along with other countries. You can find more on the report here:
US drops Switzerland and Vietnam from FX manipulator designation status

But, says Mizuho, the focus is not on the yen but rather on emerging economies:

US likely to prioritize the Mexican peso or Asian currencies (excl-yen) the US report cited IMF analysts saying the yen was largely in line with fundamentals and made no mention of the yen’s weakness so far in 2021
Continue reading “Article: Japan analysts says US Treasury unconcerned over yen manipulation”

Article: Taiwan Calls on U.S. to Suspend Currency Manipulation Criteria

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Taiwan Calls on U.S. to Suspend Currency Manipulation Criteria

Miaojung Lin and Samson Ellis, 18 April 2021

Taiwan urged the U.S. to temporarily ease its monitoring of trading partners for currency manipulation during the ongoing Covid pandemic.

The U.S. Treasury should suspend its three criteria for designating major trading partners currency manipulators while the world battles the coronavirus, Taiwan’s central bank said in a statement on its website Sunday in response to the latest U.S. foreign-exchange policy report.

The U.S. refrained from labeling any economy a currency manipulator in the Biden administration’s first report published Friday, despite acknowledging that Taiwan, Switzerland and Vietnam all met the threshold. Continue reading “Article: Taiwan Calls on U.S. to Suspend Currency Manipulation Criteria”

Article: US Treasury says no major trading partner manipulates currency

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US Treasury says no major trading partner manipulates currency

Xinhua, 17 April 2021

WASHINGTON — The US Treasury Department on Friday said that no major trading partner of the United States meets the criteria as a currency manipulator, but Vietnam, Switzerland and China’s Taiwan will be under enhanced monitoring for their currency practices.

In its semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States, the Treasury Department concluded that Vietnam, Switzerland and Taiwan met all three criteria for enhanced currency analysis under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 during the four quarters through December 2020. Continue reading “Article: US Treasury says no major trading partner manipulates currency”

Article: Bank of Thailand Unfazed by U.S. Currency Watchlist Inclusion

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Bank of Thailand Unfazed by U.S. Currency Watchlist Inclusion

Suttinee Yuvejwattana, 17 April 2021

The Bank of Thailand has responded to the U.S. decision to keep the nation on watch for currency manipulation by asserting it has stepped into the market only to curb volatility in the baht.

The central bank is committed to exchange-rate flexibility, with “interventions limited only to curbing excessive volatility and rapid movements of the baht on both sides,” Assistant Governor Chantavarn Sucharitakul said in a statement Saturday, adding that “Thailand has never used the exchange rate as a tool to gain an unfair trade advantage.” Continue reading “Article: Bank of Thailand Unfazed by U.S. Currency Watchlist Inclusion”

Article: Vietnam Reiterates Dong Policy After Manipulator Label Dropped

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Vietnam Reiterates Dong Policy After Manipulator Label Dropped

Mai Ngoc Chau, 17 April 2021

Vietnam’s central bank reiterated its exchange-rate management policy was in line with other economic goals after the U.S. Treasury Department removed the nation from its currency manipulator list.

The State Bank of Vietnam said its monetary policies are not meant “to create an unfair competitive advantage in international trade” for Vietnam, and are intended to control inflation and support growth, according to a statement on Saturday.

“The State Bank has applied measures to gradually improve the flexibility of the exchange rates while maintaining the foreign currency market in a stable manner,” it said. “The U.S. Treasury Department has recorded positive developments in Vietnam’s foreign currency market and the central bank’s performances.” Continue reading “Article: Vietnam Reiterates Dong Policy After Manipulator Label Dropped”

Article: U.S. trade chief voices concern to Vietnam over currency practices

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U.S. trade chief voices concern to Vietnam over currency practices

Eric Beech, 01 April 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, in a call on Thursday with Vietnam’s minister of industry and trade, highlighted U.S. concerns about Vietnam’s currency practices, a USTR statement said.

Tai and the Vietnamese minister Tran Tuan Anh also “discussed U.S. concerns on illegal timber practices, digital trade and agriculture,” the statement said.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade in a statement on Friday said Vietnam and the United States “will continue to actively cooperate to comprehensively address the concerns to maintain a stable trade relation.” Continue reading “Article: U.S. trade chief voices concern to Vietnam over currency practices”

Article: US Chides Vietnam Over Currency, But Makes No Tariff Threat

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US Chides Vietnam Over Currency, But Makes No Tariff Threat

Alex Lawson, 15 January 2021

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative found that Vietnam’s currency manipulation is unfairly hindering U.S. businesses but held off on teeing up new tariffs against Hanoi on Friday, leaving a final decision in the case up to the incoming Biden administration.

After a three-month investigation, the USTR found that Vietnam’s persistent undervaluation of its currency, paired with its more recent intervention in foreign exchange markets, artificially lowered the prices of Vietnamese exports to the U.S., leaving U.S. producers at a disadvantage. Continue reading “Article: US Chides Vietnam Over Currency, But Makes No Tariff Threat”

Article: Analysis: A currency manipulator tag for Switzerland may not deter FX approach

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Analysis: A currency manipulator tag for Switzerland may not deter FX approach

Saikat Chatterjee, John Revill and David Lawder, 16 December 2020

LONDON/ZURICH/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The threat of being named a currency manipulator by the U.S. Treasury may be an embarrassment for Switzerland, but even if the country does get the tag, it likely will have little effect on the Swiss National Bank’s monetary policy.

Switzerland is expected to meet all three criteria for such designation in the long-overdue U.S. Treasury report on the foreign currency practices of major trading partners. The Treasury has some discretion on whether to issue such a label, and the coronavirus pandemic, which has thrown trade and capital flows into chaos this year, could be a factor.

There would be no automatic punishment with a label, though U.S. law requires Washington to demand negotiations with designated countries.

Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan this year have also been in violation https://www.cfr.org/article/tracking-currency-manipulation of the Treasury’s three manipulation criteria: a $20 billion-plus bilateral trade surplus with the United States, foreign currency intervention exceeding 2% of GDP and a global current account surplus exceeding 2% of GDP.

Currency experts expect Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to issue the report within days, just over a month before he leaves office.

“The subtle implication of being put on this list is that you eventually could come under sanctions, and that puts pressure on these countries not to weaken their currencies so much, or to allow strengthening,” said Win Thin, global head of Currency Strategy at BBH.

But he said that in Switzerland’s case, as the exchange rate is its main tool for fighting deflation, “they may say, ‘Well, tough’”.

The Swiss central bank is firmly under the Treasury’s focus after spending 90 billion Swiss francs ($101.50 billion) on foreign currency intervention in the first half of 2020 amid pandemic-driven safe-haven inflows.

The SNB has long argued it is not trying to weaken the franc to gain a trade advantage. Instead, it aims only to stem the appreciation of its currency to head off the threat of deflation, which runs contrary to its goal of price stability.

“Switzerland has always been treated as a special case when it comes to exchange rate policy and even the U.S. Treasury has conceded in the past that Switzerland’s economic situation is “distinctive” and that its monetary policy options are limited by its small stock of domestic assets,” said David Oxley, a senior European economist at Capital Economics.

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Article: U.S. Treasury labels Switzerland, Vietnam as currency manipulators

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U.S. Treasury labels Switzerland, Vietnam as currency manipulators

Reuters Staff, 16 December 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury labeled Switzerland and Vietnam as currency manipulators on Wednesday and added three new names to a watch list of countries it suspects of taking measures to devalue their currencies against the dollar.

In what may be one of the final broadsides to international trading partners delivered by the departing administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, the Treasury said that through June 2020 both Switzerland and Vietnam had intervened in currency markets to prevent effective balance of payments adjustments.

Furthermore, in its semi-annual currency manipulation report, the Treasury said Vietnam had acted to gain “unfair competitive advantage in international trade as well.” Continue reading “Article: U.S. Treasury labels Switzerland, Vietnam as currency manipulators”