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  • *China is world's second-biggest defence spender. *Aircraft carriers, submarines seen among China's priorities. BEIJING, March 4- China's defence budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as...

  • *China is world's second biggest defense spender. *Aircraft carriers, submarines seen among China's priorities. BEIJING, March 4- China's defense budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as...

  • *Gold back above $1,200, but below two-week high. March 3- Gold edged higher on Tuesday, recovering from early losses that pulled it briefly below $1,200 an ounce, as the dollar came off an 11- year peak against a basket of currencies. Gold fell the most in five months in February, with the Federal Reserve seen to be set to lift rates this year for the first time since 2006...

  • *Gold below $1,200, slips further from Monday's two-week high. March 3- Gold dropped for a second session on Tuesday, pulling further away from a two-week high as growing expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike kept the dollar near an 11- year peak against a basket of currencies. Spot gold fell nearly 1 percent to a session low of $1,194.90 an ounce and was trading...

  • SINGAPORE/ MANILA, March 2- More than three years after opening ultra-luxe nightclub Pangaea in Singapore's glitzy Marina Bay Sands, owner Michael Van Cleef Ault is now betting that Manila's casinos will be able to draw rich punters and partygoers through his doors. The increase in the number of wealthy Chinese gamblers fleeing Macau amid Beijing's...

  • Philippines: Watch out for this roadblock Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 6:10 PM ET
    A mural honoring overseas Filipino workers in Manila.

    Momentum in Asia's second-fastest growing economy may dwindle on warnings of a potential slowdown in a key growth driver: remittances.

  • METALS-London copper prices drift on Lunar New Year lull Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 8:43 PM ET

    MELBOURNE, Feb 19- London copper edged lower on Thursday, paring gains from a short-covering burst the session before, with trade subdued as many Asian nations celebrate Lunar New Year. Copper is expected to remain stuck in the $5,300- 5,800 range in place for the past month until Chinese buying activity ramps up in mid-March. *Other markets taking some holiday...

  • JAKARTA, Feb 18- They might be late to the party, but central banks in Southeast Asia are joining the global rush of easier policy, as deflationary pressures create room for them to prop up faltering growth without weakening defences against capital outflows. Indonesia surprised markets with a rate cut on Tuesday, and Singapore eased its policy in January.

  • Shop til you drop? Why Philippine shares can climb Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 | 5:48 PM ET

    Philippine shares have charged higher over the past year, and some analysts expect the country's consumers can keep the good times rolling.

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to Feb 18 Thursday, 5 Feb 2015 | 7:01 PM ET

    NAPLES, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart speaks on monetary policy and the economic outlook before the Southwest Florida Business Leaders Luncheon- 1745 GMT. ROME- Conference on European financial architecture and the EU banking union with EU Parliament representative Roberto Gualtieri, ECB Supervisory Council...

  • SINGAPORE/ MANILA, Feb 3- Standard Chartered is looking to sell its retail business in the Philippines, part of a wider bid by embattled CEO Peter Sands to cut costs and shrink the bank's asset base, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said. A spokesman for Standard Chartered said the bank would "not comment on speculation". Standard Chartered's assets in the...

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 3- Standard Chartered is looking to sell its retail business in the Philippines, part of a wider bid by embattled CEO Peter Sands to cut costs and shrink the bank's asset base, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said. A spokesman for Standard Chartered said the bank would "not comment on speculation". Standard Chartered currently has five...

  • *2014 growth of 6.1 pct, second to China in Asia. MANILA, Jan 29- The Philippines rounded out 2014 as the fastest-growing economy in Asia after China, regaining momentum in the final quarter of the year on strong farm output and construction activity. "It validates our view that the most aggressive policy stance of the BSP based on our analysis for this year will be to...

  • *Q4 GDP expands 2.5 pct q/q, fastest quarterly pace in Asia. MANILA, Jan 29- The Philippine economy rebounded more strongly than expected in the final quarter of last year, posting the best growth in Asia after China on strong farm output and construction activity. Fourth quarter GDP grew a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent over the prior three months, the best...

  • SYDNEY/ SINGAPORE, Jan 27- Asian airlines are slashing fuel surcharges as oil prices hover at six-year lows, but passengers hoping for cheaper tickets will be disappointed as carriers are likely to bump up fares to maintain margins. Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd became the latest airline to eliminate the surcharge on Tuesday, but at the same time said it was...

  • Natural disaster losses declined in 2014 Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 | 12:06 PM ET
    Cyclone Hudhud hit India's east coast, killing at least six people and leaving behind a trail of destruction in Andhra Pradesh and neighboring Odisha, on October 12, 2014 in Visakhapatnam.

    Natural disasters took many fewer lives and inflicted less costly damage in 2014 than in an average year, according to insurer Munich Re.

  • Is Philippine property getting bubbly? Monday, 5 Jan 2015 | 5:40 PM ET

    Property prices in the Philippines have surged over the past few years, but it isn't clear puffed up valuations stack up to a bubble.

  • Check out this amazingly nice gas station bathroom   Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 | 12:46 PM ET
    Check out this amazingly nice gas station bathroom

    A Shell gas station in the Philippines is apparently bucking the trend of gross rest-stop bathrooms with its 'luxurious' accommodations. The 'Today' show crew discusses the story.

  • JAKARTA, Dec 22- The Ciliwung River flows from a volcano south of the Indonesian capital, through the heart of one of the world's most densely populated cities and almost into Jakarta Bay. The same is true for the rest of the half-dozen sewage-choked rivers that wind though central Jakarta. "Jakarta is a bowl, and the bowl is sinking," said Fook Chuan Eng, senior water...

  • HAPPISBURGH, England, Dec 12- Bryony Nierop-Reading has what she calls a million-dollar view from her clifftop property in east England, looking out over North Sea swells beyond a sandy beach where gulls wheel overhead. Her bungalow was demolished by the local council after a December 2013 storm bit a 33- foot chunk out of the cliff, leaving her home perched over a...