Reuters Southeast Asia News Highlights 1000 GMT, May 7

Stalemate as Thai protesters refuse to quit

BANGKOK – Anti-government protesters said on Friday they
would stay on the streets of Bangkok until Thailand’s prime
minister fixed a date to dissolve parliament, cooling hopes of
a swift end to a deadly crisis that has stifled the economy.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has put forward a plan to
end the rallies that have crippled the capital and scared off
tourists, but it remained in limbo as rival factions squabbled
over details, including a proposed early election in November.

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Indonesia, Manila prop up FX as emerging markets tumble

JAKARTA – Central banks in Indonesia and the Philippines
intervened to shore up their sliding currencies on Friday as
worries about Greece’s debt crisis spurred investors to dump
emerging market assets. [ID:nJAK270213]

The high-yielding rupiah has tumbled 3 percent against the
dollar this week, among the worst hit in Asia, while the peso
has skidded 2.7 percent as part of a broad sell-off in Asian
currencies and a move into safer assets.

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Suu Kyi party splits, faction to run in Myanmar poll

NAYPYITAW – A splinter faction of Myanmar’s biggest
opposition party said on Thursday it would form its own
political party following the boycott of this year’s election
by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).

The NLD was effectively disbanded at midnight on Thursday
when the registration deadline expired, but a senior member
told Reuters a breakaway group would form a new opposition
party to be called the National Democracy Force (NDF).

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DBS Q1 disappoints after OCBC’s bumper performance

SINGAPORE – DBS (DBSM.SI: ), Southeast Asia’s biggest bank,
disappointed the market with its first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) as it
struggled to match rival OCBC’s (OCBC.SI: ) loan growth and
bumper profit.

CEO Piyush Gupta, who joined DBS in November, faces a stiff
challenge in turning the bank into a leading Asian player
through a strategy of cutting risk and expanding outside of
Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Aquino holds commanding lead ahead of Philippine poll

MANILA – Contenders for the presidency of the Philippines
geared up for final grand rallies in the capital on Friday,
with Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino the clear favourite to win
Monday’s vote as an opinion poll gave him a 22-point lead.

A decisive win on May 10 offering a smooth transition and a
strong government will boost sentiment and raise hopes of swift
action to shore up the Philippines’ precarious fiscal position.
But technical problems with voting machines and a history of
disputed results are keeping investors cautious for now.


(Compiled by Asia Desk, +65 6870 3815; Editing by Paul

Reuters Southeast Asia News Highlights 1000 GMT, May 7