Finance Knuggets

May 21, 2024

I read about recent terror fears in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, due to a suspected member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militant group killing two constables in a pre-dawn attack at a police station in Johor. The incident has raised concerns about a potential wider terror revival in the region, as JI has a history of past deadly attacks in Indonesia and the Philippines. Security forces have decimated JI’s original leadership, but the group has continued to exert its influence through various pathways, serving as a reminder that militancy is still very much a part of the threat mix in Southeast Asia’s security landscape.

In addition to the security concerns, there are also geopolitical divergences and major maritime deals in the region, including China-Cambodia drills and ongoing ASEAN Myanmar diplomacy. The understanding of the term “geopolitics” and geopolitical rivalry among executives interviewed has diverged significantly, reflecting growing anxieties about geopolitics due to diverse trends in the Indo-Pacific and globally. Furthermore, a recent attack has sparked speculation on rising terror fears in Southeast Asia, highlighting the need for continued monitoring and analysis of security threats in the region.

Aside from security and geopolitical concerns, there are also developments in the commercial aircraft leasing business, with more than 200 jets stuck inside Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. This has sparked a wave of litigation and raised questions about the transparency and solvency of aviation insurers and reinsurers. Additionally, the UAE’s state-owned oil and gas giant, ADNOC, agreed to buy an 11.7% stake in NextDecade’s liquefied natural gas project in Texas, reflecting the growing global ambitions of Middle Eastern energy giants.

Today’s news includes a significant deal in the energy sector, with ADNOC acquiring a position in the Rio Grande Project and signing a 20-year LNG offtake agreement with NextDecade. This move comes as the U.S. emerges as the world’s largest LNG supplier. These news updates highlight the complex and interconnected nature of security, geopolitical, and economic developments in Southeast Asia and the global market.

Stay Well!