India-Mallya fights extradition: After the 2012 collapse of Kingfisher Airlines, a consortium of 17 Indian banks is claiming once-flamboyant tycoon Vijay Mallya owes them more than US$1 billion. Richard Cook writes that the Indian government now wants to talk to Mallya about money laundering, fraud and “loan diversions” from corporate to private bank accounts and the man they used to call the “king of good times” has plenty to worry about as he fights extradition from Britain.
Another Pyongyang missile: North Korea says it has successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile which flew a trajectory that could allow a weapon to hit the US state of Alaska, reports Christine Kim. The launch comes days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations are due to discuss steps to rein in Pyongyang’s weapons programs, which the North has pursued in defiance of UN Security Council and unilateral US and South Korean sanctions.
Asia’s credit test: The region has come a long since the 1997 financial crisis with banking systems healthier, governments more transparent, currency reserves rebuilt and economies more open. William Pesek writes that as the US Federal Reserve and other central banks prepare to tighten global credit, Asia now needs to restructure economies, create real growth and prevent dangerous bubbles, in both debt and credit.
ISIS-dead or alive? While Iran says it is 100% certain that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — the self-proclaimed “caliph” of the Islamic State — is dead, other security sources in Baghdad say that he is alive and hiding in the countryside of al-Raqqa. Sami Moubayed writes that the real point is the ideology of ISIS is not yet eradicated so another leader will be ready and waiting to take up the cause, if Abu Bakr is dead or not.
China-Northbound bond market: Total volume of bond trading via the mainland-Hong Kong Bond Connect program on day one stood at 7.84 billion yuan (US$1.15 billion), reports Asia Times. The inaugural day’s trade of the “Northbound” Bond Connect program, that permits overseas investors to trade in the mainland interbank bond market, involved 19 institutions, 70 investors and 142 deals.