Quote ... Unquote

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 July, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 July, 1999, 12:00am

'The economy is a living thing, and as we go forward we may need to give it a push.' Japan's Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa.

'Mr Duhalde has fallen behind in the polls and therefore he will say to different people whatever is convenient to say. When he speaks to labour, he will say he is going to request a debt moratorium. When he speaks to business he will say the opposite.' European Inter-American Finance chairman Martin Schubert commenting on Peronist Party leader and prospective Argentinian president Eduardo Duhalde.

'[Politicians] can mean many different things when making pronouncements during an election campaign.' Moody's Investor's Service sovereign risk managing director Vincent Truglia on the same subject.

'With super-high rates like that you don't build much of a local software market. We have great usage in Vietnam . . . but converting that usage into business is something else.' Microsoft's Asian vice-president Pieter Knook. It is estimated that 97 per cent of software sold in Vietnam is pirated.

'There will always be a bigger fish and in this case that fish is Opec [the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries].' BP Amoco chief executive John Browne.

'The big factor is Hong Kong had promoted itself as a free economy and all of a sudden that changed.' Arthur Andersen regional manager John Burrows on why fund managers were shying from the SAR.

'Either side will tell you we're at a critical point in negotiations. This is where rubber hits road . . . this is honest, forthright constructive negotiations.' United States Ambassador Pete Peterson on trade talks with Vietnam.

'We must raise individual incomes to improve the retail market and raise the income of middle and low-income families, especially the poor.' Premier Zhu Rongji.

'We see Shanghai as a fast-growing financial and commercial hub, full of great potential as it's just as cosmopolitan as Hong Kong and probably a better investment environment because banks in the mainland can offer a much lower borrowing rate.' Multifield International Holdings chairman Kenneth Lau Chi-yung.

'Since crony capitalism could not explain the collapse [of Asian economies] in 1997-98; the end of crony capitalism - which will be a long, drawn-out process - cannot explain the recovery already taking place.' A World Economic Forum report.

'Banks have leeway in their accounting methods that lets them manage the results they show, so you can't expect them to show bad results at a moment like this.' CCR Actions fund manager Marc Renaud on Societe General's estimate of a doubling of first-half profits. The bank has been fending a hostile bid from Banque Nationale de Paris.