China is no stranger to internet sensations, but a documentary highlighting the scale of the country’s chronic air pollution seems to have shaken the trees all the way to Beijing’s highest branches.

Under the Dome, the 104-minute film made by journalist Chai Jing, has already been seen by 160m people on Tencent’s video page, and garnered praise from government ministers and state media. Investors are also taking note. Read more

Being born under the dragon sign of the Chinese zodiac is considered to be the luckiest start in life one can have. Dragon babies were so sought after in 2012 – the most recent window of opportunity – that some would-be parents went to extraordinary lengths to make sure they had one.

Evidence suggests those endeavours could yet pay off. According to a (not very) scientific piece of research from Wealth-X, dragons are indeed more likely to end up sitting on (or rather earning) vast piles of gold. Read more

The downturn in China’s property market is well documented, and one of the biggest points of interest for global investors. Whether you mine copper, sell TVs, or buy bonds, chances are the Chinese housing market matters to you somehow.

With that in mind, we’d like to present this handy chart from Moody’s – showing the annual price changes for newly completed apartments in China. It’s quite telling. Read more

In the years since the financial crisis, emerging markets have been awash with free-flowing global liquidity. Easy money from western central banks – notably the Fed – has driven up equity markets and currencies, and slashed borrowing costs.

On Wednesday, the QE punchbowl is finally set for the dishwasher. So will investors in emerging markets call it a night? Read more

What links unrest in Ukraine, the US Federal Reserve, and rising Chinese equities? The answer, quite possibly, is the Hong Kong dollar, which has been testing the limits of its US dollar peg over the past month.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has been forced to intervene in the market in order to maintain its 31-year old currency peg to the US dollar. It bought more than US$6bn to weaken the Hong Kong dollar in July alone - the first such move since late 2012Read more

It’s been three months since Ma Jun – sell-side economist and well-known China bull – quit the world of investment banking and moved from Deutsche Bank to the People’s Bank of China.

Now the German bank has found a replacement – poaching China bear Zhang Zhiwei from Nomura. With apparently rather divergent views on where the economy is heading, either Deutsche or Zhang is likely to be revising its forecasts pretty soon. Read more

The years of periodic “will-they-won’t-they” chatter about South Korea’s potential upgrade to developed market status are over, at least for now. Index compiler MSCI has finally thrown in the towel.

But rather than bump up Korea (and Taiwan), it has instead decided to boot them off its upgrade watch list. Regardless of your view on the underlying debate, the clarity such a move offers should be welcomed. Read more

Alibaba’s decision to head to the US for its blockbuster IPO – perhaps the world’s largest ever – is undoubtedly a major blow to Hong Kong’s global ambitions.

But chucking out years of hard-won progress for a single pay-day – with the risk of opening the market to myriad potential problems down the road – would have been the wrong move. Read more

Southeast Asian markets have been a far better bet than China in the past few years for portfolio investors. Now the region can claim another victory over its northern neighbour – this time in foreign direct investment.

The Asean-5 (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore) together received more in FDI last year than China, according to research from Bank of American Merrill Lynch released on Wednesday. Read more

These days, Jim O’Neill doesn’t bother much with “Brics” – the moniker he invented. The former Goldman strategist is more into “growth markets” instead. So – is it time for him to look more closely at the FTSE100, rather than the Bovespa?

Based on the new Bank of England projections, the UK economy is set to grow at a 3.4 per cent clip this year. Not too shabby. Less shabby still when compared with the supposedly “high growth rates” in certain parts of the emerging world. Read more

Consumer stocks are in and heavy industry is out in a shake up of the two most important equity indices listed in Hong Kong.

China Mengniu, the mainland dairy producer part-owned by Danone, will join Hong Kong’s best known index, the Hang Seng 50, following a review of its constituents completed this week. Read more

It’s that time of the year again where visitors to China are deafened by firecrackers, mobbed by mass ranks of red-capped tourists, and overcharged for, well, everything. The year of the slippery snake is drawing to a close, the year of the galloping (and in 2014, wooden) horse is upon us.

But it’s also when CLSA gets one of its analysts to use their feng shui compass to figure whether this year’s qi will be good or bad news for investors. Read more

Mark Mobius, chairman Templeton Asset ManagementGuess what? Mark Mobius, chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets, is still an EM bull! He dismisses the 2013 taper tantrum as “overdone”, and says that the actual onset of tapering will prove ” not significant” to emerging markets as an asset class.

It may not come as a huge surprise to hear an EM perma-bull being bullish. But the often white-suited Mobius oversees around $50bn of assets, including Templeton’s $14bn Asian growth fund, making his views on the market worth hearing. Read more

Last week, data showed that the renminbi had overtaken the euro in the world of trade finance, something we thought looked a little out of place with real trade settlement.

On Tuesday, a fresh sign of fishiness appeared, after Chinese industrial production came in below expectations. Read more


An apparent fresh milestone for the renminbi arrived on Tuesday, when payments tracker Swift announced that the Chinese currency had leapfrogged the euro to become the world’s second most used trade financing currency.

However, the news is unlikely to be greeted with champagne corks by those in China’s commerce ministry hoping to see the renminbi go global. Read more

Like its American counterpart, the Chinese dream remains a rather abstract idea. But that doesn’t stop the leadership in Beijing talking it up – it was a key theme during the recent party plenum.

So where better to see the dream in action than at a show home, designed to entice China’s newly-minted white-collar workers to part with piles of cash? Beyondbrics took a trip to the suburbs of Shenzhen too see how the latest in aspirational living is shaping up. Here are five things we learnt. Read more

Investors can’t get enough of Cinda’s Hong Kong IPO. On Monday, day one of order taking for the Chinese bad bank, would-be shareholders put in bids of more than $10bn for only $1bn of product. And that’s before retail investors get their chance.

While it may offer a unique (for now) way of accessing China’s economic underbelly, there are some reasons why investors might want to think twice. Here are the main risks facing Cinda. Read more

Initial reactions to the statement that came out of China’s third plenum can be summed up in three simple words: ‘was that it?’ Investors bemoaned the lack of details, and sent Chinese shares lower by 2 per cent on the day following the release of the document.

Fast forward to Friday, and Chinese equities are spiking. So have minds changed? Read more

Predicting the outcome of any Chinese political meeting is a fool’s errand. However, investors are already trying to weed through the possible winners and losers from a whole host of possible reform measures that could come out of China’s Third Plenary Session – aka the plenum – which opens this weekend .

Here is a roundup of ten sectors in the spotlight. Read more

Even when China’s growth rate was falling, the renminbi continued to chug higher. This year’s emerging market sell-off barely caused a ripple, either.

Yet now, when China’s economy appears to be humming again (for now), BofA-ML has decide to come out with a relatively bearish note the currency. Read more