From Bangkok to Rio, a new-found desire for keeping up with the Joneses among hundreds of millions of people has been helping to keep the world afloat.
But the emerging consumers of Asia, eastern Europe and Latin America are all showing signs of slowing their scramble for clothes, white goods, cars and so on. Daniel Martin at Capital Economics reckons many of them have had to change down a gear for the foreseeable future. The problem is, you guessed it, debt. Continue reading »
If you had an indebted, loss making property development business in a market that was saturated with supply and you asked your local government to cough up a reasonable chunk of money to take it off your hands, what do you think would happen?
Well, if your name is Weixian Wang and your business is in Shanghai, it seems the government says ‘ Yes!’ Continue reading »
So, your reputation has taken a battering in recent years and you’re now just about out of the spotlight. And, even if you’re not deeply loved, at least most people have got bored of calling you the Vampire Squid.
What do you? A: Try to ensure you do everything you can to keep your nose clean and stay away from controversy? Or B: Take on what looks like a highly lucrative private bond deal for a government-linked entity in Malaysia, barely a month ahead of what is expected to be the closest fought election since elections began in the late 1950s.
If you’re Goldman Sachs, the answer is… B! The question is: why? Continue reading »
Sinopec has taken advantage of a huge demand for Asian debt by selling the second biggest ever US dollar bond deal in the region – and the biggest ever out of mainland China – at a lower interest rate than the Chinese government itself pays for similar debt. Continue reading »
Is China’s leadership about to heed calls to unleash competitive spirits among the state owned enterprises?
Analysts at BoA-Merrill have come up with a different view from most by answering this with a big ‘Yes’. Continue reading »
Two swallows don’t make a summer, but there are already some small signs that Asian markets are heading for a better year in 2013.
JPMorgan and Citigroup have both reported much improved first-quarter results in recent days and, while the lion’s share of their gains have come in higher margin US operations, Asian investment banking has lent a hand. Continue reading »
Another resource-rich country. Another push to renegotiate a deal between the government and a foreign mining company.
This time it’s Kyrgyzstan, a small country that rarely excites the international investor. But the disputed deal concerns an operation that’s big enough to interest the global mining industry – the Kumtor gold mine, the country’s largest single asset, which has generated annual revenues of up to $1bn. Continue reading »
The 2000 dotcom crash brought the ultra-low interest rates that fed the US housing boom. After that blew up, the even looser monetary policies of the last few years have driven fears of a new bond bubble.
And in Asia, these bubble fears are inflated further by the success of the region’s own response to the crisis from the late 1990s. Continue reading »
It’s traffic clogged streets are some of the most difficult and slow to navigate anywhere, but that’s not stopped the flood of businesses setting up offices or expanding in Jakarta.
The limited amount of prime office space – and the desire to beat the traffic by staying as close to the centre as possible – has seen Jakarta office rents shoot up by almost 80 per cent in the past year. Continue reading »
January was a scary month for China’s machinery makers and their investors. First, Zoomlion was accused by a “concerned investor” of booking phantom sales, then Caterpillar accused its own recently-acquired Chinese subsidiary of accounting misconduct and took a $580m write down on the value of the deal.
Time for a ghostbusting analyst to bring some rational rigour to the sector. Continue reading »
It has taken almost a week, but one of China’s biggest scrap metal dealers is finally ready for a, er, scrap.
China Metal Recycling, a HK$11bn company, was targeted by a Californian short-seller and research company on Monday. Glaucus Research Group, a new name on the beat-em-up circuit, issued a report on Monday accusing the the Hong Kong-listed group of exaggerating the size of its business. Continue reading »
As China, India and Indonesia become more wealthy, more of their consumers hard-earned cash could find its way overseas.
This is not about the most wealthy fleeing their homelands or investing their money abroad – but about what the massed ranks of an emerging middle class will buy for fun. Continue reading »
Serge Pun has had luck and good timing in his property business – as he told the FT a couple of months back – and Monday is no different.
One of his companies, the Myanmar based, Singapore listed Yoma Strategic Holdings, on Monday launched an $80m-plus capital raising and announced plans for the redevelopment of a 10 acre site in downtown Yangon just as the US president was in town. Continue reading »
The crisis in the eurozone has been causing plenty of worries in Asia – particularly around the supply of credit to the region. But the bigger problem for many countries lies closer to home – in a dramatic reversal of the build up of surplus cash that has been Asia’s hallmark for the past decade.
Across the region, according to research from Morgan Stanley analysts, declining exports and strengthening domestic demand for goods produced locally and abroad are combining to cut current account surpluses. Continue reading »