The top emerging stock markets over the past two years were the Philippines and Thailand. Denise Law, director of financial research at the FT’s newly launched Asean Confidential service, discusses with Long View columnist John Authers what’s driving southeast Asian stocks and what risks and opportunities lie ahead.
Foreign direct investment into the Asean countries has risen strongly in the past few years and is now on a par with FDI into China. As Hak Bin Chua, Asean economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch writes in a report on Friday, this “is in sharp contrast to a decade ago, when there were widespread fears that Asean would be marginalised by China’s rise.”
The change is partly a result of political issues such as recent territorial tensions between Japan and China which are diverting some Japanese investment south. But is is also driven by social and economic factors such as demographics that will not change direction any time soon. Continue reading »
The Philippine economy grew 6.6 per cent in 2012, accelerating from just 3.9 per cent growth the previous year. That’s good news for investors whose confidence in the southeast Asian nation is already remarkably strong. Just in the past four weeks, the stock market (see chart left) has breached closing records a dozen times. Continue reading »
The great outsourcing story used to be from Europe to India (IT) and China (manufacturing). But now southeast Asian countries are the preferred destination, and not just for western companies. India and China are outsourcing to their Asean neighbours too.
That’s according to Adecco, the world’s largest provider of HR services, which says its clients increasingly want to hire in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Continue reading »
In the latest round, Arsenal have just announced that they will play a friendly match against a national team in July, marking the team’s return to the country after a 31-year absence. Continue reading »
Anyone ever stuck in Bangkok traffic is probably thrilled that Thai car sales are set to fall steeply this year but, perhaps surprisingly, car executives are still bullish on the country.
Why? Not because they think they can convince locals to keep buying cars for their slow commutes but because the country, despite devastating floods in 2011, is still an attractive manufacturing base for exports to the rest of the fast-growing Asean region. Continue reading »
China’s spectacular economic rise has had profound implications for the global economy and brought significant benefits to neighbouring countries, including the Asean-5: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. However, China has also gained from their economic climb. These two-way benefits have come from surging trade, investment and tourism flows in both directions. Continue reading »
More evidence of a shift in foreign direct investment away from China to other emerging Asian economies, headed by Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and India.
HSBC says in a report that south east Asia’s share of global FDI inflows, which slumped from 8 per cent to 2 per cent after the 1998 Asian financial crisis, is back to 7.6 per cent – almost equal to China’s 8.1 per cent. With their young populations, these countries and India should see further FDI increases from companies looking to capitalise on low-cost labour, while Chinese inflows will slow as its population ages and its economy matures. Continue reading »
The conventional wisdom for the past six months has been that south-east Asia is pretty much the last man standing in the global economy.
Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore have delivered decent growth, thanks to strong domestic demand and, even as the eurozone crisis and China’s deceleration have buffeted them.
The Asean-5 economies – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam – recovered very rapidly from the global financial crisis in 2008-09 on the back of sound economic fundamentals and a heavy and well-targeted dose of monetary and fiscal stimulus.
However, except for Vietnam, the recovery was aided by strong capital inflows that poured into the region following the crisis. The attraction was that these countries offered far better growth and interest rates than were available in the West. Moreover, exceptionally loose monetary policies in these advanced economies pushed capital flows into the region. Continue reading »
The global economic backdrop remains decidedly challenging, although there have been signs of stabilisation in recent months. So how are the Asean-5 economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam holding up? Continue reading »
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