The head of China’s largest bank sees credit risks, interest rate liberalisation and fintech as the biggest challenges for the country’s banking sector.
I gave fintech something of a mauling in this column a year ago, or at least in its application to the bond markets. I wrote that it was unlikely to supplant the old fashioned face-to-face or voice-to-voice modus operandi which continues to prevail in the primary markets and a large swathe of the secondary market.
If it looks like a bubble, feels like a bubble… okay, you know how that one goes. These days, I can’t help feeling that this may be an apt metaphor for foreign currency bonds issued in Taiwan’s Formosa bond market. But maybe I’m just too early.
Barely a week goes by that the global ESG community doesn’t have something tangible to crow about. Even when the news is apparently negative, such as the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, no matter: ESG wonks can at least claim the moral high ground as they throw their arms in the air at President Trump’s crassness.
Chatter around Asia’s infrastructure funding gap has reached fever pitch, but I’m tired of the thrust of a discussion that’s shrouded in policy, politics and hope.
Moody’s one-notch downgrade of China’s long-term credit rating last week came as something of a shock to the market, although it didn’t take a crystal ball to see it coming.
I’ve refrained from writing about the Donald Trump administration in this column for a while. In part, I wanted to avoid adding to the overcrowding effect in the media, but it was also because markets were behaving themselves sufficiently that any comment on the background noise from the White House seemed like a distraction from the main event: the rise of US stocks and the dollar.
It has taken five years and one month, but the Indian government last week finally managed to complete the IPO of a state-owned company for the first time since it sold civil engineering group NBCC in April 2012.
China may be trying to hammer home the point that local governments should not be responsible for bonds issued by their funding vehicles, but investor demand would evaporate overnight if anyone thought that was actually true.
Here’s a syllogism for you (readers of this column with an awareness of the ancient world will know that this is a form of argument from ancient Greece which deploys deductive reasoning): Asian currencies are hot right now; the Indian offshore bond market, otherwise known as the Masala bond market, is denominated in Asian currency; therefore, the Masala bond market is hot right now.
For a frontier market issuer, Mongolian Mining Corp put several other Asian companies to shame with the balanced nature of its debt restructuring.
The Australian equity market is developing a dangerous reputation as the place where IPOs go to die.
The 1MDB saga reached a predictable and sickening milestone last Monday when the Malaysian investment fund said it had reached an out-of-court settlement with the Middle Eastern guarantor of two US dollar bonds totalling US$3.5bn.
Japan is about to host the Asian Development Bank’s 50th annual meeting. Climate change and social inclusion will top the agenda, but the organisers can claim success if the discussions convince more Japanese money managers to invest in Asia.