Thursday, 18 July 2019

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Welcome to the 1,000th issue of IFR Asia

Welcome to the 1,000th issue of IFR Asia

IFR Asia - 20th Anniversary Special Issue 2017

2017 is a significant year in the history of Asia’s financial markets. It is now 20 years since the devaluation of the Thai baht marked the beginning of a crippling financial crisis that rippled across Asia. It’s also 20 years since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule, following the handover of the former British colony.

A dock worker sits next to shipping containers at the main Sri Lankan port in Colombo.

Asian Development Bank: Mobilising resources

IFR Asia - Asian Development Bank 2017

Yokohama is an apt setting for the Asian Development Bank’s 50th anniversary meeting. The Japanese port city was one of the earliest to open to international trade, and one of the first beneficiaries of infrastructure financing that combined public and private resources at home and overseas.

Kite-maker Jagmohan Kanojia displays kites, made with Indian national symbols and pictures of freedom fighters, in the northern Indian city of Amritsar.

India: Ready for take-off

IFR Asia - India 2016

It has taken some deep surgery, but India’s capital markets are at last on a much stronger footing. Now that regulators have done their part, it is up to investors and business leaders to take the economy to the next level.

Debt Capital Markets: In search of yield

Debt Capital Markets: In search of yield

IFR Asia - Debt Capital Markets 2016

The biggest challenge of any special report on Asia’s debt capital markets is usually finding a common thread among the region’s many individual bond markets. The latest report, however, comes with no such conundrum.

Chinese children walk in a rice field in the southern province of Guizhou.

Asian Development Bank: New partners

IFR Asia - Asian Development Bank 2016

The Asian Development Bank is taking commendable steps to position itself as more than just a lender. Faced with rising regional wealth and the arrival of new multilateral institutions, it is right to have one eye on its long-term future. To remain relevant in supporting Asian development, however, it will need to forge new partnerships and show that it can offer more than just its capital.

Grinding it out

Outlook for Asian Financing: Grinding it out

IFR Asia - Outlook for Asian Financing 2016

The outlook for Asia’s capital markets has changed dramatically in the first six weeks of 2016 – and not for the better. Most outlooks conceived before the end of last year had been torn up by the middle of January, written off as overly optimistic projections after a rout in commodity prices and global equity markets savaged global confidence.

India - High expectations

India - High expectations

IFR Asia - India 2015

Eighteen months into Narendra Modi’s government, things are looking up for India. Growth is quickening, inflation is under control, and reforms are coming through. Harnessing that momentum, however, remains a constant challenge, and India’s prime minister will need to work hard if he is to come close to meeting his grand ambitions.

A boy is silhouetted while watching the sun rise at Karachi’s China Creek.

Debt Capital Markets: Clouds gathering

IFR Asia - Debt Capital Markets 2015

Asia’s debt capital markets are facing an uncertain future. Interest rate hikes are on the cards in the US, China’s stock market is in turmoil and the eurozone may be falling apart.

Rising to the challenge

Renminbi Capital Markets: Rising to the challenge

IFR Asia - Renminbi Capital Markets 2015

Hype is returning to the renminbi capital markets. After a few lacklustre years for Chinese equities, Shanghai and Hong Kong are on their biggest bull runs in years, while interest rate cuts have lifted interest in renminbi bonds.

A military band member performs at the Great Hall of the People during the rehearsal ahead of the opening ceremony of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing.

Asian Development Bank: Under the spotlight

IFR Asia - Asian Development Bank 2015

This year’s Asian Development Bank annual meeting takes place on the European side of the Caspian Sea in Baku, Azerbaijan. While that may seem an odd choice for the Manila-based institution, it does provide an excellent backdrop for many of the talking points troubling the more Eastern parts of Asia.

South-East Asia: Steps for the future

South-East Asia: Steps for the future

IFR Asia - South East Asia 2015

The pace of deals has slowed in recent months, but South-East Asia continues to provide a tantalising opportunity for capital markets professionals.

A stuntman spits fire during a performance at a tourist attraction in Kaifeng, Henan province.

Outlook for Asian Credit: Playing with fire

IFR Asia - Outlook for Asian Credit 2015

Asian credit has been enjoying its time in the sun in recent years. Companies across the region have been able to fund their growth plans at low rates, and investors have done well.

India: The pivotal moment

India: The pivotal moment

IFR Asia - India 2014

India’s capital markets are approaching a pivotal moment. After Narendra Modi’s landslide election victory earlier this year, initial enthusiasm has begun to give way to lingering doubts that the new regime can deliver on its reform agenda.

People work at a brick kiln near Hlawga Village, 35km north of Yangon.

Asian Issuers: Building blocks for the future

IFR Asia - Asian Issuers 2014

As Asia’s capital markets hurtle towards the end of another busy year, signs of the region’s maturity are becoming clearer. Deal volumes are up, as rising equity valuations and low borrowing costs lure more issuers into the financing markets. More importantly, the range of products is also growing as Asia’s markets become deeper and more sophisticated.

A shaolin monk breaks an iron sheet with his head during a performance at a temple in Quanzhou, Fujian.

Renminbi Capital Markets: Showing new strength

IFR Asia - Renminbi Capital Markets 2014

A little volatility can be a good thing. For years, since China began opening its currency to overseas buyers, investors have had a free ride. The renminbi has steadily gained about 25% against the US dollar, making the overseas Dim Sum market one of the world’s biggest one-way bets.

Workers climb up a newly installed high voltage electricity pylon in Chuzhou, Anhui province.

Debt Capital Markets: Reaching new heights

IFR Asia - Debt Capital Markets 2014

Asia’s debt capital markets are enjoying another record year. Excluding Japan and Australasia, total G3 bond issuance up to mid-June had passed the US$100bn mark, according to Thomson Reuters data, putting Asia on track for a full-year total of US$200bn.

Participants in a rocket competition cheer after their rocket was successfully launched during the rocket festival also known as  “Bun Bangfai” in Yasothon, north-east of Bangkok.

Banking Asia’s Blue-Chips - Raising the bar

IFR Asia - Banking Asia’s Blue-Chips 2014

Asia’s blue-chip companies have always demanded a lot of their bankers. In recent years, however, those demands have begun to shift.

An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank holds banknotes from different countries for hotographs at the main office of the Korea Exchange Bank in this picture illustration taken in Seoul.

Asian Development Bank: Shoring up defences

IFR Asia - Asian Development Bank 2014

If Asia needed a reminder of the dangers of global capital markets, the setting for this year’s Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting is a good place to start.

A performer from the Jiangxi Acrobatic Troupe balances a set of glasses and a vase on her nose during a Chinese New Year show in Singapore.

South-East Asia: Stability returns

IFR Asia - South East Asia 2014

South-East Asia’s capital markets were sent reeling in the middle of 2013, when the first hints at an end to the easy-money policies of the US savaged the world’s emerging markets. That even the weakest economies managed to stave off a full-blown crisis, however, is an important source of comfort.

Young boys roll a giant snowball in a park after a heavy snowfall in Oxford,  England.

Outlook for Asian Credit: Keeping the momentum

IFR Asia - Outlook for Asian Credit 2014

The outlook for Asia’s credit markets is far less clear today than it was 12 months ago, but the region’s ongoing financing needs should ensure that the ball keeps rolling even in some rough terrain.

US figure skater Michelle Kwan performs during the opening of the ice rink at the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore.

Asian Issuers: Timing it right

IFR Asia - Asian Issuers 2013

This year’s Asian Issuers Special Report showcases a group of issuers that each demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing market conditions.

People are seen in the reflection of a polished wall on a rainy day in Hong Kong.

Debt capital markets: Game of two halves

IFR Asia - Debt Capital Markets 2013

After the first half of 2013 broke all manner of records for the volume of debt offerings from Asia – not to mention revenues for underwriters – the inevitable correction in Asian credit was always going to be painful.

A surfer watches the waves from Mirante point as heavy surf pounds a section of Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro

Equity Capital Markets: Calmer seas ahead?

IFR Asia - Equity Capital Markets 2013

Just when investors thought it was safe to go back in the water, Asia’s equity markets have sent them running for the shore once more. The dramatic reversal in risk appetite that followed a US pledge to unwind an unprecedented monetary stimulus has knocked equity indices down by 10%–20% across Asia, putting paid to a host of IPOs across the region.

Chen Yanqing of China lifts 106kg in the women's 58kg Group A snatch weightlifting competition at the 2008 Olympic Game in Beijing on August 11.

Renminbi Capital Markets 2013: On stronger footing

IFR Asia - Renminbi Capital Markets 2013

A sense of enthusiasm is returning to the offshore renminbi markets. Singapore has just introduced renminbi clearing, already resulting in the first foreign-exchange trades to be cleared locally, and DBS and HSBC are now vying to be the first to offer locally settled renminbi bonds to the city state’s investors.

Workers carry a packed basket of vegetables at a wholesale vegetable market in Kolkata.

Asian Development Bank 2013: Maintaining the balance

IFR Asia - Asian Development Bank 2013

The Asian Development Bank’s return to India brings with it a marked contrast from last year’s annual meeting in Manila. While the Philippines, under a new president with big plans for economic reforms and infrastructure investment, was – and still is – drawing praise from analysts and attracting crowds of enthusiastic investors, the mood in New Delhi is far more circumspect.

A Sumatran tiger growls in the compound at the Sumatra Tiger Rescue Centre , inside the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation near the southern tip of Sumatra island.

South-East Asia 2013: The tigers roar again

IFR Asia - South-East Asia 2013

South-East Asia’s economies are in full voice once again. GDP numbers are strong and stable, rating agencies are handing out upgrades and international investors are pouring in. It’s no surprise that the region is taking a bigger share of Asian capital market activity.

Fishermen in their wooden boat try to cross waves in Bantul.

Outlook for asian credit: Changing tides

IFR Asia - Outlook for Asian Credit 2013

Breaking records may have almost become passé for Asian bond markets, but the fact that there are expectations that Asian issuance this year may even surpass the blockbuster levels of 2012 means it is going to be an eventful year.