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.
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 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.
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.
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.