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from Breakingviews:

Cheap oil is no tonic for sluggish Asian economies

By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Cheaper oil won’t be much of a tonic for Asian economies. While painful for exporters, sliding prices should benefit consumers of crude. For most in the region, though, less expensive oil is mainly a sign that growth is stalling.

The big exceptions are India and Indonesia. Both governments supply gasoline and diesel to their consumers at fixed, affordable rates. For them, the 25 percent slide in the price of a barrel of Brent crude over the past four months translates into significant budgetary savings, which could be channelled into much-needed infrastructure investment.

Other major Asian economies, though, will look at falling oil prices less as a stimulant and more as a signal that global growth is faltering. For export-dependent Asia, lacklustre worldwide demand could end up being highly disinflationary.

from Breakingviews:

Real estate rescue may not help China’s developers

By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

If you cheapen it, they will come. China’s large real estate companies are going all-out to shift their properties, aided by recent reductions in mortgage rates and the relaxation of local restrictions on who can buy. When developers sell more for less, however, there is grief ahead.

from Breakingviews:

CICC loses a princeling, gains investment appeal

By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

To lose a princeling looks careless, but no worse. That should reassure backers of China International Capital Corp, the Chinese investment bank whose well-connected chief executive has just resigned.

from Breakingviews:

Japan’s low unemployment masks overtime slump

By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The canary of Japan’s demand slump is singing “overtime”. The country’s low unemployment and high vacancy rates paint a misleading picture of tranquility. A more accurate gauge of the growing nervousness in the economy is the shrinking market for extra working hours.

from Breakingviews:

China’s Agile Property only the worst of the best

By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Agile Property is crumbling. The Chinese real estate developer needs urgent financial assistance after the authorities detained its chairman and it had to cancel a $360 million rights issue. The shares fell by as much as 30 percent on Oct. 13. Yet in China’s property sector, it is just the worst of the best.

from Breakingviews:

Hong Kong weathers Occupy’s financial disruption

By Robyn Mak

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Hong Kong’s economy is coping with pro-democracy protests, now heading into their third week. Some retailers and other businesses have suffered and traffic is bad, but the city’s financial system is undisturbed. A prolonged standoff between protesters and the government matters less to investors than the slowdown in consumption and spending in mainland China. Warnings that the movement would threaten Hong Kong’s financial health look misplaced.

from Breakingviews:

Tianhe investors sell first, ask questions later

By Peter Thal Larsen

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Investors in Tianhe Chemicals are selling first and asking questions later. Shares in the Chinese company plunged by as much as 45 percent when they resumed trading after anonymous fraud allegations. Despite the company’s detailed rebuttal, some of the dirt has stuck. Big shareholders may have to reach into their pockets to restore confidence.

from Breakingviews:

Asian fight against capital flight helps dollar

By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The U.S. dollar could be the winner of Asia’s fight against capital flight. The world economy might be the loser.

from Breakingviews:

China has two bad role models on dealing with debt

By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Economies binging on leverage are all alike – fast-growing and happy. But each country struggling to pay down debt is unhappy in its own way.

from Breakingviews:

Chinese banks learn Western capital tricks

By Peter Thal Larsen

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Chinese banks are learning Western capital tricks. The country’s largest lenders have changed the way they measure the riskiness of their loans. For most, that has made capital ratios look healthier. It’s another reason to question Chinese banks’ balance sheets.

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