Philippines U.S. “goodbye” can fix China FDI gap

October 21, 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte's boast of ditching America for China plays well in Beijing. Cash is a major motivation. China is under-invested in the Philippines compared to elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Funds from the People's Republic can help Duterte deliver on big promises.

Inflation is next nerve-jangler for investors

October 18, 2016

After years of undershooting price targets, some rate-setters, including Mark Carney in Britain, are now talking about tolerating overshoots. Equity winners will vary depending on whether inflation is of the good or bad variety. But global bonds are losers either way.

Crown highlights risks of courting Chinese VIPs

October 17, 2016

Shares in Crown Resorts crashed after China detained some staff. Investors had cheered moves by Australia's top casino company to distance itself from Macau. But this episode shows Chinese gamblers, and official attitudes, are crucial to gambling groups across the region.

Asia’s buyout barons hail “control” era too soon

October 10, 2016

Minority stake purchases still outweigh full-blown takeovers by private equity firms in Asia. A shift would help an industry flush with funds. But while recent data is encouraging, founders who want to sell and professionals who can run acquired firms are both in short supply.

Sompo buys $6 bln policy against declining Japan

October 5, 2016

The Tokyo firm is acquiring U.S.-listed peer Endurance. Japanese insurers' hunger to diversify from a tough home market has sparked a string of big deals, sometimes at crazy prices. A $6.3 bln price tag here looks fairly sane given Endurance's assets and growth prospects.

China ties can help Hong Kong catch up in fintech

September 30, 2016

The city is playing catch-up with Singapore in financial technology. But as a gateway to mainland China, Hong Kong has two big advantages: easy access to a huge market, and proximity to tech giants Alibaba and Tencent. Those benefits should help it close the gap.

China’s HK office obsession locks in low returns

September 29, 2016

Mainland companies such as Evergrande are snapping up prestigious Hong Kong office buildings. With rental yields below 3 pct, these seem like poor investments. That suggests buyers might also be looking for ways to guard against a further selloff in the yuan.

Indonesia cashes in on model tax amnesty

September 28, 2016

Citizens have admitted hiding almost $200 bln in what is shaping up to be one of the world's more effective schemes. Success stems from low charges, credible government, and big penalties for abstainers. The global backdrop makes it a good time for other countries to strike.

India’s lenders deserve to be rich global outliers

September 27, 2016

Lenders like HDFC are among the world's priciest, trading on price-to-book ratios up to 7 times higher than Citigroup or BNP Paribas. They are well-capitalised, earn high returns, and are growing fast. The secret is lending to people, not companies. Headwinds look limited too.

Asian cull makes Goldman Sachs look rattled

September 26, 2016

The Wall Street bank is laying off nearly a third of its Asian investment bankers. Lumpy deal flow, fierce competition and low fees are endemic in Asia, but Goldman's pullback suggests the scandal over Malaysia's 1MDB may have also dampened its appetite for risk.