Global Investing

from Sebastian Tong:

Stop pushing and we’ll do it

The growing acrimony in the international debate over China's currency policy has led some to warn that Beijing could dig in its heels if pushed to hard to let its yuan rise. crybaby

But Barclays Capital says Beijing could let its currency strengthen as early as next month, notwithstanding its public resolve against Washington's threat to label it as a currency manipulator.

"They do have a 'If you stop pushing, we'll do it' attitude, which is kind of childish, really. But it will happen because they are the only country in the world, besides India, where there is a whiff of inflation," says Barclays' asset allocation head Tim Bond.

"It's in their own interest. It's the right thing to do."

Barclays expects the relaxation of China's de facto dollar peg to result in the equivalent of a five percent annual appreciation over the next year.

Investors should also keep the heightened rhetoric among U.S. lawmakers in perspective, Bond says.

from Cecilia Valente:

Bentleys, extremism and olive branches

Islamic finance may have shunned the reckless behaviour that nearly brought down the mainstream financial system last year, but it is not able to step in to the old regime's shoes.

Some expect the industry to grow by double digits in the next three years -- the secretary general of a top standard setting organisation for Islamic finance agrees and with humour:

 "We Muslim breed and breed well", he said laying down his expectations for future demand of Islamic products. 

Jokes aside, Mohamad Alchaar , secretary general of AAOIFI, delivered a message today in London. There is "absolutely no way" that Islamic finance could replace conventional banking in spite of growth potential. Given that a financial product depends on scholars' approval and scholars tend to disagree about what complies with Islamic law,  Dr. Alchaar may have a point.