Wayne's Feed
Nov 12, 2013

China points to social welfare reforms needed for urbanization drive

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Among the issues China’s top leaders tackled this week as they hammered out their policy roadmap, some may determine whether children attending the likes of the Pengying school in Beijing fulfill their dreams.

Thanks to China’s system of internal passports, or hukou, parents in search of better jobs in the capital, or other urban areas, leave behind the public services they were entitled to as residents of their home villages – their pension, healthcare insurance and free public schooling.

Oct 29, 2013

Asia’s export engine stuck in neutral despite U.S. uptick

HONG KONG, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Asia’s once-reliable export
engine remains stalled two years into a global economic
recovery, raising concerns about the region’s competitiveness
and its ability to motor through the next tough time for
emerging markets.

Exports from seven of East Asia’s biggest exporters – Japan,
China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore -
grew by just 0.8 percent in the third quarter, according to a
Reuters analysis of national trade data, led by a 3.1 percent
gain in exports to the U.S. from the same three months of 2012.

Oct 18, 2013

As U.S. averts default, Japan and China brace for next dollar drama

HONG KONG/TOKYO (Reuters) – Deal or no deal, the U.S. Congress’ dance with default impressed policymakers and investors in China and Japan with just how vulnerable their own economic revival plans are to the next political tantrum on Capitol Hill.

The 11th-hour agreement on Wednesday between Congressional Republicans and Democrats to raise the limit on U.S. government borrowing and end a 16-day government shutdown also averted a default on U.S. Treasury bonds that had threatened the global economy and financial system.

Sep 25, 2013

Analysis: Abenomics speeds corporate investment, but not in Japan

HONG KONG/BANGKOK (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got an early sign of how his blueprint to revive Japan’s industrial vim and economic vigor was working when two of his country’s biggest car makers unveiled $900 million worth of investments to boost production.

There was one drawback: the new assembly plants and expanded factories announced by Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are not in Japan, but more than 2,000 miles away, in Thailand.

Sep 25, 2013

Abenomics speeds corporate investment, but not in Japan

HONG KONG/BANGKOK, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe got an early sign of how his blueprint to
revive Japan’s industrial vim and economic vigour was working
when two of his country’s biggest car makers unveiled $900
million worth of investments to boost production.

There was one drawback: the new assembly plants and expanded
factories announced by Mazda Motor Corp and Honda Motor
Co Ltd are not in Japan, but more than 2,000 miles
away, in Thailand.

Aug 20, 2013

As investors mull QE finale, Asia’s miracle shows signs of wear

HONG KONG/TOKYO (Reuters) – Asia’s economic miracle looks increasingly vulnerable to the end of a decidedly earthly phenomenon – five years of ultra-cheap financing sparked by the U.S. monetary policy dubbed “quantitative easing”.

The notion that a region associated with thrift, low debt and high savings is vulnerable to an ebbing tide of global credit is controversial.

Aug 4, 2013

Asia’s exports stutter, missing out on U.S. revival

HONG KONG, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. economy may have
stopped sneezing, but Asia’s exports are still laid up with a
nasty cold.

Growth in exports from seven of East Asia’s biggest
exporters – Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong
Kong and Singapore – slowed to a halt in the second quarter,
according to national trade data compiled by Reuters, led by a 9
percent drop in exports to the European Union compared to a year
earlier.

Jul 29, 2013

Analysis: China risks following Japan into economic coma

HONG KONG (Reuters) – After decades of emulating Japan’s export-driven economic miracle, China appears in danger of following it into the same kind of economic coma that Japan is trying to wake up from 20 years later.

China is struggling to wean itself off a habit picked up from its more advanced neighbor: relying for growth on exports and credit-fuelled investment. That has left its economy lopsided, economists say, with massive over investment in property and industries rapidly losing their cost advantage, from mining and electronics to cars and textiles. Wages are rising, the return on investments falling.

Jul 29, 2013

China risks following Japan into economic coma

HONG KONG, July 30 (Reuters) – After decades of emulating
Japan’s export-driven economic miracle, China appears in danger
of following it into the same kind of economic coma that Japan
is trying to wake up from 20 years later.

China is struggling to wean itself off a habit picked up
from its more advanced neighbour: relying for growth on exports
and credit-fuelled investment. That has left its economy
lopsided, economists say, with massive over investment in
property and industries rapidly losing their cost advantage,
from mining and electronics to cars and textiles. Wages are
rising, the return on investments falling.

Jul 21, 2013

China’s rate reform may serve to shield indebted state firms

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s decision last week to liberalize bank lending rates, though widely applauded, has raised suspicions that it reflects official concerns over possible loan defaults and is aimed at helping out heavily indebted state firms and local governments.

China’s central bank announced on Friday that banks could now lend at whatever rate they liked, enabling them to compete for new borrowers with cheaper credit at a time when the world’s second-largest economy is slowing markedly.

    • About Wayne

      "Wayne Arnold is Breakingviews’ Hong Kong based Asia strategist, with 20 years of experience in the region. From 1999 to 2008, he served as the Southeast Asia business and finance correspondent for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. In 2008 he helped launch a new daily newspaper in Abu Dhabi, The National, where as its economics columnist, he chronicled Dubai’s financial meltdown. He was previously a columnist and reporter at the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong and Bloomberg in Tokyo. His stories have spanned from Japan’s financial collapse in 1991 to the global economic crisis. ..."
    • Follow Wayne