Finance sector development

  • There’s nothing random about fostering an environment of creativity

    By Anuradha Rajivan on Thursday, 18 December 2014

    Creativity has little space where tasks are practiced as regimentation. “Business unusual” is a catchphrase about doing things differently, to bring about change, to innovate. Times are becoming more complex.  For economic gain, nature can no longer be simply considered as something to be “conquered” by people to extract wealth

  • Kyrgyz Republic banking on mobile phones to bring finance to rural areas

    By Monisha Hermans on Thursday, 27 November 2014

    Mobile financial services have proven to be an ideal means to connect rural and remote populations to the financial sector.  In several countries now—for example, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, or the Philippines—financial services are successfully delivered to the rural population using mobile phones and agents. 

  • PRC's dim sum bonds need to develop a new flavor

    By Thiam Hee Ng on Tuesday, 18 November 2014

    The offshore renminbi bond market has boomed since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) authorities first allowed domestic banks to issue them in Hong Kong, China in June 2007. But appetite for the paper—popularly known as “dim sum bonds”—is starting to wane as access to onshore markets becomes easier. To stay relevant, the dim sum market must develop further.

  • Fast-tracking Myanmar's reform

    By Stephen P. Groff on Tuesday, 28 October 2014

    Over just 3 years, Myanmar has introduced ambitious reforms which have put it on track to become a modern economy. But big challenges still lie ahead. 

  • Is Asia ready for Social Impact Bonds?

    By Thiam Hee Ng on Wednesday, 22 October 2014

    Raising finance for projects which are socially important but have little appeal to hard-nosed investors has been a major challenge for governments and donor agencies in the past. But now a new instrument has been developed which offers a fresh way forward—Social Impact Bonds. 
     

  • Pushing the Boundaries for Women

    By Uzma Hoque on Tuesday, 30 September 2014

    Fifteen years ago I was working for a nongovernment organization (NGO) in Bangladesh documenting stories of training and economic empowerment of communities. A common recurring theme in virtually all the communities was the gender stereotyping in skills training programs.

  • Renminbi stepping in right direction toward internationalization

    By Thierry de Longuemar on Monday, 15 September 2014

    The PRC may be a globally significant economic and trading power, but the market share of its currency, the renminbi (RMB), lags well behind the US dollar and the euro.
    To align the RMB with its growing global stature, the PRC has embarked on a strategy to internationalize the currency. Typically, it is taking a gradual approach. 

  • Banking integration in ASEAN gathers pace

    By Thiam Hee Ng on Friday, 29 August 2014

    The ASEAN Economic Community, planned to come into effect in 2015, is expected to liberalize goods, capital and skilled labor flows in the ASEAN region. While there has been considerable progress in the area of trade integration, financial integration still lags behind. The ASEAN Banking Integration Framework, which aims to liberalize the banking market by 2020, could help pave the way for further integration and the entry of ASEAN banks into regional banking markets.

  • Why partnering with the private sector is key to inclusive growth

    By Lakshmi Venkatachalam on Monday, 18 August 2014

    Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and Pacific region has represented a remarkable success story. Absolute poverty levels have fallen significantly and the region is on course to achieve a number of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

  • To invest, or not to invest? That is the problem in Myanmar

    By Kiyoshi Taniguchi on Thursday, 31 July 2014

    Myanmar opened a new chapter in its history in November 2010 when it adopted its open-economy policy. Since then, an impressive array of reforms have been implemented. However, Myanmar’s sustainable and inclusive growth depends on it maintaining this momentum during its transition —particularly inflows of foreign direct investment.

  • Preparing for life after the MDGs

    By Cyn-Young Park on Thursday, 03 July 2014

    The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2001 was a defining moment. It rallied a global effort in the fight against poverty, hunger, and disease, while promoting universal education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. However, new challenges have emerged while remaining ones are complex. Meanwhile, the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs is almost upon us, raising the question: where do we go from here?

  • Farewell Astana, Hello Baku

    By Satinder Bindra on Monday, 05 May 2014

    We’ve wrapped up our 47th Annual Meeting in Astana today with plenty of food for thought on what lies ahead for our vast, diverse region.

  • Kazakhstan – historic venue for fertile ideas

    By Satinder Bindra on Sunday, 04 May 2014

    Almost 1,500 years ago in the sixth and seventh century, southern Kazakhstan was part of the famous Silk Road that carried goods, ideas and cultural influences from as far as China to Europe.

  • Getting Asia in shape for the future

    By Satinder Bindra on Saturday, 03 May 2014

    Where are Asia’s economies headed to in the short and long term? What shape are they in to withstand future financial crises? And how can they respond to the yawning rich-poor divide, now a key concern among Asian and global policymakers? These were some of the key points discussed over the first two days of business at our 47th Annual Meeting, held in Astana, Kazakhstan.

  • Social Pensions: Greying with security and dignity

    By Sri Wening Handayani on Thursday, 24 April 2014

    Providing a decent, secure and dignified way of life for the elderly is set to become one of the most pressing concerns facing policymakers in Asia in coming years.

  • Emerging Asia should brace for higher global interest rates

    By Cyn-Young Park on Thursday, 03 April 2014

    The US Fed has been winding down its bond purchase program, widely known as “quantitative easing,” since December 2013. The program was introduced in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis to fight the recession and foster a rapid economic recovery. With the improvement in the US economy, the Fed suggested at its policy meeting in March that the program may end this coming fall and it may start raising interest rates about six months from then.

  • Spread between the 1-year AAA and BBB+ corporate bond yields in PRC. View <a href="/sites/default/files/chaori-chart.png">chart</a> in full.

    Chinese bond default – What does it mean for Asia's bond market development?

    By Thiam Hee Ng on Tuesday, 11 March 2014

    Last Friday, 7 March, 2014, Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd defaulted on its 1 billion yuan ’Chaori-11 bond‘ when it failed to pay in full the coupon due that day. The default should not have taken investors by surprise as the company has been struggling over the past few years due to general weakness in the solar panel market.

  • Asia Pacific post-2015 priorities, MDG8 and Global Partnerships

    By Stephen P. Groff on Tuesday, 11 February 2014

    Any contemporary story on development in Asia-Pacific begins with reflection on massive gains achieved in the fight against poverty. The incidence of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 54.5% in 1990 to 20.7% in 2010, with the number of extreme poor declining from 1.48 billion to 733 million. This precipitous decline in poverty incidence has been accompanied by tremendous gains in access to health and education.

  • What to look out for in Asian bond markets in 2014

    By Thiam Hee Ng on Wednesday, 15 January 2014

    2014 is shaping up to be another challenging year for bond markets in Asia after a see-saw 2013 which saw prices rise at the start of the year, and then fall back on news that the US Federal Reserve plans to reduce or ‘taper’ its quantitative easing operations.   

  • Photo owned by www.TaxFix.co.uk/. Used under a Creative Commons license.

    Let’s talk about money: Does Asian civil society care about national budgeting?

    By Haidy Ear-Dupuy on Monday, 25 November 2013

    Asians love to talk about money.  We discuss the price of everything.  How much money does the neighbor make?  How much does a traditional Asian wedding cost?  How much does a private education cost?  

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