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.
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.
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.
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?
The changing landscape of finance is a huge subject so let’s start with a short history of banking (thanks here to Wikipedia). The word actually comes from banca or bench where the moneylenders sat.
As articulated by Cavoli, Rajan, and Siregar (2004) in their survey of East Asian financial integration, financial integration is a multidimensional process closely associated with development of financial markets.
Did you know that there are over 2.5 billion people without any bank accounts in the world, and most of them are in Asia? And less than one quarter of the world’s 2.4 billion poor have a bank account. Managing their money using formal financial services – savings accounts, loans, insurance, and remittances -- is a wonderful, terrible, impossible dream for many, many families.
Later this month, the leaders of five major emerging economies—some say they have already emerged— are likely to announce the establishment of a BRICS Bank. These countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. As the name suggests, the Bank will focus on investment needs in the BRICS countries, but might cover some other countries as well.
Policymakers are swamped. They have a wide range of interest groups talking to them all the time. They have large numbers of papers and emails and phone calls to deal with every day. So if you approach them with a brilliant evaluation that is fifty pages long, complete with graphs and tables and lots of Greek equations, it will go straight to the bottom of the stack. And stay there.
A well-developed services sector plays a major role in improving production efficiency and promoting technical progress and innovation. The services sector has expanded rapidly in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since economic reform was launched in 1979, and particularly after PRC joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. However, the size of the sector as a share of GDP appears to be significantly smaller than expected based on PRC's income level and development stage.