Results 251–300 of 490 found.
The Renminbi's New Normal
The gyrations in Chinese money markets in the last few weeks have caused much alarm in the financial press. The moves in these markets are not only inline, but healthy for an economy looking to increase the role of the market in allocating resources. Those who believe these moves indicate financial stress, or draw parallels between the recent volatility and that which preceded the subprime crisis in the U.S., might be looking through the wrong end of the telescope.
Korea's Changing Consumer Patterns
Following a recent research trip to Korea, I was able to spend some time there with my family. Three consecutive weeks away afforded me the opportunity to observe changes in spending patterns among Korean consumers as well as the improving competitiveness of the country?s service industries.
Turkey, Doves, Hawks and Owls
The current market sentiment is something of an albatross around Asian economic and market performance. Whilst it is never safe to assume the currency speculators have gone away, the regions economies have put in enough hard work over the previous decades to earn some goodwill.
Two Questions for Japan Inc.
During my last research trip in November, we visited mostly consumer-facing companies in Japan where we took the opportunity to pose two key questions to the management teams we met. The first was-"Are you planning to increase prices for products or services after Japans consumption tax hike (scheduled for April)?" And secondly: "Will you raise employee wages?"
A Surprising Gift for Chinese New Year
Beijing-based China Credit Trust Company, a firm that operates as a non-banking financial institution in China, announced this week it reached an agreement to restructure a risky high-yield product that had earlier ignited worries over the health of Chinas trust industry. Just in time for the Lunar New Year, investors in the troubled trust may receive a big (metaphorical) red envelope-a monetary gift traditionally given during Chinese New Year or other special occasions-or at least avoid a financial hit.
India's Rising Aspirations
Indias newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had a spectacular debut in recent state elections. Its leader became the chief minister of the state of Delhi. The election results seemed to indicate a fundamental change-voters now perceive politicians not as "rulers," but as professionals with a limited mandate to serve. The AAP ran on an anti-corruption agenda, and Delhis new chief minister seems to "walk the walk." He uses public transport to commute to work, a refreshing change from the typical politician in India who is usually seen riding in a convoy of vehicles.
What's Your 2014 Market View?
U.S. monetary policy seems likely to continue occupying center stage as people fret about interest rates. Last year was a somewhat instructive year for monetary policy theory in that it seemed to show that policies can be effective even when interest rates have no further room to be lowered. Can the nominal GDP in the U.S. grow at faster rates in 2014, and what would that mean for Asia? This month Matthews Asias Chief Investment Officer, Robert Horrocks, offers his insights into how reforms planned for China could be a key factor to change and what could lie ahead for the region overall
Asia's Evolving Science and Tech Space
The main growth drivers of Asias science and technology industries are changing to become more domestically driven and service-oriented. These changes are happening as rising disposable income enables more Asian consumers to embrace new technologies.
Exploring Ceylon Tea Country
Riding by train through the Sri Lankan highlands recently, I found it difficult not to be mesmerized by the views of mountains blanketed in tea plantings and cool mist. My days spent exploring Sri Lankas mountainous interior were among my favorite as a first-time visitor to the country.
A More Market-Friendly China
My last visit to Beijing happened to coincide with the Communist Partys Third Plenum Meeting. General business sentiment was just as upbeat as it had been earlier last autumn. But through my discussions with different businesspeople, I came away with a distinct new optimism over the leaderships more market-oriented stance on policies.
Celebrating Asia's Growth Past and Present
Today, Matthews Asia celebrates 10 remarkable years that have passed since we launched our Asia Growth strategy to U.S. investors. During this time, the region has evolved in many significant ways. In the early 2000s, only the "Asian Tiger" economies had managed to reach GDP per capita levels considered the tipping point for consumption growth. More recently, consumption has been on the rise in many of the regions economies, laying the foundation for Asias ongoing prosperity.
Disruptive Innovations in Indian Politics
The sweeping victories for Indias pro-business opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in recent state elections were largely expected. But more stunning, to say the least, were unexpectedly strong gains in Delhi by a nascent, novice and underfunded political party known as the Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Mans Party.
I recently made my first visit to Vietnam and spent several days in Ho Chi Minh City. Considered by the investment community to be a frontier market, Vietnam has a low per capita income (approximately US$1,600), a relatively young population and less mature capital markets.
Entrepreneurship in Asia
Using Silicon Valley as a yardstick to measure the success of Asias entrepreneurs is an interesting exercise. But it offers little insight into the development of more creative processes in Asia. Many policymakers in the region have declared innovation to be a national, strategic prioritycreating policies aimed at spurring growth to increase R&D expenditure, attract knowledge-intensive foreign direct investment and building more skilled labor pools. This month, Jerry Shih, CFA, takes a look at what changes are occurring around Asia to build more robust start-up ecosystems.
In the Wake of Disaster
As humanitarian organizations scrambled to send relief to the Philippines this week following the countrys battering by Typhoon Haiyan, foreign governments prepared to support the rebuilding and economists looked to assess the tragedys near-term impact.
Bubbles Without Borders?
If you are a wealthy person living in Asia, you might be tempted, with good economic reason, to look overseas to diversify your asset base. Overseas markets often offer good diversification as they are typically exposed to different economic cycles and also give exposure to different currencies. But while overseas stocks, bonds and other financial instruments all offer diversification, few asset classes seem to have the same allure as overseas propertythat is, overseas property in the right cities.
Korea Raises Voice for Shareholders
Corporate governance practices in South Koreas family-controlled conglomerates, known as chaebol, find their roots in a social contract that was implicit in the process of the countrys economic development under military dictatorship, which began in the early 1960s. Koreas previously autocratic government initiated economic plans and wielded power in the private sector by assigning different areas of development to each of several chosen corporate families.
Environmental Awareness in Asia
I traveled to China in September, quite possibly one of the best times of the year to visit in terms of weather. The air quality in both Beijing and Shanghai was actually pleasant and was very different from how it seemed during my previous visits as well as from the typical accounts one usually hears of the notorious smog in Chinas major cities. It made me think about growing up during the industrialization of my home country, South Korea.
Formosa: Back to Beautiful
When the Portuguese first landed on Taiwan, they called it Ilha Formosa or Beautiful Island. However, Taiwans route to success has been far more prosaicit rapidly industrialized by mass producing a wide range of consumer goods, including textiles and footwear, toys, bicycles, appliances and computer chips. It famously grew its economy via an export-driven model, making the Made in Taiwan label ubiquitous.
The Science of Forensic Accounting
The financial reporting of corporations in Asia is complex, and having a solid grasp of all the nuances involved in these accounting practices is critical when making investment decisions. This month Research Analyst Sudarshan Murthy, CFA, kicks off the first in a series of commentaries on the science of forensic accounting. This first issue focuses on the numbers, and examines what is considered in order to understand a companys accounting decisions and the implications they can have on financial reports.
Now Showing in Macau
What is most impressive about Macau today is the strong sense of collaboration and commitment from all involved parties: both Macau and mainland Chinese government officials and casino operators. While Asias other gambling centers (Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines) have also seen waves of notable development in recent years, Macau, in my opinion, should be recognized as the gold standard of the gaming space in Asia.
New Experiment in Shanghai
In an attempt to further liberalize Chinas economy, central government officials have created an experimental new free trade zone, which officially opened for business this week. The zone combines four existing but smaller development areas within Shanghai that are already exempt from import and export tariffs.
Celebrate with Tokyo
Many in Tokyo erupted with delight and excitement following the recent news of the citys selection as host to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Following a failed bid in 2016, Tokyo edged out rivals Istanbul and Madrid on its way to becoming the first Asian city to host the Games for a second time.
India's Need for Labor Reform
India has long been recognized as a country of vast potential. With over 1.2 billion people, it boasts nearly one-fifth of the worlds working age population. However, the countrys laws hark back to a period when Indias political philosophy was still rooted in socialisma time when the government ran its own factories. Such laws have failed to keep pace with the economic liberalization program that began in 1991.
Trumping Cheap Labor
Wages in China have surely risen, and some pundits argue that this growth will eventually make the country less competitive. But more nuanced and recent theories suggest that manufacturing centers can cluster around pools of more skilled labor, transportation networks and economies of scale. This month, Teresa Kong, CFA, examines the reasons why China is about more than just low-cost workers.
Open for Business Down Under
Swiftly after fighting off what most observers deemed to be a fairly weak incumbent Labor opposition in the recent Australian election, the leader of the Conservative coalition and the countrys newly crowned Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, firmly declared Australia to be once more open for business."
India and Indonesia
Comments from the Federal Reserve to begin reducing its stimulus operations have weighed heavily on markets across Asia in recent weeks. Growing investor concerns have largely centered on those economies that have been running current account deficits and that are likely to be further impacted by lower growth forecasts and reduced capital inflows. More short term, speculative flows from investors into fast-growing Asian economies have also fallen as expectations for higher interest rates in the U.S. have risen.
Ramen for Everyone
Matthews Asias investment team members regularly travel across Asia to conduct research. Between meeting with management teams, touring factories and catching flights from one destination to the next, we do, on occasion, need to eat. Sometimes its room service at midnight while typing up meeting notes, other times we may try some local food. For me, as a ramen lover, the growing number of ramen restaurants across Asia has been a real treat. Apparently, Im not alone in that thought.
When Filial Piety is a Legal Obligation
Filial piety is a concept well-ingrained in many Asian cultures. Children are often taught to respect their elders, appreciate their hard work of parenting and to reciprocate that gratitude by looking after them in their old age.
China Property: A Tough "Bubble" to Pop
Irecently came across an old newspaper article from February 1989 that described Beijings residential property "bubble," with average selling prices then of about US$430 to US$510 per square meter. The article went on to say that, given that the average college-educated worker typically saved less than approximately US$13 per month, at those prices, it would take a century or so to be able to buy a two-bedroom apartment. The writer concluded that a housing bubble was underway.
Asia's Startup Incubators
As some of our readers may already know, Matthews Asia is headquartered in San Francisco and just north of Silicon Valley, home to some of the worlds largest technology corporations as well as a hotbed for tech startups. The rise of Silicon Valley has been bolstered by its connections to nearby Stanford University as well as to the emergence of the areas venture capital industry on Sand Hill Road since the 1970s. This energy and entrepreneurial culture has helped create many innovative ventures that have disrupted traditional businesses.
ASEANSeeking Further Integration
Southeast Asia is pushing ahead with an economic initiative analogous to the E.U. called the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The 10-member bloc is striving to make this partnershipwhich envisions creating a single market and production base and developing closer economic ties both within the region and the broader global economya reality by 2015. In-Bok Song, takes a look at the benefits and hurdles that may be expected in this lengthy process for further integration of such aspects as liberalized trade, investment, skilled labor and free flow of capital.
Short-Term Pain, Long-Term Gain
Chinas economy has seen plenty of headwinds recentlyweak exports numbers, slower growth in both services and manufacturing and a weak recovery of corporate earnings despite rapid credit growth. Chinas equity markets have performed weakly too and have been extremely volatile. But much of the recent volatility has less to do with sagging growth and much more to do with a cash crunch and tight liquidity in Chinas banking system. What is going on?
A Toast to Change
In China, there is a distilled white liquor that is as revered as wine is in France. Known as Chinas national wine, maotai, or "baijiu" in Chinese, has been celebrated for thousands of years. Having such a high-end branded white spirit on your banquet table is seen as a sort of status symbol or the hallmark of an auspicious occasion, such as a wedding or formal dinner. As recently as last year, some bottles were commanding more than US$300 each, with prices rising partly from the strong demand related to government and business sector events.
End of Quantitative Easing Tapers Asian Returns? Part I
Historically Asian markets have done well in periods of a weaker U.S. dollar and faster growth, so lowering peoples growth expectations and causing them to bid up the U.S. dollar is about the worst combination for Asian equities historically. And I do not think that Asias relation to global markets has changed significantly enough to nullify this past relationship. However, there are reasons to think that the effects on Asias equity prices may be a little more muted this time.
End of Quantitative Easing Tapers Asian Returns? Part II
While yields have come off their historical lows in the U.S. and Asia, there is substantially more room for rates to continue to rise. In terms of credit spreads, we have seen investment grade and high yield spreads widen. We believe that spreads will have some room to widen given a repricing of risk across the globe.
The tone on investing in Japan has changed. In the six months leading up to May 22, the Tokyo Stock Price Index rose 66% in local currency terms, prompting investors to ask themselves the unthinkablewhy have I not allocated more to Japanese equities? During the same time the yen depreciated about 20%, giving Japans exporters some much-needed breathing room. However, while the financial markets have given the nod of approval to the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, or Abenomics, Japan may possibly be missing a learning opportunity.
China's Services Revolution
Historically, China has focused on infrastructure and heavy industries at the expense of the service sector. Two years ago, service industries in China, such as hospitality, advertising, insurance and tourism, contributed a mere 43% of the countrys GDPwell below that of more developed economies like the U.S. and U.K, which saw nearly 80%. This month Sherry Zhang takes a look at the more balanced growth China will need in order to continue its economic trajectory over the next decade.
Is College Overrated?
Obtaining a college degree in Asia, like elsewhere in the world, is a middle class dream. It is often considered a ticket to increased employment opportunity. But recently there has been some evidence to suggest that this is not always the case.
Just One Day Out of Life
During my visit to Korea a few weeks ago, a hot debate over an alternative holiday system caught my attention. When a holiday falls on a weekend in Korea, it is not generally observed by businesses on the prior or subsequent weekday. However, the government has recently sought to change this despite strong opposition from interest groups and the business sector.
Sri Lanka's Victory
Sri Lanka has begun to reap the fruits of peace. By diverting resources that were previously spent on its military toward things like infrastructure, tourism and education, its economy has experienced solid growth. As our small car sat in traffic on the main road leading to the Colombo airport, my driver told me about the newly planned highway scheduled to open later this year. The Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, he said, would reduce my 1.5-hour trip to about 20 minutes. More importantly, I thought, we wouldnt be driven off the road by rickshaws referred to locally as tuk-tuks.
A Matter of Perspective
A Hong Kong investor once told me that he considered Asias capital markets to be like breaking waves; their rhythms often violent, but ultimately, they make a steady progression up the shore. It has often been noted that many Asia investors play these short-term rhythms. But ultimately the tide does come in and there is room for the long-term investor.
Is Japan's Sun Rising Again?
Japans stock market continues to rise while its currency heads in the other direction. Its new leaders, now enjoying high approval ratings, are battling deflation and trying to jump-start its economy with a new determination. This month Kenichi Amaki takes a look at what, if anything, is different this time.
Asia's Resource Riches vs. Reform
In recent years, the rate of acquisitions of local Asian firms by multinational companies has generally increased, particularly in China. This has happened across many industries such as industrials, medical devices and consumer staples. In many cases, if the multinational firms are not acquiring an entire company outright, they are taking a controlling stake, rather than a minority stake as a passive shareholder.
Results 251–300 of 490 found.