Results 301–350 of 484 found.
During my last trip to Seoul, I had meetings with several media companies that left me feeling more confident about the strength of Koreas popular culture as an emerging growth driver for the country. The rapid growth of South Korean pop music, or K-pop, across the media and entertainment industries has been helped not only by Koreas strong culture of social media, but also by a broader and more global breadth of production. Last years hit single Gangnam Style and accompanying video by artist PSY is one such memorable phenomenon that crossed int
Whats Next, Mr. Finance Minister?
Every February, Indias federal government releases its annual budget to outline revenues and spending plans. In the years following Indias independence in 1947, when government-owned enterprises dominated the economy, the budget was of utmost importance to market watchers. With the countrys economic liberalization in the early 1990s, the significance of this annual budget process diminished somewhat. However it is still meaningful, and this years budget exceeded US$300 billion in expenditures.
The Hustle of Hong Kong
The strength of the retail environment in Hong Kong has been well documented, but the scale of shopping malls sprawling through large parts of the city is somewhat staggering. In the more central districts, product offerings tend to cater to the high-end crowd with luxury international brands apparent on every street corner.
Is China's Health Care on the Mend?
Despite the many challenges facing Chinas health care sector, I believe the recent initiatives and the markets continued growth could create many future investment opportunities in areas ranging from medical device manufacturing, insurance, pharmaceutical and a range of general and specialized care facilities.
Only Do What Only You Can Do
Sri Lanka is a tiny country of approximately 21 million people, with roughly the same population as the city of Mumbai and a total land mass nearly as big as Ireland and slightly bigger than the U.S. state of West Virginia. Despite being diminutive relative to other Asian countries, exports are an important part of Sri Lanka's economy, just as they are for its neighbors.
Tapping China's Growth via Dividends
When the long-term historical performance of global equity markets is considered, investors can see that the contribution of dividends to total return is significant. In this regard, China has been no exception. Between 1999 and 2012, 46% of the total return of the MSCI China Index was derived from dividends received and reinvested. This month, Yu Zhang, CFA, explores the ways in which a dividend-investing approach can be an effective investment strategy in China.
China's New Year for Shopping
This week's Lunar New Year celebration, also known as the Spring Festival in China, is not only a time of tradition for families during which they reunite over a feast, it is also one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year. As with Christmas in the West, the Spring Festival is a time of gift giving for friends and relatives. Children receive money in red envelopes as part of the tradition and stores often hold large-scale holiday sales to attract shoppers.
A More Savvy Insurance Market
During my last visit to Hong Kong, I attended a conference to discuss various opportunities in financial services along with industry experts and executives from both Asian and global institutions. The key theme that emerged from the event was how Asia is typically viewed as the world's primary growth market in this important sector, particularly given the slowdown in Europe and the regulatory environment in the U.S.
Protests of the Common Man
At times, some recent protests have been criticized for a lack of organization and demands that may seem irrational such as the death penalty for juvenile suspects of serious crimes. But for all their faults, Indias recent demonstrations are an essential step toward a more participative democracy, and may help to spur an overhaul of the countrys judicial and administrative machinery that I believe has not kept pace with its economic development.
The Allure of Panda Coins
While I waited in another long line in San Francisco International Airport recently, I struck up a conversation with the gentleman behind me. It turned out we were both returning from research trips in China. But rather than being an investor of securities as I am, this fellow traveler was an investor in Chinese coins, specifically, panda coins.
The Rise of Asia's REITs
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Asia are following in the footsteps of their U.S. counterparts as they become an increasingly important asset class attracting investors looking to gain exposure to a diversified pool of real assets and relatively high yields. In the past decade, REITs have become a growing force in the regions investment universe. This month Sherwood Zhang, CFA, takes a look at just how far Asia's REIT markets have come, and what new opportunities as well as risks may still exist.
Abe's Return May Prod Japan Forward
Japan's politics have entered 2013 with a mixed freshness. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has clinched a rare second shot at the prime minister's post. His first term, which began in late 2006, lasted only about a year and ended with his sudden resignation. But following its landslide victory last month, his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has secured a two-thirds majority in the 480-seat Lower House, giving it the constitutional power to override Upper House opposition, where no single party holds a majority, on almost all issues.
Korea's First Female President
South Korea's president-elect Park Geun Hye will become the country's first female leader when she takes office in late February for a single five-year term. The tight December race drew much attention as well as the highest voter turnout (over 70%) for Korea in over a decade. Park defeated Moon Jae In, a human rights lawyer who was once jailed for opposing the dictatorial regime of Park's father, Park Chung Hee.
Lights, Camera and Action in China
More than a decade ago, China reached a turning point in its film industry with the co-production of its first internationally acclaimed movie hit, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The film, directed by Academy Award winning Taiwanese American director Ang Lee, raked in more than US$213 million globally, and became the highest grossing foreign language film in U.S. history. Pretty good for a movie made in China on a US$17 million budget.
Postcard from Malaysia
During a recent trip to Malaysia I had the opportunity to visit several oil and gas companies. Northeast Asia, most notably Japan and China, already accounts for a considerable amount of energy consumption and is heavily dependent on imports. Meanwhile, Southeast Asia, which has lower industrial development and warmer weather conditions, has traditionally shown to have relatively abundant oil and gas resources. Naturally, this has led the region to be a major exporter of energy.
Postcard from a Tier 4 City
On my recent trip to China, I got a firsthand glimpse into one of the country's smaller cities. Classified as a "Tier 4" city, Baoji, in western Shanxi province, is 100 miles from the city of Xian, the famed home of the Terracotta Warrior statues. Baoji and its environs have a population of 3.7 million, of which approximately 2 million are urban residents. That equates approximately to the populations of Paris, France or Houston, Texas.
Emerging Asias Rising Productivity
Per capita GDP in China has tripled in purchasing power parity terms in the last decade yet Chinese workers still likely have their most productive years ahead of them. Asia as a whole has seen consumption increase by a third since the global financial crisis, even as the West has languished. This month, Robert Horrocks, writes about what is key to the emerging opportunities in Asia: Productivity.
China's New Guard
The Chinese Communist Party has selected a new leader. Actually, it has anointed a new leader that it already selected some time ago. We have known for at least a year that the new leader would be Xi Jinping, son of a reformist-minded early communist revolutionary, who held power in China's southern state of Guangdong as it led China's charge to create a market-based economy open to the rest of the world. Xi's pedigree, therefore, is assumed to be pro-reformist.
Roots of Economic Karma
I'm a strong believer that bad governance (yes, bad) is a natural part of the process of socio-political empowerment, and one that is actually necessary at times in order for some democracies, such as India, to achieve faster economic growth. Typically, during times of great socio-political transformation economic governance takes a backseat as newly empowered segments of society view redistribution of power and patronage as the first order of business. Their attention turns to good economic governance only after they feel fully assimilated. Allow me to explain.
China's Thirst for Oil
The demand for oil and gas in China has grown with the country's rapid economic development of recent years. While the nation's major domestic oil fields continue to produce crude oil, China is increasingly looking beyond its borders for its energy needs. I recently visited western China and Kazakhstan, home to one of the world's biggest oil reserves (and the world's largest landlocked country), to research this industry.
The China Debate
It seems to me that pretty much the only thing you can get Democrats and Republicans to agree on these days is that China is bada job-destroying exporter of cheap goods. And indeed, at the most recent two presidential debates, both candidates spoke of the trade deficit with China and described China as a rule-breaker, including the way it has managed its currency. They phrased their views as if trade were a competition between nations and that exports are obviously superior to imports. U.S. manufacturers might agree but consumers may demur.
India has long been a country where entrepreneurs have stepped in to fill gaps in the market, and their role in primary education has been no different. Over the last decade, an estimated 300,000 low-cost private schools have sprung up across India. And as counterintuitive as it seems, many poor parents are willing to pay for their children's schooling to avoid the country's free education system.
China's Thousand Talents
Employment is one of many paradoxes of mainland China. The country has been adding approximately 6 million new college graduates annuallymore than any other country. Despite the fierce competition for entry-level work, China faces the additional challenge of attracting enough skilled labor in many key industries. Compounding this problem is the fact that China has for years experienced a severe brain drain, often with Chinese citizens staying abroad after completing their overseas studies.
Going Private in China
Over the last three decades, China's embrace of capitalism has benefited its socialist society. The country's foundation for capitalism has been based on private ownership, as it has been in other capitalist economies. For China, this privatization occurred in two stages: the first being the privatization of agriculture in rural areas as the government implemented a "household responsibility system" to align the economic interests of farmers directly with the output of their own plots of land.
Testing Indonesia's Coal Boom
On a recent trip to Indonesia, small talk with my taxi driver led to an interesting proposal: an offer to buy a coal mining license. I wasn't in the market for one but it just goes to show how much Indonesia's coal mining industry has grown in recent years. The country's rapid and significant development in this area has been due partly to privatization efforts, but more so to a sharp uptick in demand from countries like China. Nearly 80% of the output from Indonesian mining firms is exported, with China as the largest individual importer.
Complex Structures for Investing in China
China's Variable Interest Entities (VIEs) have long allowed foreign investors to be able to partake in the growth of some industries in China, such as education and the Internet, restricted to foreigners. VIEs have come under increasing scrutiny. But are they inherently more risky? This month Hardy Zhu takes a look.
Surviving a Downturn
During my recent trip to Northeast Asia, many managers I met were concerned about the gloomy macroeconomic news still coming out of Europe and were curious to hear from me about the state of the U.S. economy. Given their concerns, companies were preparing for a worst-case scenario and continuing to leverage their competitive advantage as they have done during past downturns. Surprisingly, some companies I met with in more developed parts of Asia seemed to welcome this downturn.
Eating Las Vegas' Lunch
Since opening its casino industry to international companies in 2002, Macau has become a global gaming center. In 2011, Macaua special administrative region of Chinabrought in US$33.5 billion in gaming revenue, more than five times that of the Las Vegas Strip. Gaming operators have gladly built multibillion dollar facilities in Macau because each new casino seems to attract increasing mass market and VIP gamblers.
While Everyone Worried About Europe
We all do it. We all refer to Asia as an export-driven economy. It's one of those seemingly useful bits of shorthand. Unfortunately, I believe it has come to do more harm than good. Along with "emerging economies," I would like to banish the phrase to the ranks of outlawed jargon.
Half the Sky in China
I was recently asked what it's like to be a woman working in a male-dominated field, particularly since my job involves traveling throughout China and meeting mostly male corporate managers. Since women are still typically treated as inferior to men in many Asian societies, some people may assume that I frequently experience uncomfortable situations. But in truth, I have rarely noticed. I think many may have misconceptions about China's attitude toward women.
My (Government-subsidized) China Vacation
As part of my month-long stay in mainland China and Hong Kong, my wife, three daughters and I embarked on a five-day tour of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou and Wuxi. This part of our trip, which was partially subsidized by the Chinese government, included three meals a day and stays at luxury hotels. The price tag? An amazingly low US$49 per person.
India: Good Growth, Bad Growth
It goes without saying that areas of growth attract investors. But in a blind chase for growth, it is easy to forget that only growth accompanied by economic profits creates value. This month Sunil Asnani takes a look at some of the once-celebrated, top-down investment ideas that did not live up to expectations, comparing them to some less exciting ideas that actually did deliver.
On a recent family vacation to Yellowstone National Park, I was unable to use my smartphone due to a lack of fast mobile broadband service. I survived, but being disconnected for a full week made me realize how my phone has become an indispensable part of my life. Smartphone cell phones with processors to support operating systems running multimedia programs, Internet access and third party applications have become essential to consumers in developed markets.
Postcard from Japan
After spending a week crisscrossing Tokyo earlier this summer to meet with various companies, my general take-away was that the country, as a whole, has managed a rather swift recovery from last year's devastating earthquake. Japan seems to have been able to rebound from its nuclear crisis, showing great resilience. Most of the firms I met with were already plowing ahead to try to make up for last year's losses.
In the market turmoil of recent months, Malaysia's equity market has held up comparatively better than some of its Asian counterparts. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index was up 1.4% during the second quarter in local currency terms. During the previous quarter, Malaysia had seen several large initial public offerings that raised capital totaling more than US$3.3 billion.
The Evolution of Beijing's SoHo
With each visit to New York Citys SoHo art galleries over the past 15 years, I have grown stronger in my suspicion that the freshest, most interesting contemporary art is coming from mainland China. The old guard of expatriate Chinese artists, with their sly indictments of Mao, has been gradually replaced by a new generation who remain in China. Their work is visually exciting and accessible, even for unschooled portfolio managers.
Moving to Indonesia
I just returned from a two-week trip to Asia, meeting with companies in Japan, Indonesia and Singapore. One notable change I observed in Tokyo - and confirmed in Jakarta - was the emergence of Indonesia as an investment destination for Japanese companies. All of the auto-related companies I met with in Japan were either building or had plans to build new capacity in Indonesia.
The Ascent of South Korea
One country in Asia that seems to attract less attention than it might deserve, considering its modern-day achievements, is South Korea. While index provider MSCI this year (once again) left South Korea classified as an emerging market, both FTSE and Standard & Poors have placed Korea in the developed market camp for several years now.
Designed in California, Made in Manila
When I saw the hit animation film The Incredibles a few years ago, little did I know that some of the animation was done by artists in the Philippines. Pixar, the American film studio that outsourced this work to the Philippines, is just one of many global companies to have taken advantage of the island nations thriving business process outsourcing (BPO) industry - contracting out work related to back office operations for cost savings.
Winds of Change
The Jakarta air felt unusually comfortable as I stepped out of Soekarno Hatta International Airport earlier this month. It was certainly still hot and muggy but cool breezes made the evening a bit more bearable. It brought to mind Europe's economic chill, and I wondered if perhaps Indonesian businesses were facing a gloomier outlook due to global concerns.
Vietnam Under Pressure
I recently spent a few days in Vietnam for research, meeting with several companiesall of which expressed a cautious near-term outlook. Having seen an average of about 7% GDP growth each year since 2000, Vietnam is lagging thus far this year. During the first quarter of 2012, the country saw GDP growth of just 4%. This contrasts sharply from the environment I encountered during my prior visit in September last year.
Secrets to Brand Building in China
The topic of Chinas consumer market tends to conjure up the catchphrase 1 billion customers and companies from around the world have flocked to cater to this market. As consumers in many developed countries have increasingly become overleveraged from years of easy credit, Chinas consumers have remained mostly underleveraged. Even as Chinas consumption growth has slowed recently, it is still expected to remain on a positive trajectory.
Remembering Hainan Development Bank
With tropical weather and white sand beaches, Hainan Island is often referred to as the Hawaii of China. Popular particularly among Chinese honeymooners, Hainan attracts tourists from around the world. Few, however, recall the islands darker days when it was mired in the failure of Hainan Development Bank (HDB). In June 1998, Chinas then regulator of commercial banks announced the closure of HDB, which was saddled with bad debts.
More Fun in the Philippines
A combination of beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine, interesting historical sites and a hospitable population is generally fairly effective in forming the seeds required to capture a part of the worlds largest service sectortourism. Many Southeast Asian countries have spent the last 20 years trying to take advantage of their natural and cultural attractions to participate in the US$6.3 trillion global tourism market, with numerous success stories.
Civil Disobedience Hong Kong Style
Walking around Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the citys own version of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Directly underneath the HSBC tower, in the center of Hong Kongs vibrant financial district, is a small paved area, a portion of which is home to Hong Kongs anti-capitalist, anti-Wall Street movement. In the skyscraper above, thousands of banking and financial employees toil away daily, not overly disturbed by the protesters directly beneath their feet. Why? Because the civil disobedience below is just sowell, civil.
India's Demographic Dividends
Fortunately, Indias vast population of 1.21 billion, considered a time bomb not long ago, is increasingly being viewed as a positive. While its population has grown by roughly 18% over the past decade, the percentage of its children has actually fallen during this same period.looking to base manufacturing operations in other countries.India would do well to realize that this period of demographic shift is not merely a stroke of luck, but a window of opportunity. For growth to be sustainable requires some reforms in the way people live and work.
Postcard from Southeast Asia
A recent research trip I took to Thailand and Indonesia was a welcome break from watching gloomy macroeconomic data flash across my office computer terminals. Being on the ground, and literally on the streets, in Bangkok, Jakarta and several smaller Indonesian towns offered a reality check on the economic potential of Southeast Asian countries. This is not to say that these countries dont face challenges at their respective stages of economic developments. But speaking face to face with management teams offered me a fuller perspective.
Postcard from Shenyang, China
When people think about China, they typically think about cities like Beijing or Shanghai. But there are a number of lesser-known cities with populations as big as (or bigger than) New York. My hometown of Shenyang is one of these cities. Largely left behind during the countrys economic reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s, Shenyang has more recently started to attract some attention for the comeback it has made.
Results 301–350 of 484 found.