Why Singapore is a Good Investment Option

February 21st, 2017 by admin No comments »

According to head of Fixed Income (Singapore) at Manulife Asset Management, Murray Collins, Asia is a good investment option right now, in particular Singapore.  As such, the company has established the Manulife SGD Income Fund which seeks to “deliver higher stability and lower risk, with an emphasis on income” for its clients, with at least 50 percent of holdings in Singapore dollar-denominated bonds. The way the firm limits its clients’ currency risks is by transferring all the non-Singapore dollar exposures into Singapore dollars.

Boasting over two decades of experience in the industry, Collins has the knowledge to realistically anticipate that there are existing options for income-focused investors to gain exposure in the higher-quality issuers in the Singapore market with investment-grade bonds predicated by Singapore’s solid credit rating, still look good.

Indian firms are finding the region attractive too with it being the top destination for total direct overseas investment in 2016.  Overall that investment figure escalated by 32 percent and in December alone, companies from India invested a staggering $2.06 billion into Singapore (more than 82.5 percent of the total commitment).

Furthermore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced earlier this month that an additional 3 application channels have been opened for the Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) program. Attractive to small savers, these are: OCBC’s Internet banking portal, OCBC’s mobile app and UOB’s Internet banking portal.

Investing in Thailand

January 21st, 2017 by admin No comments »

FDI’s in Thailand remains a top priority for the government for 2017, with the additional of legal amendments and regulations in an effort to achieve this, in line with the escalated target (of 450 to 550 billion baht) set by Somkid Jatusriptak, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister. The impact of this is the necessity of the BoI to hold more foreign roadshows. Investment approved by the BoI included steel cord manufacturing, petrochemicals, aviation, logistics and land development in industrial estates.

According to a statement from the office of the Prime Minister, the country is actually expected to undergo a transformation from a middle-income to a high-income country through the promotion of new investments in 10 targeted industries.  This will be part of a large program entitled ‘Thailand 4.0’

The industries are: automotive and auto parts, including electric vehicles; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical services which will focus on added valued to products through advanced technology and innovations, which means Thailand needs investment in those areas.

Why Invest in the Maldives

December 21st, 2016 by admin No comments »

For those looking for a gateway into Asia investments, Minister of Economic Development in the Maldives, Mohammed Saeed explains why his region is a good option. While it’s been traditionally seen as a popular tourist destination, since it is now encountering fast economic growth, it is becoming a popular investment destination. Industries include: tourism, financial services, agribusiness, renewable energy and more this results in “several sunshine sectors,” being available in the Maldives.

America’s Trading Support of Asia

November 21st, 2016 by admin No comments »

asiaAsia is encouraging Donald Trump to give his support to a Beijing free trade deal with the Asia Pacific. Given that during his campaign, Trump labeled the Trans-Pacific Partnership a “disaster,” now is the time for action and a move away from Obama’s framing of the TPP resulting in an effort to write Asia’s trade rules before Beijing had the opportunity.

China has expressed concerns that America could use the TPP to force it to open markets by signing up or face isolation from other regional economies. Beijing is just relieved that it is appearing increasingly less likely that the TPP will materialize. And China is in the process of engaging in initiatives toward the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Meanwhile, Griffith University Business School’s research dean said that Trump’s TPP repudiation (which excludes China) as well as his “open disdain for asymmetrical alliance arrangements — in other words all US alliance ­arrangements,” can be cause for concern.

Property Investments

October 21st, 2016 by admin No comments »

asia-homesForeign investors are looking into Asia for property developments. With these emerging markets come tremendous opportunities. This is especially the case in Southeast Asia, although growth was encountered throughout the ASEAN region, of 4.7% in 2015. It is anticipated that this elevation will continue in the next few years.

Thus property – again, most notably in Southeast Asia – is becoming an increasingly attractive option for FDIs. According to ecommerce consultant Lisa Froelings, the cities that are particularly good for real estate investment in the region include: Thailand’s Chiang Mai, Malyasia’s Kota Kinabalu and the Philippines’ Davao City.

Part of Singapore is also being seen as a top destination for foreign real estate investments. Experts in Singapore are pointing to the Indian diaspora region as the country’s “largest listed real estate developer.” A global representative office was recently set up in Singapore by Godrej Properties (GPL) that has its headquarters in Mumbai. According to the firm’s Executive Director, Mohit Malhotra: “Indian nationals living abroad and people of Indian origin in the region have a high disposable income. They also actively invest in India, so we would like to tap the opportunities in Singapore where there is a large Indian community with strong cultural linkages with India.”

GHL is targeting Singapore for its 350,000 ethnic Indians, and 350,000 Indian nationals working in the following sectors: IT, fiscal services, construction and marine. Malhotra believes that being physically present in the region will help widen their market share.

Investing in Asia: After Brexit

September 19th, 2016 by admin No comments »

In this video, CIO of Manulife Asset Management Ronald CC Chan, presents an analysis of how Asia’s investment markets are being influenced by Brexit.

Investment in Andhra Pradesh

August 19th, 2016 by admin No comments »

indiaAndhra Pradesh in India will be receiving US$3bil (RM12.1bil) worth of investment from a slew of Malaysian companies.  The sectors Malaysia is investing in include: beverages, biodiesel, metallurgy, retail, vector control and will result in the establishment of around 8,000 jobs. The bureaucratic part of this has already been completed with the signing by the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board and the Malaysian companies of seven memoranda of understanding.

According to Datuk Ramesh Kodammal, Asean-India Business Council co-chairman:

“The value of the MoUs signed today is just a fraction of the business potential between ASEAN and India. With a combined population of 1.8 billion people and existence of bilateral trade agreements such as the Asean-India Free Trade Agreement (Afta) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), opportunities in Asean and India abound for our business entities.”

Meanwhile, the Indian government will be creating a committee (led by the NITI Aayog CEO) to investigate a variety of issues, most notably FDI norms connected to the country’s e-commerce industry that is continuing on a growth spurt.  Contributions to the committee will also be made by officials from commerce and industry ministry members as well as those from the department of electronics and IT. It will try to find additional ways the industry can grow as well.

It should also be noted that 100% of FDI has been allowed through the ecommerce retailing marketplace format via the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) since March.

Leading the Way in Transport Investments

July 19th, 2016 by admin No comments »

bikeThe Way Ahead Transport report assembled by Norton Rose Fulbright is showing how worldwide, the Asia Pacific region is going to be taking a key role in transport development with its anticipated infrastructure consolidation.  Global head of transport at the firm, Harry Theochari said: “The transport sector is continuing to look to Asia Pacific for investment opportunities, encouraged by rising demand and China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.”  The study was conducted using over 200 industry players.

A similar situation is potentially occurring in Latin America also, a region where Glen Wakeman has conducted business in the global consumer finance industry for many years.  According to a recent article in The Economist,  “Chile’s capital, lies El Romero, the largest solar-energy plant in Latin America and among the dozen biggest in the world. Its 775,000 grey solar panels spread out across the undulating plateau of the Atacama desert as if they were sheets of water.”  This can only spell good news for people like Wakeman working in various sectors of the fiscal industry.

Thankfully, the region is making infrastructure a top priority.  Indeed, after mergers & acquisitions, experts in the field are pushing infrastructure as this “offers the best investment opportunity in the sector today.”  Indeed, with inadequate infrastructure for aviation, rail and road sectors, the challenges to their operational efficiency are highest.

Talking of transportation in Asia, Singapore is implementing a car-lite strategy. Through this, the region’s government is attempting the double the rail network by the year 2030, thus making public transport more reliable and attractive. In addition, it is hoped that by this time, every town will have its own dedicated cycling network, with laws in place regarding the use of bikes.  Of course the issue of infrastructure is an important one here too, with advances being made in this sector in an attempt to facilitate commuters’ travel from homes to train station/bus stop.

China’s ODI

June 18th, 2016 by admin No comments »

ChinaThere was a 32 percent increase in investment in the Belt and Road project in Beijing from Chinese firms, in the first four months of 2016.  According to  Xinhua a staggering $4.9 billion was invested during this time period. The goal of this project is the establishment of an “economic corridor,” linking China and Central Asia with Europe in a “21st century reprise of the ancient caravan routes.” Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce reported that between January and April 2016, there was an escalation of 71.8 percent in ODI, reaching 391.5 billion yuan (about 60.1 billion US dollars). Likewise in the service sector there was an increase of 73.2% to $43.8billion.

China has been intensifying its presence in the worldwide economy in recent years.  When analyzing this trend, it is paramount to look at the country’ ODI since that can be what is needed to bolster growth.  To date it has comprised investment in M&As and start-ups and growth is anticipated from around $744 billion to around $2 trillion by 2020 (currently the leader in ODI in the world is America with $4.92 trillion). Due to European economic devastation, this ODI was met with an incredible reception throughout Europe, most notably UK, France and Germany which has reaped the most benefits from Chinese funding in the last few years.

It should be noted though that FDI has also played a significant role in China’s success, turning the region into “one of the world’s biggest cross-border investors.”  According to figures from the Commerce Industry, there was an increase of 4.8 percent in the first quarter from 2015 year-on-year to 286.78 billion yuan ($45.3 billion).

So together with its FDI, China is fast becoming a leader in the global economy.  As Bill Gates said recently in an interview with Xinhua “China is going to be contributing more and more to the world’s innovation.”

Breaking Down Asia’s Economy

May 18th, 2016 by admin No comments »

ChinaWhich regions are helpful to Asia’s economy and which are burdensome?  China, Indonesia, India and Malaysia definitely seem to be doing good things for Asia, economically.  So let’s take a look at some of these, both from a positive and not-so positive standpoint.

China: its economic “re-balancing act” might lead to additional positiveness in the medium term. Looking at Beijing as an example, its attempts at economic retooling away from investment- and export-led growth toward an economy led by consumer demand to make for greater efficiency. That’s the theory.  In practice however, GDP in China slowed to 6.7 percent in the 2016 first quarter.  According to Ravi Menon, Managing Director of Singapore’s Monetary Authority,

“Demand for final consumption goods will increase as China’s middle-class grows, stimulating imports of consumption goods even as trade in intermediate goods slows. Indeed, at a rate of nearly 10 per cent per annum, China’s import of consumption goods has grown by more than twice that of intermediate goods over the past ten years.”

Indonesia had experienced an almost stagnant beginning in its first quarter this year (down from the same time period in 2015).  Since then, however, Indonesia has encountered a profit growth from 0.5 percent to 12.4 percent.  This weakening was understood as being caused by a governmental slowdown of spending and investment alongside a decrease in exports.

And India is faring well, boosting Asia’s economy.  According to head of Asian equities at Invesco Perpetual, Stuart Parks, “India’s structural advantages such as strong demographics, low commodity prices and higher spending on infrastructure make Indian equities our top pick in Asian markets.” Executives such as LaunchPad Holdings LLC co-founders Glen R. Wakeman and Rick Cano are in a position to advise on these matters having engaged in more than a few capital market transactions, raising hundreds of millions of dollars of new equity and led large organizations in Fortune 10 companies.

Vis-à-vis Malaysia, the country’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak really believes its economy to be “sustainable at the core,” given that it has a place on the list of top 10 FDI hotspots in Asia Pacific.  This was backed by IHS Inc. (an international information company) whose Chief Economist Rajiv Biswas said that “the Asia Pacific region will grow at an average annual rate of 4.5% per year, boosted by rapid growth in consumer spending in China, India and South-East Asia.”

Ultimately it seems that the Asia region is faring well and enjoying a lot of economic growth and stability via its various countries.