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.

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.”

SE Asia: Investing In or Out?

April 18th, 2016 by admin No comments »

asiaSouth East Asia has lately been the recipient of some quite attractive investments. For example, according to stats from Tech in Asia, startups in the region – in the first quarter of 2016 – received $478.4 million, 100% more than for the same frame, year-on-year.

These figures are interesting and inspirational given that since 2013, economic prosperity around the world has not even managed to completely negate its way past the 2008 fiscal crisis. Yes it’s true the fiscal situation in China has been encountering a stagnation with markets there enduring increased volatility.  But still, compared with the monetary situation around the rest of the world, investors are choosing Southeast Asia due to its solid fundamentals such as a 600million plus population and a $2.3 trillion GDP – the seventh largest in the world with a projected growth spurt of rising to number four.

Google wants to be in Asia too, as part of its wider vision of renewable energy. But the multi-million dollar corporation is having a hard time as purchasing energy there is fraught with difficulties.  Ascertaining the right credentials is next to impossible. Trouble is, it’s hard to buy green energy there. The system for getting proper credentials for renewable energy sources is virtually nonexistent on the continent.

In addition, vis-à-vis emerging market funds, Asia is not looking so great right now. Substantial amounts have been pulled from these funds, and most of them, from the Asia region.  Indeed, according to a recent article by Teresa Rivas in Barrons, based on findings from analyst Markus Rosgen, “Most of the outflow from EM funds came from Asia, which saw investors withdraw $970 million.”

So there are different ways to look at what is going on in Asia.  It’s definitely not a black and white situation.  The hope is though that the good will outweigh the bad.

Success for 2016 Asia Week New York

March 28th, 2016 by admin No comments »

China’s economy is in trouble.  According to a recent article by Kristie Lu Stout, “On China,” host on CNN International, “Factories are losing steam, exports are declining and companies have taken on worryingly high levels of debt…..[and that] By 2020, it’s estimated that more than 200 million Chinese will go overseas, double the amount that did in 2013.”

Further, even though the US economy is gaining tenacity, according to the latest Marketplace Edison-Research Poll, this has not positively impacted the consumers’ buying power.  “The Marketplace Economic Anxiety Index — a trackable number derived from some of the poll’s questions — held steady at a score of 31 on a scale from zero to 100. The higher the number, the more stress someone is feeling.”  Dave Shaw in this article felt that the number did not plunge at all because “Americans continue to feel anxious about their economic situation and feel worried about meeting monthly expenses.”

So one might have expected the 2016 Asia Week New York event of March 10-19, to have been somewhat lower-key.  But, what actually happened was quite the opposite.  With the participation of 45 galleries from around the globe, the ten day event garnered a total of $130 million in sales.  Ultimately, as Chair of the event Lark Mason explained:

“For connoisseurs and collectors who want to immerse themselves fully in the wonders of the Far East, they know there is a once-a-year celebration that they must attend. And it’s no wonder. Asia Week combines top-flight galleries and world-renowned Asian art specialists for over a week of outstanding events and exhibitions—all sprinkled around the world’s most exhilarating city, New York!”

Ali Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art, was one of the participants in the extravaganza.  Displaying pieces from their American and Swiss galleries, Phoenix Ancient Art was able to show visitors the museum’s Chinese Bronze Buckle with Monkeys, Chinese Terracotta Figure of a Kneeling Court Lady and Chinese Wooden Figure of a Court Lady.  And as Phoenix Ancient Art’s Alexander Gheradi said, it was great for the gallery since it was able to access an Asian art crowd it has “never interacted with before.” As he continued, they were pleased to be the recipient of “very complimentary responses which was quite validating for us since Chinese art isn’t our main area of expertise as our focus is on Western Mediterranean and Egyptian antiquities.”

Another satisfied participant was James Lally of J.J. Lally & Co., who reported to have been “delighted [at the] high attendance [received] at [their] exhibition.” Indeed, 80 percent of his exhibition was sold before the end of Asia Week. He added: “The subject of our exhibition this year was very esoteric—ancient Chinese jade—but the response was very strong and we had many serious inquiries from American collectors and museums and we received many U.S. collectors and curators, as well as visitors from Asia and around the world.”

While there are struggles within both the Chinese and the US economy, Asia Week New York 2016 still enjoyed a great showing.