global markets

Is the financials sector priced for disruption?

SINGAPORE (July 25): Low interest rates are one reason why the financials sector is lowly valued, and the prospect of disruption may be another.

We think all industries are likely to be vulnerable to disruption in the coming years. We’ve seen it already in retail and media, for example, and this is likely to be a growing theme in markets for the long term. Financials, and banks in particular, are currently facing disruption to their business models. We can see this to some extent in valuations already.

Singapore has a shipping rival less than 30 kilometres away

SINGAPORE (Feb 1): Indonesia wants to re-position its Batam island as an alternative shipping and manufacturing hub to Singapore with a potential to draw US$60 billion ($80.8 billion) in new investment.

Batam and nearby islands -- located at less than 30 kilometers south of Singapore -- have attracted about US$20 billion dollars of investment and they were declared a free-trade zone in 2007. It’s home to thousands of local and foreign firms producing goods from computers to oil rigs.

Turkey-led emerging markets rout won't end as well as the Asian financial crisis

SINGAPORE (Aug 20): It has been a dramatic week for emerging markets — in particular, Turkey. And, while the unfolding carnage has parallels with what happened in Southeast Asia almost exactly 20 years ago, I cannot help thinking that things will not turn out quite so well this time around.

Increased volatility and higher yields part of package that comes with market normalcy: DBS

SINGAPORE (Feb 7): Don't panic, markets are simply showing signs of normalcy with more volatility and higher yields despite ongoing bouts of risk aversion, says DBS.

For the past few years, volatility was suppressed via monetary policies by the G3 central banks amid downside risks to growth as well as inflation. But the market got used to this period of low rates.

However, things changed last year when synchronised global growth took hold and drove commodity prices up with it.

The improvement in global growth allowed the Fed to deliver three hikes last year.

Synchronised global economic growth papering over the risks

SINGAPORE (Dec 25): This time last year, I was warning that stocks were headed for a turbulent 2017 because of rising interest rates, geopolitical turmoil and technological disruption. I was wrong. Stock markets around the world have generally done well and many investors are now bullish. But the risks have not abated. If anything, they have worsened.

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The markets in 2018 will leave investors in a state of confusion: Jupiter Asset Management

SINGAPORE (Dec 22): The market behaviour in 2018 will continue to leave economists and investors puzzled, just as similar to the last 12 months, according to Edward Bonham Carter, vice-chairman of Jupiter Asset Management.

“But we should be able to expect reasonable returns from stocks if inflation stays contained and US interest rates plot a slow and steady upward course,” says Bonham Carter.

The surge in equity markets globally has been a major issue despite news that would, in normal circumstances, have tempered investor appetite for riskier assets such as stocks.

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Will ETFs wreak havoc to Emerging Markets if flows reverse?

From Bloomberg

SINGAPORE (Aug 18): Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have helped power the emerging markets (EM) rally this year but their heft and influence is now a cause of concern as the damage could be as severe if the flows reverse.

The bond and stock markets of the developing world have been on a tear this year, but the swelling EM ETF industry is worrying some analysts and investors, who point out that developing markets are much less liquid than in the US or Europe, says the Financial Times.

Stay focused on underlying economics, not politics-driven market dips: Manulife

SINGAPORE (May 25): Global markets continued to rally in April following Emmanuel Macron’s landslide victory in the French presidential election.

But Manulife Asset Management believes that while investors are right to capitalise on politics-driven market dips, they should stay focused on the underlying economics as the key to forming a more sustainable investment strategy.

Mobius says low market volatility is tied to social media

(May 11): Mark Mobius has a left-field theory on why volatility in global stock markets is so low.

“Social media is having a huge impact,” the executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group said in an interview during a visit to Tokyo. “It’s creating confusion with a lot of false news,” he said. “You’re getting a situation where a lot of information is discounted immediately because people are afraid that maybe the information they’re getting is not true.”

Japan leads Asia-Pacific peers in embracing digital era of finance

SINGAPORE (Feb 27): While 87% of investment providers in Asia Pacific agree that digital transformation is important for the future of their organisation, few of them are on track to become digital leaders in their fields, according to a recent report published by State Street Corporation.

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