interest rates

Restoring central banks' credibility

(Dec 13): Recent jumps in equity prices and bond yields suggest that recession fears are receding. But the global economic expansion cannot last forever, and when the next recession comes, central banks may not be adequately prepared to respond. Enhancing central-bank credibility to bolster the effectiveness of monetary policy is thus an urgent priority.

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Is economic winter coming?

(Nov 18): What could trigger a recession in the US? In the past, a tightening labour market after a period of expansion served as an early warning sign. Workers would become more difficult to find, wages would start climbing, corporate profit margins would tend to shrink and firms would start raising prices. Fearing inflation, the central bank would then raise interest rates, which in turn would depress corporate investment and spur layoffs.

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Is politics getting to the Fed?

SINGAPORE (July 29): From the early 1980s until the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, the US Federal Reserve seemed to have a coherent process for adjusting its main short-term interest rate — the federal funds rate. Its policy had three key components: the nominal interest rate would rise by more than the rate of inflation; it would increase in response to a strengthening of the real economy; and it would tend towards a long-term normal value.

Is politics getting to the Fed?

SINGAPORE (July 29): From the early 1980s until the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, the US Federal Reserve seemed to have a coherent process for adjusting its main short-term interest rate — the federal funds rate. Its policy had three key components: the nominal interest rate would rise by more than the rate of inflation; it would increase in response to a strengthening of the real economy; and it would tend towards a long-term normal value.

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Rising odds of Singapore easing may see yields go up, not down

(July 22): A rapid deterioration in Singapore’s economic data has fuelled speculation the central bank will ease monetary policy. The result may be higher interest rates and bond yields.

Bets the Monetary Authority of Singapore will adjust policy have intensified after government reports over the past month showed the economy unexpectedly shrank 3.4% in the second quarter and exports slumped 17.3% in June. The trade-reliant economy has suffered amid escalating tensions between the US and China.

Private equity in Asia hits record deal, exit values; uncertainty in the region still looms

SINGAPORE (Mar 15): The private equity (PE) industry in Asia Pacific (APAC) reached new highs in 2018, after a record-breaking 2017, according to the annual Asia Pacific Private Equity Report by Bain & Company.

Now, the region represents 26% of the global PE market, a 9% increase from a decade ago, with $833 billion in total assets under management.

Deal value across the region peaked $165 billion in 2018, above the previous record high of $159 billion last year, and 48% higher than five years ago.

Fed's Powell says US outlook 'remarkably positive'

BOSTON (Oct 3): US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday hailed a “remarkably positive outlook” for the US economy that he feels is on the verge of a “historically rare” era of ultra-low unemployment and tame prices for the foreseeable future.

It is a view, he said, based on how a changed economy is operating today, with businesses and households immunized by strong central bank policy from the inflationary psychology that caused unemployment, inflation and interest rates to swing wildly in the 1960s and 1970s.

Speculative buying & housing price growth to decline by year-end: UBS

SINGAPORE (Sept 28): Singapore’s housing market remains fairly valued even after inflation-adjusted prices have risen 9% over the past year, following six years of correction.

According to a recent report by UBS, housing prices in the city state are currently 5% below their 2011 peak, with its price-income ratio still shy of the long-term average.

Tech bloodletting nears US$300 bil since Facebook reported

NEW YORK (July 31): The rush to get out of US tech stocks entered its third day Monday as concerns mounted over how the storied FAANG bloc will fare amid rising interest rates and slower growth.

All of the FAANGs retreated, with Facebook Inc. sinking 3.3% and Netflix Inc. falling as much as 5.3%. The FANG index retreated 2.5%, widening its three-day loss to 9%. This compares with a 1.4% loss for the S&P 500 over the same time.

How will higher interest rates affect REITs?

SINGAPORE (July 9): Real estate investment trusts as measured by the FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trust Index have fallen by 6.6% since the start of the year despite a rise in the yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities — from 2% at the start of the year to around 2.5% currently. A strengthening US dollar is likely to exert upward pressure on the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor) and the Swap Offer Rate (SOR) and these will continue to have an indirect effect on the 10-year SGS yield, which some market observers expect to rise towards the 2.8% to 2.9% range.

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