China’s Silk Road was for centuries an invaluable network of trade routes connecting Eastern and Western Eurasia. Now, in the 21st century, it has been resurrected in the form of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Despite suspicions about the motives behind the ambitious project, no one would deny the magnitude of China’s sweeping plan for infrastructure and economic development in more than 150 Eurasia countries. But can it pull it off?
Many commodities have watched their prices drop, but iron ore is one exception; its price has surged to levels not seen since 2014. The price of iron ore, the main ingredient of steel, is being propelled upward by the combination of growing shortage and intensifying demand. Devastating circumstances affecting the world’s top producers, Brazil and Australia, along with booming demand in China are mainly to blame for the supply shortfall.
Thailand, an emerging market economy, is recognized as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, with enviable growth over the years—however, its growth has slowed in 2019. Its export-led economy is feeling the pinch from the global economic slowdown, currency appreciation and trade squabbles between the world’s heavyweights. The new government of Thailand is committed to utilizing this captivating nation’s many attributes, keeping it at the forefront of the region’s innovation and investment.
Few commodities have experienced more pronounced volatility over the last few years than cobalt. This versatile, ferromagnetic metal has been increasingly sought after in recent times, thanks in no small part to its use in lithium-ion batteries
In October 2018, S&P Global Ratings issued a stark warning pertaining to China’s mounting debt problems. According to the ratings agency, the country’s local governments may be sitting on a pile of debt worth up to 40 trillion yuan ($6 trillion).
The construction industry in the United States does a lot more than build buildings. It undergirds the prosperity of the country’s economy as a whole in multiple ways. How are contractors, the industry’s key players, feeling these days? Overall, they are optimistic, as survey results show—and economic data supports their buoyancy—but not without reservations about future uncertainties, especially in three main areas: trade, labor and interest rates.
For Better or for Worse: The Linkage Between the US Economy and the Major Economies of the Western Hemisphere
The US economy is on track to break its own record; its current 115 months of expansion is only five months shy of the record set in the 1990s. The next recession will come, maybe soon, as the economy succumbs to factors such as policy errors, foreign growth and corporate profit. And the United States will not fall alone; other Western Hemisphere countries will be dragged down with it.
Chinese president Xi Jinping calls it the “project of the century”. Part of his roadmap to Chinese prosperity, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), presents opportunities not only for Corporate China but for financial institutions and corporates the world over.
Interview with Mr. Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director & CEO and Mr. Charles Sik, Managing Director, Personal Financial Services, Hong Leong Bank
Malaysia is amongst Southeast Asia’s most prosperous nations, with consistently high economic growth. It is also amongst the region’s most progressive; one of its top five banks, Hong Leong Bank, is leading the widespread adoption of digital solutions in finance. We were pleased to be joined by two of HLB’s senior executives, Domenic Fuda and Charles Sik, to discuss HLB’s newest strategies toward being “digital at the core”.
Cobalt, that versatile ferromagnetic metal, has experienced its own evolution; no longer used just to provide blue colour for glass and ceramics, it is today highly valued as a necessary ingredient for making those prized electric-car and smartphone batteries tick. Cobalt has seen its price rise and fall over recent years, but the current trend is in an upward direction as demand outpaces supply.