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.
China’s shadow-banking participants, often shady non-bank credit intermediaries, are slowly coming to heel as the government ramps up its efforts to curb leverage in the sector. Once accounting for 87 percent of GDP, the growth of shadow banking’s assets were outstripped by the country’s overall GDP growth during 2017, indicating that China’s financial dragon may finally have been subdued by regulators.
Panama continues its efforts to claw back from the shadow of the Panama Papers scandal. Its efforts seem to be paying dividends as the country returned third-quarter growth of 5.4 percent—slightly beating its 5.2-percent growth in the second quarter.
While 2018 may still be in its infancy, the risks hanging over the year’s foreign-exchange (forex) markets have been brewing for some time. An assortment of global hotspots are positioned to affect major currencies and their viability on forex markets.
“Openness brings progress for ourselves, seclusion leaves one behind. China will not close its doors to the world; we will only become more and more open.”
On May 24, Moody’s reported that it had downgraded China’s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings from Aa3 to A1. With the downgrade, China’s credit rating is now on a par with those of Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
The stability of the global economy continues to oscillate between intermittent recovery and general unease, and the new US presidential administration stands at the crux of its ongoing uncertainty. Various international incidents have influenced the condition of the global economy—the ongoing Brexit saga
China is investing heavily in financial technology while the rest of the world is lagging behind, propelling the country to the forefront as the global leader in the fintech revolution. A favorable regulatory environment and a welcoming, underbanked domestic population are a few of the factors contributing to this eastward fintech migration.
After several years of rather unspectacular market activity, gold came roaring back in 2016. The year saw investment demand for the precious metal rise by 70 percent, while gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) experienced their second-highest inflow of investor interest on record.