Economy

A man wearing a protective mask is seen inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China, 28 February 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Digitalisation: How China’s smaller investment banks could compete with big foreign players

The recent accelerated opening up of China’s capital market has presented a challenge to investment banks in China, which may have seen their role marginalised or bypassed by major foreign players who have international experience and are highly capitalised and better managed. Academics Pei Sai Fan and Peng Chang suggest how investment banks in China can compete and stay relevant.
This photo taken on 15 November 2021 shows solar panels on hillsides at Xuanhua in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, China. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Why China’s once red-hot solar sector is cooling

Over the past year, capital from industries such as liquor, finance, real estate and the internet has been pouring into the new energy sector, driving up the valuations of solar energy stocks in China. However, the industry looks set to come back down to earth. Why is this so?
People wearing protective masks visit a main shopping area in Shanghai, China, 21 January 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China becoming the biggest economy in ten years is not a given 

Analysts predict that China will overtake the US as the world’s leading economy in the next decade, but external military conflicts and internal struggles could thwart the Asian giant's ambitions. Political commentator Zhou Nongjian has the details.
Only ten eggs per person at a time at this grocery store. (CNS)

Egg shortage reveals deeper economic issues in Taiwan

Chuang Hui Liang warns that an egg shortage in Taiwan is indicative of rising inflation in Taiwan, which is currently held in check by the DPP government freezing price hikes on oil and electricity. But the huge losses due to this policy are only building up and one cannot say how long it can last. Harder times may be ahead for the Taiwanese who are tightening their belts and turning to property as a hedge against inflation.
People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the Financial District on 26 January 2022 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/AFP)

America's new reality of high inflation and what it means for the world

Despite past macroeconomic stability, the US economy is beginning to see increased inflation across many sectors. Reports say that US consumer price figures for January due on Thursday could show core inflation rising to the fastest pace since 1982 at 5.9%. The situation is not helped by the government's recent move to issue additional debt which was mostly purchased by Fed banks. If the US government defaults on its debt, the global financial market will be affected. Higher interest rates to fight inflation in the US may also require that China and other Asian economies adjust their own domestic policies on interest rates and exchange rates.
People ride bicycles along the promenade at Marina Bay in Singapore on 21 December 2021. (Roslan Rahman/AFP)

Singapore, Hong Kong vie for wallets of rich Chinese in tech sector

The battle is heating up as Hong Kong and Singapore both vie for the wallets of rich Chinese in the tech sector. With the idea of family offices gaining popularity in recent years, will Hong Kong or Singapore have the edge over the other?
People wearing protective masks walk on a street in Shanghai, China, 14 January 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China needs timely and professional financial supervision and Singapore's experience may help

China must guard against pursuing too much financial development too fast, says NUS academic Pei Sai Fan. Only when a fine and delicate balance is struck between financial development and financial supervision — taking both financial innovation and financial stability into account — can the innovative development of the financial sector project its positive energy and dutifully serve the real economy. In that endeavour, it will be important for regulatory authorities to recruit and retain professional talents who embrace innovation, know much about fintech and are au fait with ways of growing the emerging digital financial sector as well as the market and financial risks.
People walk past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in Beijing, China, 28 September 2018. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

China’s 2022 economic growth will start low and end high

China's 2021 quarterly economic figures showed a general weakening, falling to a low 4% in the fourth quarter. While international analysts are of the view that China’s economy is in rapid decline, Gu Qingyang thinks otherwise. But that does not mean China's road ahead in the new year will be smooth sailing. Policies will need to be tweaked to ensure a stable economic trajectory in 2022.
A woman walks on a sidewalk in the central business district in Beijing on 16 December 2021. (Greg BakerAFP)

China to prioritise economic stability ahead of CCP 20th Party Congress

While China’s economy grew about 8% in 2021, the GDP growth target for this year is expected to be a more modest “above 5%”, taking into consideration various easing measures by the central bank and political considerations heading into the 20th Party Congress in autumn this year. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong gives her assessment.