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A Hong Kong investor once told me that he considered Asia’s capital markets to be like breaking waves; their rhythms often violent, but ultimately, they make a steady progression up the shore. It has often been noted that many Asia investors play these short-term rhythms. But ultimately the tide does come in and there is room for the long-term investor.
While back home in Shanghai recently, I noticed I had received a year-end statement for my old account in the Housing Provident Fund (HPF), a compulsory housing savings program in China that is somewhat similar to 401K plans here in the U.S.
Dhanbad, an old mining city in eastern India, feels like a dust bowl that belies the fact that it is a city endowed with significant natural resources.
In recent years, the rate of acquisitions of local Asian firms by multinational companies has generally increased, particularly in China. This has happened across many industries such as industrials, medical devices and consumer staples.
In India, the fertilizer sector has long depended on gas as a key input. Over the last decade, several power plants that run on gas have been set up as well.
Korea and Japan have been trailblazers in terms of making the virtual marketplace platform, through which merchants and manufacturers of all sizes can sell goods to consumers, an e-commerce model in Asia.
This year, investor attention has focused on Japan and its macroeconomic policy with hopes that rising inflation expectations might spur businesses to invest and consumers to spend. Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) regained power late last year and proposed more aggressive monetary policies, including an ambitious inflation target, the yen has weakened more than 20% against the U.S. dollar and more than 15% against the euro.
China’s new leaders are talking tough about fighting government corruption and imposing a culture of frugality among Communist Party cadres. Sensitive to growing criticism about government excess, incoming President Xi Jinping has promised to crack down on officials who abuse their power and engage in illicit behavior, regardless of their rank.
During my last trip to Seoul, I had meetings with several media companies that left me feeling more confident about the strength of Korea’s popular culture as an emerging growth driver for the country.
Every February, India’s federal government releases its annual budget to outline revenues and spending plans. In the years following India’s independence in 1947, when government-owned enterprises dominated the economy, the budget was of utmost importance to market watchers.