October 2018: All eyes on Asia

Ever since the ‘taper tantrum’ of 2013 when Ben Bernanke, then chair of the Federal Reserve, announced the scaling down of the Fed’s asset purchase programme,  policy-makers across Asia have become acutely aware of their exposure to the vagaries of international markets. In response, central banks and finance ministries across emerging markets have largely followed prudent policies to safeguard their economies.

But rising oil prices, a strengthening dollar and hawkish Fed have introduced new challenges. Starting with countries marked by idiosyncratic vulnerabilities stemming from shaky economic fundamentals and political uncertainty, last month’s sell-off has since spread to countries with stronger fundamentals.

This month’s Bulletin highlights the diverse prospects facing emerging economies, aiming to add nuance to what has generally been a crudely defined asset class. Contributors assess economic policy initiatives such as the development of financial instruments to help emerging markets adapt to climate change; developing ESG-related data and disclosures in China; and innovative funding tools for the development of transport infrastructure in the Philippines.

Through our office in Singapore we continue to promote such dialogue across Asia, and look forward to hosting a meeting in collaboration with the Bank of Thailand on the future of central banks later this month as part of a series of OMFIF events during the week of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group meetings in Bali.

Key contributors to this edition of The Bulletin include:

  • Taimur Baig, managing director and chief economist at DBS Bank;
  • Ileana Sodani, head of business development for asset servicing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at BNY Mellon;
  • Richard Pan, head PM, head of QFII investments and international business at China Asset Management;
  • and Joachim Nagel, member of the executive board at KfW, the German state-owned development bank.

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