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January 10, 2013
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  Top Stories 
  • Japanese stimulus plan is pegged at 20 trillion yen, raising skepticism
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    The new Japanese government's total stimulus spending program could come to more than ¥20 trillion once all national and local government spending as well as private-sector inputs are weighed in, government sources say. On the monetary front, meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said the government is seeking a written policy accord with the Bank of Japan, with the central bank asked to take into consideration unemployment. Observers are now calling into question the aggressiveness of the stimulus, with some characterizing the initiatives as print and spend. Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) (1/9) , Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan)/Jiji Press (Japan) (1/9) , Channel NewsAsia (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Fitch: China's investment-led growth model might be reaching its limit
    China's growth model, with its heavy emphasis on investment, is being called into question by Fitch Ratings. Fitch points to debt financing by local governments as well as the shadow banking system as worrying factors. Noting that China's attempts at rebalancing its economy are "not optional," Andrew Colquhoun, head of Fitch's Asia-Pacific Sovereigns section, said the process must be carried out over the long term, posing a challenge as "the debt issue is tightening constraints on the old investment-driven growth model." China Daily (Beijing) (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. trade figures fail to offer any hope
    Although the U.K.'s trade deficit in goods narrowed to £9.2 billion in November from £9.5 billion the previous month, the slim improvement suggested that the export sector isn't likely to provide any support for the nation's teetering economy any time soon, analysts said. "Without a marked turnaround in December, net trade looks like it may well drag on GDP growth in the final quarter of the year. But prospects for such a turnaround are slim," said Martin Beck, U.K. economist at Capital Economics. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
    A strong earnings report from U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa buoyed shares Wednesday in Europe and the U.S., boding well for overall corporate earnings. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.69% to 288.22, and the S&P 500 ended with a 0.27% gain at 1,461.02. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (1/10) , Bloomberg (1/9) , CNNMoney (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian shares get a lift from U.S. earnings
    Further declines in the yen and a positive launch to the U.S. corporate earnings season helped lift shares in most Asian markets Wednesday. The Nikkei rose 0.67% to 10,578.57, the Hang Seng added 0.46% to 23,218.47 and the S&P/ASX was up 0.38% at 4,708.14, while the Kospi slipped 0.31% to 1,991.81. MarketWatch (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Live Webinar
Meeting the Global Challenge of Funding Retirement: A Case Study of Financial Engineering in the Design and Implementation of a "Next-Generation" Solution
Featuring Nobel laureate Robert C. Merton
Thursday, 10 January 2013
9:00 a.m. GMT (London)
5:00 p.m. HKT (Hong Kong)
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • China is expected to tighten monetary policy in 2013
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    The new year is likely to see a switch in China's monetary policy from 2012's loosening to one of prudence in a bid to keep inflation from cutting into gains achieved by a rebounding economy, analysts say. "We predict this year's GDP growth will accelerate a bit from last year, and consumer prices will also climb. So the monetary policy will not be necessarily loosened," said Lian Ping, chief economist for the Bank of Communications. (China) (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • South Korea's outstanding household loans hit record high
    Although South Korea's rate of increase in household lending declined for the 15th straight month in November, the total outstanding balance of household loans extended by depository institutions reached a record US$611.50 billion, the Bank of Korea reported. Separately, Statistics Korea reported slower employment growth for December, with the 277,000 jobs created down from 353,000 the month before. (South Korea) (1/9) , The Korea Herald (Seoul) (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Retail sales offer little boost for slowing Australian economy
    Online purchases from overseas leveraging the nation's strong currency and general skittishness over spending led to a 0.1% decline in retail spending in Australia in November from October. The figure suggests little support for the slowing economy will be forthcoming from retail. "With credit growth also weak, there are still very few signs that interest-rate relief is being used for purposes other than deleveraging," said Michael Turner, a strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Sydney. The Wall Street Journal (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • Hong Kong fund sales at record, with fixed income predominant
    Fixed-income and equity funds have switched places in Hong Kong in sales volume, with fixed income accounting for two-thirds during a record year for retail funds in the territory in 2012. In 2007, equity funds made up 84.2% of gross sales while bond funds accounted for only 6.3%. Looking ahead, this year's sales are expected to fall short of the estimated $55 billion in gross sales last year. (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • China might bar sale of HSBC's Ping An stake
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    China's regulators, noting a lack of promised financial support, may bar HSBC's sale of its stake in Ping An Insurance. "The issue is about how the regulator views the buyer and the structure of the deal. I don't think that's favorable at the moment," said Wilson Li, a Shenzhen-based analyst at Guotai Junan Securities. The Wall Street Journal (1/9) , Bloomberg (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Permal merger to bring sharper China focus
    A heavier focus on China managers is one result of the merger of the U.K.'s Permal with Fauchier, said Permal chief Isaac Souede. Noting that a Shanghai office is now planned, Souede said, "We've got a Chinese fund that's been up and running for three years and which has performed really well. We want to be closer to the action." (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Ethics & Standards 
  • Prison sentences are handed down in Dun & Bradstreet Shanghai case
    Four former executives of Dun & Bradstreet have received prison sentences and the firm has been fined in a case involving the illegal acquisition of information on Chinese consumers by a D&B unit in Shanghai. The U.S.-based company didn't contest the charges and said that "such consumer-data-collection practices contradict D&B's core values regarding data integrity." The Wall Street Journal (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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