The Dutch pension asset manager's Asia Pacific head of real estate says his team has just had one of its busiest years ever and that 2021 is looking similarly promising.
According to Morgan Stanley, ChinaÆs producer price inflation rose to 6.1% in January, and this factors in the impact of the snowstorm. Wang Qing, Morgan StanleyÆs chief economist for the Greater China region, says the inflation increase is within the bankÆs expectation as existing supply bottlenecks for energy and food were worsened by transportation disruptions last month.
Jun Ma, chief China economist at Deutsche Bank, says further pressure on inflation is likely to continue for the rest of this quarter. Expectation, rather than actual supply and demand, is now the key reason why inflation is rising, he says, noting the cycle reinforces existing price pressures and creating a far stronger ôspiral effectö.
Amidst rising inflation, Ma expects Chinese policymakers to reverse their credit tightening policies. Opposition to tightening measures have been mounting in the government, even as the growth in M2 broad money is now at its highest in eight months at 18.9% year-on-year. Ma says bank leaders are now complaining that liquidity has become excessively tight, after the recent snowstorm.
One of the more important measures developed by the Chinese government to combat inflation was the qualified domestic institutional investor (QDII) scheme -- which worked by siphoning off liquidity. But Shanghai-based research company Z-Ben Advisors notes that the QDII scheme is now at a standstill, as reflected by ICBC Credit SuisseÆs recent QDII launch. The fund raised just Rmb4 billion ($557.9 million), falling short of the Rmb22 billion ($3.1 billion) quota approved for the fund. Previous QDII launches were sharply oversubscribed.
Z-Ben Advisors says bleak months lie ahead for offshore fund launches because other funds, such as China International, China Southern, Harvest and China Asset Management, have failed to meet investor expectations. Investor confidence might have been dampened by the global sell-off and poor performance in the Hong Kong equity market, in which QDII portfolios are heavily invested.
Meanwhile, Morgan StanleyÆs Wang says the recent string of aggressive rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve will leave the Chinese policymakers with less room to manoeuvre. He believes no rate hike will be imposed in China this year. Instead, policymakers are most likely to speed up renminbi appreciation, and the PeopleÆs Bank of China will likely raise the reserve requirement ratio to slow down monetary growth.
Ma has cut his 2008 growth forecast for China from a previous 10.4% to 10%, factoring in the snowstorm and an export slowdown this year.
Record low borrowing costs in Australia are feeding demand for the country's real estate, with domestic and global investors raising their allocations into the sector.
Experts have a diversified view on the appeal of private assets across the region, but one thing's for certain - inflows are rising, particularly into China and the US.
Malaysia's Armed Forces Fund hires new CEO; Canada's Omers appoints Asia capital markets managing director; HSBC Asset Management creates alternatives unit, appoints CIO as its head; Bank of Singapore names global wealth head; Aware Super hires IFA head; Hong Kong names acting head for MPFA; Schroders adding to Asia ESG headcount; and more.
Asian fixed income assets – including Hong Kong dollar (HKD) bonds – are luring growing numbers of global investors who are striving for reliable and consistent returns amid macro uncertainty compounded by rising inflation and rates, according to HSBC Asset Management.