MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
On Tuesday, the International Accounting Standards Board announced a sudden rule change that will allow financial institutions to reclassify assets under ætrading purposesÆ to assets æheld to maturityÆ or æassets for saleÆ, where losses on revaluation do not have to be reflected on a companyÆs profit and loss account.
The rules will directly enhance capital adequacy for investment operations among insurance and pension companies. It will help avoid the unfortunate technical insolvency that led to the sudden demise of Japan's Yamato Life last Sunday.
Thomas Chang, director at the Insurance Bureau of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) in Taiwan, says the bureau is already working on adopting the rules for Taiwan insurers. However, he notes the new rules might be overly abstract and it can take some time for the bureau to iron out details before the new accounting standards come into effect.
While the new rules will help ease the path for Taiwanese financial institutions through the current crisis, critics are already voicing concerns that there are loopholes in the wording of the revised accounting standards that financial institutions may use to take profit.
Lee Shayn Yuan, a former commissioner at the FSC and now a lecturer at the National Taiwan University, estimates TaiwanÆs financial institutions have written off close to $150 billion in the subprime turmoil.
Chang notes that despite the noted losses on foreign exchange and structured products, TaiwanÆs insurance industry is fundamentally sound and is not under any form of immediate financial duress.
Over the past 12 months, the FSC has already pushed forward rules for deregulation of derivative use, offshore investments and the opening up of alternative assets, such as private equity, hedge funds and infrastructure investments.
The FSCÆs current moves to liberalise its markets are in contrast to actions in the US and other western markets where supervisory oversight is being increased.
Although the timing of the liberalisation has unfortunately coincided with a global financial crisis, Chang adds that the FSC is not about to slow down or cast doubt on its work on the financial reforms. Taiwan has a long history of protectionism and the market reforms are well overdue.
Kwap property arm appoints CEO; VFMC names new CEO as Lisa Gray retires; MSIG Singapore promotes Mack Eng as CEO; Monroe Capital opens first Asia office in Seoul, hires head from Aberdeen; Vanguard Australia appoints new MD to relocate from US; HSBC AM expands EM debt team; Vantage FX hires from CGS-CIMB in Singapore; and more.
Financials and healthcare have been spotted as promising sectors, while several tech IPOs are on the way, including a $2.2 billion fintech firm and a GIC-backed e-commerce startup.
A strong recovery in the Asia Pacific private capital markets in 2021 sets up favourable hiring and compensation trends.
The $95 billion Korean savings will set up a separately managed account for real estate debt investment early next year in order to shorten decision-making and help it win deals in a crowded market.