Markets

Is South Korea Facing 'Lost Decades'?


In recent years, the South Korean economy has slowed significantly. South Korea’s average annual growth rate has fallen from a high of 9.8 percent in the 1980s to an average of just 2.7 percent over the last five years.

Many of the big South Korean industrial giants, such as Samsung and Hyundai, have increasingly moved their new investments abroad to low-cost regions in South Asia and Eastern Europe.

Emerging Markets Boosted by Lower Rates


Scratch an investor, and you will find two models.  One is a fair value model, perhaps based on free-cash-flow or earnings expectations, or breakup value.  The other is based on liquidity.  We suspect that the latter is overwhelming the former in the emerging market equity space. 

The ECB and BOJ are easing policy aggressively.  The BOJ has indicated it will conduct a comprehensive review next month.  The only pre-condition BOJ Governor Kuroda has indicated is that the BOJ will not do less. 

South Korea's High Growth Model has its Shortcomings


Just a few decades ago, South Korea was seen as a model for achieving both growth and equity. In the past half-century, South Korea has gone from being one of the poorest societies in the world to an advanced industrialised economy, joining the OECD in 1996. The country’s rapid industrialisation and export-led development are often cited as an example of ‘compressed growth and transformation’ in the developing world.

How did China's Productivity Find a Lower Gear?


China’s substantive economic slowdown following the 2008–09 global financial crisis has added fuel to the long-running debate over the sustainability of China’s growth model. Despite the government’s unprecedented stimulus package, the official statistics — though often accused of exaggerating real performance, especially in times of crisis — show that China nearly halved its pace of growth, from 13.5 percent per annum in 2005–07 to about 7 percent per annum in 2013–15.

Thailand Coup Leaders' Democracy is Lacking


More than two years since the coup, Thailand’s political situation remains volatile. The coup leaders have vowed to make Thailand more democratic and commit to political reforms. Yet the first draft of the military-sponsored constitution was rejected a year ago. The military was compelled to set up a new drafting commission, this time led by Meechai Ruchupan, a pro-junta legal expert, with a mission to win support from the populace for the new constitution.

Fiji's Rabuka Returns to Lead SODELPA


In September 2014, Prime Minster Voreqe Bainimarama’s FijiFirst party swept to victory in an election that heralded Fiji’s return to elected government, almost eight years after Bainimarama seized power in a military coup. In securing his position as a democratically elected leader, Bainimarama also confirmed a political truism in Fijian politics: whoever assumes power because of a coup, consolidates power through the first post-coup ballot.

Australians are Learning that They Need to Know the Chinese Languages


A spate of recently released policy documents from state governments in Australia speak clearly of China’s growing economic significance to their future. Each predicts rosy opportunities for two-way investment and a large bounty from inbound tourist flows.

Contained within the action plans are the means to realise these dreams through engagement, building relationships and the development of partnerships in terms, which express a shift from the transactional contact through trade to the interactional contact of service relationships.