Comprehensive country-by-country macroeconomic analysis, risk appraisals, latest market data and forecasts for Asia


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Key stories from this month's issue...

Economic Analysis - Mini Construction Boom Set To Slow - JAN 2015

Australasia & South Pacific November 2014 / Australia / Economy

In the face of a stagnating manufacturing sector and renewed weakness in service sector activity, Australia's construction industry has been a bright spot in the economy this year, but growth looks set to slow over the coming quarters. Meanwhile, the sharp increase in residential property prices has reduced affordability and raised the potential for a negative price shock, posing a risk to residential property construction, as well as the broader economy.


Risk Summary - Hong Kong - FEB 2015

China & North East Asia January 2015 / Hong Kong / Political Risk

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying issued a warning on December 1 to pro-democracy protesters against illegal road blockades outside the government's head offices. According to Leung, police had been tolerant, but would take resolute action to disperse the protesters, who plotted to paralyse the government. Protest sites were systematically cleared over the course of the month, and active participation in the 'Occupy' movement has almost completely disappeared. While the movement will not be completely eradicated, we do not expect large-scale public protests to return in the near future.


Risk Summary - Nepal - FEB 2015

South Asia January 2015 / Nepal / Political Risk

Nepal will continue to be courted by China and India over the coming years, as the two Asian giants seek to expand their sphere of influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. We believe the struggle for dominance between Beijing and New Delhi will allow Nepal to reap economic gains, mainly in the form of investment, over the coming years. Indeed, China and India have increased their investment in Nepal to help the country develop its hydropower sector. In addition, following bilateral talks between China and Nepal on December 26, 2014, Beijing reportedly pledged to boost financial aid to Nepal by more than five folds, from the current RMB15bn to about RMB80bn, to assist the latter with its socio-economic development.


Risk Summary - Laos - FEB 2015

South East Asia Vol 1 January 2015 / Laos / Political Risk

We expect Laos to maintain a stable political environment over the coming years, as the country's only legal party, the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), will continue to hold a tight rein on power. This will ensure a strong continuity of government policies in the country. The largely positive economic outlook for the country despite several potential growth headwinds ahead will also bode well for domestic politics. That said, political liberalisation will remain hard to come by. This owes largely to the strong desire of the LPRP to maintain its tight grip on power through continued political oppression against any kind of opposition to its governance. Growing public dissent against authoritarian rule will therefore continue to undermine the country's long-term political trajectory.


Risk Summary - Indonesia - FEB 2015

South East Asia Vol 2 January 2015 / Indonesia / Economy