FinanceAsia Magazine

Issue: May/June 2017

 

T

he age of infrastructure is upon us. 

Around $26 trillion is needed to fund infrastructure in developing Asia Pacific from now until 2030, according to Asian Development Bank estimates. This is hardly a new problem; emerging Asia’s people have long struggled against decrepit roads and unreliable power sources. But now, at least, governments are starting to wake up.

The Philippines is a promising example. Carlos Dominguez, the new finance minister, is taking a much more direct approach than his predecessors, pledging a major boost in government spending and overseas development assistance.  

Infrastructure investment is getting increased emphasis throughout the region, and Asian finance ministers could do a lot worse than follow the lead of Dominguez. The move will suck away a source of loan demand for the country’s banks, but senior bankers in the country admit they have little to complain about (see page 28). 

There are questions about how much foreign investors will fund Asian infrastructure. It is fair to assume that most private sector infrastructure projects will be driven by domestic investors. This is partly because conglomerates — which are dominant in many countries in the region — can extract manifold benefits from improving infrastructure. Foreign investors need the asset to pay  for itself.

But foreign investors should not be overlooked as a source of financing and knowledge, and joint ventures with local partners can offer the best of both worlds. These partnerships are starting to happen, but there is a downside — a rise in cross-border infrastructure disputes (see page 78). 

Infrastructure investment is essential. But it is also an area that faces profound difficulties, and raises serious questions.

FinanceAsia will continue to cover the infrastructure story in emerging Asia over the coming years. We only hope it is a story with a happy ending — and one that doesn’t drag on too long in the first act.

 

About FinanceAsia Magazine

Established in 1996, FinanceAsia is the leading publisher of financial news in the Asia-Pacific region. Our combination of print and online products provide the latest news, analysis and insight into Asia’s financial markets.

Published monthly from our office in Hong Kong, FinanceAsia magazine provides our readers with the latest financial trends, interviews, features and investigative reports. The publication has a readership of key decision-makers at corporations, governments, investment and commercial banks, institutional investors, asset managers, brokers, traders and financial intermediaries.

Our regular sections include:

Data Story
We look at the key data behind a topical theme in Asian finance, showcased with an array of graphs and tables.

Greenshoe
A monthly opinion column from the FinanceAsia editorial team. We provide our thoughts on a topic making the headlines.

Deal of the Month
Our regular two-page spread with its signature artwork and in-depth analysis examines the equity, debt or M&A deal that we feel has had the biggest impact on the Asian capital markets that month.

Investor Dialogue
For company CEOs and CFOs, what investors think is a critical concern, and in this column we help them understand just this. Each month we speak to a Chief Investment Officer of a top fund and outline their views on corporate governance, what stocks they like and where they expect to generate the best returns.

Soapbox
A monthly opinion piece from a respected author or commentator on Asian business, finance or economics.

People on the Move
Here we summarise the key hires, fires and moves at the region’s banks, highlighting at least one major move each month.

Deal Tracker
We examine the major primary markets deals of the month and comment on the quality of the debt or equity transaction and the secondary market performance.

The Arts of Finance
A light-hearted look at investment opportunities surrounding the arts business in Asia.

 

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