BANK OF CHINA & ICBC IPOS
In 2006 two of China’s big four banks hold IPOs, starting with Bank of China, the smallest, which raises nearly $10 billion in Hong Kong in May. This is followed by the largest, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) which pulls in just over $19 billion to become the world’s largest ever IPO at the time.
COMMODITIES BOOM PEAKS
The price of raw goods like fuels, metals and agricultural products soars as a commodities ‘supercycle’ nears its peak, spurred by the rapid growth in China, India and Asia’s emerging economies.
GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
Spurred by a downturn in the US housing market, what began as the Wall Street financial crisis quickly spreads through an intertwined global financial system to cripple banks around the world. Whole economies spiral toward their deepest recessions in decades necessitating drastic intervention by governments and central banks. Asia’s economies, now more reliant on global markets than ever, are hit deep and hard with emerging Asian stock prices dropping more than 60% and GDP contracting by an average of 6.2% in Asian countries outside of China and Japan. Yet later, Asia recovers much more quickly than other regions.
STOCK MARKET RECOVERY
After being hit sharply in 2008, Asian equity markets roar back to life in 2009, with some of the sharpest annual gains on record as foreign investors pile back into the growth region. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rises a whopping 52%, but pales in comparison to Shanghai’s 80% leap. South Asian markets, however, take the lead, with the BSE Sensex up 81% and Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange all-share index vaulting 125% higher.
CHINA GDP OVERTAKES JAPAN
China officially becomes Asia’s largest economy in 2010, with a GDP at nearly $5.8 trillion, overtaking Japan as the second-largest in the world. This is the first time in four decades Japan is downgraded to third-largest, coming off a ‘lost decade’ of weak domestic demand and exports that took its economy in and out of contraction. China, in contrast, riding a manufacturing boom and a surging Domestic market enjoys GDP growth rates of close to 10%.