FinanceAsia turns 20

FinanceAsia is about to enter its third decade. We invite you to help us celebrate through stories dedicated to the past and future 20 years of Asia's financial markets.

"It was 20 years ago today" as the Beatles once so memorably sang.

And soon FinanceAsia will be celebrating its own 20th anniversary with the July magazine dedicated to the past and future two decades of Asian financial markets development.

In some respects 20 years may not seem that long ago, yet much has changed over the past two decades. 

When FA published its first issue in 1996, the internet had not become a reality for much of the planet. Less than 1% of the world's population was online compared to 40% today and most of them were in the US.

Back then, corporate financiers spent most of their time in China dismantling the "iron rice bowl" as they helped the government to corporatise entities that typically embraced entire towns including their respective hospitals and schools.

Much of the rest of Asia was liberally borrowing short-term, dollar-denominated debt. As the "Asian Century" approached, many were convinced the only way was up for their economies and currencies. 

The Asian Financial Crisis was to prove everyone wrong, but among the many positive changes it ushered in was the development of domestic debt capital markets across the region.

Today, Asia is richer and more powerful in both absolute and relative terms than it was then. China and India have been turning into global powerhouses, with the Centre for Economics & Business Research forecasting that China will be the world's largest economy in GDP terms by 2029 and India number three. 

But while the capital being generated in the region means Asia can increasingly finance itself, we have still not completely given up on "irrational exuberance," as China's stock market rise and fall so amply demonstrated last year.

What will the next 20-years hold? Our special anniversary issues across our digital platform will not only look back at the key trends and developments, which have affected the region to date, but see where they may take us over the coming two decades.

And because we now live in a digital age that content will also be published online as well as in the July magazine. Indeed, you may have noticed the 20th anniversary logo, which has gone live on our website - itself now 16-years old: one of the success stories from the turn-of-the century dotcom boom.

Editorial highlights for the special issue include a cover story and related backward and forward-looking timelines spanning the past 20 years and peering 20 years into the future. 

FA will also be changing along with the industry as our platform constantly evolves to better suit readers needs'. Announcements will follow on this in the coming months. 

Remember this? FA Issue I 

In a separate competition, to be announced shortly, we will be asking you for your forecasts (humorous and serious) for what may come to pass over the coming two decades. 

When, for example, do we believe the Fed, ECB and BOJ will be able to "normalise" their interest rate policies?

Or will the world continue sinking ever deeper into negative yields, leaving the insurance funds of 2036 desperately clinging on to century bonds as the last instruments offering a positive return? Some people are even forecasting we will all be living well beyond 100 by then - perhaps forever, if the futurologist Ray Kurzweil is to be believed.

Our July issue will also feature a series of op-eds from some of the leading personalities who have helped shape Asia's financial markets over the past 20-years.

Contributors include: the global CEO of one of the world's largest banks; the global head of consumer banking at another; the CEO of a regional bank; a regional finance minister; a global CIO; an Asian regulator; the CEO of a leading regional corporate brand and more.

Each will each give their views on what has been achieved over the past 20-years, plus the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.  


In addition we plan to examine our awards and polls plus the financial data we have accumulated over the past 20-years to make a series of awards to those financial institutions and corporations that have consistently provided quality and innovation to their clients.

Awards in the pan-regional banking categories will cover:

  • Best Bank
  • Best Investment Bank
  • Best Private Bank
  • Best Equity House
  • Best Debt House
  • Best M&A House

We also plan to announce winners on a country-by-country basis, although some countries will not include winners for every category.

The countries will span the breadth of Asia Pacific: Australia; Bangladesh; China; Hong Kong, India; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mongolia; Pakistan; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Taiwan; Thailand; Vietnam.

  • Theses awards will cover:  
  • Best Domestic Bank
  • Best Domestic Investment Bank
  • Best International Investment Bank
  • Best Equity House/Broker
  • Best Bond House
  • Best Domestic Private Bank
  • Best International Bank
  • Best International Investment Bank

Where companies are concerned, our panel of editors will examine our annual Asia’s Best Companies poll over the past 20-years (with a weighting towards recent successes) to judge the companies that have been consistently valued for the quality of their management and strategy.

The categories will be as follows:

  • Asia’s best company by industry sector covering: Conglomerate; Consumer; Financials; Industrials; Natural Resources; Real Estate; Power; Technology; Telecoms; Transport.
  • Best managed company by country covering: China; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; South Korea; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Taiwan; Thailand.

FinanceAsia has come a long way in 20-years. We look forward to celebrating this landmark event with you and welcome any editorial suggestions or interaction with our readers to help make this a magazine to remember. 

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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