Retail investors may replace pension funds in Asian fixed income

The five-year outlook for Asia remains positive provided the region heeds the lessons learned in the US and moves towards opening up onshore markets to offshore investors, say panellists.

When Veronique Lafon-Vinais, adjunct associate professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, asked her panel of three at the AsianInvestor and FinanceAsia debt forum last week to look into their crystal balls, they said they saw a rosy future for fixed-income securities.

They also concluded that the current growth in local currency markets is the result of a strong domestic bid and, unless key markets are opened up to international investors, that growth could be capped.

A lot of markets are very domestic and aren't attracting an offshore investor base, said Peter Sengelmann, fixed-income specialist with Western Asset Management.

For example, Indonesia currently has a ...

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