StanChart:Asia fundamentals still robust

StanChart:Asia fundamentals still robust

In times of market volatility such as these, we must look at the economic fundamentals to separate the "signal" from the "noise".

The key question today is: Are the emerging markets fundamentally broken, or is this a brief phase in which investors re-adjust their portfolios in the light of the United States recovery becoming more sustainable?

In Asia, the downward growth trend in China has been singled out as a potential trigger for a regionwide downturn.

Additionally, rising debt levels among Asian governments, companies and consumers following the global financial crisis, encouraged by unusually low interest rates, have raised concerns.

In China, the government is overseeing an economic soft landing because one of its strategic objectives is to restructure the economy from one which is driven by high levels of investment and exports to one driven by local consumption.

Thus, it should not come as a surprise that economic reform, rather than economic stimulus, is the rage in Beijing today.

The recent action taken by the central bank to tighten short-term funding for banks is also part of the transformation process, weaning the economy off ultra-loose liquidity. This leads to the rising concerns about debt levels across Asia.

Standard Chartered Bank's recent study shows that an analysis of this issue needs to be carefully nuanced.

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