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Asian bond market report
Capital flows into emerging East Asian bond markets remained strong as investors chased yields during the first half of the year. Relatively strong economic fundamentals, interest rate differentials, and the potential appreciation of regional currencies acted as the key pull factors for these countries to offer higher yield on relatively longer tenure bonds.
Issue Date - 13/10/2011
Indices heading south again

Unresolved sovereign debt issues in the United States and the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis has jolted investors’ confidence on global asset markets. Rising risk aversion has sharply dragged down global equity markets, particularly in the aftermath of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgrade of US sovereign debt. However, considering the baseline scenario, MSCI indices show that the Emerging Europe stock markets have been the worst affected lot since the 2008 financial crisis. And the scenario has been further aggravated by the sovereign debt crises in mature markets and the potential impact on the wider economy. This has led investors to re-think their definitions of risk-free and risky assets and prompted safe haven flows into gold, the bonds of higher rated corporates.

Us stands tall at the top spot

As suggested by an Asian Development Bank report, demand for local currency (LCY) government bonds picked up in the middle of 2010 and remained strong throughout the first half of 2011. Overall, there has been a bullish flattening of yield curves in most markets; in many cases there has been a downward shift of the entire yield curve. Total LCY bonds outstanding in emerging East Asia grew 2.4% on a quarterly basis in 2Q11 to reach $5.5 trillion, with growth driven more by the region’s corporate markets rather than its larger government markets. The most rapidly growing corporate bond markets in 2Q11 were Indonesia (8.9%), the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (6.3%), Malaysia (4.9%), and Singapore (4.7%).


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