Are Asia’s bond markets ready for the scrum? As technology seeps into our daily lives, it is only a matter of time before technology makes its presence felt in the region’s bond markets. It has happened in other markets. For instance, nearly three-quarters of the FX turnover in Asia, representing over US$1 trillion a day, is via electronic platforms.
Out of the ashes of the Asian financial crisis two decades ago, local currency bond markets have emerged. Today, the size of these markets is a testament to the painstaking efforts by governments, the private sector and financial institutions to work in unison to lay the foundation blocks towards their development. Bonds are now firmly established as an alternative to loans, serving as another platform to fulfill the region’s financing needs.
As Asia’s bond markets enter the next decade of growth, operating conditions have changed markedly. A region that once struggled out of the debacle of the late 1990s meltdown is now an oasis of economic stability and the driver of global economic growth, especially since the great financial crisis of 2008. China has emerged to become the world’s second largest economy. Its bond market is now the world’s third largest, placed behind the United States and Japan.
Meanwhile, technology is sweeping aside the old ways and ushering in the new. Business models are being re-imagined as attention shifts from selling products to offering seamless experience-based solutions to satisfy emotional needs. Big data, artificial intelligence and cloud-based technology, as well as distributed ledger technology, otherwise known as blockchain, gain traction across industries. These sweeping changes will define the future of the global marketplace.
For Asia’s bond markets, they present both challenges and opportunities. With its history of steady growth, bond markets are at a crossroads. Continue along the same path, the risk is to become irrelevant, especially for the smaller markets in the region. Embrace change, while not risk free, and the promise exists for markets to be transformed in time to reap the rewards flowing from Asia’s emerging middle class, particularly as this sector shifts from savings to investing.
With change a constant, the next phase of growth will need concentrated minds as governments and regulators continue to collaborate across national borders. Deepening and broadening the participation profile in domestic markets should remain a priority. Adopting an agile mindset and re-imagining how bond markets should operate in an ideal world might be key. Opportunities to implement new approaches in a bid to improve market access should be explored, whether they are from a capital-raising standpoint or enabling greater investor participation. After all, bond markets have an important role to play. This could be to finance worthwhile productive economic activity or, as part of a broader agenda of inclusive growth, a role that reflects the principles of environmental, social and governance standards.
The Asset events are the perfect size to offer the best of both worlds to our delegates, our conferences are highly interactive and each offers a unique forum where both speakers and delegates can contribute and learn and our clients can forge new and profitable business relationships to help the industry advance.
Sponsoring or exhibiting at The Asset 13th Asian Bond Markets Summit 2018 is a prime opportunity to put your products and services in front of key industry players and decision makers.
Depending on your goals and level of sponsorship required, a benefits package can be designed to target a particular audience or broad group. Features include prime speaking positions on the main programme, a large exhibition in the main networking room offering suppliers a platform to network and showcase their solutions and intimate roundtable discussions, enabling vendors to promote their services and expertise in interactive sessions.
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