FiNETIK – Asia and Latin America – Market News Network

Asia and Latin America News Network focusing on Financial Markets, Energy, Environment, Commodity and Risk, Trading and Data Management

Mexico replaces China as U.S. Supplier with no Wage Gains.

Bloomberg 15.06.2012 – Julio Don Juan makes $400 a month at a noisy, cramped Mexico City call center. Without a raise in three years, he says he had to pull his 7-year-old son out of a special-needs school he can no longer afford.

In some places he might seek another job. Not in Mexico, where wages after inflation have risen at an annual pace of 0.4 percent since 2005 — worse than other nations in the region including Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay, according to the International Labour Organization. Close to a third of Mexicans toil in the informal economy without steady income. Julio Don Juan says many would envy him.

The cheap labor that is helping Mexico surpass China as a low-cost supplier of manufacturing goods to the U.S. — and lured companies including Nissan Motor Co. (7201) — has restrained progress for many of the country’s 112 million citizens. While Enrique Pena Nieto, the front-runner in polls to capture the July 1 presidential vote, has said wages are too low, whoever wins confronts the challenge of boosting workers’ incomes but not so much that assembly lines leave for other markets.

“The trick isn’t only to pay better salaries, it’s to make raises more sustainable,” said Sergio Luna, chief economist at Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex unit in Mexico City. “We have to be more productive, but it won’t be easy because it implies changing the status quo.”

Mexico’s low wages, cheap peso and surging auto shipments to the U.S. — which buys 80 percent of its exports — have increased manufacturing competitiveness during the past decade as labor costs in China and Japan have risen.

Sounder Footing

This has put Mexico’s economy on a sounder footing than Brazil’s to weather a prolonged global downturn. After trailing growth in Latin America’s biggest economy during the past decade — and watching as a commodities boom allowed Brazil to increase wages an annual average 3.4 percent above inflation from 2005 to 2011 — Mexico is poised to outperform Brazil for the second consecutive year.

President Felipe Calderon’s government forecasts gross domestic product will expand 3.5 percent this year and says exports will probably surpass a 2011 record of $350 billion. By contrast, Brazil will grow around 2.5 percent, according to a central bank survey of economists this month.

“A changing of the guard is slowly but surely taking place,” Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) analysts wrote in a May report. “Ten years from now, we are confident that Mexico will likely be seen as having become the most dynamic economy in the region.”

Trade Agreements

Low wages aren’t Mexico’s only attraction: Inflation that reached 180 percent in 1988 has been kept under control by a central bank that since January 2010 has been under the stewardship of Agustin Carstens. The former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund has kept the benchmark rate at 4.5 percent since taking office, helping to fuel a rally in government bonds.

Investors also benefit from laws that limit the government deficit and trade accords with more than 30 nations, including the North American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Canada. Mexico also offers savings for companies that want to be closer to American consumers, after a tripling of oil prices in the past decade raised transportation costs for Asian manufacturers.

Nissan, Japan’s second-largest automaker, shifted production of low-cost cars to Thailand and Mexico in recent years to counter losses as the yen appreciated, while Mexico’s peso slumped 18 percent in the past six years against the U.S. dollar. The company’s Mexican output hit a record 607,087 cars and light-duty trucks last year, rising 20 percent from 2010.

The latest company to expand operations is Plantronics Inc. (PLT), which this month announced a $30 million investment after closing its plant in China as wages began rising there, said Cesar Lopez Ramos, the company’s Mexico legal representative.

Human Capital

Mexico has proven more attractive for the Santa Cruz, California-based headset maker because of its steady wages and “human capital that is more developed and capable of not only making products but innovating,” Lopez Ramos said in a telephone interview from Tijuana.

Some Mexicans criticize Calderon’s National Action Party, or PAN, for not spreading the benefits of economic stability more widely during 12 years of rule. In the absence of a stronger domestic market, jobs remain heavily dependent on U.S. consumers and foreign-operated assembly plants, known as maquiladoras. Unemployment, currently at 4.9 percent, has been more than double a 2000 low of 2.2 percent since 2009.

“We’re scraping by,” said Julio Don Juan, 37, the call- center worker. “Because costs keep rising, I’m actually getting a pay cut each year, rather than a raise.” He lives with his parents, who help him care for his son.

Low Inflation

Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari says that low inflation and expanded social programs have reduced poverty during the past dozen years and stemmed declines in purchasing power from previous decades, he told reporters May 8 in Mexico City. The share of Mexicans suffering from food poverty — lack of access to healthy, nutritious meals — fell to 19 percent in 2010 from 24 percent in 2000, according to government data.

A press official from the Mexican finance ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Partly as a result of muted wage growth, Mexico’s per- capita GDP has risen 48 percent since 1999 on a purchasing- power-parity basis, the least among Latin America’s seven biggest economies, according to the IMF. By comparison, Venezuela climbed 51 percent, Brazil increased 73 percent and Peru more than doubled.

Time Lost

The lack of opportunities has spurred an exodus of 12 million Mexicans to the U.S. in the past four decades, more than half illegally, according to a study published in April by the Washington-based Pew Research Center. While net migration dropped to zero between 2005 and 2010, and some Mexican immigrants may be returning home because of the weak U.S. job market, departures northward could resume if the U.S. expansion picks up, Pew said.

“We need to make up for time lost over the past four or five years in the area of employment and salaries,” former President Vicente Fox, of Calderon’s PAN party, said in a May 2 interview in Mexico City. “The challenge for the next government is very big.”

Poor Performance

Boosting Mexico’s productivity won’t be easy, given the poor performance of the country’s schools and the size of its underground economy, which the government says employs 29 percent of the workforce.

The nation’s education system ranks last out of 34 countries for enrolled high school-age students, behind regional rivals Chile, Argentina and Brazil, according to a 2011 study by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The study included non-OECD members.

Improving education and generating better-paying jobs may also help the next government turn the tide in the battle against the nation’s drug cartels. A bloody turf war between rival gangs has claimed more than 47,000 lives since Calderon took office in 2006 and the government estimates that the drug war shaves 1.2 percentage points off economic output annually.

Skill Shortages

Delphi Automotive Plc (DLPH), the former parts unit of General Motors Co. (GM), has been addressing the skilled-labor shortage by training engineering students at its factories in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. About half of the Troy, Michigan-based company’s global workforce of 101,000 is employed in its 46 Mexico plants, compared with less than 30 percent in China.

While wages for some engineering jobs are rising, Delphi isn’t concerned that salaries will spike anytime soon, said Enrique Calvillo, the company’s human-resources manager in Mexico.

“We are always monitoring this, and we don’t see the possibility of an extreme boom in the next two or three years,” he said in a telephone interview from Ciudad Juarez.

That’s bad news for Antonio Chavero, who makes less than $1,000 a month as an engineering supervisor with three decades of experience in the car industry and who works at a parts plant in the central state of Queretaro. While he does metalwork in his basement to supplement his income and support his daughter, who is a teenage mother, his family still doesn’t earn enough to eat meat more than once a week, he said.

“I supervise 15 workers,” Chavero said. “I should be making more money.”

Source: Bloomberg, 15.06.2012   Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net; Eric Martin in Mexico City at emartin21@bloomberg.net

Filed under: Brazil, China, Mexico, News, , , , , , , ,

China Financial Futures Exchange & NYSE Euronext sign MOU

Exchanges enter agreement to develop futures and options markets in Europe, US and China

Beijing, Hong Kong, London, New York – NYSE Euronext (NYX) and the China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote a bilateral partnership to support the development of the exchanges futures and options markets.

The agreement was designed to explore opportunities for extending the reach of both exchanges. The MOU will enable the two exchanges to explore opportunities for information sharing; exchanging and training employees; as well as business cooperation such as joint research into developing strategies for the derivatives market.

“Asia is a strategic priority for NYSE Euronext and we are delighted to partner with Mr. Yuchen and his colleagues at the China Financial Futures Exchange,” said Duncan L. Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer, NYSE Euronext. “This agreement deepens our long term commitment to the region, and by sharing best practices and working collaboratively, CFFEX and NYSE Euronext will further promote the development and advancement of both the Asian and global financial markets.”

Garry Jones, Group Executive Vice President and Head of Global Derivatives, NYSE Euronext, said: “We have customers who trade our derivatives contracts all over Asia and this MOU with the China Financial Futures Exchange – along with our physical presence in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo – further illustrates our commitment to Asian markets. We look forward to unlocking efficiencies and trading opportunities in both markets by working closely and sharing expertise with the CFFEX.”

“This collaboration will further develop both exchanges derivatives markets and facilitate the experiences of our customers and NYSE Euronext’s,” said Zhu Yuchen, Chief Executive Officer , Chinese Financial Futures Exchange.

Source: Automated Trader, 16.05.2012

Filed under: China, Exchanges, , , , , , ,

China Insight: QDII Program Overview and Technical Challenges; More Bank Reforms to come? – KapronAsia

Reform in China’s Banking Sector: More to come?

In recent years, Chinese banking sector profits have skyrocketed to new levels, in part due to the Beijing imposed ceiling on the rates banks pay depositors, providing banks with a source of cheap funds, which banks then in turn lend out at much higher rates. Net profits for commercial banks grew 36 percent last year, reaching 1 trillion Renminbi. Chinese banks are enjoying year-on-year rises of more than 30 percent in their first-half net profits. In one example, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s fees and commission income for the year 2011 was close to 100 billion RMB, compared to 72 billion in 2010 and 55 billion in 2009.

The Technical Challenges for QDII Funds in 2012

Since the first QDII quota of US$500 million was allocated to the HuaAn fund in 2006, the quota allocated to security companies and fund companies has maintained steady growth. As of the end of February 2012, US$44.4 billion of investment quota was allocated to fund companies and security companies, compared to US$44.4 billion and US$40.6 billion for 2011 and 2010.

Overview of the QDII Program in China
The QDII (Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor) program was first launched in 2004 initially for insurance companies to invest their foreign exchange funds in the Chinese companies traded in overseas markets, with PingAn insurance company being the first institutional investor to receive a QDII quota of US$8.89 billion. Since then, the program has expanded and now allows institutional investors, including commercial banks, security companies, fund companies, insurance companies and trust funds to raise funds in mainland China and invest in offshore capital markets under the control of China’s foreign exchange regulator.

Disaster Recovery for Chinese Banks
In recent years, since Chinese banks have been working on data consolidation at the national level, the establishment of disaster recovery systems has become one of the key considerations for banks. Today, banks must ensure the stability and security of their national data center in the event of a disaster to ensure uninterrupted business operation through disaster recovery systems.

Source: KapronAsia, 15.05.2012

Filed under: China, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , , ,

China QFII quota increase April 2012

International asset managers are preparing to apply for the expanded quotas for China’s qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) scheme and its renminbi-denominated equivalent (RQFII), but the opening will benefit only some.

Last week the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said it would increase the total quota for the QFII scheme to $80 billion from $30 billion. At the same time, it released a second batch of RQFII quotas of Rmb50 billion ($7.92 billion), which will be used for A-share exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed in Hong Kong.

“Even though the additional $50 billion QFII quota and Rmb50 billion under RQFII are not significant amounts for the A-share market, they still have a positive impact,” says Shenzhen-based Da Cheng Fund Management.

Unlike the first batch of RQFII quotas (Rmb20 billion released last December), which were shared by 21 Hong Kong subsidiaries of Chinese fund managers and securities firms, the second batch will only be granted to a few experienced managers.

“We have been preparing for this product for many months and we are confident we will be one of the managers to get the RQFII ETF quota,” says Michelle Chua, regional head of business development at Harvest Global Investors, the international arm of Beijing-based Harvest Fund Management.

The existing A-share ETFs offered in Hong Kong are mostly synthetic (swaps-based) products, but RQFII will broaden the range of physically backed products.

The new ETFs will directly invest in A-shares, explains Chua, so that “there will be no counterparty risk, no p-note [participation note] cost and no foreign exchange difference, as the ETF currency denomination [in renminbi] is the same as [that of] the underlying investments”.

Harvest FMC and Huatai Pinebridge were the two managers that jointly launched the CSI 300 ETF, the first cross-market ETF tracking stocks listed on both the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges.

The CSRC will take the RQFII pilot scheme to the next level by expanding its scale, allowing more types of financial institutions to participate and more flexibility in terms of asset allocation.

For the QFII scheme, the previous ceiling was lifted from $10 billion to $30 billion in 2007 after the China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue took place. The increase of $50 billion this time is hailed by local media as “unprecedented”.

Since the QFII scheme commenced in 2003, the CSRC has granted licences to 158 foreign financial institutions from 23 countries and regions. They include 82 asset managers, 11 insurance firms, 23 commercial banks, 13 securities companies and 29 other institutions, such as sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and endowment funds.

The CSRC says 129 out of the 158 qualifiers have obtained a total of $24.5 billion in QFII quotas. As of March 23, 74.5% of the assets in the QFII accounts were invested in the domestic stock market, 13.7% in bonds and 9.6 % in bank deposits. The total holding of QFIIs counts for 1.09% of the market capitalisation of domestic A-shares.

Z-Ben Advisors views the latest changes as “unambiguous signals of China’s intent to attract more offshore investors and a sign that market investments will play a key role in the government’s plan to internationalise the Rmb”.

The Shanghai-based consultancy suggests that, in the short term, asset managers in the QFII application queue should expect accelerated approvals.

Regulators have already upped the pace of approvals since the end of last year. In March, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange granted a record $2.11 billion of quotas to 15 companies, compared with a total quota of $1.87 billion handed out during 2011.

“The QFII programme enhances our experience of monitoring cross-border securities investment and capital flows,” the CSRC says. “The QFIIs, mainly overseas long-term value investors, have diversified the domestic investor structure, upgraded the quality of listed companies and promoted the international recognition of domestic capital markets.”

Source: Asian Investor, 10.04.2012

Filed under: China, News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

China Insight: QDII updates, Disparated Financial Standards and new Market Reforms – KapronAsia

Overview of the QDII Program in China

The QDII (Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor) program was first launched in 2004 initially for insurance companies to invest their foreign exchange funds in the Chinese companies traded in overseas markets, with PingAn insurance company being the first institutional investor to receive a QDII quota of US$8.89 billion. Since then, the program has expanded and now allows institutional investors, including commercial banks, security companies, fund companies, insurance companies and trust funds to raise funds in mainland China and invest in offshore capital markets under the control of China’s foreign exchange regulator.

China’s Disparate Financial Standards

China’s financial standardization lags behind the relatively rapid development of the financial industry globally and has yet to meet the demands of technology innovation and business expansion. This can slow the pace of technology advancement as competing standards add layers of complexity and make it more difficult to come up with straightforward technology solutions to clients’ problems. The PBOC has realized that financial standardization does and will continue to play a pivotal role in financial informationization and regards standardization work as an important strategic measure to promote China’s financial industry.

Further Reform of China’s Stock Markets in 2012
After being stuck in a bear market for the past few years, China’s stock market hasn’t kept up with the country that has become the world’s second largest economy following the U.S.. Facing this bear stock market, Guo Shuqing, the new chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), seems confident in China’s stock market, saying that the blue chips in China’s stock market are of real value, although overhaul and reform are necessary now to move the market forward. He has raised several new ideas that may contribute to this needed reform.

Source: KapronAsia, 10.04.2012

Filed under: China, Exchanges, Standards, , , , , , , , , ,

Emerging Markets: Energy or Enigma? Mexico, Brazil & China – Dan Watkins

Emerging market trading strategies should remain closely aligned with inter-country trade relations, or so one would think.

A professional stock investor’s interest in a company, after all, coincides with that company’s vision and operational policies. Would such a metric be appropriate in trading an entire economy? Interestingly, popular opinion leans toward headlines rather than fundamentals as being the key determining factor.

That raises a question: Can a market investor be expected to trade a country’s equity, commodity or currency without being able to derive its true value on a balance sheet?

One would gather from the latest international finance journals that China and its markets dominate the emerging markets dialogue. Sure, China and the U.S. have strong trade programs in place but there are issues such as currency valuation headaches that must be considered.

The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries all have exponential growth potential both short-term and long-term and can be considered underdeveloped vs. their population participation. Capital market returns usually delineate the leader of the pack so among the “fantastic-four” BRIC countries, Brazil reigns supreme.

Brazil has had unrelenting stamina in moving high-energy, high-value energy companies’ stocks higher over the last half decade. One reason for Brazil’s success is its massive capital markets restructuring in policy, participation and innovation. Of course the first thing Brazil had to do was stabilize its currency from its inflation plague so that the Real could sustain itself against economic and political monetary fatigue.

Brazil is on top of asset manager and retirement account lists in equity, equity options, futures contracts and fixed income because of the basis of its economic stability and strong natural resources. So while Brazil has brought equilibrium to its markets, Russia, India and China deal with inflation. But trading Brazil can also be worrisome due to inter-country trade relations with the U.S. being less-than-favorable.

Those issues raise an interesting question: What market doesn’t make the news but is hot, has been hot and continues to sizzle like fajitas-picante?   MEXICO

News stories on Mexico cover drug war violence, immigration and tourism, but is that the end of the story? Washington – and therefore public discourse – has focused on the $100 billion in trade to China over the last year. What most don’t hear is that the U.S. has exported nearly $400 billion to Mexico during the same time period. Compare all BRIC countries with Mexico and Mexico tops them all collectively.

Mexico reached 4 percent annual GDP growth rate last year, helped by direct investments from the U.S. and China. On the day the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would maintain its low interest rate policy through 2014, the Mexican peso rose 0.6 percent, marking a 7 percent climb for the month of January. How many other markets can be traded as strongly in response to a U.S. Treasury policy announcement?

If Mexico were to equitize or make public its oil production industry as Brazil has, by publicly trading leading oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex, for example, a major trade explosion in Mexico’s capital markets would quickly follow. Pemex is a Mexican state-owned company worth over $415 billion – that’s $100 billion in assets more than Brazil’s giant Petrobras.

Mexico worth more than Brazil and China long term? Mexico reaches higher ground four times that in trade over the entire BRIC countries. One of Mexico’s oil companies is four times the size in assets over Brazil’s all-star Petrobras. What’s more, Mexico’s inflation is under 5 percent while Brazil, Russia, India and China all have inflation rates closer to 7 percent.

A reflection of U.S. involvement and stabilizing influence in Mexico can be seen in the Mexican stock market with more than 1,000 symbols, many of which are high value and liquid ADRs from the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq OMX.

Why not follow the money? Taking a look at the presence of Wall Street on La Reforma in Mexico City, where the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (the Mexican Stock Exchange) is, you’ll find BMV members such a Citigroup, JPMC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Scotia, ING and UBS. No small potatoes there.

The top players and astute institutional investors are solidly positioned in Mexico. They monitor and believe they can best forecast movement in the market by keeping an eye on U.S. and Chinese import/exports with Mexico. A closer eye is kept on the cash equity ADRs and the Mexican bond markets. Many investors tend to believe that Mexico is just undervalued and other emerging markets are overvalued. But one more thing to remember, the U.S./Mexico trade policy should provide Mexico with lots of energy to outlast the steam of the emerging markets chatter.

Perhaps we should start thinking about MBRICs?

By Dan  Watkins, CC-Speed (dwatkins@cc-speed.com)

Sourc: TABB Forum, 07.03.2012

Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, BMV - Mexico, Brazil, China, Exchanges, Mexico, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shanghai Stock Exchange takes on HFT speculators, amongst other global exchanges

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) has become the latest bourse to signal a crackdown on the huge number of messages high-frequency traders generate.

Having carried out research into trader speculation and its effect on the market, the Chinese exchange operator has vowed to take on the issue with “both technique and system”.The SSE will impose trading limits on accounts “with such abnormal trading behaviors as making orders in a large sum or at high prices, or conducting frequent false orders and withdrawals”.Firms that continue to break the new rules will be designated unqualified investors, facing trading restrictions for several days and referral to the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Yesterday US operators Nasdaq OMX and Direct Edge outlined plans to fine high-frequency traders for carrying out too many cancelled orders, following a path already taken in Europe by Deutsche Börse and Borsa Italiana.

The Shanghai bourse and its rival Shenzhen Stock Exchange have also both moved to curb excessive speculation and volatility in shares in newly listed companies. New rules mean there will be a 30 minute suspension on shares that rise or fall by 10% from their opening prices on their first day of trading.

Filed under: Asia, China, Exchanges, Risk Management, , , , , , , , ,

NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions partners with Chinese PR NEWS

NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions today announced that its leading newswire, GlobeNewswire, will broaden its long-term partnership with China PRNews to bring global news distribution to Chinese companies. Through this agreement, China PRNews will offer GlobeNewswire’s robust global distribution platform to its clients in China and provide Chinese companies with greater visibility opportunities outside of their market.

The relationship between GlobeNewswire and China PRNews is longstanding — since 2006, they have collaborated on several initiatives to increase the visibility of companies from around the world within China.

GlobeNewswire is one of the world’s largest newswire distribution networks, specializing in the delivery of corporate press releases, financial disclosures and multimedia content to the media, investment community, individual investors and the general public. GlobeNewswire’s extensive distribution network currently reaches more than 4,000 media outlets and 1.5 million financial desktops globally.

China PRnews is one of the strongest news distribution and media monitoring platforms in China, serving more than 3,000 prestigious Chinese companies and organizations. Its broad coverage of Chinese local media has been highly recognized by the industry, customers and partners since its inception in 2004.

Demetrios Skalkotos, Senior Vice President, NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions: “NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions continues to look for ways to help Asian companies minimize risk, maximize efficiency and increase transparency with relevant tools and solutions for PR, IR and governance professionals. Through our daily work with the leading Chinese companies listed on our exchange, we recognized the need for greater visibility channels for Chinese companies globally. We’re excited to expand our relationship with China PRNews and offer GlobeNewswire’s far-reaching distribution platform to Chinese companies looking to target markets outside their own.”

Forrest, Xiangning Zhang, Chairman of China PRnews: “The need for Chinese companies to establish global public relations and investor relations coverage has become increasingly prominent. You can’t expect a customer to buy or an investor to invest if they know nothing about a company. The globalization process has put China into the direct trade and investment scope of the world market. Our strong partnership with GlobeNewswire under NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions allows China PRnews to offer easy and efficient ways to distribute Chinese companies’ news to the global community, providing the world with rich and first hand information about China. We are excited to broaden our long-term partnership with GlobeNewswire.”

In a continued effort to provide Asian companies with the localized tools necessary to help them be more efficient and transparent public companies, NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions also recently announced the appointment of Dan Wadsworth, Vice President of Corporate Solutions, based in Hong Kong.

Source: MondoVisione, 05.03.2012

Filed under: Asia, China, Data Vendor, Exchanges, Hong Kong, News, , , , ,

Hong Kong and Singapore as Asia´s Financial Gateways

Celent predicts a paradigm shift around access to Asia. There is likely to be two gateways, providing access to different Asian regions, with Singapore emerging as the preferred gateway to Southeast Asia and Hong Kong becoming the gateway to Mainland China.

In a new report, the third of a series looking at the financial markets in Hong Kong and Singapore, Celent aims to provide a comparative analysis of Asia’s two main financial gateways, focusing particularly on derivatives. Asia’s Tale of Two Cities: Hong Kong and Singapore as Financial Gateways begins by noting that Western governments have emerged from the financial crisis in a weakened state, with economic prosperity blunted by high unemployment and an emerging debt crisis. The question is no longer when or if we need to enter the Asian markets, but how to best think about the issues of accessibility, entering the market, developing products, and forming strategic partnerships. The fundamental question that needs to be asked now is: “Where do we go from here, Hong Kong or Singapore?”

Although the HKEx and SGX may not be the biggest derivatives players in Asia-Pacific, they tend to be the most accessible for segments located outside the region. Taking advantage of their geographic location, political climate, and internal strengths, these city-states are poised to become hubs for trading of Asia’s regional products while also being easily accessed by US traders via retail trading accounts.

There are several factors that are likely to continue to drive growth in the derivatives market. These include:

• A relatively muted response to regulating over-the-counter markets as compared with the US and Europe. The type of products that led to the financial crisis in the West are not widely established throughout Asia, and as a result, the regulatory structure governing OTC markets are unlikely to change significantly.

• Continued desire to manage foreign exchange risk.

• Continued enhancement of processes of structuring derivatives risk management policies.

“We are seeing changes in relation to access to Asia. Hong Kong is no longer destined to become the sole hub to Southeast Asia,” says Alexander Camargo, Analyst and coauthor of the report. “Inherent strengths in Singapore are making it an extremely attractive financial gateway. Both English and Chinese are frequently spoken in Singapore, making it an ideal cross-roads for East and West. Furthermore, Singapore is viewed by most Asian countries as a neutral party and less politically tied to China than Hong Kong. This is likely to entice Indian investors and even Japanese and Korean investors to Singapore’s shores.”

However, this does not mean that Hong Kong will recede as a major financial center in Asia. Hong Kong residents are often fluent in both English and Chinese; contract laws are strong; and there remain strong historical ties to the West. As a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong has stronger political ties to China. Hong Kong has also been busy integrating its financial markets with mainland China. These factors make it likely that Hong Kong will become a key gateway to mainland China.

This report begins with an overview of each country’s financial infrastructure and regulations, providing an introduction to the countries’ various demand market segments, followed by a look at the main exchanges, HKEx and SGX. A summary of HKEx and SGX focuses on derivatives trading, providing a brief description of products offered, market access, alliances, and clearing on the exchanges. The report then looks at each country’s fixed income markets, OTC derivatives, and FX markets. It concludes with a discussion of market supremacy and also the countries’ ongoing efforts to improve market structure and access.

Source: Bobsguide, 10.02.2012

Filed under: Asia, China, Exchanges, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, News, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NYSE to sign contract to manage 3 Security Indices of China Security Indicies CSI

NYSE Euronext (NYX) today announced that it has agreed with China Securities Index Co., (CSI) to manage the calculation of three of CSI’s indices: Overseas China Internet Index, Overseas China Consumer Discretionary Index and Overseas China Consumer Staples Index. Leveraging NYSE Euronext’s operational and listed products expertise, this new initiative represents a significant milestone for the global index services of NYSE Euronext to further expand its index offerings in the Asian region meeting the growing demand to track the performance in Chinese companies.

CSI, the first Chinese index customer, will use the global index services of NYSE Euronext for the maintenance, calculation and distribution of its index values and data for the Overseas China Internet Index, Overseas China Consumer Discretionary Index and Overseas China Consumer Staples Index. Through these three indices market participants can track a portfolio of stocks covering varying sectors of the Chinese economy using the real-time calculation and dissemination services provided by NYSE Euronext. Furthermore, Exchange Traded Products that track these indices are anticipated to list and trade on NYSE Arca, NYSE Euronext’s all-electronic US trading platform.

Having CSI, one of China’s leading index providers, select NYSE Euronext’s Global Index Group as their index provider of choice is a testament to the growing momentum of our value in the indexing space,” said, George Patterson, Managing Director, Global Index Group. “This new relationship further underscores NYSE Euronext’s commitment to expand our index services to Asian markets and other key regions around the globe.”

For the methodologies for calculation of the Overseas China Internet Index, Overseas China Consumer Discretionary Index and Overseas China Consumer Staples Index, as well as more information on the indices, please visit the CSI website: http://www.csindex.com.cn/sseportal_en/csiportal/zs/indexreport.do?type=1

Source:MondoVision, 08.02.2012

Filed under: China, Data Management, Exchanges, , ,

Mexico – Durable, Consistent and Undervalued

Since global markets unraveled back in 2008 we’ve again been reminded that even developed economies can have a tough time dealing with crisis (think TARP, bailouts, recessions and policy restructurings). In some cases, seemingly simple issues like inflation can be the main reason international investors turn away. However, in looking at mid-tier countries within emerging markets, one exception is Mexico.

The Mexican peso, for example, has appreciated by nearly 20 percent since the peak recession level of two years ago. In addition to a more predictable and forecastable currency, Mexico enjoys direct investment from both the United States and China. Many experts agree that this flow of capital helped Mexico reach a 4 percent annual gross domestic product growth rate in 2011.

The peso’s solid gains can be attributed to a variety of factors, but are directly correlated to market statements made by U.S. banking and government officials. Interest rate stability, for example, ensures the peso’s projected outlook by hedging its value with that of the dollar as well as Mexico’s import-export relationship with the U.S. Most recently, on the day the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would maintain its low interest rate program through 2014, the peso rose 0.6 percent, to $13.0190 per U.S. dollar. That marked a 7 percent climb for the month of January.

From an investment, trading and trade relations perspective, Mexico boasts free-trade agreements in which tariffs are lower than many countries. So low, in fact, that nearly 90 percent of all its exports are essentially duty free. For example, Mexican goods are exported duty-free to the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and Japan. This past week, Mexico announced a preliminary trade surplus of $7.7 million for December 2011. Most other countries, on the other hand, trade with a much smaller surplus if not deficit. Investors keen on taking advantage of this advantage can use the iShares MSCI Mexico Index.

In fixed income, Mexican notes return more than the average of other emerging market debt. What’s more, Mexico correlates better with the U.S. than other high profile emerging markets like Brazil, China or Russia.

Mexico has proven that it is able to withstand both global and internal drags on its economy while still holding its position among the advanced emerging markets community such as Brazil, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan and Turkey.

Taking a closer look at the value to an individual or institutional investor, Latin America generally – and Mexico specifically – continues to hold and return value better than other emerging markets. Debt and inflation from Europe more closely impact Russia, India and China, for example, whereas Mexico and LatAm are more closely tied to the U.S., where the economy is slowly rebounding

Mexico vs. other LatAm hotspots  ….read full article at   Tabb Forum

Source: Tabb Froum, Dan Watskin, 02.02.2012

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, Latin America, Mexico, News, , , , , , , ,

Webinar: Top-10 China Financial Technology Trends for 2012 – January 18,2012

While the rest of the world struggles with a lingering financial crisis, Chinese Financial institutions will continue investing in financial technology innovation in 2012. New technologies such as EMV and mobile near-field payments will drive significant investment as financial institutions continue to modernize and expand both the breadth and depth of their product offerings.

This webinar from Kapronasia will look at some of the key insights from Kapronasia’s “China Financial Technology 2012 – Top 10 Trends Shaping the Industry” report, a comprehensive look at the key issues and challenges and how banks are overcoming them.

 Title: A look at the Top-10 China Financial Technology Trends for 2012
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 5:00 PM -6:00 PM CST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar

Space is limited

Reserve your Webinar seat at   https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/840131302

Source: KapronAsia, 09.01.2012

Filed under: Asia, China, Events, Exchanges, News, , , ,

The Global Crisis Reaches China: Unrest Spreads as Growth Stalls

China’s leaders are currently contending with declining demand, rising debt and a real estate bubble. Some factories are laying off workers, suffering financial losses or even closing as orders from crisis-plagued Europe dry up. The economic strains are frustrating workers and consumers in the country, threatening the political establishment and Beijing’s economic miracle.

This October was the third straight month Chinese exports decreased. Along with it, the hopes of German manufacturers that Asia’s growth market might help lift them out of the global crisis as it did in 2008 are also evaporating. This time China faces enormous challenges of its own — a real estate market bubble and local government debt — that could even pose a risk to the global economy.

Related article: Every Chinese Province bankrupt like Greece –  Chinese Regime nearly bankrupt  – 17.11.2011

A police special forces unit appears suddenly. One moment, a worker named Liu* is marching back and forth in front of city hall in Dongguan, China, with about 300 colleagues from the bankrupt factory Bill Electronic. “Give us back the money from our blood and sweat!” they chant.

The next moment, their shouts turn to screams as a few hundred uniformed police with helmets, shields and batons, along with numerous plainclothes security forces, leap out of olive green police vans. The demonstration leaders, including Liu, are rounded up on the side of the street by police dogs. Within just a few minutes’ time, the communist authorities have successfully suffocated the protest.

The men and women, most of them young adults, are packed into yellow buses and hauled back to their factory, where the government exerts massive pressure: By afternoon, they must consent to make do with 60 percent of the wages they are owed by the employment office. Anyone who refuses, officials warn, will receive nothing at all.

The new global crisis has reached China. Debt problems in Europe, the country’s most important trading partner, are starting to dim prospects here in the nation that has effectively become the world’s factory, as well. The unstable United States economy and threat of a trade war between the two superpowers make the situation even more uncertain. As the US presidential election campaign starts too heat up, American politicians are vying to outdo one another in protectionist declarations directed toward their communist rival.

Disillusioned Workers

For Liu, the factory worker, his country’s economic miracle is certainly over for now. Until recently, he worked 12 hours a day assembling accessories for DVD players. But then there was less and less work to do, he says, and a while back, the boss informed workers that fewer orders were coming in from Europe.

After the police break up the demonstration, Liu, now daunted, wanders through his city’s dusty streets, passing row upon row of factories and residential buildings. “We just wanted our full wages, but they set the police on us,” he says. He’s lost his faith in the party and the government.

Especially here in the export region of Guangdong, an experimental laboratory of Chinese capitalism, hardly a day goes by without new bankruptcies or protests. The Yue Chen shoe factory in Dongguan, which produces athletic shoes for a parent company in Taiwan that supplies brands such as New Balance, is in a state of emergency. With orders dropping off, the manufacturer has fired 18 managers. Workers have seen overtime pay eliminated, and normal wages are barely enough to live on. Frustration is so high that some shoe factory workers also went to protest in front of city hall. About 10 of them were injured in the clash with police, some young women from the factory report.

The situation outside the gray factory complex is tense. Thugs in plainclothes guard the entrance, photographing and intimidating anyone who talks to the workers. Inside the factory, the showdown between bosses and employees goes on. Workers sit inactive in cheerless factory rooms. The management has switched off the power in some of the halls where workers normally sew and glue together shoes.

In the rest of China as well, more and more assembly lines are grinding to a halt. In Wenzhou in eastern China, a city known for making cheap lighters, shoes and clothes, a large number of business owners are on the run from their creditors, the private shadow banks that last lent them money. Some of these businesspeople even secretly removed machinery from their factories before taking off.

Demand Drop in Europe and China

China’s showcase industries are also feeling the crunch of the drop in European demand. Suntech Power Holdings, for example, which manufactures solar panels in Wuxi, near Shanghai, reported third-quarter losses of $116 million (€87 million). During the same quarter of the previous year, the company generated $33 million in profits.

Just recently, Asia’s champion exporter was the object of admiration from foreign executives and politicians, a victor in the global financial crisis. Some even believed they’d found a superior alternative to crisis-ridden Western-style market economies in Beijing’s authoritarian-style capitalism.

German carmakers, in particular, let themselves be carried away by China’s growth and made enormous investments. China is Volkswagen’s most important market, and the company hopes to sell 2 million cars there by the end of this year.

But the car boom is slowing. “We haven’t received a single new order in nine days,” admits a smartly dressed salesman at Dongguan’s Porsche dealership. “We’ve never experienced that before.” Many business owners are short on cash, he adds. “They used to mostly pay cash, but now they prefer to buy on credit.”

Cheap Chinese brands such as BYD (“Build Your Dreams”) are also having a harder time selling their cars. Important governmental tax incentives for buying cars ran out last year, and major cities such as Beijing are attempting to ease their congested streets by restricting the number of new automobiles. In October, people in China bought roughly 7 percent fewer cars than in the previous month.

Economic Missteps?

At first, it seemed as if Beijing’s state capitalists had found the magic recipe for endless growth. In 2009, they pumped 4 trillion yuan (the equivalent of €430 billion) — China’s largest stimulus package in history — into building ever more modern highways, train stations and airports. Tax incentives led millions of farmers to purchase refrigerators and computers for the first time.

More or less on the party’s orders, banks threw their money at the people’s feet, and local governments were particularly free about getting themselves into debt. By the end of 2010, outstanding debt stood at 10.7 trillion yuan — nearly a quarter of China’s entire economic output.

Much of these funds went, directly or indirectly, into real estate construction. Local governments discovered that selling land for building made for a lucrative source of revenue — and of collateral, so banks would continue to issue new loans. Thousands of farmers were driven off their fields so that villas and apartment buildings could be built.

Many of those development projects, often megalomaniac undertakings from the start, are now ghost towns. In China’s 15 largest cities in October, the number of newly auctioned building plots decreased by 39 percent compared to October 2010.

While many in the West hold out hope that China can solve the euro and dollar debt crisis with its foreign currency holdings, the rift between rich and poor within the country is growing. The “harmonious society” promised by Hu Jintao, head of the government and of the Communist Party, is at risk.

The country’s central bank has increased interest rates five times since mid-2010 to get inflation under control, while at the same time forcing banks to hold larger reserve funds. Beijing hopes this method will allow it to orchestrate a “soft landing” from its own economic boom. But the maneuver entails risks. Along with the construction industry, the motor driving China’s economy up until now, other sectors such as cement production, steelmaking and furniture construction stand to lose vitality as well.

Part 2: Will Rising Middle Class Turn against Government?

If the real estate bubble bursts, it is sure to turn China’s rising middle class against the government. Until now, the nouveau riche has viewed the Communist Party as a guarantee of their own prosperity. Recently, however, outraged apartment owners organized a demonstration in downtown Shanghai, protesting the decline in the value of their property.

Wang Jiang, 28, points to a nearly complete apartment block in Anting, one of the city’s suburbs. The software company manager bought an apartment on the 16th floor of the building for €138,000 in early September. It was a steep price for 82 square meters (883 square feet), especially since the building is located in an industrial area, hemmed in by factories and highways. But Wang was determined to get in on the boom. He didn’t even take the time to view the housing complex before he bought the apartment. Where else, after all, should he have invested his assets, if not in real estate?

Now China’s state-run banks are paying their customers negative interest and Shanghai’s stock market is considered a high-risk casino, where a few major governmental investors are believed to manipulate exchange rates at will.

Wang’s apartment isn’t even finished yet, but he no longer feels any joy about moving in — not now that the real estate company is offering similar apartments in the same complex for about 20 percent less.

Wang feels he was deceived about his apartment’s resale value. “What are they thinking?” he demands. “Surely they can’t just erase a portion of my assets?”

But they can.

Wang and many other furious apartment owners went to the real estate company’s salesroom to protest the drop in value. Suddenly, Wang relates, someone started smashing the miniature models of apartments. After that, in the blink of an eye, the company’s guards grabbed him and hauled the protesters to the police in minibuses. “We were interrogated until 2 a.m. in the morning,” Wang says. Some of the protesters, he adds, are still in prison and authorities won’t tell their families anything.

A Political Quandary

Whether in Dongguan or Shanghai, cracks seem to be forming everywhere in Chinese society. As long as the one-party dictatorship kept growth in the double digits, most people accepted their lack of freedom. Now, though, Beijing is facing a dilemma. Tough police crackdowns will hardly get the consequences of the stagnating economy under control in the long term. But nor are government subsidies enough to stimulate the economy. It seems neither money nor force will help.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao recently announced a “fine-tuning” of his economic policy: Banks should grant more generous loans, especially to small and medium-sized export companies, he said.

The economic situation now is far more complicated than it was after the 2008 global financial crisis, says economist Lin Jiang. In 2008, Chinese exports collapsed and roughly 25 million migrant workers had to return from factories to their home provinces.

Back in Dongguan, authorities have no cause at the moment to fear any further protest from Liu, the factory worker. He’s too busy looking for a new place to stay. When he lost his job, he also lost his spot in one of the electronics factory’s residences.

* Liu’s name has been changed by the editors in order to protect his identity.

Source: Spiegl Online, 08.12.2011 By Wieland Wagner

Filed under: China, Countries, News, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

China:Exchanges and Trading Houses Face Overhaul by Government

Electronic trading houses, which conduct transactions in commodities, artifacts and precious metals, have seen their numbers grow in the past five years from a few dozen to more than 300.

But the boom could come to an abrupt end as the government pursues a drive against risky practices in the industry.  This week, the State Council determined that these legal and illegal trading houses are too risky to be left unregulated. The council called on the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to “clear them up”.

Rules bar the trading houses from making markets and adopting centralized pricing and say that no more than 200 investors may hold stakes in any single traded asset. Investors are also banned from reselling an asset within five days. Although the government said that some of the trading houses’ activities are illegal, it didn’t specify which transactions are involved.

This isn’t the first time that the government has found fault with the trading houses. In 2009, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce “banned” the establishment of new trading houses, and last year, the Ministry of Commerce and five other ministries issued regulations on securitized trade houses.

But this latest move is a more serious threat to the trading houses. First, it is being initiated at a higher level, by the State Council. Second, the government is using the phrase “clear up and reorganize”, not “regulate” – meaning that some trading houses might have to close.

Hantang Artworks Exchange was one of the first trading houses to react. In a statement on Tuesday, the exchange said it will stop using centralized pricing and limit participants’ trading frequency.

Fei Jian, chairman of Shanghai Agricultural Products E-Business Co Ltd, a trading platform for agricultural products, said his business is in full compliance with the rules and welcomes the cleanup.  “We made changes early in 2009 to comply with the regulations. Having the sector regulated is good for everyone,” he said.

The scale of the trading houses’ business isn’t known. The houses aren’t required to disclose transaction data. Additionally, their fast growth and the fact that some of their activities are illegal make it difficult to calculate the industry’s size.

The trading houses pose risks, with an absence of clearinghouses, ever-changing trading rules and price manipulation.

But investors’ collective intelligence is unlikely to have ignored or missed these risks. Thus, some experts said, if regulators really want to establish financial stability, they need to figure out what needs the exchanges fulfill.

Hu Yuyue, head of Beijing Technology and Business University’s securities and futures research center, said the answer can be summed up in one word: demand.

Hu said many trading houses have sprung up because investors need more financial tools than are being provided by the major, approved futures exchanges, such as the Shanghai Futures Exchange, Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange and China Financial Futures Exchange.

“The futures exchanges in China are well-regulated but relatively underdeveloped. So they lack new products and systems to satisfy investor demand,” he said. “That has resulted in the boom of unregulated trading houses.”  In the first 10 months of this year alone, 58 trading houses were established.

Three bourses were set up in the city of Wuhan in just a week: the Wuhan Shipping Exchange, the Wuhan Financial Assets Exchange and the Wuhan Agricultural and Livestock Products Exchange.

One factor driving the formation of the new trading venues is the surge in liquidity caused by the 4 trillion yuan ($631 billion) stimulus package enacted in 2008 amid the global downturn.

The private-sector credit crunch has also driven capital into the trading houses, as some entrepreneurs abandon their businesses for the financial market.  Fei said that the trading houses do face a shake-up, but strong investor demand will keep the sector developing.

Source: China Daily, 25.11.2011

Filed under: Asia, China, Exchanges, Risk Management, , , , , ,

China and Mexico: Strategic Partners or Competitors? 中国与墨西哥: 战略伙伴关系还是竞争对手?.

China and Mexico’s bilateral relationship is the subject of an ongoing debate, characterized, in general, by strongly conflicting views. On one hand, there are the ones that quite often quote unfair trade practices from China, or Chinese companies who have suffered losses of time, energy and money when entering the Mexican market.

It is quite common to listen at business meetings that after months of negotiations, companies found out that their potential local partner was not the most adequate. Sadly, cross-cultural misunderstandings often contributed to break the potential association, since the local partner didn’t have the financial strengths nor was knowledgeable enough of the local market, etc. On the other hand, bad experiences are not a must. It is also possible to identify success stories from companies establishing in China, and vice-versa, doing business profitably. The examples include small and medium size companies on trading, sourcing, and exporting to and from China; but also large corporations with standalone investments or join ventures with local players.

At Mexican malls you can buy electronic products with a Chinese brand manufactured in Mexico; in China, flour made “tacos” have paved their way to gain preferences in the Chinese middle class.

Even tough for many specialists the investment and trade flow between China and Mexico is not significant in terms of value and diversity of industries; there are some figures that are worth keeping in mind. Based on official statistics in 1990, Mexico exported nine million USD and imported around fifteen million USD from China. For 2010, the bilateral trade reached almost fifty billion USD, while the bilateral trade between India and China reached about sixty billion USD in that same year. This is an impressive amount if we consider Mexico does not share borders with India, and Mexican population is around ten times smaller than the Indian.

On December 11, 2011; the agreed program between Mexico and China on compensatory import duties will come to an end. It is expected for this to reinvigorate the debate on trade and business practices. Nevertheless, it would be worth it to keep in mind that in a twenty years period, Mexico’s exports to China had a compound annual growth rate of over 36 per cent (CAGR), while imports from China to Mexico registered a CAGR of 49 percent. Moreover, although exports from China are generally associated to end products, during the last decade, imports such as intermediate products have increased significantly.

Therefore, if you are doing business between both countries, it would be relevant to review if your company is growing two digits too. Although there is no “fail-safe” recipe for doing business between China and Mexico, the more informed the company is, the greater its chances are of succeeding. On this issue, you can review complimentary articles on innovation, resource allocation, and metrics, among many other factors to be considered in a successful market expansion strategy.

At Deloitte, from Tijuana to Shenzhen and from Hong Kong to Monterrey, we have highly experienced professionals ready to help you succeed in China and Mexico. For more information on our services email us at: deloitte_contacto@deloittemx.com

Source: Deloitte Mexico, 25.11.2011 –  José Luis Enciso deloitte_contacto@deloittemx.com

Filed under: Asia, China, Latin America, Mexico, News, , , , , , , , ,