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Daily Dispatches – Shutdown woes for the US could mean good news for Asia

As the political deadlock in the US over the Congressional dispute over the country’s budget drags on, Asia at least is one part of the world that stands to benefit.

This was evident in the reaction of the region’s stocks and currencies, with Bloomberg reporting that Malaysia’s ringgit has gained the most in two weeks on speculation the  shutdown will delay the tapering of stimulus that has fuelled gains in emerging-market assets. 

“The lack of agreement on the fiscal front led to the market thinking that it will mean the third round of quantitative easing will be sustained for a bit longer,” said Nizam Idris, head of fixed income and currency strategy at Macquarie Bank Ltd. in Singapore told Bloomberg.  

Investment Week said some analysts believed that the shutdown may actually be supportive for emerging markets because of its impact on the US economy.

Asian markets have shuddered in the past few months on suggestions that tapering will start soon, and investor money fled to safer havens. The prospect that US government asset purchases may now be extended has provided a support for those markets where foreign investors are heavily invested.

Women still not getting shot at top banking jobs in Europe

In a Bloomberg interview, Marisa Drew, Credit Suisse Group’s most senior female investment banker in Europe, said she expected it will take at least five years before women start to gain a greater share of senior positions in the industry.

“It takes about 10 years to see the talent pipeline come through, and we’re probably about four to five years in from the inflection point of when we saw a materially more evenly balanced intake at the junior level in Europe,” Drew said.

IMF warning about global economy

The Financial Times reports that International Monetary Fund MD Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that the world’s economy was experiencing “transitions on an epic scale”, and she warned that turbulence in emerging markets could knock 0.5 to 1 percentage point off their growth.

Lagarde’s remarks show the damage done to emerging markets by a recent round of “taper talk”, over the possibility of the US Federal Reserve slowing the pace of its asset purchases and their vulnerability to future changes in the pattern of global capital flows.

Her speech follows news that the Asian Development Bank has cut forecasts for the region’s growth on the back on a slow down in China and India, and the expected slowdown from the tapering of the Fed’s asset purchases.

Gaming’s big win in Hong Kong

The IPO of  Forgame Holdings, China’s largest developer of Web games, received an enthusiastic welcome on Thursday, with the trading debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange seeing the share price soar more than a third, compared with a 0.8% rise in the technology sub-index on the Hong Kong stock market.

Dressing down gets a dressing down

Barclays, according to a report by CNBC, has instituted a new Casual Fridays dress code that is not exactly getting the enthusiastic reception it hoped for.

The bank’s new ‘supercasual Fridays’ policy allows jeans, T-shirts and even sneakers in the office, and bank insiders say the intention is to make it ‘a better, cooler place to work’.

But some staff have turned their noses up at the new policy. One, according to CNBC, said:”I didn’t become an investment banker to dress like a perpetual teenager.”  

Singapore gets new top-rated management programme from ESSEC 

ESSEC Business School in Singapore has launched the new intake of its flagship programme, the Master of Science in Management, for September 2014 admission, according to a report in the Singapore Business Review.

This programme, which is available in ESSEC’s French campus, was ranked 8th in the “Top 70 Masters in Management Programmes” worldwide by the Financial Times this year.

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