The DailyBrief

Monday April 3, 2017

China’s Philippine investments? President Duterte’s October visit to China was said to have secured more than US$24 billion worth of investment and loan commitments and would move the Philippines strategically closer to Beijing and further from Washington. Yet, reports Joel Adriano, six months on and there are few signs of the investments but China continues to ramp up its activities in the disputed South China Sea.

Trump meets Xi: Later this week, China’s President will meet his US counterpart in Florida and, because of Trump’s predilection for unpredictability, some thought Xi might be taking a risk by attending. However, writes George Koo, the meeting should go well because both sides have been careful in their preparations and, crucially, Trump will not want to miss an opportunity for some rare good news.

Dollar not Yuan: Beijing has actively promoted international use of its currency, extending arrangements with foreign central banks, encouraging trade settlement in yuan and pushing its stock and bond markets to foreign investors. However, writes Tom Buerkle, according to the IMP, in the fourth quarter of 2016 the yuan still only accounts for just over 1% of global foreign-exchange reserves and remains insignificant when compared to the reserves of $1.6 trillion worth of euros and $5.1 trillion of US dollars.

Asia’s soaring equities: Asian equity markets have been world-beaters so far this year as global investors unwind record positions in the US dollar and pump the proceeds into cheaper, higher-yielding assets throughout the region reports Nick Westra . The MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Index surged 14.3% this year through March 29, outpacing a 6% gain in MSCI World, and the corresponding benchmarks for China, India, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan all notched double-digit gains.