The Asia Eight

Daily must-reads from the world’s most dynamic region

November 17, 2020

  • Corporate bond market roiled by defaults among state-owned firms
  • Working-from-home has made firms vulnerable to cyber attacks
  • Shanghai's soaring tech-heavy STAR Market issues its first ETFs
  • Huawei unloads budget Honor smartphone brand as sanctions bite

01 Default wave sparks bond market fears

Chinese media say corporate bond market has been hit by 'rolling thunder’; 126 issues cancelled after series of major defaults by a key miner and other state-owned enterprises.

02 Asia Markets

A surge in coronavirus cases worldwide has taken the gloss of optimism sparked by the announcement that two leading coronavirus candidates are potentially very effective. US Treasuries climb as investors retreat to safety.  

03 New cybersecurity imperative

The pandemic has changed the way the world works and with more people setting up office in their homes on distributed networks, the threat of phishing and other digital attacks has risen. Kerry Singleton tells Asia Times Financial TV that the time is ripe for a cybersecurity rethink.

04 China Bond 50 Index

The benchmark ATF China Bond 50 Index’s record run of gains came to a crashing halt as the securities of state-owned enterprises staged their biggest decline in two months on growing default concern.

05 STAR Market ETFs

The first four exchange traded funds (ETFs) to track Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market have started trading; they can be bought and sold in the same way as company stocks and provide investors access to the market’s top 50 firms.

06 Vaccine sigh of relief

With two vaccines showing signs they can eradicate coronavirus, economists, analysts and medical experts alike are declaring there’s light at the end of the tunnel for a year that brought down economies and reshaped the world.

07 Huawei sells Honor

A domestic consortium led by Shenzhen’s local government said it was necessary to keep the brand alive amid "tremendous" supply-chain pressures caused by US sanctions; the sale will allow the brand to source components without being affected by US restrictions.

08 Comment

"We make up 25% ... of the economy in the world. We need to be aligned with the other democracies, another 25% or more so that we can set the rules of the road instead of having China and others dictate outcomes because they are the only game in town."

President-elect Joe Biden on future US relations with China