The Asia Eight

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

December 18, 2020

1 TOP STORY: Beijing puts rating firms under watch

2 NEWS: Trump disarray over China bans

3 ATF TV: EM investing during the pandemic

4 ASIA MARKETS: Nikkei, HSI and CSI300 fall

5 NEWS: China creates asset manager for bad loans

6 NEWS: Nio more valuable than Ford, GM. Xpeng close

7 COMMENT: Ban on China components in US utilities

8 ATF BIG PICTURE: Dollars's enormous power

01 Top Story Ratings firms under scrutiny

People’s Bank of China vows to boost supervision of the bond rating sector after defaults rock the country’s $4-trillion corporate debt market; And a former executive at a top credit rating agency has been suspended amid claims he took “massive” bribes.

02 US sanctions row

Order restricting flows to certain companies delayed as Treasury officials are reportedly at loggerheads with other departments over whether subsidiaries should be included. 

03 ATF TV EM Investing during the pandemic

Emerging markets look attractive in a low-yield environment, investors need to select carefully, BNY Mellon’s Lale Akoner tells ATF TV.

04 Asia Markets

Nikkei 225 falls 0.2% to 26,763.39; Hang Seng Index slides 0.7% to 26,498.60; CSI300 drops 0.3% 3,394.9.

05 China 'bad bank' move

Chinese banks are braced for rising levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) as policies introduced by Beijing this year to help borrowers through the coronavirus crisis expire.

06 Nio bigger than Ford

Xpeng is also close to the value of Ford, but Biden administration is expected to try to boost US production.

07 Comment

"Procuring from the People’s Republic of China ... poses an undue risk to the BPS, the security or resilience of critical infrastructure, the economy, national security, or safety and security of Americans."

US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette on the decision to ban use of China-made components in domestic utilities

08 The ATF Big Picture