As the Association of South-east Asian Nations enters the last year in the run-up to its planned economic integration, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are on track to harmonise their capital markets, while others are dragging their feet.
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There might not be much movement among the top positions in this year’s Top 100 Association of South-East Asian Nations Banks ranking, but Filipino lenders are on the rise, while Indonesia’s banks boast the highest returns.
As the wealth of Asia-Pacific's high-net-worth individuals continues to swell, so too does the size and reputation of the region's private banking industry. This is leading to speculation about whether its two main hubs – Singapore and Hong Kong – may be growing to such status that one day they will replace Switzerland as the global private banking capital.
The relatively small economies of Vietnam and Cambodia are punching above their weight in terms of growth in The Banker’s latest Association of South-east Asian Nations ranking. Meanwhile, Singapore’s banks retain their dominance in the ranking in terms of Tier 1 capital.
An ageing population and shrinking labour pool have put a strain on Singapore's economy, leading to calls for it to be restructured to raise productivity and bring about price stability. This will come through more productivity-led growth and a stronger focus on macroprudential policies.
With Asia’s post-war business moguls now well into retirement, an unprecedented amount of wealth is set to pass to the next generation, representing an enormous business opportunity for banks.
Hong Kong has shown impressive growth in its foreign direct investment attraction, recording the largest global inward investment in the financial services sector.
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