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Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management

Systemic power imbalances in responsible investments

Systemic power imbalances in responsible investments
The recent surge of interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments has brought with it closer scrutiny of the way in which ESG factors are evaluated as conditions before an investment can be categorized as such. Environmental factors have been receiving a lion’s share of the attention in these investments, which have been riding on the institutional clout lent unto them by green growth.

Finance sector development, Information and Communications Technology

Closing the gender gap in peer-to-peer lending

Closing the gender gap in peer-to-peer lending
Financial inclusion for women has been embraced by policy makers as an important development priority. However, despite women having lower risk preferences and higher creditworthiness, the gender gap in access to finance is still prevalent in the traditional credit market. This is due to various factors, such as differences in employment opportunities, legal obstacles, cultural norms, and limited access to the guarantee mechanism, among others.

Economics, Finance sector development

What explains the growing global demand for cash?

What explains the growing global demand for cash?
In recent years, cashless payment methods have become increasingly prevalent around the world due to the use of various innovative tools and convenient financial services through mobile phones. This trend is contributing to greater efficiency in our economies and financial systems. Nevertheless, a puzzling phenomenon is that the demand for cash has been rising in many countries. This means that growth in the demand for cash reflects factors other than the transaction motive used for payment. These factors might include opportunity cost, precautionary motives, and other motives such as aging and demand from abroad.

Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management, Information and Communications Technology

Will Facebook’s Libra scramble the regulatory calculus for crypto assets?

Will Facebook’s Libra scramble the regulatory calculus for crypto assets?
There are currently over 2,000 crypto assets like Bitcoin that can be exchanged for goods and services in many countries anonymously, instantaneously, and at any time. These emerging forms of private sector money, or crypto currencies, provide their own units of account and are based on ledger technology such as blockchain which makes the falsification of transaction data difficult. Unlike cash, transactions using crypto assets are also technically traceable and a positive or negative interest rate can be charged, potentially improving the effectiveness of monetary policy.

Economics, Finance sector development

Cryptocurrency in emerging Asia

Cryptocurrency in emerging Asia
Currently at the frontier of financial development, cryptocurrency provides both opportunities and risks in financial markets and has driven a large interest in its early years. The new business model provided by cryptocurrency along with the exponential increases in its prices may have enticed investors, with many utilizing cryptocurrency as a speculative asset to take advantage of the early gains. However, the subsequent crash in prices provided a wake-up call to speculators dealing with cryptocurrency.

Economics, Finance sector development

East Asia’s boom in capital market financing

East Asia’s boom in capital market financing
There is much discussion about the rapid expansion of capital market issuances by emerging market firms in international markets. This expansion has been driven by deepening financial globalization, which started in the 1990s, and, more recently, by low interest rates in advanced economies after the 2008–2009 global financial crisis.

Economics, Finance sector development, Information and Communications Technology

Fintech adaptation can bridge Asia’s SME financing divide

Digital innovation can improve financial access for SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role as a driving force in economies around the world, especially in Asia. SMEs in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region are estimated to comprise more than 98% of the total number of enterprises, and they contribute to around 40% of gross domestic product.

Economics, Finance sector development, Transport

Spillover and straw effects of high-speed rail

High-speed rail investment: A butterfly effect for urban chaos
On a typical ride on the Tokaido Shinkansen traveling from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo, it does not take a childlike imagination to notice the view from the bullet train of scattered cars, small houses, and baseball fields, gradually changing as the train approaches its destination to packed apartment buildings and tall office towers. This is an important phenomenon of high-speed rail (HSR) implementation, which can be described by the terms “spillover effect” and “straw effect.”

Economics, Finance sector development, Health

The costs of being overweight and obese in Asia and the Pacific

The costs of being overweight and obese in Asia and the Pacific
Increased prosperity in Asia and the Pacific has led to lifestyle changes with unwanted impacts. Studies have shown that as a result of economic progress, regions are shifting to a diet that is linked with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), particularly overweight and obesity. The World Health Organization estimates for 2015 show that about 15 million people aged 30–69 years die annually because of NCDs (Waqanivalu 2018).

Finance sector development

Financial development and stability in the People’s Republic of China: Evaluating the policy challenges

Financial development and stability in the People’s Republic of China: Evaluating the policy challenges
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has come a long way in developing its financial system, and it has done so at a speed that has been breathtaking. The country’s “big four” banks are now the four largest banks in the world by assets, while another 14 PRC banks make it into the top 100 largest banks. The PRC last year surpassed the euro area to become the world’s largest banking system by assets, and PRC banks are now major sources of dollar-denominated lending, not least as part of the country’s One Belt One Road initiative.