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Economics, Environment, Finance sector development

Achieving policy objectives for green bonds in ASEAN

Achieving policy objectives for green bonds in ASEAN
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Global Warming of 1.5 ºC, notes the importance of mobilizing green finance for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and preventing catastrophic climate change. In line with this, some countries have been implementing policies to support green bonds. Green bonds are debt securities whose proceeds are used to fund environmental projects, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. Therefore, unlike conventional bonds, green bonds finance projects with clear environmental benefits (ICMA 2018).

Economics, Environment, Finance sector development, Health

COVID-19 highlights the need to strengthen environmental risk management and scale-up sustainable finance and investment across Asia

COVID-19 highlights the need to strengthen environmental risk management and scale-up sustainable finance and investment across Asia
Like the rest of the world, Asia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. While some countries have been able to contain the spread of the virus relatively well, the disruption of supply chains, sharp decline in global demand, and the large-scale withdrawal of capital have led to severe economic contractions across the region.

Economics, Finance sector development

Characterizing financial cycles: Are emerging markets different?

Characterizing financial cycles: Are emerging markets different?
A feature of the academic literature on financial cycles relates to the fact that it almost exclusively focuses on selected advanced economies, the findings of which may not necessarily hold for emerging economies. Global capital flow developments and monetary policies in advanced economies mean that financial cycle dynamics may differ substantially in emerging economies, not only in terms of turning points but also with regard to which asset market cycle best characterizes the financial cycle.

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.