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Stock market strength will be underpinned indirectly this year if Asian central banks with surging foreign reserves maintain their voracious appetite for government bonds, analysts say.
US Federal Reserve officials are not optimistic that China will drop its currency peg against the dollar anytime soon because that decision is in the hands of a State Council focused primarily on political stability rather than financial issues.
STOCK markets in South-East Asia are expected to generate more excitement in the foreign investment community in the immediate future, but risk a major reversal if promises of reform and change are not fulfilled.
Nearly 40 central banks have increased their exposure to the euro in the past two years, mainly at the expense of the US dollar, according to a survey of 65 central banks released yesterday.
A majority of banks in the Asia-Pacific region are still at the early implementation stages of complying with the Basel 2 framework, according to Gloria Goh, Ernst Young Partner for the Global Financial Services practice in Malaysia.
Much of the discussion on East Asian integration has so far focused on trade. The East Asian Forum held in Kuala Lumpur also highlighted the need for regional financial and monetary cooperation. The launching of an Asian bond last week was a small but significant step in that direction.