China takes major step to opening up bond markets

first_imgMo Ji‎, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Amundi, said investors that ignored Bond Connect would be “at a significant disadvantage”.“This is another step in the normalisation of Chinese capital markets which is a trend that no one should underestimate,” Ji said. “Chinese stock markets account for 10% of global market cap, and Chinese bond markets rank third in the world. We will see their integration into global markets go progressively deeper. Governance and transparency will continue to improve in the process.”Carl Shepherd, fixed income portfolio manager at Newton Investment Management, added: “Whichever form market access takes, China as an international bond player represents a much smaller market than its position as the world’s second-largest economy would suggest. Greater access should be seen as an inevitability, and provide greater trading volumes, which in turn should boost liquidity in both the bonds and the currency.”Shepherd added that the improved market access would also encourage greater accountability. “If not, this should quickly become apparent in the form of yield spikes or significant outflows,” he said. “This [is] useful for providing a graphic example of market risk perceptions which may not be reflected or announced in the state managed press releases. We would ultimately view this as part of a natural progression towards a more consumer-led model of policy making, and away from the old command and investment-led economy.”The PBoC and HKMA said in their statement that they would “establish effective mechanism for information exchange and execution assistance, strengthen supervisory cooperation, and jointly combat cross-boundary illegal activities so as to ensure effective operation” of Bond Connect. Fund managers and other institutional investors can trade in Chinese bonds without having to set up an onshore account, after China’s central bank officially opened its “Bond Connect” programme with Hong Kong.The Bond Connect link was officially opened yesterday by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) “in order to promote the development of the bond markets in mainland China”, the two parties said in a joint statement.The first day of operation saw $721m (€636m) of purchases, according to Bloomberg. China’s total government and corporate debt market is estimated to be worth $9trn.The opening of the Bond Connect follows last month’s decision by index provider MSCI to include Chinese A-Shares in its emerging markets indices from next year. While the additions will make up a small portion of MSCI’s Emerging Markets index, it is set to add momentum to the Chinese government’s efforts to open up its domestic market to foreign investors. Stock Connect, a programme to improve foreign access to domestic shares, was introduced in 2014 and expanded last year to cover both of China’s main equity exchanges.last_img read more

South Sudanese to pay less for phone calls

first_imgSouth Sudan has officially joined East Africa’s One Network Area scheme.The system is a joint agreement between Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda to slash international roaming charges for calls.South Sudanese mobile subscribers will now pay less for calls within those countries by an average of 60%. At only around 20% penetration, one of the lowest in Africa, the country’s mobile market remains untapped.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvprNEGjl_Ilast_img

What happened to the Mets in ‘Avengers: Endgame’? A theory

first_imgYes, in the concluding chapter to a massive saga about good vs. evil, the value of teamwork and friendship, and the complexities and ethics of being a hero, the thing that stuck out most to me was that MLB had downsized. This is one side effect of viewing so much of life through a baseball lens. RIVERA: 20 things to watch in the 2020 MLB seasonObviously, this conclusion probably wasn’t the intention of the Russo brothers when they made their 3-hour adventure, which, by the way, is the highest-grossing move of all time. But, in full disclosure, I’m not a huge Marvel guy, which is why I saw “Endgame” on New Year’s Day instead of last spring when it came out. Don’t get me wrong: The movies are fine. I’ve seen most of them, but I tend to view them as individual experiences, rather than pieces in a bigger story. I know enough to follow along, but I’ve never made a point to study all the intricate details and every inter-connecting plot point.So, if you’re a huge Marvel fan who loves to discuss fan theories and expanded universes, you’ll have to forgive that my contribution to the conversation is so very minor and silly.Anyway, here are three reasons why I think the Mets were contracted in the “Endgame” universe:Citi Field is still there: In an early flyover shot of New York, we clearly see the Mets’ home appearing to still be in excellent shape. In other words, it wasn’t destroyed in any battles or in the chaos that resulted from the blip when Thanos snapped and wiped out half the Earth’s population. Perhaps the city keeps the stadium in good shape in hopes of landing another team, or perhaps it still hosts other events or other sports. But from the few seconds we see, it doesn’t appear the stadium has been converted into a shelter or anything else. Maybe Yankee Stadium was destroyed and that’s where the Bronx Bombers play now. In any case, it’s curious. Sports still exist: It would be easy to suggest that the tragedy of the blip caused all sports to cease, as it’s a safe assumption that people just wouldn’t care about such frivolous things anymore. We can assume that thousands of pro athletes across all sports would’ve fallen victim to Thanos’ snap, gutting rosters and farm systems everywhere. The whole sports ecosystem would’ve crashed. But that’s apparently not what happened. How do we know? Because when Banner/Hulk goes to Fat Thor’s house to recruit him on his time-travel mission, Thor mentions that sports are “fuzzy” on his TV. So, at least some sports are still happening. Perhaps they’re shells of what they used to be, but they still exist. But does that mean baseball is still a thing? Well, that brings me to my next point.The guy in the therapy scene says he misses the Mets (not baseball in general). This seems like a big clue. The guy, played by co-director Joe Russo, talks about being on a date and mentions how he and his date “miss the Mets.” Notice that he didn’t say “miss baseball.” Even if someone is a huge fan of a particular team, it seems more likely that they’d say they miss baseball itself if the sport had ceased to exist. I guess it’s possible that someone doesn’t really like baseball as a whole and only enjoys watching one team, but that seems weird to me. We’re still a long way from pitchers and catchers reporting, and actual baseball news has slowed significantly since the Winter Meetings, so in lieu of timely baseball commentary, I’ll offer some mindless, months-late baseball-related theorizing. Here it is: I finally watched “Avengers: Endgame” and had one major takeaway: The Mets were contracted.  That’s it. That’s the evidence. What do you think?I guess it’s possible that the Thanos blip would result in all two-team cities or states losing one of their teams. After all, it would be hard, if not impossible, to support two MLB teams in one geographic area if half the population vanished. So maybe MLB shrunk by several teams.Or maybe something else happened. Maybe the entire Mets team got blipped. Statistically, that seems unlikely. But also, it would be so Mets.last_img read more