Treasury Today Asia March/April 2018

Published: Mar 2018



Will Asia thrive in the Year of the Dog?

Countries across the region celebrated the Lunar New Year in February, ushering in the Year of the Earth Dog. According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Earth Dog is kind, efficient and skilled in communication. It holds the notion of fair play and social justice dear and, given the dog’s role as a protector of the home, could be interpreted as time for a shift geographically and politically from predominantly offensive positions to more defensive positions.

In a period of great geopolitical unrest and uncertainty, this is certainly a welcome notion. We may have already seen the evidence of these ancient mystic forces at work with the cooling of tensions in the Korean peninsula during the Winter Olympics – a combined Korean ice hockey team was unimaginable for much of the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Whilst one threat subsides – albeit marginally – others increase. For corporates across the region, the risk posed by cyber criminals gets scarier every day. Asia is the world’s top destination for cyber criminals, who are taking advantage of inadequate systems, processes and controls to extort millions of dollars.

Although businesses are aware of the risk they face, many are still not doing enough to combat it. To help, Treasury Today Asia explores the various methods that can be used to combat cybercrime, explaining why quantifying the financial impact of cyber-risk can be the best way to highlight the problem to the board.

Another risk that has certainly grabbed the headlines in recent months has been the staggeringly high levels of corporate and household debt in China. The IMF has cited China’s credit boom as being on a dangerous trajectory that may be the makings of the next financial crisis.

This view should certainly sound an alarm bell for any treasurer, with the memories of the last great financial crisis still strong. However, in our deep dive analysis of what is currently happening in China, we find that whilst these debt levels are not ideal, the danger of the bubble bursting and bringing down the global economy is low. Indeed, rather than a bad news story, our analysis of China paints a positive picture, telling the story of a country and economy in transformation as it looks to fulfil its promise as a leader on the global stage.

Elsewhere, we investigate the evolving corporate treasury landscape in Japan and hear how Japanese corporates are looking to re-establish global treasury centres in their home country. Treasury Today Asia also learns from Amit Baraskar, Vice President & Head – Treasury at Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. about his career and how he manages the treasury of a constantly evolving business.

Treasury Today Asia wishes all our readers a very happy and prosperous Lunar New Year.

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