Treasury Today Asia March/April 2023

Published: Mar 2023



Adjusting to change

Regulatory change and the evolution of technology are just some of the themes treasurers need to stay on top of, and this issue delves into some of the latest developments in Asia Pacific. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are a hot topic and China has been leading the way. Other countries have followed suit, if only because of FOMO [fear of missing out]. For China, the eCNY gives the state monetary control, especially in context of the growing influence of tech giants and the potential systemic risk they pose to the financial system. And when the state develops new technology, there are often fears about its real intentions. The charges that are laid against the eCNY project are often related to surveillance; CBDC is a digital version of cash with one major difference – it doesn’t have the same anonymity. We explore this and consider whether these fears are overblown.

Meanwhile, in China there are also more regulations that are anticipated to hit money market funds and are expected to bring stability, which the industry will have to adjust to. We explore other developments such as business-to-business buy now pay later (BNPL) and the promises it holds, as well as the evolution in cash pooling, and the technology that is enabling the next generation of cash pooling and liquidity management solutions.

The path to net zero is another change many are adjusting to; in the oil and gas industry, progress is being made, albeit slowly. Indonesia, a major coal and palm oil exporter, is on its own journey to becoming net zero as well as addressing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. The Regional Focus in this issue looks at Indonesia and some of the other factors that make this South-East Asian country so interesting.

And keeping things interesting has been a focus for Irene Thng, EVP & Group Treasurer at Toll Group throughout her treasury career. In the Corporate View, she speaks about how she has embraced opportunities and gives advice to those starting their careers.

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