Chennai : Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Services Tuesday said Asia will be resilient to global macro-economic challenges in 2015. In a statement, Moody’s said Asia was less vulnerability to external shocks than other emerging economies and with sound fundamentals that compare well with many regions in the world. “As global growth remains subdued with brighter prospects in the US offset by lacklustre growth in the Euro Area and Japan, and China’s ongoing slowdown, Asia’s resilience will become increasingly evident,” said Michael Taylor, a Moody’s chief credit officer.
Moody’s views were presented at Moody’s 2015 Outlooks for Asian sovereigns, corporates and banks briefing held Tuesday in Hong Kong. According to Moody’s, global challenges for 2015 include the US Federal Reserve taking the first steps to normalise monetary policy, sustained low commodities prices and China’s rebalancing. But Asia is supported by healthy external vulnerability metrics and the policy space to support growth through accommodative domestic monetary and fiscal policies, said Moody’s.
While Moody’s expects capital inflows to Asia Pacific to moderate in 2015, offshore borrowing costs will remain below historical norms, reflecting Asia’s sound fundamentals. “The region’s status as a net oil importer and the opportunity for governments to pare back subsidies mean that falling crude prices will be credit positive for much of the region,” the rating agency said. However, Moody’s identifies four key risks for the year ahead; a deeper-than-expected property downturn in China, high leverage in certain sectors, renewed euro zone concerns and a spike in global financial market volatility.
A 10 percent fall in property sales volumes, accompanied by a 10 percent fall in prices, could shave up to 2.25 percentage points off Moody’s baseline growth assumptions for China, said the rating agency. Elevated household debt to GDP ratios in certain areas in Asia-Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, among others-could become a concern if interest rates spike during the year, notes Moody’s. The ratings agency also points to the rising leverage in the corporate sector throughout much of the region.
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