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Peaked or Paused – Israel, a Start-Up Nation at a Crossroads? 

October 6, 2016

In the end, The Pub Hub, an innovative co-working space concept that uses bar areas as joint workspaces during the daytime, proved to be the crowd favorite. Their concept addresses the growing popularity of remote working, self-employment, and co-working spaces. "By 2020, 40 percent of the US labor market won’t even work in an office," predicts Daniel Rubin, one of the founders. The Pub Hub team’s inspiration came when they noticed that some of their favorite bars were empty and locked during the day. The group asked itself: "What if we could transform these underutilized spaces into co-working communities where entrepreneurs, freelancers, and lifestyle business owners could come together?" The Pub Hub solution, which Rubin calls a "Win Win Win" solution for pub owners, workers, and his platform, is a "democratization of the co-working space that lowers barriers for entrepreneurs."
The Pub Hub has strict criteria for space selection and provides workers with free coffee, fast and secure internet, and a network of like-minded individuals who help each other. "The Pub Hub was unique in creating a simple and clear business model that allows for scalability and profitability. We are looking forward to starting this process with them and helping them achieve their goals," said Doron Averbuch, CEO of Credit Suisse Financial Services (Israel) Ltd.

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A Turning Point for Frontier Markets

July 7, 2016

China has an outsize influence on Asia’s frontier markets – whether as an infrastructure investor or an end-market for exporters. Recently, however, frontier markets are taking on a different role in relation to their larger neighbor – that of competitors. Hear what Chate Benchavitvalai, Head of Frontier Market Research and Vietnam Strategy at Credit Suisse, had to say at the Bank’s 2016 Asian Investment Conference about the changing nature of the relationship between China and frontier markets.

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The Remaining Challenges for Frontier Markets

July 7, 2016

Asia’s frontier markets are growing very quickly, but every one of them still has plenty of challenges to overcome. Hear what Vikas Cheranewal, Senior Executive Director of the Emerging Markets group at Franklin Templeton Asset Management, said about infrastructure, energy, and politics in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

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Mongolia: Investors Welcome

July 7, 2016

After domestic concerns over foreign direct investment (FDI) and slumping metal prices slowed Mongolia’s economy to a crawl in 2015, Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed wants to reassure investors that they are welcome in his country.
 
“My message is a simple one. Mongolia is back and open for business,” Saikhanbileg said in a speech at the AIC 2016 on April 7.
 
Opposition groups have protested against some major mining projects, causing delays that have now been resolved, Saikhanbileg said, asserting that the country would ensure protection for foreign investors and a transparent rule of law.
 
“As you know, in a vibrant democracy, it’s not always easy to get where you want to go directly,” Saikhanbileg said.
 
Mongolia is heavily dependent on mining, which accounts for 80 percent of its GDP. To reduce that dependence, the landlocked nation set between China and Russia has adopted a “rainbow” economic development plan, hoping to add more “colors” besides mining, Saikhanbileg said.
 
Top candidates include agribusiness, tourism, IT, health care, construction and power generation.
 
The vast country has more livestock (56 million) than people (3 million), and with ample grassland, its cattle and lamb are able to roam free, making them extra tasty.
 
“We have the most democratic livestock in the world.

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Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister: “We Are Back in Business”

July 7, 2016

With 6 percent GDP growth forecast for this year, up from 4.8 percent in 2015, “Sri Lanka is on the move,” the country’s Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, said in a keynote address at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC).
 
Since a new president and prime minister took office at the beginning of 2015, the government has worked to get the country back onto a path of strong economic growth, Karunanayake said. “It was necessary for fiscal consolidation to take place.” A key priority has been to better manage debt and trim costs. To this end, Sri Lanka recently agreed on a $1.5 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
 
“We want to clean up past debt and get investors into Sri Lanka by giving them the feeling that the government is not playing around with their funds,” the minister said. The budget introduced in November, he said, demonstrated the “consistent and coordinated approach” to managing the economy that the government hopes will boost confidence.
 
To promote new growth, Sri Lanka is focusing on key sectors such as tourism and agriculture. The Kuok Group is opening a Shangri-La resort in Hambantota in June and has plans for two or three more properties. The government is making it easier for foreigners to buy holiday or retirement homes.

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How China’s Entrepreneurs Turn Inefficiency into Opportunity

June 6, 2016

Where others see irritating problems, entrepreneurs see opportunities. Hear Credit Suisse Head of China Research Vincent Chan discuss how Chinese entrepreneurs have turned inefficiencies in commerce and finance to their advantage and what their efforts mean for the future of digital innovation in China.

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What Can Entrepreneurs Learn from Didi Chuxing’s Success?

June 6, 2016

Didi Chuxing is the most successful ride-sharing company in China and recently got a vote of confidence in the form of a $1 billion investment from Apple. Hear what Didi’s Vice President of Strategy Stephen Zhu had to say at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference about the state of Chinese entrepreneurship, the uniqueness of the sharing economy in China, and the biggest challenges faced by Chinese startups.

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Made in China, for China

June 6, 2016

China has long been the world’s factory, but the country’s entrepreneurs are increasingly focused on catering to the needs and wants of the Chinese people themselves. Hear Michelle Leung, founder and CEO of Xingtai Capital Management, discuss how the country’s growing middle class will shape consumption and entrepreneurship over the next decade.

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Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister: “We Are Back in Business”

May 11, 2016

With 6 percent GDP growth forecast for this year, up from 4.8 percent in 2015, “Sri Lanka is on the move,” the country’s Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, said in a keynote address at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC).
 
Since a new president and prime minister took office at the beginning of 2015, the government has worked to get the country back onto a path of strong economic growth, Karunanayake said. “It was necessary for fiscal consolidation to take place.” A key priority has been to better manage debt and trim costs. To this end, Sri Lanka recently agreed on a $1.5 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
 
“We want to clean up past debt and get investors into Sri Lanka by giving them the feeling that the government is not playing around with their funds,” the minister said. The budget introduced in November, he said, demonstrated the “consistent and coordinated approach” to managing the economy that the government hopes will boost confidence.
 
To promote new growth, Sri Lanka is focusing on key sectors such as tourism and agriculture. The Kuok Group is opening a Shangri-La resort in Hambantota in June and has plans for two or three more properties. The government is making it easier for foreigners to buy holiday or retirement homes.

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For Smart China Investing, Follow the Reforms

May 5, 2016

There are opportunities for investors in China if they consider the impact of structural reforms and which factors are driving economic growth, panelists at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC) said.
 
China’s secondary market has been at the “epicenter of skepticism”, remarked Helen Zhu, Managing Director and Head of China Equities at BlackRock. She told participants that market mindsets have shifted and since President Xi Jinping took office, there is a search for stability and a focus on sustainable, higher quality growth. Consider the impact of policies such as the anti-corruption campaign, energy market liberalization, land reform and the ending of the one-child limit. “Look at the beneficiaries of key structural reforms and for opportunities that are not yet priced into the equities,” she advised.
 
“The Chinese economy will continue on its path of transformation,” suggested Wu Yibing, Head, China, Temasek International in China. He pointed to three story lines that long-term investors in China should follow: the double-digit growth of consumption and the expansion of the services sector, the rise of the middle class, and the rapid emergence of “new-champion” companies. “China has quickly become a hub and fast follower of innovation,” he explained.

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VIDEO: Are Negative Rates All There Is?

April 29, 2016

Are negative interest rates merely a sign that central bankers have run out of ideas? Could the policy eventually make its way to the United States? Watch Jonathan Wilmot, Credit Suisse’s Head of Macro Investments, Asset Management, discuss what negative rates indicate about global monetary policy.

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VIDEO: Negative Rates: Into Uncharted Waters

April 29, 2016

A world in which borrowers get paid interest on their loans is a counterintuitive world, indeed. Watch Gene Sperling, former Director of the National Economic Council, weigh in on why central banks have resorted to the unprecedented policy of negative interest rates and the potential for competitive devaluations moving forward.

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VIDEO: Why Japan Really Went Negative

April 29, 2016

Was the Bank of Japan’s surprise foray into negative interest rates this January truly motivated, as some have said, by a desire to weaken the yen? Watch Tomomi Inada, Chair of the Policy Research Council for Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, discuss the central bank’s dramatic policy shift.

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Risks to Global Economy Abound in 2016

April 21, 2016

The global economy struggled through a difficult year in 2015, leaving a range of challenges for policymakers hoping to avoid a third leg of the financial crisis, panelists at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC) said.
 
The Federal Reserve’s moderation in monetary tightening is crucial to sustaining fragile global economic growth in 2016, while structural reforms in China, India, and other countries are essential if struggling emerging economies are to regain their footing over the next several years.
 
“It’s (2016) going to be a period of very uneven and hesitant growth,” said Eswar Prasad, Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. U.S. growth looks reliable, along with the U.K., India and a handful of others. “But by and large, a very morose and gloomy picture across the rest of the world,” Prasad added.
 
The U.S. economy is improving, but not enough to withstand monetary tightening beyond the Federal Reserve’s quarter-point rate hike last December, according to Gene Sperling, a former director of the U.S. National Economic Council and a former economic aide to Presidents Clinton and Obama.
 
Fortunately, the Fed under Chair Janet Yellen appears to have put the brakes on interest rate hikes in the near term. Tightening now could damage the U.S.

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Jonathan Wilmot on China, Oil, and the U.S. Elections

April 13, 2016

Hear what Jonathan Wilmot, Credit Suisse’s Head of Macro Investments, Asset Management, had to say about Donald Trump, China’s new role in the global economy, and the outlook for oil prices at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC).

 

For more stories and videos from the AIC, please visit the conference website.

 

The post Jonathan Wilmot on China, Oil, and the U.S. Elections appeared first on The Financialist.

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Rebuilding Greece and Europe

April 8, 2016

Greece’s crisis is fiscal, monetary, and structural, exacerbated by political and social volatility, stresses on European unity, and now, a large influx of refugees. Despite this “nightmare” and major near-term concerns, former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras believes that “we can and will make it’.
 
The Greeks have faced a unique and debilitating confluence of challenges – excessive deficits and debt, diminishing competitiveness, increasing non-performing loans, political upheaval, a breakdown of social cohesion and further destabilization and security concerns due to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking access to the rest of Europe. “In the last five years, all these crises have converged,” Samaras said in a keynote address at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC). “All of them together could be lethal for any society.”
 
According to the former prime minister, the Greek economy was beginning to emerge from intensive care in 2014 and had returned to positive growth one year ahead of the schedule set in the rescue plan his government had negotiated, when snap elections resulted in a new coalition government led by a populist party, which won the support of voters exhausted by austerity. This led to the halt or undoing of structural reforms and a return to recession, he explained.

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Is the World Going Back into Crisis?

April 6, 2016

Jonathan Wilmot, Credit Suisse’s Head of Macro Investments, Asset Management, looks at three past crises of capitalism – in the 1890s, the 1930s and the most recent one in 2007 – and shows that previous pre-crisis financial and economic conditions are not apparent today. His conclusion: Policy matters.
 
Is the world going back into crisis? “It comes down to policy and whether policy rises to the challenges we face right now,” Wilmot told participants in the opening session on April 6 at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong. “After big crises, the system remains fragile for a very long period of time,” he explained.
 
The “deep panic” in the markets at the beginning of this year could signal a buy opportunity, Wilmot said. “In history, it has always been right to be contrarian in a panic except when you are at the beginning of a bubble or over-leveraged period.”
 
Are we in such a period? Going by a longer-term view of equity market performance and global industrial production levels, the global economy is not overheating, he observed. “The preconditions that had been in place in Western economies prior to previous global recessions are not there.”
 
That suggests that the focus of concern should be on emerging economies such as China and on developments in commodities including oil.

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Navigating China’s Slowdown

April 5, 2016

Given the comprehensive transformation it is undergoing, China’s economy is now much more complicated, said Christopher Balding, Associate Professor of Finance and Economics at the HSBC Business School of Peking University Graduate School, in a session on the Chinese economy at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC). Volatility in the markets and concerns about debt and capital outflows have fueled questions about the outlook for China.
 
“Money is leaving in a very quiet manner,” Balding noted. “It is not foreign debt repayments. Lots and lots of people are taking their money out of China and placing it elsewhere.” While China’s growth figures are overstated, the economy “is not as bad as what people say but at the same time it is definitely not good,” he added.
 
The views of China analysts today diverge widely, observed veteran China-watcher Huang Yukon, Senior Associate, Asia Program, at the Carnegie Endowment, and Advisor to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. “By historical standards, China is doing very well but people are pessimistic.”
 
To some, China is facing a debt crisis, but its debt position is actually better than Singapore’s, Huang observed. “What you see in China is financial deepening.

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Emerging Market Consumers: Down, but Not Out

April 1, 2016

How have weak markets and weak currencies affected consumer sentiment in emerging markets? To find out, the Credit Suisse Research Institute interviewed nearly 16,000 people in nine emerging economies. The result? Not surprisingly, CSRI generally found less optimism among survey respondents than last year, but consumer sentiment proved more resilient to economic headwinds in certain countries than in others. Watch the video to hear Richard Kersley, Head of Global Research Product, explain what drives differences in consumers’ attitudes and what will influence their consumption patterns in years to come.

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Survey: Institutional Investors Expect Hedge Fund Growth in 2016

March 9, 2016

Institutional hedge fund investors surveyed by Credit Suisse predict a 3.5 percent increase in hedge fund assets under management this year. That would push industry assets back over $3 trillion, a rebound from January, when assets declined to $2.96 trillion. January marked the first time industry assets dipped below $3 trillion since May, 2014.
 
“Institutional investors remain committed to their hedge fund allocations and are optimistic for further growth in the industry during the upcoming year,” said Robert Leonard, Managing Director and Global Head of Capital Services at Credit Suisse. Eighty-seven percent of the 369 institutional investors surveyed in Credit Suisse’s eighth annual Hedge Fund Investor Survey indicated that they plan to maintain or increase their hedge fund allocations in the coming year.
 
“Increased interest in strategies such as equity market neutral, global macro and equity long/short trading-oriented appears to indicate that investors are anticipating another challenging environment for 2016,” Leonard said. The Equity Market Neutral-Fundamental strategy ranks as the top choice among investors, moving up from fifth place in last year’s survey. Equity Market Neutral-Quantitative is the second most preferred strategy, also a marked improvement from last year, when it ranked seventh.

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Brazil’s Fiscal Imbalance: A Way Forward

February 19, 2016

Economists and executives at Credit Suisse’s 2016 Latin America Investment Conference agreed that Brazil should make getting its fiscal house in order a top priority as a first step toward re-igniting growth. But that will require a delicate balancing act. Watch the video to hear Mansueto Almeida, a researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economics (IPEA), explain Brazil’s budget challenges.

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Global Growth, Commodities, and the Lessons of Brazil

January 28, 2016

China’s ongoing economic slump has sparked turmoil on world markets, but it’s been particularly challenging for Brazil, which ships 40 percent of its exports to the country. How much does Brazil stand to gain from a stabilization in Chinese demand? Find out what Credit Suisse Chief Economist James Sweeney had to say at Credit Suisse’s 2016 Latin America Investment Conference about the outlook for China and its consequences for Brazil.

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How Can Brazil Regain Its Investment-Grade Status?

January 28, 2016

Rising public debt and a large deficit prompted S&P and Fitch to downgrade Brazilian sovereign debt below investment grade in 2015, and Moody’s is expected to follow suit in the coming months. How much will losing its investment-grade rating really affect the economy? What will it take for Brazil to regain investment-grade status, and how long might that take? Hear economist Norbert Gaillard discuss the ramifications of Brazil’s credit rating at the 2016 Latin America Investment Conference.

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Brazil’s Fiscal Imbalance: A Way Forward

January 28, 2016

Economists and executives at Credit Suisse’s 2016 Latin America Investment Conference agreed that Brazil should make getting its fiscal house in order a top priority as a first step toward re-igniting growth. But that will require a delicate balancing act. Watch the video to hear Mansueto Almeida, a researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economics (IPEA), explain Brazil’s budget challenges.

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VIDEO: Global Growth, Commodities, and the Lessons of Brazil

January 28, 2016

China’s ongoing economic slump has sparked turmoil on world markets, but it’s been particularly challenging for Brazil, which ships 40 percent of its exports to the country. How much does Brazil stand to gain from a stabilization in Chinese demand? Find out what Credit Suisse Chief Economist James Sweeney had to say at Credit Suisse’s 2016 Latin America Investment Conference about the outlook for China and its consequences for Brazil.

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The Real Skinny on Fat

January 19, 2016

Eating fat can make you fat, right? The Credit Suisse Research Institute synthesized a significant body of evidence that suggests just the opposite – that certain fats may actually be good for us. But if fat isn’t the reason for the rise in obesity and metabolic syndrome—a constellation of factors that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes—what is? And which kinds of fats are the healthiest? Watch the video to find what the scientific data really say about fat consumption.

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What’s Different About Young China

January 15, 2016

Chinese young people born after 1990 are happy to spend money on things their parents and older siblings would likely have considered frivolous, but they’re also much more discerning consumers than previous generations. How will Young China’s attitude toward consumption affect their buying behavior? Watch the video to hear Vincent Chan, Head of China Research at Credit Suisse, talk about the preferences of China’s all-important next generation of consumers at Credit Suisse’s 6th Annual China Investment Conference.

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What’s the Future of Lending?

December 18, 2015

Need a loan? You can always go to a bank. Or you can try to borrow from your peers. Increasingly popular “peer-to-peer lending portals” allow borrowers and lenders to connect directly through online marketplaces, threatening to disintermediate traditional financial institutions in the process. But how do peer-to-peer sites assess the risk involved in the loans they make? What role will regulation play in their future? Will institutional investors get on board? Industry experts discussed these questions and more at Credit Suisse’s 6th Annual Emerging Markets Leadership Forum. Watch the video below to find out why more and more borrowers, lenders, and investors are turning to marketplace lending platforms and how the financial services industry is likely to adapt.

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