Category

Asia Investments

China's Economy Continues to Ascend – But Watch Out for Speed Bumps

Everyone knows that China's economy is hot. The only question is whether it may be a little too hot.

China posted yet another quarter of stellar economic growth in the first quarter of 2011, with its gross domestic product (GDP) growing 9.7%. However, analysts are worried about some of the side effects that have accompanied that growth- namely soaring inflation and the emergence of speculative bubbles.

Inflation in China hit a 32-month high in March, and the country's real estate market is beyond scorching.

Policymakers in Beijing insist they have the situation under control, and they've been trying to rein in liquidity and curb speculation to prove it. That's why China's economy, accustomed to double-digit growth, is only expected to grow 8% to 9% this year.

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Buy, Sell or Hold: Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) Needs to Rebuild from Supply Chain Collapse

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE ADR: TM), one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world, has offered strong periods of growth from which investors have profited.

However, today it is a "Sell" – and is likely headed toward a long-term redevelopment of its core company structure (**).

Toyota was founded in 1933 and is headquartered in Toyota City, Japan. Toyota has more than 300,000 employees and a global network of production plants. The company has a market capitalization of $126 billion with an enterprise value of $238 billion, once net cash and debt are accounted for.

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Disasters Driving Japan Auto Parts Makers to China

Disruptions caused by Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami could further encourage Japanese auto parts makers to relocate factories to China – an eventuality already being driven by explosive growth in the Chinese auto market.

Japan's Big Three automakers – Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE ADR: TM), Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE ADR: HMC) and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (PINK ADR: NSANY) – all already operate assembly plants in China. And while 60% to 70% of the parts those plants need come from within China, the rest must be imported from Japan. So if the assembly plants run out of the parts from Japan, production will halt.

Although no plant in China has yet reached that point – Toyota, Nissan and Honda have all said their factories have enough parts to sustain production for at least two more weeks – the possibility has led some to contemplate a more localized supply chain.

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Japan Disaster Update: Beware of Global Insurance Stocks

The catastrophe-modeling company AIR Worldwide Corp. has estimated that insurance company losses from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami could reach $35 billion.

That has insurance analysts feeling bullish about insurance stocks: In their view, losses are good because it enables the insurers to ratchet up their premiums.

Personally, I don't see it that way. While I like life-insurance and domestic-insurance companies as investments for ordinary investors, I think the big-ticket insurance market is too opaque, too insider dominated, and much too unlikely to deliver decent returns to its outside shareholders.

In short, here in the aftermath of the deadly Japan disaster, investors need to beware of global insurance stocks.

To understand the troubles at hand, please read on...

Asia Expert: Despite the G-7 Intervention, Japanese Banking Crisis is Inevitable

The United States and Canada today (Friday) joined other Group of Seven (G-7) nations to intervene as a means of weakening the Japanese yen in an effort to help Japan deal with last week's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. This G-7 intervention is a substantial development, although there are precious few details, since none of the […]

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Why Japan is a "Buy"

With a magnitude of 9.0, the March 11 earthquake in Japan was the worst in that country's 300-year history and was the fifth-worst the world has ever seen.

That trembler, coupled with the devastating tsunami that followed, ignited a flurry of fears and caused a two-day sell-off that sent Japanese stocks down 17%. The sell-off wiped out more than $650 billion in shareholder wealth.

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Disaster in Japan: How Bad Will it Get?

Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald has spent almost every summer for the past two decades at his family home in Kyoto – which is why he knows Japan in a way that few other U.S. traders could ever hope to.

As part of Money Morning's continued coverage of the disaster in Japan, Fitz-Gerald is sharing those insights with readers. Here are the highlights of a question-and-answer session we held with Fitz-Gerald late yesterday ( Thursday).

For this global-investing guru’s assessment of Japan, please click here.

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Special Report: How to Invest in the Wake of the Japan Disaster

Japan's earthquake-ignited nuclear crisis got even worse early today (Wednesday), igniting major losses in stock markets around the world as analysts came to terms with both the spiraling costs of the disaster and the spinoff effects that continue to surface. The official death toll approached 4,200, with thousands more still missing, NHK World/Radio Japan International […]

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Asia's Surging Economic Growth Pushes Global IPO Market to Record High That Will Continue in 2011

Despite market volatility and a shaky economic recovery, the global initial public offering (IPO) market for 2010 is on track to hit a record high – and 2011 is poised to continue the hot streak.

A study by accounting group Ernst & Young yesterday (Wednesday) showed that funds raised through global IPOs are expected to surpass $300 billion in 2010, topping the 2007 record of $295 billion. IPOs in the first 11 months of the year collected $255.3 billion in 1,199 deals.

"New IPO filings continue to increase around the world and a large backlog has built up as companies await greater macroeconomic stability," said Gregory Ericksen, Ernst & Young's global vice chair for strategic growth markets. "We expect the current IPO momentum to continue its upward trend in 2011."

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Asia Forecast: High Growth Rates Will Create Top Profit Opportunities For 2011

Asia was a great place to invest this year.

While some individual Latin American markets have outpaced their Asian counterparts, the fact is that the 10.9% return of the overall MSCI Asia Index outdistanced the 10.3% return of the "Americas" region.

Investors can expect more of the same in the New Year. The fact is that the Asian region – including Australia and New Zealand – was a profit powerhouse in 2010. And Asia's prospects for 2011 are even brighter:

  • It's where a great majority of the world's growth is taking place.
  • And it's where investors can reap their biggest profits – if they pick the right investments in the best Asian markets.

In this report, we're going to detail that all for you...