Bond market development in emerging Asia has a long way to go

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently celebrated the fact that the size of the local currency bond market in the emerging economies of East Asia has reached a total of US$8.8 trillion. This sounds like a lot of money but how big is it in relation to the region's financial resources and requirements?

How does it compare with the overall supply of and demand for funds in Asia, not least with the huge infrastructure needs of the region? These, coincidentally, are estimated by the ADB also at some US$8 trillion-plus between 2010 and 2020.

This does not mean, of course, that Asian bond markets are able to deal with the financing of regional infrastructure. Some US$4.5 trillion of outstanding Asian...

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