Chinese financial markets: where next?

July 7 2015


  • Michael Taylor (Moody's)

  • James Kynge (FT)

  • Gerard Lyons (Advisor to the Mayor of London)

  • Daniel Widdicombe (China Construction Bank)


It often seems (to me, at least) that normal, healthy scepticism is suspended when it comes to China. We may be cynical about the other BRICS, but China’s rise to economic and financial pre-eminence seems to be taken for granted. A decade or more of 7%-plus annual growth, a savings rate of 50% and an investment rate of almost 50% will do that… Our eyes go big at all the opportunities (and threats) that China offers.

So, every once in a while, it behoves one to stand back and take a cool look at the East Asian behemoth.

Our excuse this time is a relatively rare visit to London by an old friend of the CSFI, Michael Taylor (author of two ‘twin peaks’ reports two decades ago). Michael – who has had a distinguished career with the BofE, the IMF, the HKMA and the Central Bank of Bahrain – is now a managing director for Moody’s Investors Service and chief credit officer for the Asia-Pac region, based in Hong Kong. In these roles, he leads regional research and coordinates regional analytical initiatives – which means he is as well-placed as any gweilo/laowai to tell us what is really going on.

However, he won’t get things all his own way, since we have three other powerful Asia hands on deck to put him straight:

  • James Kynge is the emerging markets editor at the FT, as well as chairman of FT Confidential, a research service covering China, Latin America and SE Asia. Prior to coming back to London in 2008, he spent ten years in China as the FT’s bureau chief and as chief representative for Pearson China.
  • Gerard Lyons is (as we all know) chief economic advisor to our mop-top Mayor. Before that, however, he was chief economist and group head of global research at Standard Chartered – in which roles he had a unique insight into China’s thinking.
  • Daniel Widdicombe is the head of investment banking at the China Construction Bank in London. Before joiningCCB in 2009, he spent 18 years in China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, during which time he served (among other things) as head of Asian equity research at Bear Stearns and chief financial officer of Chinadotcom.