Cash & Liquidity Management
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Asian Companies after the Crisis: Less Reliant on West for Capital and Growth

Less Reliant on West for Capital and Growth

Asian companies are emerging from the global economic recession with a diminished reliance on Western sources of capital and a new focus on local Asian markets for growth.

New research from Greenwich Associates reveals that the largest companies (annual turnover $500m and over) across Asia (excluding Japan), are reporting improved access to credit and growing demand for funding for growth oriented capital expenditures. These findings demonstrate a positive change in the business environment much more dramatic than that experienced to date in Europe and the United States. The strength of Asian markets relative to those in the West during the crisis and the speed with which Asian economies are recovering as the recession subsides has prompted companies in the region to look closer to home for credit and growth:

  • In 2007, 58% of Asian companies’ credit providers were foreign banks (Western and Japanese) and only 42% were local banks. Over the course of the financial crisis, local banks’ share steadily grew to 45% in 2008, reaching nearly half in 2009.
  • Companies expanding into new foreign markets generally form relationships with banks local to the new market or with a global bank with strong capabilities within the country or region. Last year, the share of Asian companies using a bank for cross-border services within Asia increased to 66% from 60% in 2008; meanwhile, the share of companies using a bank for cross-border services in Western Europe and the United States was flat at 34% and 37%, respectively. Demand for cross-border banking services to Japan and Australia/New Zealand also increased considerably.

“Over the past decade, there has been a lot of talk about the extent to which Asian economies have ‘decoupled’ from those of the West,” says Greenwich Associates consultant Markus Ohlig. “Our data suggests that the global crisis itself might have been the biggest driver of decoupling by forcing Asian companies to turn to local sources of funding and providing opportunities for Asian companies to generate growth at home in the face of depressed demand from export markets.”