BLOG SURF: Global bond

The dominant economic news of the year has been financial volatility in emerging and advanced markets alike.

But one corner of the financial world which could be the next big growth play has received less attention: the 10 nations that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Since the beginning of the year, net foreign purchases of Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai bonds by foreign investors already reached $15.4 billion – $5.1 billion in Indonesian bonds, $5.6 billion in Malaysian bonds, and $4.7 billion in Thai bonds.

This makes ASEAN one of the hottest emerging-market bond markets this year.

Interest in ASEAN markets seems to be driven by two major external and internal factors.

The external driver is the continued abundance of global liquidity, notwithstanding the first interest rate hike by the US Fed in December 2015.

The main internal driver is ASEAN’s strong medium- to long-term growth prospects.