Asia Focus

These reports from the Asia Program provide context and insight into current economic and financial sector developments in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • How Digital Innovation Can Increase Small Business Access to Finance in Asia

    Sean Creehan

    This Asia Focus summarizes the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) credit gap in Asia and assesses ways certain emerging technologies and innovative business models—commonly known as “fintech”—can improve SME access to financial services in Asia and boost long-term economic growth in the process.

  • Capital Flows, Bond Markets, and Financial Stability in Asia

    Nicholas Borst

    This Asia Focus analyzes the development of local currency bond markets in Asia following the Asian financial crisis and the region’s efforts to reduce its reliance on foreign capital flows.

  • Asia’s Fintech Revolution

    Sean Creehan and Nicholas Borst

    This Asia Focus examines the impact of fintech on payments and lending in Asia, focusing on the new technologies entering the market, the level of disruption faced by banks, and the regulatory response to these new developments.

  • The Changing Face of Shadow Banking in China

    Cindy Li

    This Asia Focus explores the drivers behind shadow banking system’s growth in China, reviews the changing pattern of shadow banking activities, analyzes associated risks in the context of China’s growing capital markets, and discusses future regulatory challenges.

  • Taiwan’s Banking Sector Reforms: Retrospective and Outlook

    Nicholas Borst and Cindy Li

    This Asia Focus outlines the history of financial and banking reforms in Taiwan, analyzes problems that developed in the banking sector after liberalization, and evaluates current initiatives by regulators to address those problems.

  • Modernizing the Payment System to Increase Financial Inclusion in India

    Sean Creehan

    This Asia Focus reviews the role non-cash payments can play in India’s financial inclusion efforts, summarizes recent government policies to develop a national payment system that includes the unbanked, and assesses the challenges and implications of ongoing reforms.

  • Islamic Finance in Asia: Recent Developments and Regulatory Issues

    Cindy Li

    This Asia Focus examines the size and growth of Islamic finance, reviews recent reports and studies on the industry, discusses key benefits and regulatory challenges, and summarizes recent developments in Asia.

  • Balancing the State and the Market: Banking Reform in China and Vietnam

    Nicholas Borst

    This Asia Focus examines similarities in the process of banking reform in China and Vietnam, analyzes how both countries have dealt with financial crises, and draws lessons from their shared experiences that may be useful for other countries undertaking financial reforms.

  • Burma – Paving the Road to a Modern Banking System

    Linda True

    This Asia Focus report provides a historical background of Burmese banking crises, analyzes recent and upcoming regulatory reforms, and evaluates hurdles to the development of a modern banking system.

  • The Rise of Asian Sovereign Wealth Funds

    Nicholas Borst

    This Asia Focus provides an overview of sovereign wealth funds, evaluates the structure and activities of major funds in Asia, and compares the transparency of Asian funds relative to international best practices.