In an August report, global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. says that high levels of debt, lender vulnerabilities and “shadow” banking practices are warning signs of a potential debt crisis in Asia. This according to an article inBloomberg.
While the report states it is yet unclear whether the factors will trigger a crisis, governments and businesses should monitor the signs. “McKinsey’s warning shot comes as a slowing global economy puts pressure on earnings at Asian companies, and the U.S.-China trade war makes debt investors more risk-averse,” the article explains. But fund managers believe that credit metrics of Asian bond issuers have improved, the article explains, adding that Moody’s Investors Service expects most Asian economies to use monetary and fiscal policy measures to offset the domestic impact of the global slowdown.
The McKinsey report is based on balance sheet analysis of more than 23,000 companies across eleven Asia-Pacific countries. “Since 1997,” the article reports, “financial regulators have put in place safeguards to prohibit a repeat of the crisis that engulfed Thailand, Korea, Indonesia and several other Asian nations and had long-lasting repercussions.”