Coronavirus could wipe off $211b from Asia-Pacific economies: S&P

People walk on the street in Macau wearing face masks to protect them to be infected with coronavirus. Source: Macau Photo Agency/Unsplash

A fast spreading coronavirus outbreak could knock $211 billion off the combined economies of the Asia-Pacific, with Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia among the most exposed, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday.

S&P cut its 2020 growth forecast for China to 4.8% from previous estimate of 5.7%. It forecast Australian growth to slow sharply to 1.2% from an already below-trend 2.2% in 2019.

Japan would take 0.5 percentage point hit and Korea a 1 percentage point knock.

“The balance of risks remains to the downside due to local transmission, including in economies with low reported cases, secondary transmissions in China as people return to work and tighter financial conditions,” S&P said in a report.

In other forecasts, Hong Kong’s economy would likely contract by -0.8% in 2020, Singapore’s would flat line, and Thailand’s expansion likely slow to 1.6%.

The coronavirus epidemic, which emanated from China’s Hubei province, has claimed more than 3,000 lives worldwide in less than three months, prompting monetary policy easings in major economies including the United States.

S&P did not cut growth forecasts for emerging markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and India, citing the fact that reported infections in those countries were still low.

However, it noted the outlook could quickly deteriorate if the low level of cases was due to minimal testing and if those countries were swept up in financial contagion.

“We have already had a taster of what can happen with overshooting exchange rates in response to a pick-up in world’s fear gauge,” it said.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.