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The Bay of Bengal

The Next BRICS Asset Class

Sourajit Aiyer has worked with leading financial companies in Mumbai, London, Delhi and Dhaka, including Motilal Oswal, UBS AG, Evalueserve, Reliance ADAG and Grameen Bank. He has written for 56 publications of 23 countries on 120+ topics spanning business, economics and politics. He is the author of Capital Market Integration Ideas in South Asia (Elsevier) and Flying with the Winged Elephant: Niche Opportunities for Global Businesses in India (Libertas Institute, Germany).

The success of any regional economic story depends on how much the political economy and financial economy complement each other. The BRIC grouping (Brazil, Russia, India and China) was deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development when Goldman Sachs coined the acronym in 2001. As a new asset class for the financial economy, portfolio funds were launched and as a consequence political economic initiatives lent the BRIC grouping status and cohesiveness.

The Bay of Bengal: The Next BRICS Asset Class has been written to demonstrate the economic potential of the grouping, and the benefits of creating a distinct asset class. The author compares economic/corporate performance data of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) grouping with other regions of developing countries (BRICS, ASEAN, SAARC, EAC, MENA, EEC, CIS, MINT, CIVETS, Pacific Alliance, etc.) to show that the Bengal group is expected to reach a combined GDP of $6 trillion by 2021, just as the BRICS did in 2006 (five years after BRIC was coined). The BoB grouping has relatively the best linear/synchronised growth, a high proportion of companies generating consistent profits/return on equity, a more diversified profit pool and a fair mix of economic-growth drivers compared to other economic groupings. The economic relevance of this region is clear and statistically substantiated, and The Next BRICS Asset Class sets out to reverse the current lack of awareness amongst the financial economy. The author’s aim is to justify the economic substance of this grouping so that it complements the political economy's initiatives that will follow.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-944-9
Paperback Price: £29.95 / $44.95
Release Date: September 2018
Page Extent / Format: 200 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No




Commonalities and Complementarities
The Asset Class Story    

Did You Know
The Profit Story               

Stock, Flow and Spread
The Purchasing Power Story      

Building for Tomorrow
The Investment Story   

The Mix and the Journey
The Sector Story              

Long-term Disincentives and Quality Concerns
The Productivity Story

PTP Model and Implications
The Formalisation Story               

Doing vs. Not Doing
The Risk Story   

Non-Prerequisites and Enablers
The Integration Story    

A Micro-Approach towards Final Outcomes
The Trade Story               



Aiyer, an author who has worked with financial companies in India and the UK, presents a rationale for creating an asset class for the group of countries around the Bay of Bengal sea, including India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, and Vietnam. He takes a top-down view of the region's markets, showing why their drivers of economic growth make a fair mix; the commonalities and complementary relationships of these economies; relative profit performance vs. global peers and why this group stands out on this metric; whether the group is of a relevant size; its savings and purchasing power comparisons; the sector-mix; the impact of formalization in deepening its businesses; and other aspects. It emphasizes why it is to India's advantage to be part of this group, and addresses the group's challenges in productivity, investment, and trade. Chapters discuss the commonalities of the group in terms of its economic construct, portfolio construct, and equity markets construct, as well as the complementary aspects in the mix of its economic growth drivers; how the group's markets demonstrated better fundamental performance between 2012 and 2016 in comparison to its peers in the emerging market; key components of a country's purchasing power; how various regions have increased their investment levels and how this can impact economic output; whether certain sectors start contributing disproportionately to a market's profit pool as the economy matures; how broader issues can affect the long-term productivity of specific sections of the workforce, especially those making up a large part in India; how businesses are receiving a push from formalization; risks; regional financial integration; and intra-regional trade.

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