Goldman Sachs, Apple might top this wish list
The idea that a place with no natural resources and a state-capitalism model is a global bellwether will strike many as absurd. Yet Singapore Exchange Ltd’s attempted takeover of Australia’s stock exchange shows how Asia’s money is changing the face of finance and geopolitics as we know it. Singapore Exchange’s A$8.1 billion ($7.9 billion) bid for ASX Ltd. might not go through amid an outcry from Australian lawmakers. It almost doesn’t matter. The point is that fast-growing and cash-rich Asia is about to go shopping in ways that might shock the biggest developed economies of the world.
This transaction is full of chutzpah. Singapore’s stock market is half the size of Australia’s and the deal looks expensive. The real issue is ambition. Singapore is prepared to spend big to get economies of scale that doesn’t come naturally. Expect more of this dynamics in Asia—even from smaller countries that get little attention globally.
How will the West respond when China, Japan and India go on a mergers-and-acquisitions tear? And those are just Asia’s three biggest economies. Executives from Seattle to London should also expect more phone calls from acquisitive companies in South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and sovereign wealth fund managers everywhere.
China has been scooping up energy assets
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