Always adopting a global view on how things could potentially take shape, Dr Stephen Riady, Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, OUE Ltd, anticipates challenges with glimmers of opportunity in 2023.
Coming out of a pandemic, and into a series of challenging global and local situations — logistics issues, inflation, rising costs, workforce evaluation, disruptive technologies, clouded judgement etc. etc. — how will 2023 shape up?
STORM-ASIA talks to industry players about their observations and approach to the new year. The interviews will be featured over the month of December.
Adopting A Prudent Approach
The era of cheap money is over, so adopting a prudent approach will allow the multi-faceted OUE Ltd in its onward journey.
OUE, which is in the property, healthcare and consumer segments, is staying alert to opportunites; to move nimbly when the time is right.
It is likely that we will face higher interest rates and lower yields for a significantly longer time as the Fed continues to raise interest rates to battle stubborn inflation, cool the jobs market and align supply and demand. This may take a few years at least.
During this period, we must be prudent, reduce gearing and keep strong capital reserves. Doing so will enable us to ride through this storm and seize any opportunities that may arise during this period.
Geopolitics in play
Geopolitics will continue to be a major factor for businesses when it comes to making decisions as tensions between the world’s two superpowers continue to deteriorate.
As the Russia-Ukraine conflict drags on, this will lead to higher energy and food prices as well as the risk of a larger-scale, full-blown conflict in Eastern Europe. This will have severe ramifications for all of us.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Straits continues to be a major flashpoint for regional peace and stability.
In addition, the current trajectory of the US and Chinese economies and decoupling of supply chains present acute challenges for businesses.
We must be nimble and adapt our strategy to cope with these new challenges.
The great wall of China
China continues to adopt and enforce a Zero-Covid policy, and its borders remain closed. This presents several obstacles from supply-chain and production issues to a more bearish investment outlook and uncertainties in the economy as people take a wait-and-see approach on the potential easing of Zero-Covid.
The Chinese economy is a key driver for growth in the region and globally. In order for us to meaningfully recover from the post-pandemic economic crisis, we will need China to open and generate growth to spur the global economy.