On November 25, the Network of AIM Alumni Singapore (NAIMAS), with the AIM Alumni Relations Office (ARO) hosting, organized a webinar titled “Investing in a Post-Covid World.” The webinar featured James Cheo, Chief Investment Officer, Southeast Asia – Global Private Banking and Wealth, at HSBC Singapore.
James Cheo spearheads the development of investment strategies across all asset classes for private banking and wealth management clients in Southeast Asia. Prior to re-joining HSBC Private Banking, James was Senior Investment Strategist at Bank of Singapore, where he was responsible for asset allocation and thematic research.
In his presentation, he shared the fascinating insight that the pandemic resulted in a world that is: more indebted, more connected, and more divided.
From 2019-2020, the world accumulated a staggering USD24 Trillion of debt before adding another USD10 Trillion from 2020-2021. This adds up to 380% of the global GDP. Because of this debt overhanging on the world’s economy, he foresees growth slowing down in 2022 and in the coming years.
According to James, we have seen the end of the V-shape recovery last March, and 2021 has probably recorded the strongest economic growth globally since the start of the pandemic.
Apart from a more indebted world, the pandemic created a more connected and digital world, creating enormous investment opportunities. There was a definite acceleration in digital platforms and an explosion of consumers transacting digitally. He mentioned that Zoom, a video conferencing app that is now widely used, is only the tip of the iceberg, and we will see more interesting technology coming out, offering very good prospects for investors.
Along this line, James shared that as much as the world is now connected digitally, the world has also become more divided. The pandemic has made income inequality more extensive, further widening the gap between the rich and the poor. As an example, even Biden’s US$ 3 trillion infrastructure plan will not impact the income inequality that has manifested in the USA over the past 40 years. To solve income inequality, more comprehensive economic policies that will have cummulative effects lasting decades into the future need to be enacted.
At the end of his talk, James mentioned that a silver lining of a more divided world is the focus on sustainability and climate change. He believes that the theme of sustainable revolution is going to be one of the most powerful forces that will create opportunities for investors in the years ahead.
NAIMAS Vice Chairman Dr. Clive Lim and President Vivek Goyal expertly moderated the Q and A segment of the webinar. Lots of profound questions were posed by the audience, and James answered all with aplomb.
You can watch the recording of the webinar here: https://aimleader.aim.edu/multimedia
We would like to thank NAIMAS and the lively audience for an exhilarating hour of discussion on investing during this very challenging time. It was truly a privilege for ARO to host the webinar.
For more events like this, always check your MyAIMConnect feed for announcements and updates.
words by Janelle Erika Santos
edited by Bernardino Jiao