Finance is a key input into sustainable economic growth, says a quarterly report from the ANZ Bank.
In its Asia Pacific Economics Pacific Quarterly publication, the bank said the process of developing broader and more liquid banks, institutions and markets to finance growth was known as financial deepening.
“At its core, this involves opening up different lending options and improving the size and range of financial markets so that corporates and individuals can fund projects or purchases at a fair and risk-weighted cost. For the Pacific, financial deepening is only in its infancy.
“The Pacific’s only equity markets, PNG and Fiji, are characterised more by their shallowness and illiquidity than their depth.”
The bank has revised growth forecasts for countries in the region.
Meanwhile, Australia’s ANZ has been granted permission to operate a subsidiary in Thailand. It comes as the troubled state tries to curb an investor exodus.
Thailand’s ongoing political turmoil has led to increasing uncertainty about business prospects there.
The approval paves the way for the Australian lender to gain a full banking licence in the future.
The deal fits in with the lender’s so-called super-regional strategy which goes as far back as 2007.
As part of that vision, ANZ aims to source 25-30% of its earnings from the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the US combined by 2017.
SUVA, (FIJI TIMES/BBC)