The recent spike in Chinese interest rates suggests that authorities in Beijing are determined to shift the country from an export-driven model to one more focused on domestic demand. Corporate China appears more than ready to play its part.
Consumer-oriented Chinese companies rank highly among Asia’s best-managed companies, according to Institutional Investor’s 2013 All-Asia Executive Team. China Telecom Corp., the country’s leading fixed-line operator, took the crown as the Most Honored Company in Asia; the company’s chief executive, Wang Xiaochu, was voted as the top CEO in the telecommunications sector by both buy- and sell-side analysts, and Wu Andi won similar recognition as the top CFO in the sector. China Telecom’s Investor Relations team was also voted as the best in the sector.
China State Construction International Holdings, the country’s leading construction contractor, came in second place on the Most Honored Companies list followed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the Indian IT giant Infosys, the Hong Kong-based Asian insurer AIA Group and China Resources Enterprise, a major retailing, brewing and food and beverage company. Other Chinese companies that ranked in the top ten included Internet service provider Tencent Holdings and search engine operator Baidu. India’s HDFC Bank, a leading mortgage and consumer lender, and IT services provider Tata Consultancy Services round out the top ten.
As Beijing pushes domestic consumption as an alternative to sagging exports, executives around the region are bidding for a piece of its market, whether that be for smart phones, travel or luxury brands. Other Asian countries are tied closely to Chinese growth while also benefiting from the development of their own consumer sectors. Countries in South and Southeast Asia grew at an average rate of 7.5 percent last year, the fastest of any region, according to the World Bank.