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Economics & Strategy – Economics – Third

After three years in the runner-up position, Bank of America Merrill Lynch climbs to third place.

Hak Bin Chua, Ting Lu & team Bank of America Merrill Lynch

After three years in the runner-up position, Bank of America Merrill Lynch climbs to third place. Co-led this year by newcomers Hak Bin Chua and Ting Lu, the nine-member team is spread across Asia — with economists in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila, New Delhi, Seoul and Singapore — and wins praise for its “objective and independent view on economics,” as one money manager puts it. Noting the effect of deleveraging and central bank balance-sheet expansion in the West, Chua warns that “Asia is able to weather these structural forces and market turbulence, but policymakers will be tested time and time again in this less-benign global environment — with greater room for policy errors.” The team is monitoring multiple factors that could affect growth in China, including the upcoming change in national leadership, tightening measures for the property sector and a possible rebound of inflation in the second half of the year. — ­Carolyn Koo

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