By Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) - Asian stocks saw booms and busts in 2021 but overall the year was marked by a wave of optimism led by big capital Chinese tech with some seeing gains and hope that the coronavirus pandemic is finished.
Yet concerns about Chinese government regulation as well as Chinese developer Evergrande's ongoing debt crisis and a worsening power shortage made shares dip.
China's regulatory steps and the problems with Evergrande Group were at the center of Asian markets.
The property developer's debt crisis was considered "China's Lehman Brothers moment," sending shockwaves throughout the world's second-largest economy.
As real estate and associated industries made up for as much as 30% of China’s gross domestic product, this alarmed global markets.
Also, due to inflationary pressures and concerns about the omicron variant of coronavirus, major shares in Asia saw declines in 2021.
The Fed removed “transitory” from describing inflation, saying it will conclude tapering faster by doubling asset purchases and the bank signaled three rate hikes in 2022 to tame record inflation.
But investors seemed optimistic after drugmakers BioNTech and Pfizer announced three doses of their COVID-19 vaccine have been found to neutralize the omicron variant.
US pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna also said the vaccine developed for the virus produces a strong antibody response for the omicron variant.
- Other important developments
Wood Mackenzie, a global research and consultancy business, said the power generation sector in the Asia Pacific region could attract $1.5 trillion in investments in the decade ending 2030.
The global energy consultancy company said renewables investments have overtaken fossil fuel since 2013, with solar and wind representing 66% or $1 trillion investment opportunity in the Asia Pacific up to 2030, while fossil fuels, mainly coal and gas, make up the remaining $500 billion.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has been declared Asia's best-performing market, a development local economists view as a signal that the country's otherwise contracting economy is recovering.
In a recent report, a New York-based global markets research firm also declared PSX the world's fourth best-performing market.
"Pakistan's stock market has become the best performer in Asia and the fourth-best-performing stock market in the world," according to the report.
Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest delivery firm, saw its market debut earlier this month, following a record $40 billion merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on NASDAQ.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the economy of the Asia and Pacific region is expected to contract 2.2% in 2020 but rebound 6.9% in 2021, while global expectations were minus 4.4% for 2020 and 5.2% for 2021, according to a report.
The rise of Indian stocks looks unstoppable, with the Japanese Nikkei closing the year close to an all-time high.