Asia to weather markets turmoil: Standard and Poor’s

SINGAPORE, Aug 24, 2007 (AFP) – Asian economies should weather any fallout from the current turmoil in global financial and stock markets sparked by a crisis in the US subprime credit sector, Standard and Poor’s said Friday. Quick action by central banks worldwide, including those in Asia, to inject liquidity into the financial system has eased fears the credit squeeze would affect the general economy, especially consumption and investments. The credit risk evaluator said in a statement that most regional economies appear to have learned their lessons from the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and 1998.

“Asian economies have improved their banking systems, reined in fiscal deficits, brought down external debts, built up foreign exchange reserves and improved their current account balances,” said Standard and Poor’s credit analyst Ping Chew.

“Any significant and prolonged decline in asset and market valuations could also sap confidence, but while economic activity and confidence remain robust, the Asian economies are likely to suffer minor setbacks but not major reversals.”

Asian stock and financial markets have recently been hurt by the spillover effects of a crisis sparked by lending to home loan borrowers with sh