Surviving the downturn


Most banks seem to be breathing a collective sigh of relief that 2001 is finally over. With a US-led slowdown that has sent many of Asia’s export-reliant economies spiralling downwards, there was some anxiety at the beginning of last year that sluggish US consumer demand could spark another devastating region-wide slump.

And there have been some sticky moments. Many of the region’s equity markets have plummeted over the year – for example, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped by 25%, while th

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