Pivoting to Asia: Asia Pacific Enjoys Highest Global Corporate Dividends Growth Rate

    4 March 2014

    Australia Takes the Lead

    The second of a series of client alerts examining the relevance of Obama administration’s pivot policy as seen from the region.

    The Obama administration’s 2012 “Pivot to East Asia” regional strategy is aimed at focusing upon the rapidly developing economies of South East Asia whose strategic importance to the United States both economically and militarily has been highlighted by the administration.

    The following key focus areas have been identified:

    • Strengthening bilateral security alliances; deepening [America’s] working relationships with emerging powers, including with China
    • Engaging with regional multilateral institutions
    • Expanding trade and investment
    • Forging a broad-based military presence
    • Advancing democracy and human rights

    A February study by Henderson Global Investors confirms that Global corporate dividends have now exceeded $US1 trillion last year and for the first time the Asia Pacific region has enjoyed growth of 79 percent overall since 2009. This is the highest rate of growth compared to the regional categories of the markets of emerging nations, North America, Britain and Europe and Japan. The 79 percent figure is almost double the rate of global dividends.

    Leading the ranks of Asia Pacific dividends is Australia at $US40.3 billion, compared to Hong Kong at $US33 billion, and almost twice the combined amount of Australia’s regional partners Taiwan, at $US8.9billion; Singapore, at $US 8billion; and South Korea, at $US6.7billion.  

    The Australia position is even more impressive considering the Australian dividend payout rate rose by 10.2 percent in the year compared to only 1.1 percent-increase over the same period in the United States and 0.9 percent in the UK.

    A significant number of American businesses and investors are already engaging with Australia, which has been more than receptive to the outreach, to ease access into the burgeoning Asian markets.

    Patton Boggs has been called upon for counsel in these matters owing to its credibility and familiarity with the markets and regulatory mechanisms of the region. Our attorneys in Brisbane offer on-the-ground analysis and counsel on matters related to the opportunities the “Pivot to East Asia” policy will afford. For more information, please contact Patton Boggs Of Counsel Simon Harrison.