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Executive editor Neil Stewart Tel: +1 212 430 6876 Founding editor Janet Dignan Tel: +44 20 7251 7501 Chief copy editor Kathleen Hennessy Deputy editor Clare Harrison International correspondent Tim Human Reporter Robin Froggatt-Smith Contributors Brad Allen, Adrienne Baker, Jeff Cossette, Ian Williams Head of art and production Mariel Tabora Foulds Assistant design editor Jonathan Parker Senior designers Julie Binchet, Catherine Schmitt Brookes Designer James Noden President Ian Richman Publisher Harvey Hudes Sales and marketing director David Sweet Sales assistant Gabriella Gal Head of awards Jeremy Lankshear Events manager Becky Hurley Head of conferences Athena Sammy Conference producer William Russell Conference coordinator Carol Buonanno Events coordinator Ewa Karczmarz Webcomms coordinator Katy Littlewood Subscription inquiries US Brigitte Toledano tel: +1 212 430 6861 Europe David Barrett tel: +44 20 7251 7521 Email Cross Border (USA) Inc 65 Broadway, Suite 605, New York, NY 10006, USA Tel: +1 212 425 9649 Fax: +1 212 425 7589 Cross Border Ltd Churchill House, 142-146 Old Street, London EC1V 9BW, UK Tel: +44 20 7251 7500 Fax: +44 20 7490 4349 Shanghai office Henry Xiao, Chinese representative Tel: +86 21 5220 7134 Fax: +86 21 6239 8622 General inquiries Email: Website: Printed by Buxton Press Ltd, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE, UK

Journey to the center of the earth
In December, as man-made islands full of empty buildings languished in Dubai and US developers struggled to keep commercial property afloat, I was marveling at more new eye-popping buildings taking shape in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We were there celebrating our Asia IR awards. Unlike elsewhere in 2009, these awards had no gloomy tinge because the financial crisis never really hit in Asia. According to market intelligence firm Ipreo, Hong Kong and China have already bounced back to their 2007 levels of net foreign equity investment. New issuance in Hong Kong and China jumped to a record pace over the last six months, with at least one Hong Kong consultant rubbing his hands at the prospect of 700 new IPOs in the city-state in 2010. This is Asia’s century. A sportswear company IRO from Beijing told me Chinese manufacturers aren’t worried about the US consumer recovery as they have a huge and growing number of Chinese consumers to sell to. In IR and corporate governance, Asian companies adapted to western practices over the last 20 years. Magnus Böcker, the former NASDAQ OMX president who just took the helm at Singapore Exchange, exhorted IROs at the IR Magazine South East Asia Conference to ‘steal with pride’. Now, like the sportswear company, Asian executives are turning their attention inward and coming up with their own ways of doing things. Bank of China chairman Xiao Gang recently called for Chinese corporate governance reform. Chinese banks, he said, should build their governance with Chinese characteristics, and at the heart of the system there should be social responsibility and sustainability. The new buildings in Asia are like no others in the world, and the West will have to copy their flair or be left behind. The same goes for business. Asia is the new center of the world: look at what’s happening there, then steal with pride.

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ISSN 2041-8884 (Print)

ISSN 2041-9155 (Digital)

Neil Stewart Executive editor
February 2010 3