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Asia's opportunities outweigh risks from North Korea, says Japanese bank

Key Points
  • Business opportunities in Asia outweighs the risks brought about by North Korea, a top executive at Daiwa Securities Group said
  • The investment bank's Keiko Tashiro named Southeast Asia as a key growth market, thanks in part to the China-led "One Belt, One Road" program
Japanese companies are big on Asian M&A: Executive

There are plenty of business opportunities in Asia even though the region is home to what many consider to be the largest risk of the day: North Korea.

That's the sentiment of Daiwa Securities, according to Keiko Tashiro, the Japanese bank's senior executive managing director, who said the group will continue to expand within the region.

"It's something that's very difficult to predict in terms of what's going to happen with North Korea, so we look at the risks we have, but we also look at the growth that's surrounding the area," Tashiro, who also heads Daiwa's overseas operations, said at the sidelines of Milken Institute's Asia Summit 2017.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts during the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) test launch in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

"So from our point of view, despite what's happening in North Korea, a lot of our resources are dedicated to Asia. And I think that will continue," she added.

Tashiro named Southeast Asia as an important market to expand into as the region looks to be a key beneficiary of the China-led "One Belt, One Road" initiative.

"We look at ("One Belt, One Road") because it might change a lot of things: the geopolitical connection between Asia and Europe, how much is going to be put into infrastructure, in terms of how people are going to move. So Southeast Asia obviously will be part of it and it will be very important," she said.

Daiwa has been ramping up its presence in Southeast Asia. Last year, it invested nearly 20 billion yen (about $181 million) in a Vietnamese securities company and a Malaysian investment bank. It also bought shares in a Myanmar internet service provider and is working with the frontier country's government to develop its capital market.