Unpacking US-Iran Tensions
ADDED:
08 January 2020
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Risk assets got off to a rocky start in 2020 as tensions boiled over in the Middle East following news that an Iranian military commander was killed in a Baghdad airstrike. General Qassim Soleimani along with other top military officials were killed in a US drone strike on his convoy at the Baghdad airport.

The current base case for markets is that a full blown conflict between Iran and US is very unlikely. While tensions are high and reprisals are to be expected, both Iran and the US have constraints that will likely keep an escalation from spiralling out of control.

Possible near-term Iranian retaliation includes aggression towards oil shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz. Iran may potentially also launch skirmishes against US military bases/ships in the Middle East or engage in cyber attacks against American websites.

However, the Iranian regime remains mindful of US military power, while President Trump is unlikely to commence an all-out war against Iran due to his upcoming re-election.

It is also worth noting that the US is now a net exporter of oil and only imports 12% of it’s crude from the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, oil infrastructure facilities in the Middle East have already increased their security after the September 2019 drone attack on Saudi oil facilities.
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TENG CHEE WAI

Managing Director
Teng Chee Wai is the founder of Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (Affin Hwang AM). Over the past decade, he has built the Company to be the fastest growing and only independent investment management house in Malaysia’s top three, with an excess of RM47 billion in assets under management as at 31 December 2018.​

​In his capacity as Managing Director / Executive Director, Teng manages the overall business and strategic direction as well as the management of the investment team. His hands-on approach sees him actively involved in investments, product development and marketing. Teng’s critical leadership and regular participation in reviewing and assessing strategies and performance has been pivotal in allowing the Company to successfully navigate the economically turbulent decade.

Teng’s investment management experience spans more than 20 years, and his key area of expertise is in managing absolute return mandates for insurance assets and investment-linked funds in both Singapore and Malaysia. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Assistant General Manager (Investment) of Overseas Assurance Corporation (OAC) and was responsible for the investment function of the Group Overseas Assurance Corporation Ltd.​

​Teng began his career in the financial industry as an Investment Manager with NTUC Income, Singapore. He is a Bachelor of Science graduate from the National University of Singapore and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Actuarial Studies from City University in London.
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