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Asian Equities Vs Developed Markets Outlook

  • 2009 MSCI Asia (ex Japan) performance in USD terms: 11.0% ytd as of Apr 24, 2009. MSCI AXJ Index rose by 34.4% during the March 2-April 24 period
  • Best performers: China: 32.1%| Pakistan: 25.2%| Taiwan: 24.3%| Sri Lanka: 20.6%| Korea: 19.2%| India: 17.9%| Indonesia: 16.3%| Malaysia: 11.8%| Philippines: 11.4%
  • Worst performers: Thailand: 5.6%| Singapore: 3.2% | HK: 3.1%| Vietnam: -0.6%
  • In 2009: Asia's equity market (ex Japan) have outperformed mature markets, up 11.0% ytd as of Apr 24 2009, while the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index fell by 10.6% and 7.0% respectively during the same period. With the exception of Viet Nam, all Asian equity markets rose since the beginning of 2009
  • From March 2009: Asian equity markets have witnessed a rally following a surge in U.S. markets and began to benefit from the widening valuation gap on the back of relatively resilient macroeconomic fundamentals
  • Valuations: Asian equities are now reaching the lows seen during the 2001-2002 recession. Taiwan (26.3x) and China (22.1x for A-shares) are valued most exceeding 20 times reported earnings, whereas Indonesia (9.9x), Pakistan (9.4x) and Singapore (9.3x) are cheapest when compared to their regional peers. Given China's aggressive fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate domestic economy, A-shares are valued more than B-shares (15.8x)
  • 2008 Review: The peak-to-trough decline in Asian equities in 2008 (more than 70% for some markets) surpassed the 60% fall in local currency terms during the 1998 Asian financial crisis. Sustained outflows from offshore Asian funds took total net redemptions in Jan-Oct 2008 to a record high such that all money that flowed in during 2007 flowed out
  • 2009 Outlook: Asia markets will need to offer more attractive growth and valuations than the rest of the world in order to attract fund flows into the region. Asia valuations, however cheap by its own historical standards and cheaper than the U..S, are still more expensive than the 8.6x median of 46 countries (DBS). Nonetheless, given decreasing inflationary pressures and relatively healthy fiscal positions, further fiscal and monetary stimulus policies by Asian govts will able to boost the region's equity markets in H2 2009
  • Upsides: AXJ region is now attractively valued, and buying into most of the region's equity markets seems a better bet than bonds amid increasing bond issuance. continuous FII inflows to Asian equity markets since early March have taken ytd net flows to a positive US$1.6bn in mid-April 2009, with 4-week average as strong as those experienced in 2006 and 2007
  • Downsides: gloomy earnings forecasts, worries over the U.S. economy, exit by local investors and also FIIs alarmed at greater than expected impact of global slowdown on Asia's growth, exports, fiscal deficits, slowing consumer spending and investment may have negative impacts. Investors may move money to bond markets from equity markets in an anticipation of slower global economy's recovery due to the spread of swine flu. High (external) debt exposure of corporate sector in some countries and risks of real estate correction and bank profitability are additional risks
  • Market Integration: there is a noticeable upward trend in the Asia-U.S. correlation with the correlation parameter picking up sharply in H2 2008 (peaking during mid-Oct 2008). However, average correlations for emerging Asian equity markets are generally higher between the region's markets than with the US markets
  • Government intervention: Several countries including Taiwan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand intervened in the stock market by narrowing the trading band, introducing stabilization fund to contain volatility, banning short-selling, directing govt funds to buy shares

p/s photos: Han Ga In


solomon said…
It is like rotational rise in Asian countries. Of course, it will boost up consumer confidence. When I read Paul Krugman "Falling income syndrome", it still remind me that we have to generate more jobs to avoid the economic pitfalls.

The KLSE market rise today is unexpected, noticeably with some foreign buying. When one have UNISEM limit up and good rise on SAPCRES today, do you think local investors will start to relook at quality stocks RM1 share.

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