RETAIL INVESTMENT | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Market confidence in Southeast Asia hits two-year high

High confidence levels recorded in Singapore.

Market sentiments in Southeast Asia are at a two-year high as 60% of corporates in the region expressed confidence that the global economy was improving.

This is a clear increase from the 49% who shared such sentiments six months ago, according to the latest SEA issue of the EY Capital Confidence Barometer released today. The survey of over 1,600 senior executives in 72 countries around the world, of which 127 were from SEA (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), was conducted in September 2013.

In SEA, close to half (48%) of respondents believed that their local economies were improving, up from 39% who held such views six months ago. Confidence levels in Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam were high while those in Indonesia and Malaysia were moderate.

Across the region, growth is a given among the executives. A higher proportion of SEA corporates – 45%, up from just 33% six months ago – believed that their local economies would grow by more than 3% in the next 12 months. This confidence is evident as an overwhelming 91% expected to maintain current headcount levels or create jobs in the year ahead.

Harsha Basnayake, Managing Partner for Transaction Advisory Services in Asean Region at EY says: “With 88% of SEA respondents expecting their local economies to grow and 51% expecting to create more employment, corporate confidence in SEA continues to be high.

SEA respondents are also bullish about the global economy with signs of stability and growth in developed markets.

However, this sentiment is not evenly felt across markets, with respondents from Indonesia and Malaysia, in particular, being more pessimistic in their outlook and expecting a decline in their local economic prospects over the next six months.”

“Nevertheless, the overall outlook for the region continues to remain positive with 76% of the respondents indicating that the current regulatory environments are supportive of and conducive for growth and investment.”

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