‘U.S. COR­PO­RATES SUP­PORT TRUMP’

Marts have re­sponded well and con­fi­dence is build­ing

New Straits Times - - Business | News -

RUPA DAMODARAN

KUALA LUMPUR ru­pa­banerji@me­di­aprima.com.my

WELL past 50 days now, and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is surely gain­ing the sup­port of the pow­er­ful United States cor­po­rate sec­tor. Con­fi­dence is build­ing for Trump even though “he is a bit of wild card”, as is seen on a daily ba­sis, Bloomberg LP chair­man Peter Grauer told NST Busi­ness.

But in gen­eral, cor­po­rate USS is rea­son­ably pos­i­tive and it is will­ing to wait and see what the new US lead­er­ship has to of­fer.

The mar­kets had re­sponded well since Trump en­tered the White House in l a t e Ja n u a r y, s a i d Grauer.

The Dow Jones Industrial Av­er­age broke the 20,000-point level, bring­ing smiles to com­pany heads who en­joyed a col­lec­tive US$402 bil­lion (RM1.78 tril­lion) surge in the value of their stock hold­ings.

The weather re­port for the world’s largest econ­omy was also bright and the US dol­lar has en­joyed a strong rally, while the jobs re­port showed 235,000 jobs were cre­ated in Trump’s first month in of­fice.

“We have a new pres­i­dent get­ting his feet un­der the desk, try­ing to drive the ad­min­is­tra­tion go­ing for­ward,” said Grauer in an in­ter­view dur­ing his one-day visit to Malaysia. He has left for China.

Much of Trump’s plat­form is fo­cused on spend­ing or chang­ing the tax code and bring­ing cap­i­tal back to the US. The mar­kets have re­sponded favourably to that.

“The Fed has moved the in­ter­est rate up by 25 ba­sis points — the third time in 10 years — and that is also good news for the mar­ket. We are in a ris­ing rate en­vi­ron­ment and there will be some in­fla­tion caused by the in­fra­struc­ture pro­gramme Trump wants to put in place.”

Grauer ad­mit­ted there were grow­ing con­cerns about how rapidly Trump was fill­ing out his ad­min­is­tra­tion, whether they be the cab­i­net mem­bers or key ad­vis­ers of the var­i­ous agen­cies or depart­ments, but said there was noth­ing to worry about.

“The first Obama and first Bush ad­md­min­is­tra­tions were ‘not far’ fromfr where Trump is.”

But so far, the im­por­tant state, de­fence and na­tional se­cu­rity posts had been filled with “good and solid” in­di­vid­u­als, he said.

“The chal­lenge now is how much ac­count­abil­ity th hey are go­ing to have and how mu ch re­spon­si­bil­ity will the pres­i­dent give them to dis­charge. Time will tell.”

An­other five ap­point­ments are to be an­nounced soon and Grauer said their bios were im­pres­sive.

Grauer, who is a mem­ber of the Busi­ness Coun­cil based in Wash­ing­ton, said the gen­eral re­cep­tion of the cor­po­rates had been “rea­son­ably pos­i­tive” when they met Trump weeks ago.

The wait-and-see stance must also be ob­served by the rest of the world, he said, as “we got to wait and see how it works its way out”.

“It is early in the process. From a busi­ness per­spec­tive, busi­ness lead­ers are say­ing he (Trump) is our pres­i­dent we have to get be­hind him and give him an op­por­tu­nity,” said Grauer.

Part two of in­ter­view on Mon­day

BY SALHANI IBRAHIM PIC

Bloomberg chair­man Peter Grauer says con­fi­dence in United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is build­ing among cor­po­rates .

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