Asia CFOs bullish on ’15 out­look: Mer­rill Lynch

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cers (CFOs) in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, in­clud­ing Tai­wan, are con­fi­dent in their re­gional busi­nesses as mea­sured by growth prospects, their abil­ity to man­age and mit­i­gate risk, and their ap­petite for in­vest­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bank of Amer­ica Mer­rill Lynch 2015 CFO Out­look Asia sur­vey re­leased Thurs­day, 84 per­cent of the re­spon­dents said they ex­pect rev­enues to rise in 2015, up from 76 per­cent in the same sur­vey con­ducted last year.

CFOs are also more bullish on prof­its in 2015, with 73 per­cent of those sur­veyed fore­cast­ing growth this year, com­pared with 60 per­cent in 2014.

The CFOs ex­pec­ta­tions of growth in both rev­enue and prof­its place con­fi­dence at its high­est level since the sur­vey be­gan in 2012, Mer­rill Lynch said in a state­ment.

The sur­vey shows that fi­nan­cial mar­ket risk (54 per­cent ver­sus 36 per­cent in 2014), par­tic­u­larly higher U.S. in­ter­est rates and con­tin­ued cur­rency volatil­ity, is the big­gest risk fac­ing cor­po­ra­tions this year.

“CFOs in Asia Pa­cific are acutely aware of the risks in the mar­ket and have taken nec­es­sary steps to man­age them bet­ter,” said Steven Vic­torin, head of Asia Pa­cific Cor­po­rate Bank­ing and Global Cor­po­rate Bank­ing Sub­sidiaries at Mer­rill Lynch.

“Past fi­nan­cial crises have taught the re­gion’s most suc­cess­ful CFOs valu­able lessons in pru­dent fi­nan­cial and risk man­age­ment. As a re­sult, we find that cor­po­ra­tions with sub­stan­tial cash sur­pluses, closely hedged cur­rency ex­po­sures and an ac­tively mit­i­gated in­ter­est rate strat­egy are more con­fi­dent in deal­ing with mar­ket chal­lenges and pur­su­ing growth strate­gies,” he said.

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