Asia CFOs bullish on ’15 outlook: Merrill Lynch
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.