‘Oasis’ for Europe investors

Economy May 09, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

MAYBANK Kim Eng, the investment banking arm of Maybank Group, said at its Invest Asia UK conference yesterday that amidst the current economic uncertainties in Europe, Asia provides an oasis of opportunities to European investors.



Held at The May Fair London, the Invest Asia UK attracted more than 300 delegates from 23 countries on Monday. A total of 31 corporates from 12 countries in Asia including China, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Pakistan, covering North Asia and Asean with total market capitalisation of about US$500 billion (Bt17.3 trillion) and 120 funds across Europe totaling $19 trillion in assets under management participated in the conference.

The investment bank expects stronger growth for Asia this year, buoyed by a cyclical recovery in trade and commodity prices. The region has seen a robust recovery in exports and trade-related services since end-2016, benefiting many Asian economies, especially those which are trade dependent. 

The East Asian economies -Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and China - are part of the global electronic supply chain and are gaining from the recovery in electronic exports. Many Asean countries are also benefiting from trade recovery and improved commodity prices. The Asian Development Bank expects Asia to grow at 5.7 per cent in 2017 and 2018, ahead of most developed economies.

Dato’ John Chong, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng, says that Asia has strong fundamentals and its long term structural growth is sustainable given its favorable demographics and growing infrastructure investments.

Asia’s 4.4 billion population |with a median age of 30, makes up about 60 per cent of the world population. Asean has the world’s third largest labour force, with 60 per cent still below the age of 35. Countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, India and Indonesia are expected to grow strongly, leveraging on their demographic dividends, low balance sheet leverage and technological catch-up.