With moderate inflation and relatively robust growth, the Asian market will have a brighter future this year, providing a wealth of opportunities for investors, according to HSBC market outlook for 2012 released on Thursday.
The research said that Asia held up better than developed markets last year, but has still been impacted by the deteriorating European debt crisis. Expectations for growth in Asia are weak in the first half of 2012, followed by a better outlook in the second half.
The research argued that tightened policy and slowing growth rate have eroded inflation in a number of Asian countries like China, Indonesia and Thailand. Asian countries' governments thus have more room to ease monetary policy to stimulate growth.
Bill Maldonado, HSBC's chief investment officer of Asia Pacific, told reporters Thursday that with stronger public finances and continuation of sovereign credit ratings upgraded, the region still remains in good shape, providing profitable opportunities for investors.
As for the Asia (except Japan) equities, Maldonado said that the current valuations are cheap but very profitable as well. For the fixed income market, he believed the picture is also positive.
"Low inflation, very low interest rates, no real chance of overheating, a solid and strong of fiscal picture and not big budget deficit. Those are very nice indicators of fixed income investment," Maldonado said.
He also commented that Renminbi bond issuance is likely to remain strong in 2012 as U.S. and European companies seek to issue bonds in this market to gain recognition in Asia.
As for the whole picture of global growth and investment, Philip Poole, HSBC's global head of macro and investment strategy, said the world economic growth is likely to remain weak to moderate this year amid continuing volatility, but global recession is unlikely. Though European policymakers have made clear progress on the debt crisis, more needs to be done to convince investors that "we are nearing the end."
"I think the problem we have in the eurozone is a ten-year type of problem. We don't really know what the solutions are like, but what we really need to see is that market access is restored on sustainable terms," Poole said.