Fri, Aug 15, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Asian executives bullish on China, equities market

AFP , HONG KONG

Asian executives are eyeing China for future expansion and are bullish on prospects for a rebound in the equities market, a survey by the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) magazine found.

"Almost one in three respondents reported that their companies are opening or planning soon to open operations in China," said "Managing in Asia" report writer Nury Vittachi.

The survey was compiled from FEER subscribers in 10 countries and asked executives about their spending and investment patterns.

East Asian investors are bullish that share prices would rise with three out of four respondents investing in equities.

Meanwhile, Australian and South Korean investors favor property investment in contrast to their counterparts in Japan and Hong Kong, who have been hit hard by negative equity, the survey found.

Only 14 percent of respondents have invested in precious metals with a mere four percent investing in futures and options.

Worries about poor economic growth continued to nag with 57 percent of respondents saying the greatest challenge ahead is the poor state of the economy.

Despite rising unemployment, executives said a shortage of skilled workers remained a problem, the survey said.

Executives said their priorities were pressuring suppliers to reduce costs and moving staff to a performance related pay system, reflecting the dark economic cloud hanging over the region.

Japanese respondents topped in executive spending, wielding budgets of US$1.08 million while Malaysians were at the bottom with budgets of only US$780,000, the survey found. Meanwhile, the net worth of executives in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan is the highest the region, the survey said.

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