Thu, Jul 16, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Investors’ optimism growing: survey

UPWARDS About 70 percent of local investors said they were satisfied with economic improvements in the last quarter, but many said the government should do more

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese investors have regained their positive outlook with optimism rising to the third-highest level among 12 markets in the Asia-Pacific region in the second quarter, an ING survey showed yesterday.

The government’s policy to further open the Taiwanese market to China had a positive impact on Taiwanese investor sentiment, with the index reaching a record high of 136 points in the second quarter from the previous quarter’s 96 points and 65 points in the fourth quarter of last year, the quarterly ING Investor Dashboard survey found.

“Taiwan’s investor sentiment index was the third-highest in Asia and hit a record high since the index was launched [in October 2007],” ING said in a statement.

Steven Billiet, CEO of ING Securities Investment Trust (Taiwan) Ltd, said he believed the government’s pro-China policy would continue to boost the economy this quarter and lead to changes in the economy’s structure.

However, “While the government is continually providing boosts to the TAIEX,” he said, “investors have to watch out for potential drops due to the economic overheating.”

As improvements in cross-strait relations increase each side’s investment value, Billiet said investors should review their investment portfolio and “strike the balance between China’s and Taiwan’s stock markets in their investments at the appropriate moment.”

The survey said that about 70 percent of domestic investors — up from 25 percent in the first quarter — were satisfied with the economic improvement last quarter, an improvement that accounted for Taiwan’s sharing the top position with Singapore in this department.

Although 79 percent of local investors said the government could do more to address the nation’s economic downturn, 77 percent welcomed the government’s pro-China policy, the survey showed.

More than 60 percent of Taiwanese and Asian investors expressed confidence in the region’s economy this quarter, the survey said.

Across all 13 Asian markets, the region’s investor sentiment index in the second quarter rebounded significantly to 132 points from 85 in the first quarter, returning to “optimistic” and above the 120 points recorded last year before the financial crisis, the survey found.

Investors in India were the most optimistic, with the sentiment index jumping to 182 points in the second quarter from 133 in the first quarter, followed by investors in China, whose sentiment index climbed to 158 points in the second from 124 in the previous quarter.

Investors in Australia and Japan, meanwhile, were the least optimistic, with the index remaining “neutral” at 84 and 95 points respectively, the survey said.

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