Thu, Feb 10, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan’s investor confidence picks up strength: poll

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan’s investor confidence picked up further from three months earlier as investors increased their holdings in equities and other assets, bolstered by an expanding economy, a survey by JPMorgan Asset Management Taiwan Ltd (摩根富林明投信) showed yesterday.

The Taiwanese investor confidence index rose to its second-highest level last month at 130.2, from 120.9 in October, indicating investor optimism about wealth expansion, the survey showed.

The financial service provider attributed the increasing confidence to warming trade ties between Taiwan and China.

“Both the local bourse and currency rallied in the last three months because the ECFA [Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement] boosted investor confidence to [its second] highest level after July 2008’s 132.1,” company vice president Alex Chio (邱亮士) said in the report.

The firm initiated the quarterly survey in July 2004. A score above 100 indicates optimism, while a reading below the threshold suggests a pessimistic view, the report said.

Chio expected the bullish sentiment to continue this year as foreign and domestic funds buy more local equities given Taiwan’s strong economic fundamentals.

“Securities savings accounts, which hit a record NT$1.3 trillion [US$44.67 billion] in October, will likely reach new highs in the coming months, aided by ample funds,” he said. “The mild inflationary pressure will allow the central bank to hike interest rates slowly.”

Securities savings deposits climbed further to NT$1.34 trillion at the end of December, central bank data showed.

All sub-indexes recorded gains, with the equities sub-index gaining 15 points to 136.9 last month, from 121.9 three months earlier, according to the survey.

The local economy sub-index rose 14.5 points to 131.2 last month, while the gauges on domestic political and investment climates each picked up 7.9 points to 132.4 and 132.5 respectively, the survey said.

The global economy sub-index grew 3.7 points to 115.2 last month, while the reading on prospects of portfolio gaining value added 6.8 points to 132.9, the survey said.

In terms of livelihood, the survey showed 72.3 percent of respondents expected housing prices to keep rising in the next six months, while 92.9 percent expected consumer prices to trend up.

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