Tue, Jul 30, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Trade spat biggest concern: UBS

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

About 51 percent of Taiwanese investors said that a global trade dispute is their biggest concern for the local economy, higher than the global average of 46 percent and the average of 47 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, a UBS Group AG survey showed yesterday.

The second and third-biggest concerns for local investors were the nation’s long-term competitiveness with 49 percent, followed by the political environment with 47 percent, the survey showed.

By comparison, the trade dispute did not make it into the top three concerns for investors in the US, as respondents were more worried about domestic issues, including politics, the national debt and rising healthcare costs, the poll showed.

Investors in Europe viewed politics as the biggest concern, while investors in Latin America worried the most about inflation, the poll showed.

UBS had forecast that the US-China trade dispute would be one of the major issues weighing on Asian investors since last year.

While 54 percent of investors in the Asia-Pacific region believed that the US-China trade dispute would not be resolved this year, Taiwanese investors seemed to be more optimistic, with only 46 percent forecasting the conflict would remain unresolved next year, the poll showed.

Globally, 47 percent of investors expected the trade dispute to ease in four months to a year, followed by 31 percent of respondents who felt it would take more than a year to resolve the tensions and 22 percent anticipated seeing an agreement within three months, the poll showed.

Chinese and US negotiators are expected to meet again in Shanghai this week to resume the trade talks after US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reached a truce at the G20 summit in Japan last month, but US National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow has dampened expectations about the resumed negotiations, saying that he does not expect any grand deal, CNBC reported.

Most investors plan to diversify their portfolio, hold cash or to invest in industries with low exposure to trade, such as healthcare, to reduce the risks amid a prolonged trade dispute, the UBS survey showed.

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