Asia CFOs bullish on business

Asia CFOs bullish on business

SINGAPORE - Top number-crunchers from around the region are confident that their companies will end the year with fatter bottom lines despite slower growth in the key economies of China and the United States.

The findings came in a survey of 604 chief financial officers (CFOs) and senior finance executives in 12 markets across the region by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

While it showed that the Asia region in general was optimistic, firms in South-east Asia were markedly more bullish than their counterparts in North Asia.

The poll found that 71 per cent of all respondents expect company revenue to be higher this year than last year. However, 62 per cent expect higher profits. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the discrepancy is likely due to higher costs, which could eat into margins.

Commodity prices were cited by 37 per cent of respondents as being their top concern for the year while 22 per cent pointed to currency volatility.

Among the markets included in the survey, respondents from South-east Asia were the most bullish about their businesses.

In Indonesia, 90 per cent of CFOs polled expected higher revenues this year and 83 per cent anticipated increased profits.

In Thailand, 86 per cent forecast higher revenues and 69 per cent predicted higher profits.

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