RHB research institute (RHBRI) is of the view that it could still be a choppy few months for the equity market in the 4Q given weakening economic fundamentals in the major world economies and fears of an imminent general election on the home front. Whilst more rounds of quantitative easing have been unveiled in the developed world, the big question in investors’ minds is how all these quantitative easing measures will translate to better global economic outlook. Having said that, equity still stands up vis-a-vis the unappealing returns of the alternative asset classes, such as cash and bonds and any good news is still likely to prompt a rally in equities.
How was Malaysia fared?
And, what's the strategy now?
Thus far, Malaysia has fared relatively well in the global financial crisis, and this is partly on account of low reliance on foreign funding of its banking system and more importantly, the progress in the implementation of the Economic Transformation Programme to boost domestic demand and cushion the economy against the downside risk from the external sector. As a result, the economy has bucked the trend and its real GDP growth is projected to pick up to +5.4% in 2013, from +5.0% estimated for 2012. This will translate to sustained earnings growth of around 6.0% in 2013 to create new shareholders’ values for investors.
We believe after a phase of correction and consolidation, the market will come back as the huge bond purchase programmes in the Eurozone and the US will push investors out of low-yielding cash and bonds over time into riskier assets such as equities. As the general election could be delayed to March 2013, our end-2012 FBM KLCI target remains unchanged at 1,690. Assuming global situations stabilize in six to nine months time and the global economic recovery is intact, our end-2013 FBM KLCI target is 1,815, based on 15x 2014 earnings.
Whilst our core strategy remains defensive, we believe investors would still need to accumulate fundamentally-robust stocks on weakness in order to outperform the market. In addition, as the search for yield will likely remain a key driver for both retail and institutional investors in the 4Q, high divided-yielding stocks will also continue to outperform the market, in our view. Sector-wise, our key overweight are telecommunications and banking, although we also have an overweight stance on the utilities and healthcare sectors.
Source: RHBRI research report