Sunday, May 19, 2013

Economic Growth Set to Soar with Fresh Mandate for Najib.

Almost as soon as Malaysia awoke to the news of a BN victory on May 6, audible sighs of relief could be heard from investors across the region.
Instead of the worst-case scenario of a fragmented and ill-prepared Pakatan Rakyat grabbing power, traders were reassured to learn that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had won a fresh mandate, promising stability and continued growth for our economic trajectory.
Various analysts have already predicted that Malaysia will see another year of solid IPO performances, though it remains to be seen just how the market could top 2012's staggering display.
Credit Suisse meanwhile is confident that the economy will likely pick up in an even broader sense across the second half of 2013.
Managing Director of Credit Suisse Securities (M) Sdn Bhd, Stephen Hagger, said now that the trials and tribulations of GE13 are behind us, business direction will be much clearer and more conducive to good growth.
"The Malaysian economy has been put on hold in the first quarter as everyone was predicting the date for the general election," he said, predicting that Najib's firm economic policy will drive solid growth for the remainder of the year.
"Based on our forecasts, the Malaysian economy is to grow somewhere around five per cent this year, boosted by the government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).Speaking on the side-lines of a forum called "GE13 – What it Means for Business?" Hagger told reporters that Malaysia looked set to join a "very exclusive club" currently comprising the Philippines and Thailand that have all three certainties: primarily economic, corporate earnings and political stability.
Presumably the last of those certainties for Malaysia rests on the rakyat's ability to ignore the inflammatory leanings of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who seems intent on challenging the growth and stability of the nation.
But like most politicians, economists too have moved on. "With the removal of the political overhang, we believe that broad policy continuity and certainty as well as the faster implementation of ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) projects, including the mass rapid transit project, will sustain the investment momentum," said Lee Heng Guie, economic research head at CIMB Investment Bank, last week.
Malaysian business leaders are also more confident, according to Ernst & Young's latest bi-annual South-East Asia issue of the Global Capital Confidence Barometer.
The survey, which covered over 1,500 senior executives from large companies around the world across various sectors, indicated that the Malaysian confidence level was higher than its international peers.
The report showed that an astonishing 100 per cent, yes, all Malaysian respondents surveyed, believed that the global economy was stable or improving compared to 54 per cent six months ago. They felt likewise about the Malaysian economy compared to 77 per cent in the previous survey.
It seems that the only Malaysians who don't share this sentiment are Anwar & Co., still calling for chaos on our streets.

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