Affin Hwang Investment Forum 2018: What’s Next?

Introduction

As volatility roars back into markets in 2018, with the spectre of a trade war looming, a deepening rout in emerging markets (EMs) and widening policy divergence across global central banks; investors were taken on a wild roller-coaster ride thus far as markets soar to roaring highs and plunge to chilling-lows.

Should they stay risk-on or risk-off? Buy the dip or stay on the side-lines for now?

Running for its fourth consecutive year, Affin Hwang Asset Management successfully hosted its annual investment forum fittingly titled ‘What’s Next?’ to address these questions.

The forum took place on 14 July, Saturday at MITEC, Jalan Dutamas and saw overwhelming response with more than 1,200 participants eager to find out what lies ahead for markets and how they should position their portfolios against such a volatile backdrop.

Joined by our investment partners, the forum featured prominent speakers including:-
– Chung Man Wing, Investment Director, Value Partners Limited
– Dr. Gerald Garvey, PhD, Managing Director, BlackRock
– Siva Shanker, Past President, Malaysian Institute of Estate Agent
– Teng Chee Wai, Managing Director, Affin Hwang Asset Management

New China Awakens

The forum got off the ground with the first session by Chung Man Wing, Investment Director of Value Partners who wasted no time to get into market chatter and expounded on the issue of trade war and its implications to economic growth and stock market volatility.

“Chinese equities have been weak of late and this is partly due to reasonable, but slightly overblown concerns from investors about short-term headwinds like the ongoing trade spat between US and China. We think that there will be ultimately a compromise or resolution and even in a worst-case scenario, the Chinese economy is resilient and open enough to withstand a full-blown trade war. Even if you discarded all of China’s exports for an entire year, the incremental damage to China’s overall GDP growth is just at 1.2%. From a fundamentals perspective, we are not overly concerned,” he said.

He also shed light on the changing economic and social structure of the ‘New China’ that currently sits on a crossroad between its deliberate slowdown and deleveraging to rein-in credit bubbles, whilst also achieving sustainable growth by moving up the value chain.

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