Taiwan's GDP to grow by 2.9% in '13: Merrill Lynch
By Ted Chen, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's economy is expected to rebound, said Merrill Lynch Taiwan yesterday, while forecasting growth at 2.9 and 3.5 percent for the current and coming year.
March 13, 2013, 12:40 am TWN
Citing improvements in a number of leading indicators, including export volume, retail and distribution, and food product sales, a recovery in the Taiwanese company is expected, according to Wayne Liaw (廖文宏), Chairman & Managing Director at Merrill Lynch Taiwan.
According to Liaw, Taiwan's economy has emerged from the lows of the second quarter of 2012, with performance exceeding expectations in the fourth quarter of last year.
However, Liaw cited concerns surrounding economic decline in Europe and the U.S., as well as the declining yen as potential impediments to Taiwan's economic growth.
Despite looming global economic concerns, Liaw said Taiwan is set to enjoy the synergistic benefits of China's anticipated gradual economic recovery in the near future, as Taiwan becomes a major investment destination in Asia.
In its market outlook for the year, Merrill Lynch analyst Robert Chang (鄭勝榮) indicated that compared to the rest of the Asian region, Taiwanese share prices are not considered expensive. Chang added that since various high-profile electronic consumer products are set for release in the second half of 2013, the technology sector will begin to gain momentum. Meanwhile, growth in the first half of the year will be driven by the financial sector, according to Chang.
On the recent weakening performance of computing giant Apple, whose rippling effects have been felt by numerous Taiwan-based suppliers, Chang remarked that despite the short-term slump, institutional investors assess trends with a long-term scope. Chang said he remains optimistic about the performance of Apple's Taiwan-based suppliers, adding that as demand for Apple products recede in the short term, Apple will need to increase its reliance on Taiwan-based suppliers.
Co-hosted with the Taiwan Stock Exchange, the “Taiwan, Technology and Beyond” conference took place yesterday, attracting over 400 representatives from local and Asia-based institutional investors and representatives from 120 industry leading companies, including Taiwan-based companies TSMC, Asus, and HTC, in addition to representatives from 29 international companies, including ASML, Cisco, and Samsung. The combined market value of all attending firms was over US$760 billion.
The conference discussed general trends in the financial and consumer sectors, and developments in the areas of tablet computers, mobile devices, biotechnology, DRAM and industrial automation, with local institutional investors expressing the wish for an additional influx of foreign investments to propel the Taiwan market index to new heights.