‘Now’s the time to enter stock market’


KUALA LUMPUR:  Investors who are seeking to enter the local stock market should do so now while the equity space is trading at an average level, coupled with the higher earnings growth forecast of 10 per cent next year, said AmInvest Management Sdn Bhd.

Its chief investment officer for equity, asset allocation and fund management, Wong Yoke Leong, said investors can capitalise on the lower earnings growth forecast for this year, which has been downgraded to about seven per cent, to reap higher returns next year.

“The earnings downgrade for this year implies a carry forward of earnings delivery into 2015. Our investment focus is construction and infrastructure, oil and gas, stock specifics and selective technology plays,” he told a media briefing, here, yesterday.

Wong said most Asian markets, excluding Japan, are experiencing corporate earnings downgrade this year due to external factors, such as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine.

However, he said the region will see a consistent earnings upgrade for next year on the back of a better macro outlook and operating leverages.

AmInvest also expects its year-end target for the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI to remain at 1,960 points with upside moving into next year.

“A catalyst for next year’s earnings growth is the much anticipated 2015 Budget in October.

“All governments want to see their economies expand, so this could be a strong driver to the earnings growth.”

 AmInvest has about RM38.6 billion of assets under management (AUM), with an AUM annualised growth of 22 per cent over 10 years.

It expects to maintain its AUM growth at 22 per cent this year, backed by its strong distribution platform, low-risk asset with high returns and innovative products.

 To date, the fund management arm of AmBank Group Bhd  manages some 100 investment funds comprising 88 unit trust funds, two exchange-traded funds and eight private retirement scheme funds.