Apr 05, 2016 14:55:46
South East Asia (SEA) – Growth Reset Underway

SEA equity markets added on to gains in March with improving foreign inflows, as risk appetite improved following some stabilization in China and a weaker USD from delayed Fed hike rate expectations. With a dovish Fed and likely tightening only in June, investor concerns on the global economic recovery are expected to ease further near term, which will be supportive of risk assets.

Within the region, we view Indonesia and Philippines as offering relatively stronger structural growth stories. Apart from infrastructure plays such as Jasa Marga ($JSMR), sectors we favour in Indonesia include the property sector where we see potential catalysts from improving presales helped by a lower interest rates environment and progress in the government’s tax amnesty programme. We highlight Bumi Serpong ($BSDE), which is well positioned to benefit from a recovery in property demand while valuations remain undemanding. We also favour market leader Telekomunikasi Indonesia ($TLKM) following more rational competition in the telecommunications sector. With a stable earnings outlook driven by continued growth in voice and data revenues, we view TLKM as a core holding within the SEA telecommunications sector.

Incoming data releases from the Philippines indicate that domestic demand trends remain on a positive track in 1Q16. January’s remittances growth was also broadly in line with trend, growing 3.4% yoy (vs 2015’s 4.1% growth). The next key event domestically is the upcoming elections in May where we expect election rhetoric to cast some uncertainties in the equity market. Post elections, we expect the gradual reform pace to be maintained and highlight Ayala Corp  as one of our preferred large cap picks to accumulate on weakness, which offers a portfolio of stable and growth companies leading in their respective sectors and well positioned to benefit from the country’s economic growth