Business confidence in M’sia remains very weak — ACCA

TheEdge Fri, Apr 22, 2016 10:35am - 4 years ago

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 22, 2016.


KUALA LUMPUR: Business confidence in Malaysia picked up slightly in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16) but remains “very weak” with the fall in oil prices weighing on the economy and business revenues, according to a survey.

The joint survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) showed that although oil prices recovered in 1Q16, the proportion of Malaysian companies reporting a fall in revenues rose again in the quarter.

This suggests that the negative effects of the previous collapse are still feeding through the economy, said ACCA in a statement yesterday.

“Nevertheless, Malaysia’s economy has at least weathered the fall in oil prices better than most big producers, growing by a relatively healthy 4.5% in 4Q15.

“Moreover, the recovery in prices has helped to stabilise the ringgit, which is important given that Malaysia’s foreign currency-denominated external debt is unusually high,” it added.

The number of Malaysian companies reporting negative effects from recent currency movements fell from 66% in 4Q15 to 48% in 1Q16, said ACCA.

The Global Economic Conditions (GCE) survey by ACCA and IMA took place between Feb 26 and March 15 with 1,200 responses from its members globally, which included 100 chief financial officers.

ACCA Malaysia head David Chin said the global economic picture painted by the survey is “not a pretty one” if North America is taken out of the equation.

“Emerging markets are especially under pressure. Revenues for commodities firms have collapsed since mid-2014. And business confidence in China has fallen to its lowest level since our records began.

“This clearly has a knock-on effect for Malaysia but confidence is on the rise despite these global pressures and the nervousness in China. As a result, business confidence in the wider Asia-Pacific region continued to recover from the decline in late 2015 when businesses around the region were spooked by turmoil in China’s financial markets,” said Chin.

Traditionally, Chin said Asia-Pacific was an open region that was reliant on exports, thus the slump in global trade helps explain why more businesses in the region have reported a fall of 63% in profitable opportunities and 57% in income than almost anywhere else.

Related Stocks

GCE 0.380


Login to comment.