Asia Pacific CFOs Remain Bullish on 2013 Earnings Potential, Says Bank of America Merrill Lynch Surv

Asia Pacific CFOs Remain Bullish on 2013 Earnings Potential, Says Bank of America Merrill Lynch Survey

HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The majority of Asia Pacific-based chief financial officers expect growth in revenues and profits at their corporations in 2013. A full 71 percent are forecasting year-on-year revenue growth in 2013, while 62 percent are anticipating that their 2013 net profits will exceed that of 2012, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 CFO Outlook Asia report, which surveyed 600 CFOs and senior finance executives in the region.

In its second edition, the 2013 CFO Outlook Asia provides broad insight into the perceptions and strategies of key financial decision makers across the region, revealing insights into the outlook for their companies' prospects, their own roles and their expectations for financing and M&A activity.

Key conclusions of the survey include:

  • CFOs are bullish on earnings potential in 2013:71 percent and 62 percent of CFOs expect growth in their company's revenues and profits, respectively, in 2013 compared with 2012.
  • Southeast Asia presents significant earnings opportunities:81 percent and 72 percent of CFOs forecast growth in revenues and profits, respectively, in Southeast Asia in 2013 compared with 2012.
  • Credit access remains strong and affordable:CFOs in the region intend to maintain or increase borrowing (73 percent), and financing will be used for capital expenditure (23 percent) and to raise working capital (17 percent). Credit availability remained robust in the last year according to respondents (90 percent), and 47 percent expect the cost of capital to remain consistent this year.
  • CFOs favor organic growth over M&A:The majority of CFOs (63 percent) aren't planning to participate in any M&A activity in 2013, and half of those who intend to will do so to achieve growth targets and will mostly look at opportunities in their home markets or in developing Southeast Asia
  • The CFO skill set continues to evolve:Corporate strategic planning is an important (61 percent) or growing (29 percent) part of the job of CFOs in Asia Pacific. Eighty-four percent of respondents believe it is getting tougher to recruit treasury staff with the appropriate skills in the region.

Furthermore, CFOs polled will increasingly focus on improving operational efficiencies at their corporations and commit resources to enhancing working capital management to drive profits. On the flipside, respondents identified higher commodity prices as the greatest risk to earnings in 2013.

"Despite economic uncertainty and global market headwinds, there remains a sense of unbridled optimism towards business prospects in Asia Pacific, according to the region's leading CFOs," said Steven Victorin, head of Asia Pacific Corporate Banking and Global Corporate Banking Subsidiaries at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "This year's report again sheds relevant light on the perceptions and strategies of the evolving CFO function across the region. The results clearly reinforce this view."

The conclusions above are based on over 600 interviews were conducted with financial executives in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Over 50 percent of respondents came from corporations with annualized revenues of $500 million or above, representing a broad range of multinational, regional and local companies.

To download the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 CFO Outlook Asia report, please visit

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. We serve approximately 52 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,400 retail banking offices and approximately 16,300 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users and more than 13 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYS: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the marketing name for the global banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives, and other commercial banking activities are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Securities, strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("Investment Banking Affiliates"), including, in the United States, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, which is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, a locally registered entity. Investment products offered by Investment Banking Affiliates: Are Not FDIC Insured * May Lose Value * Are Not Bank Guaranteed.

Copyright 2013 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Broadcort and their logos are trademarks of Bank of America Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

Reporters May Contact:
Andrew Peck, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 852.2161.7129

KEYWORDS:   United States  Asia Pacific  North America  North Carolina  Hong Kong


The article Asia Pacific CFOs Remain Bullish on 2013 Earnings Potential, Says Bank of America Merrill Lynch Survey originally appeared on

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story