,Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd head of equity sales Vincent Lau (pic) said that banking stocks remain a reopening play and are on track for recovery in 2021.
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PETALING JAYA: With the reopening of more economic sectors, earnings of listed companies are expected to recover notwithstanding the short-term impact on bank earnings as the government seeks interest rate exemptions for the bottom 50% in the fourth quarter.
Analysts believe that investors are likely to look ahead on signs of recovery as the government rolls back on movement restrictions.
“There are also plans to reduce the number of standard operating procedures in the National Recovery Plan from 181 to only 10, as the country transitions to the endemic phase.
“This will likely revive business activities and corporate earnings in the fourth quarter of 2021, in turn potentially boosting sentiment on recovery stocks,” said CGS-CIMB Research in a strategy note.
The research firm said it is positive on the signing of the memorandum of understanding on transformation and political stability between the government and Pakatan Harapan.MIDF Research head Imran Yassin Yusof said the firm is maintaining its FBM KLCI end-2021 baseline target at 1,700 points.
“It could lead to political stability and if carried out will allow for parliamentary and institutional reforms, which will be positive for the country in the medium to long term.
“However, this is partially negated by the potential earnings disappointment for banks,” the research firm added.
Banking stocks came under pressure this week following news that the Finance Ministry has instructed banking institutions to work on the exemption of interest payments for the bottom 50% of income earners under the loan moratorium programme.
CGS-CIMB’s banking analyst estimated that this could reduce its net profit forecasts for banks by 5%.
“Overall, we view this event as neutral,” said the research firm, whose analyst still projects a net profit growth of 10% in 2021 even after accounting for the negative impact from the interest exemption.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd head of equity sales Vincent Lau said that banking stocks remain a reopening play and are on track for recovery in 2021.
“Banks are a parameter of the health of the economy. Yes, there would be an impact on profitability from interest waiver for lower-income borrowers.
“But as business activities pick-up, demand for loans will also likely to increase,” he told StarBiz.
He said barring any major external issues, the stock market should do better in the second half of the year.
Lau added that the upcoming Budget 2022 is important, likely to be a populist one and may see the revival of some stalled infrastructure projects, given the multiplier effect of these on the economy.