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THE market awaits a new dawn in 2022.
After going through a year of disappointing, or at best, mixed result seasons, investors are betting for a rebound in corporate earnings this year.
While the one-off Cukai Makmur or prosperity tax would dent earnings, particularly for companies making chargeable incomes of more than RM100mil, it would not derail the recovery momentum.
This is assuming no major lockdowns are re-introduced.
One could say that the recovery in business activities and as a result, the corporate earnings, is already underway, using the unemployment figure as a gauge.
In October 2021, the national unemployment rate dipped to 4.3%, the lowest level since April 2020. The number of unemployed persons dropped to 705,000 from 778,800 individuals in April 2020.
Business activities have picked up pace in the final three months of 2021 after the ban on interstate travel was lifted in October.CLICK TO ENLARGE
Economists expect the country’s gross domestic product growth to return to positive territory in the fourth quarter of 2021, following a contraction of 4.5% in the previous third quarter.
The momentum is expected to accelerate, with a stronger full-year growth of 5.5% to 6.5% in 2022.
As for the equities market, analysts are also positive on its performance this year.
The benchmark FBM KLCI, which was the second worst performer among Asia’s key stock exchange indices in 2021, is set for a rebound.
Some analysts say the rebound could be mild, while others say a strong uptrend in FBM KLCI is possible.Areca Capital CEO Danny Wong.
Amid the positive market outlook, experts have highlighted how investors can pick the right sectors to bet on for 2022.
Experts say investors should consider sectors with beaten-down valuations or sectors that saw operational interruption or lower footfall in 2021.
In addition, other sectors that can be considered are those benefitting from pent-up demand or delayed orders carried from 2021.
Overall, MIDF Research says all sectors, except for glove manufacturing and plantation, are expected to see stronger aggregate earnings in 2022. This is based on the stocks under its coverage universe.
The glove manufacturing and plantation sectors are forecast to register negative earnings growth in the upcoming financial year, mainly due to weakening average selling prices of glove and lower crude palm oil prices respectively.
Apart from these two sectors, it is also worth noting that analysts are generally neutral on the prospects of the property, construction, real estate investment trust and telecommunication sectors, among others.