Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s recent CFO Outlook Asia report found that most Asia Pacific-based CFOs expect revenue and profit growth this year, with 71 percent forecasting year-on-year revenue growth and 62 percent forecasting profit growth.
“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,” Steven Victorin, the head of Asia Pacific corporate banking and global corporate banking subsidiaries at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said. “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 survey, which is in its second year, surveyed 600 CFOs and senior finance executives in the Asia Pacific region.
Eighty one percent of CFOs expect a revenue increase compared to last year, while 72 percent expect an increase in profits. Nearly three-quarters of regional CFOs intend to maintain or increase borrowing, with 23 percent expecting to use the financing for capital expenditure and 17 percent expecting to use the funding to raise working capital.
Most CFOs surveyed do not anticipate any M&A activity, while half of those who intend to engage in M&A activity will do so to reach growth targets.
Additionally, 61 percent of CFOs said corporate strategic planning is important, and 29 percent said it is growing to become part of the job of Asia Pacific CFOs. Eighty-four percent said it has become harder to recruit treasury staff with the appropriate skills.