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Asia Pacific Dividends to Hit Record High in 2020

The coronavirus outbreak adds to other pressures on growth in Asia Pacific - Photo by DHL

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Ordinary dividends paid by companies in Asia Pacific (APAC) will hit a record with total amount of US$524.2 billion. Despite headwinds stemming from various factors, such as trade uncertainties, IHS Markit remains positive about APAC’ dividend outlook over the short term and forecasts regular payouts to increase by 5.6 percent to $553.3 billion in 2020.

Consistent with the pattern in previous years, mainland China, Japan and Hong Kong continue to be the top three dividend payers around the region. Projected growth demonstrated by mainland China (12.2 percent) and Hong Kong (9.4 percent) suggest that companies in both regions remain unfazed by the ongoing trade war and social unrest that lasted for about six months.

The United States (US0 – China trade war, however, is mounting pressure on the profitability of companies in export-driven economies, such as South Korea and Taiwan, posing a threat to dividends. According to IHS Markit, South Korea and Taiwan are estimated to cut their payouts by 6.4 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively, in 2020 when measured in dollar terms.

Dividends from India are set to register the highest growth in APAC. The projected growth is underpinned by the positive outlook for payouts from key companies, such as Vedanta Limited and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation. The agency also foresees dividend resumption from the State Bank of India after two years of dividend suspension.

IHS Markit opined if a first stage United States (US) – China trade deal can be finalized that cancels plans to impose new US tariffs on around US$160 billion of Chinese exports that were due to be imposed on 15 December, this will be a significant positive boost to the Asia Pacific (APAC) trade outlook in 2020.

Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific Chief Economist at IHS Markit, said on Friday (12/13) that rolling back US tariffs significantly would provide a strong boost to Chinese exports to the US in 2020.

Its providing substantial relief after a difficult year throughout 2019 due to the impact of US tariff measures on many Chinese products exported to the US. In November 2019, mainland China’s exports to the US were down 23 percent years on year.

“An upturn in Chinese manufacturing exports to the US from a first-stage US-China trade deal would also provide a boost to the Asian manufacturing supply chain for intermediate goods and materials,” Biswas said in a written statement.

This would help the export sectors of many Asian economies, due to the importance of China as a key export market, he went on. The improved Asian export outlook for 2020 if a US-China part one trade deal goes ahead would also lift the APAC economic growth outlook for 2020.

Biswas sees East Asian industrial economies, such as South Korea and Japan, have suffered significant negative contagion effects due to the spillover effects from theUS-China trade war to the Asian manufacturing supply chain.

Even a limited first stage US-China trade deal would be welcome news for the battered manufacturing export sectors of many East Asian economies, which have suffered during 2019 not only due to the impact of the US-China trade war but also the global slowdown in electronics sector new orders and recessionary conditions in the Eurozone manufacturing sector, another key export market for Asia.

Written by Sfaff Editor, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com