Despite Global Instability, Asia's CFOs Remain Optimistic

While chief financial officers all over the globe remain doubtful of their local economies, Asia's finance chiefs are the most optimistic about the economy of the country in which they are based.


According to the latest quarterly Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, 70% of Asian CFOs (excluding China) are more optimistic about the economy of the country where they are based--a slight 7% decrease from the previous quarter. Over in China, 41.5% of the finance chiefs say they are also more optimistic, a 21.9% plunge from the previous quarter (63.4%).


Asian companies also plan to ramp up their recruitment activities compared to their peers from other regions, saying they will augment their local staff by 5% in the next 12 months. From 2007 to 2009, nearly 50% of Asian companies made cuts in bonuses, wages, and employee training/development.


Price pressure from competitors, consumer demand, and global financial instability are the top three external concerns facing Asian companies (excluding China).


Ability to maintain margins, working capital management, and protection of intellectual property are the top three internal company-specific concerns for Asian companies.


Over in China, consumer demand, price pressure from competitors, and government regulations are the three primary external challenges faced by organisations there.


Ability to maintain margins, attracting and retaining qualified employees, and maintaining morale/productivity are the top three internal company-specific concerns of Chinese organisations.


The survey polled 1,102 senior finance executives worldwide in late May and early June this year.


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