Goldman, Citi, Nomura See 20% Earnings Growth for Asia Stocks in 2021
A ‘piggy bank’ sits atop coins. (Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg)

Goldman, Citi, Nomura See 20% Earnings Growth for Asia Stocks in 2021

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While Asia’s equity rally may be ending the year looking a tad stretched, a bright earnings outlook for 2021 is giving strategists all the more reason to stay upbeat.

No less a trio than Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. have penciled in earnings growth of more than 20% for Asian shares next year. Citi and Nomura are joined by Societe Generale SA in expectations for between a 5% and 7% rise in the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index, while Goldman sees a 9% jump in the Asia Pacific equivalent in 2021.

“We remain optimistic about 2021 prospects driven by the macro and earnings recovery and would be buyers of any market pullbacks,” a team of Goldman strategists including Timothy Moe wrote in a note published on Sunday.

Goldman, Citi, Nomura See 20% Earnings Growth for Asia Stocks in 2021

Asian stocks are finishing an unprecedented year in strong fashion with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan erasing its pandemic-related losses in the summer and surging to a 18% year-to-date rise through Monday. Benchmarks in technology-heavy South Korea and Taiwan have led the way.

For next year, the prospects for profit growth looks strongest in Korea, Citi analysts including Robert Buckland wrote in a note last week, projecting a whopping 43% jump in earnings-per-share growth for Korean stocks in 2021.

Sector-wise, earnings growth is shifting to cyclical sectors, such as materials and financials, SocGen analysts including Frank Benzimra wrote in a note published last month.

2022 Time

Further boosting returns in Asian equities next year will be expectations of an earnings recovery in 2022, according to Goldman.

“With strong market returns this year and full valuations, the market has priced next year‘s earnings recovery: 2022 earnings will be the primary driver of 2021 returns,” the Goldman team wrote. It expects regional earnings to grow at 16% that year.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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