Is There Any Respite for Equity Volumes? by Pakistan & Gulf Economist

Is There Any Respite for Equity Volumes?

By Pakistan & Gulf Economist

  • Publication Date: 2011-05-15
  • Genre: Economics

Book Synopsis

These days, everyone you come into discussion with from the brokerage fraternity bemoans the absence of volumes and price discovery from the local equity market. Concerns over the future of the equity brokerage business are understandable considering market volumes have dropped by 67per cent since 2005. But is this problem solely home-grown? Not completely in our view - barring exceptions you can count on finger tips, volumes across global equity bourses are off 10-74 per cent from peak levels in the last five years. Even as equity markets have returned to precrisis levels indicating the presence of value buying, the asset class of choice for hot money has become commodities, driven by risks to currency debasement, rising inflationary expectations and easier access (rise of commodity based funds and ETFs). While equity market volumes may not return to peak levels over the last five years, we believe moderation in commodity returns - as current high prices spur production - should support the case for equities underscored by the return of higher risk tolerance. Interestingly, the recent Barclays Asia Wealth Management Survey shows equities trumping commodities as the top inflation hedge.

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