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Handling Volatility

Achieve Group CEO Joshua Yim was quoted in The Business Times’ Views from the Top column on 8th July 2013 on the biggest dangers currently facing the financial markets, his opinion on how they can be alleviated, and what businesses and individual investors can do to protect themselves.

He said: “I believe the biggest potential hazard businesses need to be wary of right now is the extent to which China will slow down. It’s tough for China to carry on its present growth of above 8 per cent year-on-year against a backdrop of escalating property prices and inflationary pressures. It is clear that the Chinese government is trying to curb property prices and check inflation but it will be a very tough balancing act so alleviating this danger will ultimately depend on China’s leadership and the policies they enact in order to manage the economy.

Honestly, I don’t see the economic situation as very bleak. The fact that QE3 is tapering down means that the US jobless rate, which has been the primary concern, is diminishing. The Purchasing Managers Index, another economic indicator, has also turned in positive figures lately. Another key indicator, the House Price Index, is also on the rise. This signals that the US is recovering from the economic doldrums as the current No 2 superpower and thus bringing up with it the global economy.

Additionally, the findings of Achieve Group’s latest Hiring Trends Report H2-2013 are very optimistic. We surveyed almost 500 companies across various industries in Singapore and found that 48 per cent of companies are intending to expand their workforce during the rest of the year. This is much more positive year-on-year as only 32 per cent were planning to hire in H2-2012. This is a sign of confidence within the business community especially considering that companies tend to be much more conservative in the second half of the year.

Although the sentiment is generally quite optimistic, it does not mean that there are no perils lurking ahead. In light of these possibilities, the business community should exercise varying degrees of prudence and moderate investment and growth expectations.”

Source: The Business Times, 8 July 2013