CFOs less optimistic, Bank of America survey shows

Updated: 2014-05-09 07:10

By Xie Yu in Shanghai (China Daily)

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China's leading chief financial officers appear less optimistic about their companies' financial performance this year than in 2013 and are more cautious about margin growth, according to a survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

A total of 77 percent of China-based respondents said they expect revenues to rise in 2014, down from 79 percent in 2013, the survey report said.

CFOs less optimistic, Bank of America survey shows
Change in banks' cash reserves aimed at boosting agriculture 
CFOs less optimistic, Bank of America survey shows
Meanwhile, only 59 percent forecast higher profits by year-end, compared with 66 percent last year.

The survey polled 75 companies in industries including banking, manufacturing and real estate in China. Forty-seven of them had annual revenues of $1 billion and above.

"CFOs in China are taking a more realistic view of expected growth in 2014," said Huang Xiaoguang, China president of Bank of America.

The survey found that 60 percent of China's CFOs have no plans to undertake any merger or acquisition activities in 2014.

Instead, with offshore opportunities looking less attractive, they plan to utilize surplus cash for organic growth opportunities.

On one hand, authorities are pushing forward reform of State-owned enterprises, creating many opportunities, especially for private companies. On the other, CFOs seem to be exhibiting more caution amid China's growth slowdown and the US' tapering of its quantitive easing, Huang said.

Macroeconomic risk was identified as the No 1 concern by 47 percent of China-based respondents.

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