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Thread: Low point of crisis may be over, feels Temasek unit

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    Default Low point of crisis may be over, feels Temasek unit

    Published March 28, 2008

    Low point of crisis may be over, feels Temasek unit

    Investors have reached the point of maximum fear, says Fullerton CEO


    (SINGAPORE) Temasek Holdings' fund management unit says investors have passed 'the point of maximum fear' amid the global credit squeeze. Fullerton Fund Management sees the US Federal Reserve's decision to rescue Bear Stearns as a turning point in the crisis.

    'The Fed coming in to facilitate JPMorgan Chase & Co's purchase of Bear Stearns is a watershed event, and most bottoms are found during watershed events,' Fullerton CEO Gerard Lee said in an interview here yesterday. 'From that perspective, we could have already crossed the point of maximum fear.'

    The Fed stepped in with JPMorgan on March 14 to provide emergency funding to Bear Stearns in the biggest government bailout of a US securities firm. The move is now being probed by the Senate.

    Before the announcement, Bear Stearns' clients withdrew US$17 billion in two days amid speculation that the firm was running short of cash.

    Templeton Asset Management's Mark Mobius said he 'generally' agrees with Temasek's assessment that the markets have reached a bottom.

    'If we haven't achieved it, we're damn close,' Mr Mobius, who oversees US$47 billion in emerging- market equities, said in a phone interview from Hong Kong yesterday.

    'With the kind of liquidity that's pouring into the system, with the Fed, and now the European Central Bank and others putting more money into the system, we think stock prices are not going to remain down. We think there's a good chance of growth going forward.'

    Some funds are already planning to buy shares in Asia, where stocks have tumbled this year even as economies in China and India continue to grow. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index trades at 14 times estimated earnings, after slumping 13 per cent the past six months as fallout from the US sub-prime crisis spread through Asia, making stocks in the benchmark 36 per cent cheaper than the five-year average.

    Value Partners Group, Asia's second-largest hedge fund manager, is buying stocks in the region that were battered by the collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market, chief investment officer Cheah Cheng Hye said this week. The Hong Kong-based asset manager aims to start a new fund in the second quarter to invest in Greater China property stocks, Mr Cheah said.

    Funds such as Clariden Leu AG, which manages US$300 million, said the recovery from the US housing crisis may take 1-2 years.

    'What we have seen in the last couple of weeks culminating in the rescue of Bear Stearns by the Fed and a further pump of liquidity in the market may somewhat signal an inflexion point in the crisis - but this bottoming-out phase, we reckon, will take a long time,' Michael Foo, head of Asian portfolio management at Clariden, said in an interview yesterday.

    Fullerton, which oversees US$2.5 billion of third- party money, is still bullish on prospects in Asia, where it has most of its assets. It said the goal to manage US$3 billion excluding Temasek's funds by mid-year is achievable. Temasek manages a portfolio worth more than US$100 billion.

    'The fundamental reasons for this secular growth are all in place,' Mr Lee said. 'The few of the big economies are found in Asia. I'm talking about China, India, Vietnam and South Korea. So Asia, being a destination for investment money from the developed world, will continue to grow.'

    Fullerton's main customers are wealthy individuals in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and institutions in Singapore, where it became a separate unit of Temasek in 2003. It aims to expand in the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. -- Bloomberg

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    Default Re: Low point of crisis may be over, feels Temasek unit

    Quote Originally Posted by mr funny
    Published March 28, 2008

    Low point of crisis may be over, feels Temasek unit

    Investors have reached the point of maximum fear, says Fullerton CEO


    (SINGAPORE) Temasek Holdings' fund management unit says investors have passed 'the point of maximum fear' amid the global credit squeeze. Fullerton Fund Management sees the US Federal Reserve's decision to rescue Bear Stearns as a turning point in the crisis.

    'The Fed coming in to facilitate JPMorgan Chase & Co's purchase of Bear Stearns is a watershed event, and most bottoms are found during watershed events,' Fullerton CEO Gerard Lee said in an interview here yesterday. 'From that perspective, we could have already crossed the point of maximum fear.'

    The Fed stepped in with JPMorgan on March 14 to provide emergency funding to Bear Stearns in the biggest government bailout of a US securities firm. The move is now being probed by the Senate.

    Before the announcement, Bear Stearns' clients withdrew US$17 billion in two days amid speculation that the firm was running short of cash.

    Templeton Asset Management's Mark Mobius said he 'generally' agrees with Temasek's assessment that the markets have reached a bottom.

    'If we haven't achieved it, we're damn close,' Mr Mobius, who oversees US$47 billion in emerging- market equities, said in a phone interview from Hong Kong yesterday.

    'With the kind of liquidity that's pouring into the system, with the Fed, and now the European Central Bank and others putting more money into the system, we think stock prices are not going to remain down. We think there's a good chance of growth going forward.'

    Some funds are already planning to buy shares in Asia, where stocks have tumbled this year even as economies in China and India continue to grow. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index trades at 14 times estimated earnings, after slumping 13 per cent the past six months as fallout from the US sub-prime crisis spread through Asia, making stocks in the benchmark 36 per cent cheaper than the five-year average.

    Value Partners Group, Asia's second-largest hedge fund manager, is buying stocks in the region that were battered by the collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market, chief investment officer Cheah Cheng Hye said this week. The Hong Kong-based asset manager aims to start a new fund in the second quarter to invest in Greater China property stocks, Mr Cheah said.

    Funds such as Clariden Leu AG, which manages US$300 million, said the recovery from the US housing crisis may take 1-2 years.

    'What we have seen in the last couple of weeks culminating in the rescue of Bear Stearns by the Fed and a further pump of liquidity in the market may somewhat signal an inflexion point in the crisis - but this bottoming-out phase, we reckon, will take a long time,' Michael Foo, head of Asian portfolio management at Clariden, said in an interview yesterday.

    Fullerton, which oversees US$2.5 billion of third- party money, is still bullish on prospects in Asia, where it has most of its assets. It said the goal to manage US$3 billion excluding Temasek's funds by mid-year is achievable. Temasek manages a portfolio worth more than US$100 billion.

    'The fundamental reasons for this secular growth are all in place,' Mr Lee said. 'The few of the big economies are found in Asia. I'm talking about China, India, Vietnam and South Korea. So Asia, being a destination for investment money from the developed world, will continue to grow.'

    Fullerton's main customers are wealthy individuals in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and institutions in Singapore, where it became a separate unit of Temasek in 2003. It aims to expand in the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. -- Bloomberg
    Hopeful it is over. If not, their billion $ investment will gone.

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