Credit Suisse’s recommendation for clients to shift Taiwanese holdings into Southeast Asia is predicated on the fact that the latter trades at a discount of 138%, near its record low of 159% in March, in a comparison of the two markets’ relative price-to-book ratios against their returns on equity.  Specifically, its analysts added, banks in Singapore and Thailand, as well as Philippines telecoms and so-called cyclical companies in Indonesia, offer the greatest discounts.  Underpinning the region’s rise, however, is Singapore—which reported a 20.4% jump in its second-quarter GDP.  That said, most pundits have been quick to point out that said number is misleading since the economy is still tied largely with G3 import demand: the U.S., Japan and the E.U.  Moreover, even the country’s own trade ministry tried to dampen the party when it admitted that a “sizeable part” of Q2-growth resulted from pharmaceuticals and will not be sustained going forward.  So while Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) stocks may be attractive, there may have to be something more potent than a Singapore-sling to truly get them moving again.

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