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Heng An Standard Life (Asia) expects rate cuts in 2024 to be lower than market expectations, with the bond market being more captivating than the stock market

Company  |  2023-10-18

Honoured with “The Award of Excellence – Best Investment-linked Insurance Products and Services” for 3 consecutive years by HKEJ for its unwavering commitment to excellence 

Heng An Standard Life (Asia) Limited ("HASL Asia" or "the Company") has released its economic outlook for Q4 2023, highlighting two major risks: uncertainty inflation, and policy divergence. Separately, HASL Asia has been honoured with "The Award of Excellence – Best Investment-linked Insurance Products and Services" for three consecutive years by the Hong Kong Economic Journal (HKEJ) for its exceptional ILAS solutions and services, offering the highest number of investment choices among ILAS insurers in the market*.

HASL Asia’s economic outlook emphasises the resilience of the US economy. Based on the Fed’s “dot plot”, it is expected that the US will raise interest rates once this year, with potentially limited rate cuts in 2024 that could be lower than market expectations. Rising oil prices and ongoing strikes by the US auto union will continue to influence inflation. In August, the overall US CPI rose 0.6% month-on-month, marking the largest increase in over a year. The rising energy prices will also have impact on the inflation.

In Mainland China, the Central Government has recently implemented a series of growth-stabilising policies aimed at improving real estate demand and activating the capital market. The effectiveness of these policy measures will require continuous monitoring. In August, there were positive signs of stabilisation in China's economic data, with the manufacturing PMI sub-index for new orders rising for three consecutive months to 50.2. Additionally, the CPI returned to positive growth after experiencing a decline in July, while the decline in the PPI has gradually narrowed. Stable food and energy industries, along with their supply chains, continue to significantly impact major economies. With the approaching 2024 election in the US, any unexpected fluctuations in Sino-US relations during the fourth quarter could influence market sentiments.

Harriet Zhang, Chief Investment Officer of HASL Asia, said: "The US stock earning will be dampened due to the uncertainty of the US economic growth and inflation. While the Federal Reserve may anticipate another interest rate hike this year and the projected rate cuts in 2024 might be lower than what the market expects, the US policy rates are approaching their highest levels and the US bond market will be more appealing compared to the stock market. On the other hand, the Chinese stock market is undervalued. The progress of China's economic recovery will play a pivotal role in the market performance. We anticipate an improvement in sentiment, making the China’s stock market an attractive investment. Investors can allocate their assets based on their individual needs."

"In general, the bond market is comparatively more captivating than the stock market in the short to medium term. Meanwhile, investments in energy and healthcare sectors are worth paying closer attention to, especially when considering a three-month timeframe. Looking ahead to the next twelve months, the healthcare sector continues to be promising, with another key focus being industries related to technology,” Harriet added.

HASL Asia has accumulated extensive experience in providing a wide range of investment choices for ILAS products over the course of nearly 25 years since it was established in Hong Kong. The Company is highly attuned to investment trends and responds to market demands by consistently adding new investment options. It has become the leading insurance company in Hong Kong, offering the most extensive selection of investment choices in the ILAS product market*. HASL Asia is pleased to announce that it has received “The Award of Excellence – Best Investment-linked Insurance Products and Services" again by HKEJ in recognition of its exceptional ILAS solutions and services. This award has come to HASL Asia for the third consecutive year.

John Law, Chief Product and Technology Officer of HASL Asia, said: "HASL Asia continues to drive innovation in insurance products. In the second half of this year, we are focusing on developing new ILAS products and further enhancing our services through digitalisation. With the resurgence of the mainland market following the pandemic, the insurance industry as a whole is thriving. In particular, ILAS products, which offer a variety of policy currency choices, are in high demand. We expect popular investment choices such as cash dividends and ESG-related options to continue gaining traction. The Company plans to introduce more investment choices, staying true to our brand proposition of 'Get more from life' and empowering customers on their financial planning journey."

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