Equities in Asia’s emerging markets saw their biggest foreign outflows since the 2008 global crisis last year.
Last year’s series of interest rate hikes in the US saw funds relentlessly drawn to dollar assets, and data from stock exchanges in Taiwan, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea showed foreigners sold equities worth $57 billion last year, the largest outflow in 14 years.
Taiwanese equities faced outflows worth $41.6 billion last year, leading the regional sales, while India and South Korea witnessed an outgoing of $15.4 billion and $9.6 billion, respectively.
Hit by falling foreign demand and a worsening economic outlook, the MSCI’s Asia Pacific index plunged 19.4% in 2022 – the biggest fall since dropping 43.3% in 2008.
Some analysts expect more outflows, at least in the first half of the year, as US interest rates are expected to rise further this year.
“The first half of the new trading year could continue to bring a cautious tone in the region, as market participants brace for further economic impact from tighter global central banks’ policies, along with risks of China’s reopening triggering cross-border virus spreads,” said Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG.
In December, emerging Asian equities, excluding Japan and China, witnessed net sales worth $3 billion, with Taiwanese, Indonesian and South Korean equities facing outflow of $2.55 billion, $1.34 billion and $1.31 billion, respectively.
On the flip side, India, Vietnam and Thailand received net inflows of $1.36 billion, $559 million and $372 million, respectively, in December.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara