S’pore CEOs more optimistic about future than Asean peers

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Singapore bosses are more optimistic than their regional counterparts about the economic outlook in the coming years, according to a survey.

It found that Asean chief executive officers (CEOs) have become less confident about global growth - as well as the outlook for their own countries - compared with a year earlier.

But Singapore bucked this trend, with company heads here more upbeat about prospects than their global and Asean peers, said the annual survey by professional services firm KPMG.

It polled 1,261 CEOs from around the world seeking to find out about attitudes, priorities and concerns regarding business growth over the next three years.

There were 52 CEOs from Asean polled - 26 from Singapore and the rest from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

It noted that 60 per cent of Asean CEOs are confident about global economic growth over the next three years, down from 80 per cent in the previous year's poll and revealed that confidence among them regarding their own countries' three-year growth prospects has fallen from the previous year.

But the Singapore CEOs polled were more confident not only about the country's growth prospects compared with their global and regional peers, but also in comparison with the 2016 poll.

Despite uncertainties over the economic outlook, business leaders across the region continue to see strong prospects for their firms.

Almost all the Asean CEOs polled - 98 per cent - said they were confident in their companies' growth prospects over the next three years. For Singapore CEOs, it was 96 per cent.

These numbers are in sharp contrast to their global peers, with a far lower 83 per cent expressing confidence in their own company's growth prospects over the next three years.