Investors underestimating global risks, warns MAS

Investors are underestimating risks to the global economy as they drive stock markets to record highs, Singapore’s central bank chief warned. While economic growth across many parts of the world has improved, there’s no time for authorities to be complacent, Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said in an interview.

“The markets have been amazingly resilient to episodes of risks,” Menon told Bloomberg Television.

“There has been hardly a response to some of the risks that have been manifesting, so I do think those risks are being underestimated. Excessive exuberance is always, in and of itself, cause for concern.”

Investors have brushed aside concerns ranging from tensions over North Korea to what may be the biggest US profit slowdown in six years, continuing to push stock benchmarks to fresh peaks. The MSCI All-Country World Index is up 17% this year and touched a record high last week, days after the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for global growth this year and next.

Menon also said authorities should use the favourable conditions now to fix underlying vulnerabilities.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 256.