For the second year in a row, we are delighted to name the winner of our competition for predicting the year-end level of the FinanceAsia 100. And for the second year in a row our congratulations go to Alastair Macdonald, who has (incredibly) won the case of champagne again.
The competition - which was open to our entire readership - was won in 2004 by Macdonald who managed to predict the FA100 would close on December 17 at 1,280 (in fact, it finished at 1,279). This year Macdonald also made the closest estimate of where the index would close - by predicting 1,370 when in fact it closed on December 16 (the date specified for the competition) at 1,375.
The index saw an overall rise of 6.3% in 2005, making this year the Asian blue chip index's flattest performance since we started tracking it.
Credit is due to Macdonald for forecasting this, especially after the euphoria of previous years. The most bullish prediction we received in this year's competition was 1,688, which would have suggested a 30.5% rise.
Macdonald first came to Asia in 1994. He arrived in Bangkok where he first worked as an analyst for Asia Equity before joining Paribas Asia Equity in 1997 to perform a regional bank research role. He moved to Singapore with the French firm in 1999. He then left BNP Paribas in 2002 and returned to Bangkok with Finansa, where he currently heads research for the Thai securities firm. If you are looking for tips on Thai stocks, we imagine you could do a lot worse than to pick up the phone and speak to Macdonald.
If you would like to enter the competition for next year, the closing date is January 31 and all entries should be sent to [email protected] with the prize being the same: a case of champagne. For help with your predictions, we advise you to look at this month's magazine supplement on the FA100, "A Guide to Asia's Blue Chip Companies". A copy of this can be obtained by emailing [email protected] and requesting it.
The index is now most heavily weighted to Korea (the biggest single country component with 22 companies) and Greater China (46 companies) and India (12 companies). So if you are bullish on the above, you ought to be bullish on the index as a whole.
Good luck with your predictions.