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India, Malaysia priciest share markets in Asia: Refinitiv data

India, Malaysia priciest share markets in Asia: Refinitiv data
People walk past a new brand identity for Nifty Indices inside the National Stock Exchange (NSE) building in Mumbai, May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/Files -
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(Reuters) – India and Malaysian equities were the most expensive in Asia on Oct. 2, based on their price-to-earnings valuation metrics, according to Refinitiv.

Most other regional markets saw a rise in valuations over the past month, thanks to some easing U.S-China trade tensions and rate cuts by major central banks.

A corporate tax cut announced by India’s finance minister last month to boost manufacturing and revive its weakening economy propelled Indian shares higher.

As of Wednesday, their P/E valuations increased to 16.42 from 15.98 a month earlier. Indian equities benchmark Nifty <.NSEI> rose 4.1% last month.

(Graphic: Valuation of Asian equities

Malaysia’s price-to-earnings ratio was 15.66, second highest in Asia, even though their shares registered a 1.75% decline in September.

“Despite the falling market in recent months,(FTSE Bursa Malaysia index’s) valuations have not improved because forward earnings estimates have collapsed: earnings are now expected to contract by 4% against a 1% contraction as of end June.” said brokerage Jefferies in a report on Tuesday.

(Graphic: MSCI Asia and World forward PE

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares <.MIAP00000PUS> gained 2.13% during September and its forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio rose to a five-month high of 13.14 times at the end of last month. The August level was 12.78.

China, Hong Kong and South Korea were the lowest-cost shares in the region, with P/E multiples of about 11 or less, according to Refinitiv.

Regional shares still trade at a slight discount to their global peers, the data showed.

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugbaoopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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