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16th CLSA Feng Shui Index -
Expect the Year of the Golden Tiger to roar

3 February, 2010

Hong Kong - Wednesday, 3 February, 2010 - CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets (“CLSA”), Asia’s leading independent brokerage and investment group, launches the 16th CLSA Feng Shui Index (‘CLSA FSI’) report with a tongue-in-cheek look at what 2010 holds for equities, commodities, property, celebrities, and the zodiac signs in the months ahead.

The previous year of the Golden Tiger was 1950, a year that saw the Dow Jones Index gain significantly and end the year on a high. However, Tiger-years are typically marked by dramatic changes and even upheaval and 2010, much like the tiger itself, sees an energetic and powerful, but impulsive and risky, year ahead.

Those trading equities should get set to ride the wild tiger. The markets will be volatile with a surge in the first month followed by a decline that turns upwards in June, dips, and then swings up again in September to see the Golden Tiger roar by January 2011.

With this Tiger year’s heavenly stem being metal, gold is set to have a great run and we predict that it could break US$2,000/oz. In fact, commodities of all stripes will fair well including silver, copper, zinc and aluminum. Those regarded as ‘wood’ will also do very well: pulp and paper, clothing and pharmaceuticals. ‘Fire’ and ‘earth’ elements, thus technology, power, telecoms and property will have a good year but ‘water’ related sectors will be challenged, translating to a bumpy time for shipping, airlines, logistics, autos and transport.

For the first time, the CLSA FSI features a Hong Kong property snapshot, highlighting the best and worst areas across the Special Administrative Region. We see a year of consolidation; prices will continue to climb early in the year, with some weakness toward year-end.

Looking ahead month-by-month, February will bring fantastic opportunities for those sharp enough to recognise them and fast enough to grab them. March signals the start of three bumpy months, but there’ll be no shortage of good trades for those brave enough. In April, the influence of the stars of misfortune is especially disruptive, while the first few weeks of May will be feisty.

June heralds a great month but maybe not the best for betting, although the 21 June summer solstice is especially auspicious and gold may surge. July is a more relaxed with time to enact long-cherished plans and projects. August sees the return of volatility and precious metals look set to break upwards, especially gold, silver and copper. In September, the trend is upwards and a mixture of considered and idle speculations offers the possibility of eye-popping returns.

October is possibly one of the best months of the year, with life returning to the markets. It marks the return of a sustained drive upwards that continues into November, December and January. Each of the last three months features an auspicious date; 17 November, 8 December, 16 January.

In terms of the Zodiac, a great year lies ahead for those born in the years of the Dragon, Sheep and particularly, the Horse. A relatively good year is in store for Rats, Cows, Rabbits, Roosters, Dogs and Pigs, while it will be a bumpy ride for Tigers, Snakes and Monkeys.

The Golden Tiger year will favour China’s wealthiest woman, Nine Paper’s Zhang Yin, a Rooster in the Chinese zodiac. She will take on some of the toughest competition of her career and come out on top. For China’s wealthiest man, BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu, a Horse, the sun will continue to shine as it has since Warren Buffet invested into his company and set the price soaring. And for Buffet, also a horse, the future looks just as bright. He is about to enter the most financially lucky period of his life. Expect some significant and unusual developments in Berkshire Hathaway’s already substantial interest in China.

And so as the Chinese saying goes: “Once on a tiger’s back, it is hard to get off”. But if you can hang on, it is certainly the safest place to be. Enjoy the ride and Happy New Year.

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About the CLSA Feng Shui Index

The CLSA Feng Shui Index began life as a Chinese New Year card for clients in 1992, with a simple summary of forecasts by feng shui masters, plus the views of our own consultant. To flesh it out, we also predicted the performance of the Hang Seng Index, based on the investment omens. No one paid much attention to the contrarian chart. But by year’s end it had correctly called all seven of the Hang Seng’s major turns.

We stopped publishing in 2005, but brought the report back to life in 2009 by popular request from clients and the enthusiasm with which its revival was greeted suggests that it has got a long and happy future.