Surging global volatility that has left seldom a market untouched this week has cast a light on an old faithful: high yielding Australian equities.
In an Asia Pacific strategy note, Timothy Moe, a highly respected Goldman Sachs Asian equity analyst, said high yielding Australian shares looked attractive in a region unsettled by China’s plunging sharemarket.
“A shock to growth expectations and faltering confidence in policy are at the centre of a self-reinforcing downward price dynamic in regional equities, which have fallen into bear market territory,” Mr Moe said.
The catalyst for improvement would be stable-to-better economic data from China but key data was more than six weeks away, he said.
A flight to dividend-paying stocks is among Mr Moe’s moves in the uncertain Asian financial landscape, with Australia firmly in view with the themes of stable growth and dividend yield.
Mr Moe said Australia’s sharemarket, with a dividend yield of 5.1 per cent, eclipsed its regional peers. Australian companies also have a relatively low debt to equity ratio at 40 per cent for the top 100 countries.
There is room to move in the policy space, with an interest rate level at 2 per cent compared with global peers at or near zero. Australia’s government debt is relatively low at 23 per cent of GDP.
Mr Moe said resources stocks now made up less than 15 per cent of the top 200 companies, which implies less exposure of our index to falling commodity prices.
The high dividend yielding stocks on Goldman Sachs’ list are Woolworths, with a dividend yield of 5.2 per cent, QBE Insurance Group, yielding 3.5 per cent and expected to grow to 4.9 per cent in 2016, and Amcor, at 4.4 per cent.
Other selected stocks are AGL Energy, APA Group, Sonic Healthcare, Coca-Cola Amatil and ALS.
they must be holding quite a few then if they are advertising for buyers..