CNBC Global CFO Council

Asia's CFOs focus on China's economy, Trump

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China's economic slowdown and the continued rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race are the two major issues on top of the minds of chief financial officers in Asia, revealed a quarterly survey from the CNBC Global CFO Council released on Monday.

When asked what the most important business or financial news story has been so far in 2016, four out of eight CFOs polled in Asia Pacific cited China while two mentioned Trump.

Among 24 CFOs in the U.S, just four answered "Presidential primaries/U.S. Election" to the same question. Trump's name was not mentioned in their responses.

A worker polishes steel coils at a factory of Dongbei Special Steel Group in Dalian, China.
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The respondents did not elaborate on why they chose China but for CLP Holdings, the answer is clear. Asia Pacific is the energy company's biggest market.

"(It's not) so much the activity and GDP growth but also the pace of transition of the economy in China. Because as the economy transitions, it also has significant impact on how much power we will sell," CLP's CFO Geert Peeters told CNBC's Squawk Box.

Also key is the transition in China's environmental policies as it moves away from coal to cleaner sources of energy.

In CNBC's survey, almost 30 percent of the 24 U.S. respondents said the U.S. economy would suffer should the country pull out of free trade deals such as the NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as some presidential candidates have proposed.

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While CFOs are overall more bearish on the global economy, they are upbeat about growth in the technology sector with 29.5 percent saying technology will grow the most over the next six months.

"What technology is doing is that it's affecting lifestyles. There was a time when technology was seen as some kind of an exotic thing … now it's something which every person, the common man, is using every day," said Mahendra Negi, CFO of security software company Trend Micro.

The million dollar response? An overwhelming 83 percent of 24 U.S. respondents think Hillary Clinton will be the next president while 13 percent picked Trump.

Complete survey results below:

(Note: 44 of the 103 current members of the CNBC Global CFO Council responded to this quarter's survey. Members represent a diverse mix of public and private companies from around the world, with more than $2 trillion in market capitalization.) The latest CNBC Global CFO Council survey, was conducted between April 29 and May 11.

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