Stocks to be best performing asset class in 2015: DBS

Singapore - Trouble in Europe and a plunge in crude oil prices are unlikely to halt the climb in global stocks this year, said DBS Bank.

Its chief investment officer of group wealth management and private banking, Mr Lim Say Boon, said at a briefing on Tuesday that "the stock market started the year with a new wall of worries."

Concerns about declines in sharply falling oil prices and the potential Greek exit from the Euro zone, dubbed "Grexit", have led to stock markets falling this week.

But "these issues will pass", said Mr Lim, who expects crude oil prices to rebound.

"I don't expect a sharp rebound, I don't think you're going to see (prices) back up to US$90 anytime soon.

"I would be surprised if oil was not back up above US$58 by the end of the year."

The US benchmark for crude oil, West Texas Intermediate, fell below US$50 a barrel on Monday to US$49.95 while Brent crude, used primarily in Europe and other parts of the world, dropped to US$53.11 a barrel.

Lower crude oil prices will have an immediate knock-on effect on energy-related stocks in the markets, though Mr Lim said the upside is there will be stronger consumer spending and economies.

Higher spending, however, takes time to flow through to better corporate earnings and consequently improved stock prices.

Woes in Greece will also not derail stocks' march.

"I believe we have seen this movie before and I think the ending will be much the same: Greece is likely to remain within the Euro area.

"Greece exiting the Euro area itself per se is not a catastrophic event. It will be catastrophic for Greece, but it's not necessarily a catastrophic event for the world."

Reasons he is not unduly worried are that the Greek economy is relatively small and the amount of outstanding Greek debt can be absorbed by the markets, if not already written off.

Mr Lim also expects any exit would be made so punitive by European officials that no other nation would dare to not comply with reforms, thus likely preventing a contagion.

He is most bullish on US markets, giving it an "overweight" call over the three-month and 12-month period.

Bonds, however, may have run their course and Mr Lim is underweight on the asset class.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.