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Asian equities' valuations still cheaper than its global peers: Refinitiv data

(Reuters) - Asian stocks valuations' rose on the back of a strong rally in the first quarter of 2019, but regional equities still look attractive compared with global peers, Refinitiv data showed.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares rose about 9 percent in the first quarter of 2019, its biggest quarterly gain since January-March 2012. That propelled the index's forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) to a 10-month high of 12.89 at the end of March.

However, it was still less than the MSCI All Country World index's forward 12 month P/E of 14.78, the data showed.

South Korea, Hong Kong and China were the lowest-cost shares in the region, with P/E multiples of about 12 or less.

India and Malaysia were the most expensive, with ratios of 18.3 and 15.8 respectively.

"The region trades at a steep discount to global equities," DBS Bank said in a note.

"The China equity market is particularly attractive on aggressive policy tailwinds and MSCI index re-weighting," it said.

Graphic: Valuation of Asian equities (https://tmsnrt.rs/2VdEmtK)

Graphic: MSCI Asia Pacific and World Index's forward PE (https://tmsnrt.rs/2WEy1HU)

(Reporting by Patturaja Murugbaoopathy and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru)