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GRAPHIC-Asia's corporate earnings expected to rise 26.4% in 2021, Refinitiv data shows

Jan 12 (Reuters) - Analysts expect a strong turnaround in profits at Asian companies as regional economies see a surge in factory activity and an expansion in exports, helped by approvals for multiple coronavirus vaccines.

Asia’s large- and mid-cap companies are expected to post profit growth of 26.4% in 2021, after an estimated 5% growth last year, according to Refinitiv data.

Singapore, South Korea and Japanese firms lead the earnings growth for the region this year, boosted by a surge in electronics exports.

The data also showed Chinese firms were to likely record an 18.8% rise in profits this year, compared with 10.5% in 2020.

“China could see further earnings upgrades driven by sustained business activity growth and online/offline retail sales growth albeit at a slower pace,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a report.

“India and Korea are also likely to see earnings revision upgrades helped by sustained strong manufacturing activity data and exports,” it said.

In different sectors, industrials and consumer discretionary companies are expected to post a faster recovery this year, after being hit heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Energy and mining firms are also poised to see a strong growth this year, thanks to a surge in commodity prices.

Iron ore prices have risen more than 40% in the past two months, while crude oil gained 28%.

Some analysts expect earnings growth in Asian firms to bolster the equity markets this year after a sharp rally in 2020.

The MSCI Asia Pacific index has gained 3.7% so far this year, after climbing 17.2% last year.

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugbaoopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair

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