Global money managers around the world agree companies in Asia ex-Japan will enjoy the strongest corporate earnings growth in 2008, according to surveys conducted by Axa Rosenberg.

The $142 billion mathematics-based fund manager surveyed 196 institutional investors and money managers in New York, London, Melbourne and Tokyo over the past two months. The respondents represented firms with a combined $4 trillion of assets under management.

All regions strongly rated Asia ex-Japan as likely to have the strongest earnings growth, while the majority of respondents in New York, London and Tokyo expected earnings growth to slow in their own markets. The majority of investors outside of the United States expressed the view that corporate earnings would prove weakest in America.

But US-based investors also largely projected weaker economic growth for their market, with 43% of them characterising their stock market as overvalued. Most investors in London say the UK stock market is fairly valued, Australians were more bullish on their economy (although many also argued their market is overvalued), and Japanese respondents were quite dismayed by their own state of affairs: 75% of Tokyo respondents called JapanÆs equity markets overvalued.

Other common themes include the return of volatility: majorities of respondents everywhere bar London believe it will rise over the coming 12 months. Strong majorities in all four cities say inflation is increasing, and that interest rates are going to rise (except in America, where only 44% of respondents expect rates to go up).

But the highest correlation û the strongest majority conviction in all four locations û concerns currency. More than 75% of investors expect the US dollar to decline in 2008, while 90% of investors worldwide choose the euro or the yen to be the strongest major currency in 2008.