Friday, May 23, 2014

Asia Investor Sentiment Buoyed by Equities and Mutual Funds

Asia Investor Sentiment Buoyed by Equities and Mutual Funds -- Manulife Survey

  • Rising optimism seen in Malaysia, Indonesia and China
  • Hong Kong and Taiwan sentiment also improves, but still in negative territory
  • Drivers include China stimulus, Indonesia election fever, pre-tax consumption in Malaysia
  • Family, friends and colleagues the main influence on investor decisions
Investor sentiment across Asia rose in the first quarter of 2014, buoyed by equities and mutual funds, along with a rise in optimism among investors in Malaysia, Indonesia and China, according to new research from Manulife.
The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index* for the region rose from the fourth quarter of 2013 (+2 to 24), driven mostly by sharply higher sentiment towards equities (+7 to 16) and mutual funds (+13 to 21). The improved sentiment in these sectors offset modest declines in attitudes towards property.
The higher sentiment was driven upward mostly by China, Indonesia and a surge in investment optimism in Malaysia. In Malaysia, investor sentiment rose on stronger economic growth and the belief that market conditions are improving. Investors there share the top spot with the Philippines as the region's most positive.
Investors in Hong Kong and Taiwan remained negative -- but there was an improvement on the previous quarter, with Hong Kong at -11 (+2) and Taiwan at -6 (+5). In only three markets did sentiment fall: Japan, the Philippines and Singapore, albeit in each case remaining positive.