Fund managers bullish on Asia-Pacific ex-Japan equities

The asset allocation balance shifts in favour of equities, according to the latest HSBC survey.

Nine out of 10 global fund managers surveyed by HSBC are bullish on Asia-Pacific ex-Japan equities, according to the results of its latest quarterly fund managers' survey. That is up from the 4.5 out of 10 who felt the same way in the second quarter.

Asset allocation sentient has also shifted considerably. Fund managers polled by HSBC are more optimistic about equities as an investment class, with 50% saying they are overweight. Only 30% of the respondents were overweight in equities in the second quarter. Around 75% of fund managers remain bullish over Greater China equities (versus 75% in the second quarter), while nearly three-quarters are positive over emerging markets equities in general (versus 27% in the second quarter).

This time around, 70% of the fund managers polled by HSBC are neutral on bonds. That's a huge departure from the second quarter, when 70% of them said they were overweight in this asset class. Now, only 30% are bullish on bonds.

More fund managers are putting more of their assets to work. Around 57% of the respondents are underweight in cash (versus 25% in the second quarter). Not a single fund manager surveyed is overweight in cash.

"We see that improving market performance, combined with some signs of economic recovery especially in Asia-Pacific and emerging markets, are buoying investor sentiment for equities as people actively seek growth opportunities," says Bruno Lee, HSBC's regional head of wealth management for Asia-Pacific. "Investors remain positive about Greater China equities, given the stellar performance of the stock market and positive signs of economic development in the region over the past few months."

The quarterly HSBC survey involves 13 of the world's leading fund management houses, their asset allocation views and their global money flows. The net money flow estimates are derived from movements in assets under management (AUM) versus index movements in the equivalent class. At the end of the second quarter of 2009, the fund houses covered in the survey reported aggregated AUM of $3.1 trillion, representing about 15.2% of the estimated total global AUM.

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