Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London:
The latest Asian investor sentiment survey from Manulife found that investor sentiment across Asia fell sharply in the third quarter of this year, with the most noticeable declines seen in Japan and Indonesia and the deepest pessimism in Hong Kong and Taiwan, driven largely by deteriorating expectations towards the equities and property sectors.
The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in the three months to Sept. 30, based on 3,500 interviews across seven Asia markets, dropped six points from the previous quarter to 15. This was still in positive territory but well below that seen in Manulife’s parallel index in United States (20) which fell by the same amount during the quarter. The index showed sentiment towards all surveyed asset classes to be at best lukewarm. Investor sentiment was lowest in Hong Kong (-14) for the second quarter running, while investors in Malaysia were the most upbeat (49).
"These findings underline the caution felt by investors around the region. People are sitting on their hands, unsure what to do," said Robert A. Cook, President and CEO of Manulife Financial in Asia. "The survey is clear that Asia investors aren’t looking for excitement. They want secure, steady investment returns. From their perspective that makes a lot of sense, particularly when saving for long-term goals."
Investors across the region cited market volatility as the main reason......................
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