Fund selectors tilt toward Asian equities
Asian equities ex-Japan stood out as this year's preferred asset class, according to an FSA survey of fund selectors and portfolio managers.
The surveys were conducted at the FSA Income Forums in Hong Kong and Singapore earlier this month. A total of roughly 100 fund selectors and portfolio managers participated.
When asked about equities, the geographic preferences were clear.
Asian equities were popular, with 63% of respondents in Hong Kong and 74% in Singapore planning to increase allocations over the next 12 months.
The fund community in Asia also has an apparently strong geographic preference for Europe, with 67% of respondents in Hong Kong and 70% in Singapore saying they will increase allocation to European equities this year.
Wary on Japan, US
Japan was an interesting topic. The biggest split in opinion between Hong Kong and Singapore was the question on exposure to Japanese equities. In Hong Kong, 47% plan to increase exposure but in Singapore the number was only 17%.
However, in both cases a majority -- 53% in Hong Kong and 83% in Singapore -- said they plan to either maintain the same allocation or decrease exposure. Uncertainty about the Japanese government's fiscal stimulus is likely one reason for the results.
US equities were viewed as neutral or negative. In Hong Kong, 60% said they would maintain the same allocation and 30% said they would decrease exposure this year.
In Singapore, results were fairly close to Hong Kong. Half said they would maintain the same exposure to US equities and 28% plan to decrease exposure.
Upbeat macro views
The fund community in Asia was mainly upbeat on the global macroeconomic climate in 2015. At both the Hong Kong and Singapore events, roughly 62% of those surveyed in both locations said they had a positive outlook.
Very few were negative: 0% in Hong Kong and about 4% in Singapore, according to the survey results.