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RETAIL FUNDS | Terry Gangcuangco, Singapore
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HSBC survey says fund managers turn optimistic

HSBC’s quarterly Fund Managers Survey revealed fund managers turned optimistic about Greater China equities in the first quarter of 2009.

Up from 50 percent in the last quarter of 2008, 67 percent of fund managers took an overweight view. No one held an underweight view in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the previous 38 percent. Those who took a neutral stand were 33 percent of the fund managers surveyed, up from 13 percent.

Bruno Lee, HSBC’s Head of Liabilities Business and Wealth Management for Personal Financial Services in Hong Kong, said, "Fund managers are most optimistic about Greater China equities because they expect the stimulus policies of the Chinese government to support domestic demand and economic growth. This may also be linked to the potential positive impact of the US stimulus and recovery measures on China’s economy."

The polled fund managers also favoured bonds over equities as a whole in the first quarter of 2009 as uncertainties across the global economy remain. Fund managers who held an overweight view towards bonds amounted to 57 percent of those surveyed, compared to 50 percent in the last quarter of 2008. Those who held a neutral view comprised 43 percent of the fund managers, up from 30 percent. None held an underweight view compared to 20 percent in 4Q08.

Lee added, "Flight to quality continues to be a central theme for fund managers as they tend to veer towards more conservative asset classes given continued market volatility and the global economic uncertainty. We expect this sentiment to remain in the medium term."

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