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WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Staff Reporter, Japan
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Asian investor sentiment index inched higher to 16pts in 4Q13

Boosted by better equities.

A sharp improvement in Japanese investor sentiment, along with a general warming towards equities, lifted overall regional investor sentiment slightly higher in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index for Asia, released today.

The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index for the three months to December 31, comprising investors from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan rose to 16, from 15 in the third quarter. The latest quarter included the Philippines for the first time; and with their results included, overall sentiment rose to 22, level with fourth quarter investor sentiment in the United States.

Investor sentiment in Japan rose 9 points in the fourth quarter to 18, with the only other rises in the region seen in Indonesia (up 3 to 41) and Hong Kong (up 1 to -13). Despite the slight uptick, Hong Kong remains the most pessimistic in the region, followed by Taiwan. With a reading of 66, the Philippines has by far the most optimistic investors in the region.

Sentiment towards most of the asset classes in the survey is little changed overall, with the exception of equities, which rose modestly albeit from a low level (up 3 to 9). Cash and own-residence property remain the two most-favored asset classes.

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