Date
25 March 2017
Matthew Schiffman (left) and Freeman Tsang of Legg Mason say investors are allocating more of their assets on the stock market. Photo: EJ Insight
Matthew Schiffman (left) and Freeman Tsang of Legg Mason say investors are allocating more of their assets on the stock market. Photo: EJ Insight

HK investors have bigger appetite for equities: Legg Mason

Two in every five Hong Kong investors plan to increase the proportion of equities in their portfolios over the next 12 months, a survey conducted by asset management firm Legg Mason shows.

In fact, stocks, along with cash or cash equivalents, already account for the largest percentage of their investment assets, according to the online survey that polled 458 global investors with more than US$200,000 in investable assets.

The study, which was conducted between November and December last year, found that 46 percent of local investors are planning to invest more in the stock market in the coming 12 months.

Equities and cash or cash equivalents account for 24 percent each of Hong Kong investors’ portfolios, higher than the 17 percent for real estate investment, 16 percent for fixed income and 8 percent for non-traditional investments.

The top two investments that offer the best opportunities over the next 12 months are domestic stocks (72 percent) and international stocks (62 percent), the study showed.

“I think that if we conduct the survey at this point of time, the percentage [of stocks] will increase quite a lot [after the recent stock rally],” said Freeman Tsang, director of business development and head of China and Hong Kong at Legg Mason.

China investors hold 27 percent of their assets in stocks at the time of the study.

“When we conducted the survey, the A-share market was on the rise… You can see that China investors are more aggressive in their investment approach, as their allocations on equities are always heavier than other [investors] in overseas markets,” Tsang said.

The results are in line with the global results, as investors are generally bullish on equities, and 51 percent of them plan to increase the share of equities in their portfolios in the next 12 months, compared with 37 percent in the previous study.

Global investors are also more optimistic about their investments in 2015 compared with the previous year.

“When you’ve got real estate prices on the rise, equity prices around the world on the rise, it does tend to have a knock-on effect in terms of people’s psychology and how they feel about investments going forward. The knock-on effect translates itself into optimism,” said Matthew Schiffman, head of global marketing at Legg Mason.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

JH/JP/CG

EJ Insight reporter

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