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Monday, 27 February 2012

Investor sentiment in S'pore at "all-time low"

SINGAPORE: The global financial unrest has caused investor sentiment to hit an all-time low in Singapore, according to a survey by insurance and investment products provider Friends Provident International.

The survey said the European debt crisis has negatively impacted investors across all markets.

In Singapore, the latest Friends Provident International Investor Attitudes index showed a four-point decline from the last survey in July 2011.

Many respondents said they do not expect the market condition to improve anytime soon.
As a result, investors now prefer to hold gold and cash.

In addition, equities and shares have become the least-favoured asset.

However, some market players hold a different view.

They pointed out that the appetite for shares has improved as reflected by the 12 per cent rise in the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) since the start of the year.

About 1,000 people who are mostly retail investors participated in the survey which was conducted from 9 to 20 January.

Friends Provident first began running the survey in the second quarter of 2010.

Friends Provident International principal officer and general manager Chris Gill said: "I think, looking forward, clearly the start of this year, we've seen equity markets around the world rallying and no different here in Asia and Singapore, particularly the market is up significantly in the first couple of months in 2012.

"But, looking forward, we believe clients should be investing in real assets to gain a real return in the long term."

- CNA/wk

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