Asia-Pac investment execs most pessimistic on global economy

More respondents from Asia than elsewhere expect a global contraction next year, finds a survey, but they are more upbeat about employment and growth prospects at home.
Asia-Pac investment execs most pessimistic on global economy

Investment professionals in Asia-Pacific are more pessimistic about global economic growth than those elsewhere in the world, but more optimistic about their home markets.

A total of 47% of Asia-Pacific respondents to a global CFA Institute survey expect their local economy to expand next year, against 24% of those from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea). 

Among the least optimistic countries was China, where just 22% of respondents say they expect the global economy to expand in 2012, with Hong Kong close behind on 18%.

The most optimistic countries worldwide as regards their local markets were Brazil (82% forecast expansion at home next year), India (73%) and Australia (66%). Half of those from both China and Russia take the same view.

On the flip side, 42% of Asia-Pacific respondents expect the global economy to contract next year, compared with 27% of Emea respondents.

In terms of asset class performance, most CFA members globally expect equities to provide the highest returns in 2012. However, in Asia-Pacific an equal proportion (30%) believe equities and precious metals will perform best.

Not surprisingly, emerging-market respondents were more upbeat than those in developed markets about employment opportunities for investment professionals in the coming year.

Those polled in China, India and Latin America were most optimistic, with 37%, 29% and 28%, respectively, expecting an increase in such opportunities. That compared to far lower figures in Germany (6%), Switzerland (4%) and the UK (7%), with France the most downbeat, polling 0%.

As for the global sovereign debt crisis, a similar proportion in each region believes that it will get worse next year, with 52% of worldwide respondents taking that view.

Asked how long they felt the impact of the crisis would last, 34% of CFA members in the Asia-Pacific region said one to two years, a higher proportion than in the Americas (22%) and Emea (21%).

Turning to the ‘most needed regulatory action for 2012’, those polled worldwide chose ‘improved regulation and oversight of global systemic risk’ (38%). The most required action cited last year was ‘improved enforcement of existing laws and regulation’, which came second this year with 22%.

A quarter of respondents to the survey (conducted from November 2-11) came from the Asia-Pacific region, 42% from Emea and 33% from the Americas. Aggregate results were reweighted to reflect the actual geographic distribution of CFA Institute members.

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