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S'pore investors more upbeat in Q2 on improved property sentiment

Publication Date : 26-08-2014


Investor sentiments rose in the second quarter this year to reach their highest point since the start of 2013, buoyed by improved confidence in property investments, a survey by insurer Manulife has found.

Singapore investors were also more optimistic than many of their counterparts across Asia.

Manulife said on Tuesday that the proportion of survey respondents who think it is a good time to invest in their own home climbed to 40 per cent in the three months to June 30, from 31 per cent in the first quarter.

It said this was likely due to "low interest rates, market stability and, importantly, the view that property prices have corrected to an attractive entry level for investment".

Prices of private homes fell 1 per cent in the second quarter this year, marking the third straight quarter of price drops.

The "improved sentiment towards property" was the main reason investor sentiments climbed in the quarter to their highest level since January last year, Manulife said.

Singapore investors are now more cheerful overall than their peers in mainland China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Only in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were investors more optimistic, Manulife said.

"Clearly Singapore investors have recently regained quite a bit of confidence but ... it's crucial to actively manage a diversified portfolio to guard against risk and maximise returns," said Naveed Irshad, president and chief executive of Manulife Singapore.

Investors in Singapore also grew more upbeat about bonds and mutual funds but were less keen on equities as at the end of June, Manulife found.

The greater interest in bonds was due to "a flight to quality amid uncertainty arising from the situation in Ukraine and geopolitical tension elsewhere", said Jill Smith, senior managing director of Manulife Asset Management (Singapore).

Manulife's survey in Singapore was done through 500 online interviews of middle-class to affluent investors who are at least 25 years old.

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