Invesco’s latest poll of investor intermediaries in the Middle East has found falling confidence in the global economic outlook.
Those polled suggested market volatility and geopolitical uncertainty are the two biggest challenges in 2015. The poll was conducted in early February at Invesco’s annual Dubai Investment Meeting, and included the views of some 171 retail intermediaries.
The results reveal that half (52%) of respondents feel concerned or slightly concerned about global economic growth, outnumbering the third (33%) who felt fairly positive or very positive about growth prospects. A year earlier a far lower 25% felt concerned about global economic growth.
According to the most recent poll, almost half (46%) of intermediaries say they have observed decreased appetite for investment risk amongst their clients as a result, compared to a considerably lower 17% who say their clients’ risk appetite has increased.
As to asset classes, some 45% expect equities to perform best in the current economic climate, although 31% picked a multi-asset approach as the one expected to perform best.
However, given that 81% said that less than half their clients’ portfolios are allocated to multi-asset products, Invesco said “there is room for increased investment in this asset class, which is confirmed by 68% of intermediaries expecting multi-asset allocations to increase over the next year.”
The US is considered the “safest” region for investment in this environment, according to the responses.
Nick Tolchard, head of Invesco Middle East, said: “We have seen great interest in multi-asset strategies for a while now, but rather than plateauing, it’s clear that there is significant and continued appetite for further investment into this type of strategy in 2015. In a continuously low yield environment, with an uncertain economic outlook, multi-asset has the potential to offer risk managed diversification. Equities continue to be ever popular, but the increased appetite for multi-asset is a significant trend, and one that we believe is here to stay.”