Luxembourg’s selection community has made a surprising choice for its top equity sector bet for the first half of 2018, with the Asia-Pacific region garnering the most votes at our recent event.

Attendees at the one-day forum in Luxembourg were asked which equity market they expected to be the most popular pick for the next six months.

After several months of dominance for emerging market equities, investors threw their weight behind the Asia-Pacific region, with 48% of those in attendance saying they expected this market to outperform.

EM equities, in contrast, slumped to third, with just 15% of the vote, while thematic equities received 23%. European equities and global equities split the remainder of the vote, while there was zero support for North America.

However, emerging markets remained dominant on the fixed income side, sharing the top spot with convertible bonds. Both gained 42% of the vote, while corporates achieved 17%.

When asked which alternative ideas were most promising, the Luxembourg crowd went against the views seen in Lugano earlier this week. While the southern Swiss investment audience strongly backed Alt Ucits, it was a different story in Luxembourg.

Alt Ucits gained 29% of the vote, but trailed mixed assets on 57%. Commodities-focused funds achieved 7%, as did property-focused investment strategies.

The audience was also asked what is most likely to keep them awake at night in 2018. Half of the respondents said interest rate increases will dominate their agendas, which was ahead of the 36% who are most concerned about what US president Donald Trump will tweet next.

Elsewhere, 14% said they were concerned about North Korea’s on-going missile testing, while nobody in attendance cited Brexit negotiations as their key concern for the year ahead.