Thematic equities have soared their way to the top of fund buyers’ shopping lists alongside European equities for the year, ahead according to a sentiment survey at Citywire Zurich 2018.
In response to a question on asset allocation outlooks, investment professionals and fund selectors backed thematics and Europe as the equity areas they are most likely to increase exposure over the next year.
The two segments drew more than half of the votes from those present and bucked a recent trend which had seen European equities dominant among the international investor audience.
Elsewhere, 16% favoured Asia Pacific equities while another 16% revealed a penchant for emerging markets. The least popular region among selectors was North America, which got only 5% of the votes.
Fixed income favourites
In the bond space, emerging market bonds and corporate bonds were most popular among the participants, each amassing 41% of the votes.
This is while convertible bonds drew 9% of the votes and high yield and US dollar bonds each received 5%, respectively.
Meanwhile, global bonds was the market that proved the most unloved asset classes with no investors seeing it as a predominant area in which they plan to increase exposure.
Away from the mainstream
When it came to non-standard asset classes, investors had a clear preference for Alternative Ucits. Here 38% said it is the area they will be increasing their exposure in the next 12 months.
Ethical investments was the second most popular with 24% of the votes. Property gained the least interest of the non-standard asset classes, while hedge funds got 14% of votes and commodities and mixed assets each received 10%.
When asked what they would most like to know asked if they could fast forward to the end of the year, nearly half of those present said they would choose to know to what extent the ECB tightens monetary policy.
Given the chance, a quarter of participants would choose to know this year’s Chinese growth figures, 19% wanted to know how much the Fed will actually raise rates and 10% would most like to know whether Donald Trump is still President at the end of 2018.