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Investment managers bearish

New Zealand investment managers are bearish on almost every asset class according to the latest Investment Manager Outlook published by Russell Investments.

Friday, July 4th 2008, 8:19AM
Nor do they think happier times are just around the corner. The snapshot of the sentiment of nine of New Zealand's influential investment managers was taken in June.

Russell Investment's Senior Manager of Investment Consulting, Alister Van der Maas says one bright spot is that New Zealand's equity market is seen as attractive with 33% believing the market is undervalued. But most think there is still pain to be felt this year before the market recovers.

"This is in contrast to the majority of Australian managers who are now of the view that the Australian equity market has already hit its low for the year," Van der Maas says.

US managers, who also complete a similar survey for Russell Investments, identified a slowing economy as the most significant threat to their market. NZ managers concur, with most managers expecting slower or zero economic growth over the next 12 months and unemployment to rise. A couple even forecast recession.

Looking at the asset classes, 60% of the NZ managers favour cash. That's the strongest showing in the history of the survey in New Zealand.

NZ bonds also have some attraction with more managers bullish on bonds than the prior quarter. But Mr Van der Maas says this has probably been driven by bearish attitudes to property and equities in the near term.

A notable finding in the survey is the view on the New Zealand dollar. Almost all the investment managers surveyed are now bearish about the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar.

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