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Tara Smyth, Head of the Middle East and North Africa markets for the J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Equities still the best choice, finds survey

DUBAI, April 17, 2019

Many ultra-high net worth investors (39 per cent) from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) continue to believe equities will be the best performing asset class over the next 12 months, according to J P Morgan’s Spring Private Client Survey.
 
Despite on-going global uncertainty, investor sentiment has remained largely unchanged since the winter Private Client Survey, where 38 per cent of the clients believed equities would be the best-performing asset class over the next 12 months. But with increased volatility expectations for 2019, many investors are now beginning to adopt a more defensive investment approach, it said.
 
J P Morgan is a global leader in financial services to corporations, governments, for-profit and non-profit institutions and wealthy individuals. It provides customised wealth management advice and solutions and special advisory services.
 
A third of the ultra-high net worth clients surveyed (33 per cent) are investing in higher-quality assets to help them to position their portfolios more defensively, whilst a quarter of investors (24 per cent) are moving from heavily cyclical sectors to focus on long-term investment opportunities in industries such as healthcare and technology. A further fifth (20 per cent) are moving to invest in actively defensive sectors such as utilities, real estate and telecoms, said the survey. 
 
“Like many of the ultra-high net worth clients we surveyed, we’re also mostly positive on equities for 2019, which is reflected in our overweight allocation of equities in managed portfolios,” said Tara Smyth, head of the Mena markets for the J P Morgan Private Bank. 
 
“As we enter late cycle investing, we see a movement from cyclical growth sectors to greater exposure to secular growth stories. The technological revolution isn’t slowing down, while the healthcare sector has enjoyed consistently positive earnings growth over the past 20 years.”
 
“As markets increasingly reflect the strains associated with an aging economic cycle, we are de-risking,” Smyth said. “We liken this process to calibrating the right mood with dimmers, rather than simply flipping a switch from on to off. Within and across asset classes we’ve taken full advantage of the dimmers available to us to ensure that the appropriate level of risk is being taken.  However, whilst our expectation for growth to slow merit this caution, we believe it is still too soon to shift to a fully defensive posture. That view, along with others, will certainly evolve as 2019 unfolds.” -TradeArabia News Service.
 



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