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upbeat belgians hunker down

Belgian fund selectors became more positive on the macroeconomic outlook during 2013 but also less enthused by the major asset classes


At our Brussels event in January last year, just a third of professional investors were upbeat on the 12-month outlook.

However, the group demonstrated an appetite for risk – with many planning higher global equity and EM debt weightings, combined with smaller allocations to Western bonds.alt=''

In contrast, when our researchers visited Brussels and Antwerp in Q4, more than half the private banks, wealth managers and pension funds they consulted were positive on the growth outlook. Yet their enthusiasm for most assets was considerably lower than the levels recorded in January.

Most notably, a net 31% of interviewees planned to reduce their US equity weightings – a sharp deterioration in sentiment compared with the start of the year, when a net 47% of fund selectors expected to boost their exposure to the asset class over the following 12 months (see chart).

Appetite for both emerging market equities and credit also collapsed, with only high yield bonds and absolute return strategies increasing their popularity during the period.

Platinum members can read the full Market Insight report here.

If you are a fund selector and would like to attend this year’s Expert Investor Belgium event on 30 January, please contact Ilyes Bdioui by email or on +44 20 7382 4470.