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Wealthy investors are more positive on global economy entering 2020, UBS survey finds

By Ramla Soni

60 per cent were optimistic on the global economy, up from 53 per cent and 65 per cent were optimistic on their regional stock markets

Global high net worth individuals and business owners have a more upbeat outlook going into 2020, with cash levels and concerns over domestic politics declining, according to UBS Global Wealth Management (GWM)’s new quarterly Investor Sentiment survey.

According to the survey, which polled more than 4,800 wealthy investors and business owners in 19 markets, 67 per cent of respondents said they were optimistic on their own region's economy.

Sixty per cent were optimistic on the global economy, up from 53 per cent and 65 per cent were optimistic on their regional stock markets, up from 56 per cent, with cash levels declining from 27 per cent of portfolios to 25 per cent.

After strong performance in 2019, investors' average expectations for 2020 were high with 94 per cent expecting positive returns and 44 per cent anticipating returns in double digits.

The US saw the biggest improvement in sentiment. Sixty-eight per cent of US respondents were optimistic on their own region's economy, compared with 55 per cent in a prior survey.

Sixty-four percent expressed optimism on their region's stock market.

Asian respondents also experienced the second most significant improvement and were the most positive overall, with over 70 per cent optimistic on both their own economy and stock market.

The improvement in the US and Asia followed an easing of US-China tensions, which also prompted investor enthusiasm over emerging markets and a decline in political concerns.

Forty-three per cent saw emerging markets' growth as a reason for optimism on stocks, higher than any other driver. Forty-two percent cited their country's politics as among their top concerns.

However, 67 per cent of business owners globally expected more or the same level of US-China trade tensions over the next five years.

FURTHER READING: Euro zone economy shows glimmer of optimism in November

FURTHER READING: Stock markets hit new highs on China data, trade deal news

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