Chinese investors bullish over economic reform and global outlook

The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index reveals  Chinese investors have a growing awareness on the importance of having insurance in their investment portfolios.

Chinese investor sentiment toward key asset classes rose this year as they were bullish over China's economic reform and the outlook for the global economy, according to the latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index.

The MISI, which measures and tracks investors’ view toward key asset classes, found that the domestic investors’ overall sentiment climbed from 33 points in 2017 to 40 points this year. The investors also expected their investment return for 2018 to climb to 8.8 percent, up 1 percentage point from the previous year.

Their optimism stemmed from their belief that China’s economic reform would continue to breed new opportunities and they were also positive about the outlook for the world economy, Manulife said.

The 2018 MISI data showed that investor sentiment for property rose 15 points to 32, cash added 10 points to 38, and  fixed income climbed 6 points to 54. Sentiment for equity gained marginally due to the volatile stock market earlier this year.

The sentiment index of respondents who are willing to hold cash on hand in 2018 was flat from a year ago, which could limit their investment return potential, the insurer said.

The study also revealed that China’s investors on average have 11 percent of their total assets in insurance products, up 1 percent from last year. This shows a growing awareness among investors on the importance of having insurance in their investment portfolios.

The percentage of investors with insurance saving plans rose 5 percent to 50 percent and those with personal health or medical insurance policies added 8 percent to 46 percent.

Zhang Kai, chief executive officer of Manulife-Sinochem, said that investors are emphasizing insurance products given their protection value in one's overall financial plan.

The MISI survey in China is based on 1,000 online interviews from 8 January to 20 February. Respondents are middle class to affluent investors, aged 25 years and above who are the primary decision-maker of financial matters in the household and currently have investment products.

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