The latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia (Manulife ISI) shows that cash is king among Malaysians. The survey also showed Malaysia remains the second most optimistic country in Asia despite a modest decline since the last survey in March this year. Malaysian investors hold over half of their assets in cash, excluding their primary residences - the most compared to all Asian markets surveyed. Malaysian respondents also showed their preference for cash by giving it the highest sentiment index score of all asset classes.
- Nevertheless, compared with the last survey in March, respondents have rebalanced their cash with more stocks. This rebalancing was led by those aged 25 to 39, whose stock holdings, as a proportion of assets, rose from three to 11%.
- Apart from this, Malaysian investors have not significantly increased their investments in other investment vehicles or asset classes such as property and unit trusts, despite the positive sentiment towards these asset classes.
- "This increase of investments in stocks may have stemmed from the post-election stock market rally. Despite this increase, stocks and equity still constitute a small and less-than-optimal percentage of Malaysian investors' overall investment portfolio," said Mark O'Dell, group CEO of Manulife Holdings Bhd. (BT)