EUROPE - Fund managers are optimistic about the prospects for Europe's 10 accession markets.
Some 81% of managers expected membership of the mainly Central and Eastern European states to have a positive or very positive effect on stockmarkets, with 78% adding that it would be positive or very positive for their bond markets, according to the latest survey from ratings and research firm, Morningstar.
However, around 81% said that EU entry would have a neutral effect on the markets of existing member states.
Morningstar polled 68 fund management groups across Europe, representing E53bn across 77 funds.
The optimism about emerging Europe is in stark contrast to the general gloom overshadowing the world’s stockmarkets. Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia and Latin America are the few markets to have risen so far this year. Asia (ex-Japan) is also the market that most managers expect to perform best over the next 12 months, with 39% believing that it will outperform all other markets including the US (30%) and Europe (ex-UK) (18%). But around 43% expected Japan to be the worst performer.
“Despite the bad start to the year, it is clear that fund groups are still optimistic on stock market performance overall in 2003,” said Niklas Tell, editor-in-chief of Morningstar Europe.
“Some 53% say that global markets - as represented by the MSCI World Index - will gain 5%-10% in the next 12 months. Another 25% say the gain will be 10%-15%. Only 3% expect global markets to fall.”
The survey also showed that managers were positive on a revival of the battered telecoms sector, with about 32% putting it as their favourite sector for 2003.
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