GLOBAL - Confidence in investments took a battering this month as institutional investors preferred to hold rather than sell investments, reflecting a pessimistic outlook on the health of the global economy and market fundamentals.
US investor confidence collapsed to an all time low of 65.3, which contrasted sharply with a slight improvement in Europe, up slightly from 83.9 last month to 85.0. Asian investors also remained fairly optimistic, recording a slight fall from 86.6 last month to 85.8.
Harvard Professor Ken Froot, who co-designed the index, commented: "This month, our quantitative measure of global investor confidence established a new low, cementing the evidence that investor risk appetite has been strongly impacted by the one-two punch of the August and November credit crises.
"The overwhelming conclusion from the data is that they are much more sceptical about fundamentals than they were in the first half of the year."
The figures, released by State Street's Investor Confidence Index, were based on an analysis of institutional investor activity on global equities markets.
The index was calculated by the amount of a portfolio investors are willing to hold in equities, with higher allocations equating to a greater appetite for risk, or confidence.
Yesterday, Global Pensions reported the US$250bn CalPERS fund announced a 4% reduction in its equities holdings, reflecting the changing outlook among institutional investors.
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.