Chinese investors are more optimistic in the prospects of both equity and fixed income investments, according to the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index released on Thursday.
The MISI survey in China is based on the responses of 1,000 online interviews conducted from Jan 8 to Feb 20. Respondents are middle class to affluent investors, 25 years or older who are the primary decision makers for financial matters in the household and have investment products.
Chinese investors' overall positive sentiment increased to 40 points this year, compared to 33 points in 2017, according to the survey. The reasons behind the investors' sunny outlook include their belief in new opportunities brought out by China's economic reform, on top of a positive forecast for the global economy.
The 2018 MISI data also showed Chinese investors' positive opinion of property went up 15 points to 32, while that for cash jumped 10 points to 38, and fixed income rose 6 points to 54. Bullishness for equity increased marginally, due to a volatile stock market earlier this year.
In general, Chinese investors expecting a total investment return climbed to 8.8 percent in 2018, up 1 percentage point from the previous year, according to the survey.
Andrew Wang, chief investment officer of Manulife TEDA Fund Management Co Ltd, said the company is cautiously optimistic toward the Chinese equity market, underpinned by China's resilient economy, solid growth and moderate inflation.
"We are also seeing positive reforms in the financial industry to achieve deleveraging as well as increase financial transparency, which will be beneficial for the banking sector," he said.
The index also showed insurance products make up 11 percent of the Chinese people's investment portfolio on average this year, slightly up from 2017 — a 1 percent increase. In addition, the number of investors with insurance saving plans rose 5 percent, reaching 50 percent. The number of interviewees who have bought personal health or medical insurance policies went up 8 percent, hitting 46 percent.
Zhang Kai, chief executive officer of Manulife-Sinochem, said Chinese investors are putting more emphasis on insurance products, given their protective value in one's overall financial plan.