INDIAN INVESTORS EXPECT FURTHER RALLY

As the stock markets scale new peaks almost every day in a pre-poll rally, a vast majority of Indian investors expect a further rise in equities in the current year, says a survey. "As many as 82 per cent of domestic investors think the stock market will rise in 2014, with nearly half believing it will surge significantly," a Franklin Templeton global investor sentiment survey said. Interestingly, domestic investors remain optimistic about this year despite the subdued performance of the equity market in the last five years. According to the survey, investors feel the best equity opportunities over the next 10 years will be in the Indian market with broader Asian bourses in the second place. The survey polled 11,113 investors in 22 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe on their current attitudes towards investing and their expectations for 2014 and the decade ahead. Investors feel India will offer the best fixed income returns in 2014 and over the next decade, it said. "The domestic investor believes property, stocks and precious metals will be the top three performing asset classes in 2014 and over the next 10 years." On the investment approach, the survey said globally around 52 per cent of investors are planning to become more conservative with their strategies this year. This number stands at 59 per cent among Indian investors. "A smart approach to managing investment risk is not to categorically avoid risks but to ensure that risks taken are intended, understood and appropriately compensated with an eye on achieving longer-term investment goals," Franklin Templeton Investments-India President Harshendu Bindal said. The survey highlighted that the domestic investors are looking to increase investments in equities, real estate as well as precious metals to their portfolio in the current year. The benchmark BSE Sensex today settled at a fresh closing high of 22,715.33 points.

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