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Singapore retail investors' confidence falls post-Brexit: poll

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SINGAPORE retail investors' confidence in the local stock market and economy for the next six months has taken a knock following Britain's vote to leave the European Union (Brexit), a two-part survey has found.

SINGAPORE retail investors' confidence in the local stock market and economy for the next six months has taken a knock following Britain's vote to leave the European Union (Brexit), a two-part survey has found.

The latest iteration of a half-yearly survey of investor sentiment by JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) found that investors turned more bearish on the global economy post-Brexit, as compared to when the same survey was conducted pre-Brexit.

The post-Brexit poll showed the index at 101, four points down from the 105 registered the week before Brexit, and at the same level as December 2015.

An index level of 100 is neutral, while 200 is extremely optimistic and zero is extremely pessimistic.

Optimism on the global economy dipped as well, with 44 per cent of respondents saying that the global economy "was extremely or somewhat unlikely to improve in the next six months", compared to 35 per cent pre-Brexit and 41 per cent in December 2015.

Yet, despite the bearish sentiments among local investors, the survey found that 85 per cent of respondents were likely to maintain or increase their investments post-Brexit, against 84 per cent who indicated the same a week before Brexit.

Said JPMAM head of Singapore funds Brian Tan: "It is certainly encouraging to find that a majority of investors plan to stay invested and not try to time the market, an approach validated by the subsequent recovery in financial markets following Brexit.

"However, the latest survey results are also a reminder of how market events can affect retail investors' confidence and lead to an almost immediate response in their investment behaviour."

The poll was conducted from June 6 to 17 pre-Brexit and July 1 to 7 post-Brexit. It surveyed 502 local investors - 200 of whom were recontacted post-Brexit - on their confidence and outlook for the next six months.