CHINA / National

China remains investors' darling
Updated: 2006-06-20 08:27

China and India are the favoured markets of investors living outside their home countries, while fears about corporate governance standards in emerging markets have waned, according to a brokerage firm's survey on Monday.

Some 56 percent of investors said they were confident about putting money to work in China, up from 38 percent a year ago, while 43 percent of them said they were confident about India, unchanged from last year, according to a poll of 400 expatriate investors in June by Luxembourg-based brokerage internaxx.

Concerns about lax corporate governance standards in some emerging market economies also fell over the past 12 months, the survey found. Only 3 percent of respondents said they had concerns, down from 16 percent a year before.

"They feel there are fewer barriers to investing ... last year people were a bit concerned about corporate governance, such as in countries like China ... that appears to have been lowered," Robert Glaesener, general manager at internaxx, told Reuters.

Expatriate investors living away from their countries of origin are an increasingly important part of the investment population and typically take a more sophisticated and international approach to managing money, Glaesener said.

There are about 300,000 expatriate Britons living in areas such as the Middle East and Far East, for example, while the total number of expat employees and investors can be counted by the millions although exact figures are hard to pin down, he said.

Among other findings, the survey showed that 81 percent of investors claim to have either beaten or matched performance by market indices.

Investors turned less confident about the British, U.S. and euro zone economies as places to put money, citing ageing populations, rigid labour laws and saturated home markets as reasons for their caution.

The most favoured sectors are energy and telecoms, while retail and mining were the least favoured.

internaxx is a joint venture between brokerage firm TD Waterhouse and Dutch-Belgian financial group Fortis .