Italy’s investors to look for opportunities outside home market, Legg Mason survey finds

Italian investors are very likely to consider investing outside of their home market and more than half of those who are not currently investing internationally are considering this option, according to a survey published by Legg Mason Global Asset Management.

The survey, which polled over 3,000 respondents across 13 countries, revealed that 57% of Italian investors will consider investing internationally for their equity exposure, while as many as 68% on international fixed income – marginally higher than the global average (65%) and over 10% higher than the European average at 57%.as well as 15% higher than USA.

Focusing on income producing assets, nearly three quarters of Italian investors have currently 19% of their income producing assets invested internationally. Two-thirds of those investors say international investing is taking on greater focus.

For more than half of respondents a global fund that invests across multiple countries is the favourite way to invest for income internationally while a single country fund is the best option for 28%

When asked about markets they would consider investing in, Italian investors are open to evaluate some different options: Europe (excluding UK) is the first choice for 64% of respondents, followed by the U.S (63%), non BRIC Emerging markets and Brazil (62%), India (60%) and China (59%).

The major barriers to international investing are lack of transparency and difficult to access information about this kind of investments (42%) as well as too much risk related to them (38%) and the global uncertainty (37%). Last, part of investors talks about currency risk (36%).

Looking ahead at the rest of 2013, Italian investors are more bullish than their European counterparts with 40% of investors saying they have an aggressive risk tolerance when investing, this rises to 45% when investing in income generating products.

The majority of Italian investors feel now is a good time to be invested in fixed income (68%),  investment real estate (63%), and equities (56%). In addition, 4 out of 10 investors are likely to increase their allocation of fixed income products over the next year, the highest conviction across European countries surveyed.

“Italian investors seem to rely in fixed income as a solution for those who want to increase their income protecting at same time their investments in a volatile scenario as we expect to live over the next months,” said Marco Negri, country head Italy at Legg Mason Global Asset Management.

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