Survey: Emerging Markets Returns To Drop

Jan 13 2006 | 9:03pm ET

Emerging market equity investment returns will see "a particularly sharp decline" in 2006, according to Mercer Investment Consulting's annual Fearless Forecast survey.

The survey, which polled 157 investment firms, predicts that emerging market investment returns will be approximately 9% this year, which is significantly lower that the 34% returns shown by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in 2005.

Overall, the survey predicts that global equity markets will drop nearly 2% to a median 7.6% return in 2006 from 9.5% in 2005.

Among other findings, the majority of managers globally expect pension plans to increase alternative investment allocations by less than 5% this year, though in the U.S., nearly 60% of investment managers expect allocations to alternatives to increase by 5-15% or more.

Also, a "significant portion of managers expect a rise in client demand for integrating consideration of environmental, social and corporate issues into investment decision making over the next three years," although U.S. managers viewed client support for these measures as the "least" prevalent.

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