Fixed income gains appeal

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Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) investment banking group head, fixed income research, Winson Phoon said inflation fears have dampened the risk appetite for sovereign bonds but safer assets tend to perform when investors start to worry more about credit risk than interest rate risk.

PETALING JAYA: Interest in fixed income investing has been increasing amid the dampened outlook of the local equity market.

Principal Asset Management chief investment officer, fixed income Asean, Jesse Liew said the company was currently seeing more traction in terms of interest for fixed income funds as bond yields are relatively attractive, given that Bank Negara has just raised its overnight policy rate (OPR) for the second consecutive time, this year.

“Our observation shows the vast majority of the investors that have shifted to fixed income are corporate and institutional investors, while retail investors are slowly taking more interest in the domestic fixed income space following the weaker equity market,” Liew told StarBiz.

Generally, when interest rates go up, bonds – which are one of the most common forms of fixed income investment options – will see their prices fall.

“On a relative basis, fixed income investments in Malaysia do look attractive following the correction in the domestic bond market in the first half of this year,” Liew said.

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He said domestic bond yields have largely priced-in potential OPR hikes by Bank Negara and he expects the yields to stay range-bound and supported.

OCBC Bank (M) Bhd executive director of wealth advisory Michael Lai pointed out that while the fixed income space has enjoyed better buying support, buoyed by light equity positioning activities across regions, buying sentiments may retract heading into the second half of 2022 as fears of recession risks continue to take dominance.

“In view of that, we expect fixed income investment returns to stabilise while providing positive returns going forward, “ he said.

OCBC Bank (M) Bhd executive director of wealth advisory Michael Lai pointed out that while the fixed income space has enjoyed better buying support, buoyed by light equity positioning activities across regions, buying sentiments may retract heading into the second half of 2022 as fears of recession risks continue to take dominance.

Citing data from Bloomberg, Lai said portfolio flows for Malaysian bonds has generally been volatile over the last 12 months.

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