The second half of this year was initially predicted to be a strong one. However, the Covid-19 pandemic — which has dragged on longer than expected — has put most investors in a quandary. Even before the pandemic wreaked economic havoc around the world, there were a few geopolitical issues, like the ongoing US-China trade dispute and Brexit, says Maybank Singapore’s head of private wealth and head of products and investment solutions Alice Tan in an interview with The Edge Singapore. Even so, the current volatility is enough for the house to keep a defensive position when it came to investments.

“After a long rally in the equity market, we advocated a more selective approach towards investments and focused on managing risks, especially when the valuation of several markets and asset classes were looking quite stretched,” she continues.

But the onset of the pandemic has added on to the bearish view of Maybank’s 2020 global GDP forecast, which was later revised from a growth of 2.8% to contraction of –4.9%. “However, we note that the various governments have come in very aggressively with monetary and fiscal stimulus implemented and that have helped to put a floor on the equity markets. So we have seen a strong rally since March and April till now. So, given the less negative outlook now, we’ve recently shifted to a more neutral stance. But remaining very selective on investments,” says Tan.

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