Merrill Lynch predicts soft landing, improved stock markets

Merrill Lynch sees soft landing of the world''s economy, improvement in equity returns in 2001.
Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, the fund management arm of Merrill Lynch, predicts the global economy is headed for a soft landing and that equity markets will improve in 2001.

Still, the company warned Hong Kong investors to diversify their portfolios away from the Hang Seng index, which, because of the high number of banks and real estate companies, is more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations and more volatile than other indexes.

Over the past five years the Hang Seng has under-performed the world's stock markets by about 3% a year, says Graham Bamping, director of investment communications for Merrill's Global Mutual Funds in London. However, over the past 10 years the Hang Seng has...

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