Bullish sentiment continues as bearish managers stay in hibernation

    Russell Canada Investment Manager Outlook Highlights

    -   69% of managers bullish on Canadian equities, compared to only 9%

    -   72% of managers bullish towards emerging market equities

    -   71% of managers bearish on Canadian bonds

TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - As the economy continues to recover, a majority of investment managers have remained bullish on Canadian equities, according to the latest Russell Canada Investment Manager Outlook poll conducted by Russell Investments Canada Limited (Russell Canada) in late February and March 2010.

"This quarter, 69 percent of investment managers surveyed say they are bullish towards Canadian equities. But what's striking is the slow-but-steady decline in the number of bearish managers since the bottom of the financial crisis one year ago. Less than 9 percent of managers are bearish about Canadian equities," says Sadiq S. Adatia, chief investment officer of Russell Canada.

Asked to assess the overall valuation of Canadian equities, 57 percent of managers say the market is fairly valued - virtually the same proportion as in the previous quarter. Approximately 21% of managers now believe the market is undervalued, and another 21% of managers feel that the market is overvalued. This represents a slight shift towards a more bullish outlook versus the last quarter of 2009.

Managers bullish on emerging markets

In terms of foreign equities, the sentiment towards emerging markets equities is strong, with 72 percent of investment managers expressing bullishness and only nine percent saying they are bearish.

"We see a couple of factors at play here. Emerging markets are seen as benefactors of the recent strength in commodity prices. Two, emerging markets were largely spared the structural fiscal challenges facing other economies such as the U.S. and EAFE nations - witness the recent troubles in Greece. As the world waits for broad economic stability, emerging markets and Canadian equities may well be seen as offering the least downside risks," says Adatia.

Bearish on bonds

The outlook for Canadian bonds is less inspiring with only three percent of investment managers now bullish, and fully 71 percent saying they are bearish. Bearishness towards cash dropped sharply from 62 percent to 32 percent of investment managers this quarter. Expectations for the Canadian currency are largely unchanged this quarter, with bulls down seven percent to 53 percent of managers, and bears down two percent to 15 percent of managers.

For access to the full Russell Investment Manager Outlook, please contact Katita Stark: (416) 416-929-9100.

About the Russell Investment Manager Outlook

As creators of the Russell indexes and one of the few firms that research thousands of investment manager products worldwide, Russell Investments has extraordinary access to senior-level Canadian investment decision-makers. Prior to the end of each quarter, Russell surveys a sample of those investment managers to collect their top-line opinions about the direction of the markets, sectors/styles to watch, and trends on the horizon that could impact investment strategy.

The result of this survey is the Russell Investment Manager Outlook. Three of the four questions posed to investment managers are repeated each quarter, so that results can be measured over time. The poll also includes one topical question that changes each quarter. In addition to providing quantitative results, Russell reviews the data collected each quarter, and provides a qualitative analysis from a senior investment strategist.

The Russell Investment Manager Outlook is completed and distributed at the end of each quarter. This report includes responses from investment managers with a variety of investment focuses. The manager research that Russell conducts for investment purposes is done entirely independent of the Russell Investment Manager Outlook, and responses to the survey are on a purely voluntary basis.

About Russell Investments

Founded in 1936, Russell Investments is a global financial services firm that serves institutional investors, financial advisers and individuals in more than 40 countries. Over the course of its history, Russell's innovations have come to define many of the practices that are standard in the investment world today, and have earned the company a reputation for excellence and leadership.

Through a unique combination of wide-ranging and interlinked businesses, Russell delivers financial products, services and advice. A pioneer, Russell began its strategic pension fund consulting business in 1969 and today is trusted by many well-known worldwide institutions for investment advice. The firm has $184.9 billion CDN in assets under management (as of 12/31/09) in its mutual funds, retirement products, and institutional funds, and is well recognized for its depth of research and quality of manager selection. Russell offers a comprehensive range of implementation services that helps institutional clients maximize their assets. The Russell Indexes calculate over 50,000 benchmarks daily covering 65 countries and more than 10,000 securities.

Russell is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, USA with offices in Amsterdam, Auckland, Chicago, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. Russell Investments Canada Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frank Russell Company. For more information about how Russell helps to improve financial security for people, visit us at www.russell.com/ca

SOURCE Russell Investments Canada Limited

For further information: For further information: Katita Stark, (416) 929-9100; For real-time news updates, follow @Russell_News on Twitter

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