May 26, 2009 / 2:13 PM / 11 years ago

Investor confidence and risk appetite up

LONDON (Reuters) - Confidence among institutional investors rose for the fifth month in a row in May, hitting the second highest level in a year, U.S. financial services firm State Street said on Tuesday.

The company said its global State Street Investor Confidence Index hit 106.3 in the month, up from 103.2 in April.

During the month, State Street rebased its calculations and revised the historic numbers accordingly, but May’s figures are as a result not comparable with those given in previous reports.

Under the rebasing, a reading of 100 is considered to be neutral and anything above that indicates that institutional investors are increasing their allocations to risky assets.

The global index has been above 100 for two straight months, coinciding with most of the stock market rally that began in March. It has also increased every month since December.

“This month’s increase ... affirms the return of institutional investors to risk-taking behaviour that occurred last month after a seven-month hiatus,” Harvard Professor Ken Froot, a co-developer of the index, said.

State Street said the rise was predominantly due to North American investors, whose regional index rose to 104.9 from 95.3.

European confidence also rose, with the index at 84.3 versus 76.8 a month earlier, but the Asian index fell to 93.1 from 98.0.

The data is extrapolated from movements in around $11.3 trillion (7.1 trillion pounds) of assets State Street holds as custodian for institutional investors.

Editing by Patrick Graham

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