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March 17, 2009

Is risk appetite "walking back" to the markets?

Kathleen Hughes, a manager of money market funds at JPMorgan Asset Management, has an interesting description for the change in risk appetite of investors: "Risk appetite leaves on a horse but comes back on foot," she said at a Reuters funds summit. The report from the conference points to data from fund trackers EPFR Global (for the second week of March) to indicate signs of growing risk appetite.
Commodities, technology and energy sector funds as well as global emerging market equity and non-Japan Asia funds all saw net inflows. Perhaps most noteworthy, money market funds, the bellwether for investor risk aversion, had net outflows of $381 billion in the week.

Hughes says she has seen something of the same. The size of the safest-of-safe segment of her money markets funds — the short-dated U.S. Treasury paper bit — has halved since the fourth quarter of 2008.

So there is some walking going on even if the horse remains in the stable.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at arun@ventureintelligence.in