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Investors less likely to boost U.K. investments post-Brexit — survey

The proportion of investors planning to increase exposure to U.K. assets has fallen to 15%, according to State Street Corp. (STT)'s latest Brexometer index, a measure of institutional investor sentiment on the economic impact of Brexit.

The figure compared with a 21% share of investors worldwide who said in the third quarter that they expected to raise U.K. holdings.

However, those looking to decrease their U.K. exposure remained unchanged at 20%.

Investors also became less optimistic on the medium-term outlook for the global economy in the fourth quarter survey, with 30% now holding a negative outlook, vs. 15% in the previous survey. State Street said in a report of its survey that this is the highest negative outlook reading since the index began. The survey was first conducted in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Respondents also were asked about investment risk levels, with 28% believing asset owners will increase this over the next three to five years, up from 24.2% in the third-quarter survey. However, 43% expect a decrease in risk levels over a three- to five-year period, up from 31.9% in the previous survey.

"This quarter's Brexometer was conducted in the first week of November, a period when, in theory, hopes of a deal were on the rise," said Michael Metcalfe, head of global macro strategy at State Street Global Markets, in a statement accompanying the survey. "Given that context, it is telling that there was little shift in investor attitudes toward their U.K. asset holdings. Such caution has been vindicated as November has progressed, and while significant Brexit hurdles have been cleared, the U.K. parliamentary vote, which is perhaps the largest challenge to agreeing the deal, now looms large."