Emerging markets investors looking worldwide for property assets

Property investors from emerging markets are more likely to take risks than those from the developing world, it has been revealed.

They are circling the globe looking for investment opportunities and are likely to find some bargains in the current economic downturn.

Despite the credit crunch there is a continuing appetite for property investment among those investors from Asia in particular. Around 50% of those questioned for a survey of global high net worth individuals said they believed property remains an attractive investment compared with just one in three among developed market investors.

The survey from Barclays Wealth also found that 42% of Chinese and 40% of Indians are more likely to increase risk levels while only 27% of Italians, 29% of British and 29% of Spanish would do so.

Many in the developed world see cash as an alternative investment due to volatile property and stock markets. Some 61% of Australians, 51% of Americans and 49% of UK respondents said they were looking at this avenue.

The report also reveals that 48% of emerging markets investors plan to grow their portfolio's exposure to property compared to 37% from within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, although this might be down to a relative lack of depth in financial markets in respective developing countries, according to some commentators.

Around 17% of investors in OECD countries were looking to decrease property exposure however with Spanish and UK investors the most likely, at 29% and 22% respectively.

However managing director at Barclays Wealth, Mark Kibblewhite, said there are opportunities to offer new property solutions to clients due to the global reach and financial muscle of the group, which handled around £133 billion in assets at the end of 2007.

'Our most sophisticated property investors are circling the globe to purchase attractive assets and through the use of our balance sheet and ability to lend we are helping them secure the right opportunities,' he said.