RPT-Investors slash equity holdings as Ukraine tensions weigh - poll
(Repeats to additional clients; no change in text)
By Natsuko Waki
LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Investors cut equity allocations to a 15-month low and kept their cash levels high in March as tensions in Russia and Ukraine cut risk appetite, a survey showed on Tuesday.
A monthly fund managers survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed investors' equity holdings fell to a net 36 percent overweight in March from a net 45 percent overweight last month.
The net reading shows the difference between overweight and underweight positions. Allocations to bonds improved to a net 53 percent underweight from 55 percent last month.
The report, which polled 192 fund managers with combined assets of $509 billion, showed cash levels remained at 4.8 percent, the highest since July 2012.
Some 81 percent of investors said geopolitics were the biggest risk to financial market stability, up from 20 percent last month.
"Aggregated risk at a global level has come back," said John Bilton, head of European investment strategy at BofA Merrill. "It's obviously coming from Russia and Ukraine, which weighed on sentiment as well as local bond markets and the rouble."
The rouble has weakened almost 9 percent this year as slow growth and high inflation hit the oil-rich economy. Continuación...