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Investors advised to sit tight by equity experts

FUND MANAGERS and investment experts yesterday warned investors not to rush to sell their shares unless they urgently needed cash.

Investors taking a view on their investments of less than a year are advised to consider moving out of equities into alternative investments such as cash or bonds.

However, investment gurus are adamant that long-term investors should resist selling because of fears about the markets, in spite of admitting to a fear that this week's Russian crisis could trigger a full-blown global slump.

Paul Kafka, executive director at Fidelity, one of the biggest investment managers, said: "The best thing to do is to sit tight." George Hodgson, European strategist at ABN Amro, said: "People are panicking a bit too blindly and it is getting a bit overdone."

Robert Matthews, director of investment management at Royal & SunAlliance, said that, short term, he was "concerned that we are all very vulnerable to bad news coming out. But I think we will bounce back out of this in the near future".

Gartmore, the NatWest-owned investment manager which famously lost clients because of its withdrawal from shares to cash last year, said the crisis could be favourable because of the prospect of lower interest rates.

"We have always said we felt markets were overvalued and therefore there was a high level of risk there. We were right to point to that fact."

But others were more bearish. Bruce Kasman, head of European research at JP Morgan, said: "The bottom to the global slowdown is nowhere in sight."