Fund managers around the globe are eager to put piles of cash back to work in the stock market if they see the smallest sign of recovery, according to a quarterly fund flow report published by HSBC. In a survey of 10 global fund managers, HSBC found that 62 per cent were planning to be overweight in cash in the first quarter, up from 25 per cent three months earlier. At the same time, 38 per cent said they planned to start the year by underweighting equities, whereas none carried this strategy in the previous quarter. 'The build-up in terms of high cash positions indicates that managers are looking for an opportunity to come back into the market,' said HSBC head of wealth management for personal financial services Bruno Lee. He added that this could translate into a more pronounced rally once fund managers felt ready to re-invest in stocks. Rallies in the shares of companies that had announced even slightly better than expected results had been evidence of this trend, he said. The survey also showed that managers were building up their positions in Asia excluding Japan, and other emerging markets. They were less bullish on Europe than they had been three months earlier. Mr Lee suggested it was a good time for investors to look at bonds as spreads between interest rates paid by corporate bonds and government bonds had widened, giving greater returns for the additional risk of buying corporate debt.