Nearly 36 per cent of investors polled by Money Observer's sister website Interactive Investor believe that UK equities will deliver the best global returns in 2016 - the largest majority for any global region.
In a poll of over 11,000 investors - the majority of which are based in the UK - close to 3,500 people said they believe the UK market will fare best this year.
In second place was the US, which nearly 21 per cent of respondents say will deliver the highest returns, closely followed by Europe, which 19.7 per cent believe will do best.
The expert view: Outlook for UK equities in 2016 'fraught with uncertainty'
FTSE 100 COULD OUTPERFORM IN 2016
Commenting on the results, Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, says: 'In terms of major indices, the UK underperformed throughout 2015, but this poor performance is more reflective of global rather than UK conditions.
'The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 index may have underperformed, but smaller companies, which have far higher exposure to the British economy, actually did well throughout the year.
'As well as expecting further UK-oriented growth, investors are actively looking at the prospect of a turnaround in raw material and oil prices, which could help the FTSE 100 index to outperform in 2016. With the banking sector also having underperformed, a return to private ownership for the big banks could also lend support to the main UK index.'
In contrast, only a quarter of investors polled by Interactive Investor believe that developing markets will fare best this year; with just 4 per cent voting for China, 3.6 per cent for other Asian nations and a tiny 1.3 per cent for Latin America as potential outperformers.
This reflects a poor 2015 for developing regions, the large majority of which recorded substantial losses for the year led by the collapse of China's stock market in August, as well as rising tensions in the Middle East and political turmoil in South America.
With 2016 having already bruised investors in China and Asia, Interactive Investor adds that 'making active decisions about both geographic areas and sectors could be the route to profits this year', as it was last year.
Geographic regions investors believe will deliver highest equity returns in 2016
- UK - 3,945 votes - 35.8 per cent
- US - 2,276 votes - 20.6 per cent
- Europe - 2,167 votes - 19.7 per cent
- Japan - 1,342 votes - 12.2 per cent
- China - 446 votes - 4 per cent
- Other Asia - 397 votes - 3.6 per cent
- Other Developing - 304 votes - 2.8 per cent
- Latin America - 144 votes - 1.3 per cent