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2012: A month-by-month look at the year in investments

January

IMA launches Global Equity Income sector and renames managed sectors; Chancellor George Osborne unveils the Financial Services Bill, in which he grants himself the authority to direct the Bank of England during times of crisis; Fred Goodwin loses his knighthood following RBS collapse in 2008.

February

Facebook unveils plans to raise about $5bn through an IPO; Greek Government fails to reach agreement over the terms of a new EU bailout; eurozone finance ministers later reach agreement on a second Greek bailout.; Bank of England expands its asset purchase facility by another £50bn; Japan also increases its quantitative easing programme by Y10trn to Y65trn.

March

FSA announces Hector Sants will step down as chief executive in June; Liontrust acquires Walker Crips; Apple announces it will pay its first dividend since 1995.

April

M&G overtakes Invesco Perpetual as UK’s largest fund firm; Old Mutual Asset Managers UK announces merger with Skandia Investment Group; ONS announces UK GDP contracted by 0.2 per cent in Q1, 2012, signalling return to recession; revised figures later show economy contracted by 0.3 per cent.

May

AIC announces plans to replace total expense ratios with an “ongoing charges” figure to improve their comparability with open-ended funds; Facebook floats on Nasdaq, which closes nearly flat at $38.23 a share.

June

IMA announces review of Absolute Return sector; Bureau of Economic Analysis announces US GDP increased by 1.9 per cent in Q1, 2012, below its 2.2 per cent first estimate; Barclays fined £290m for trying to manipulate Libor rates.

July

Bob Diamond resigns as Barclays chief executive over Libor scandal; eurozone finance ministers agree to offer assistance to Spain to enable it to recapitalise debt-laden banks.

August

Neil Woodford’s £9bn income fund is cut from Principal Investment Management’s white list for the first time since 2002; FSA launches consultation paper, including proposals to ban sales of Ucis to retail investors.

September

Ben Bernanke announces $40bn a month of US asset purchases; global fund managers take first overweight position in European equities since February 2011, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch fund manager survey. 

October

Official GDP figures indicate the London Olympics helped the UK economy emerge from recession in the three months from July to September, with growth of 1 per cent; US tax authorities postpone the implementation of Facta to allow firms more time to comply with the rules.

November

Barack Obama wins a second term as US president; Eurostat announces eurozone fell back into recession in Q3, 2012; Mark Carney, current governor of Bank of Canada, is named as next governor of Bank of England.

December

Autumn Statement sees chancellor lengthen time estimated to get Government deficit under control. Isa allowance increased to £11,520 and a consultation launched over allowing Isas to invest in AIM stocks. S&P joins Fitch and Moody’s in putting the UK’s AAA rating on a negative outlook.

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