Economy

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Annuity rates plummet to lowest level since 2012

Standard annuity rates have fallen to their lowest levels since November 2012, with the pace of decline increasing since the turn of the year, according to data published by Moneyfacts. The rate payable for an average single-life standard annuity for a 65 year old with a £10,000 pot has fallen by 5.9 per cent in […]

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Ambitious landlords fuelling rise in remortgage business

Competitive rates and ambitious landlords are driving a growing focus on remortgaging among buy-to-let lenders, according to experts. Figures issued by broker Mortgages for Business show that 66 per cent of buy-to-let loans were for remortgages in the first quarter of 2015, up from 62 per cent at the end of 2014. Remortgages have now […]

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Investment analysis: Are we seeing a strange new world for the bond market?

The combination of low inflation growth and excess liquidity following the ECB’s quantitative easing programme has distorted bond valuations, with some short-duration instruments now offering negative returns. At the beginning of March nearly $3.85trn (£2.56trn) or 17 per cent of developed market global government bonds traded at negative yields, according to Columbia Threadneedle Investments. In […]

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Mark Dampier: Going against the grain

With stock markets reaching new highs, many financial commentators share a common belief – global economies are on the road to recovery. Newton’s view of the world, however, is very different. For them, the upturn has been driven by government and central bank policy across the globe, rather than from any real economic recovery. They […]

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Tesco posts record loss of £6.4bn

Tesco has posted a record loss of £6.4bn, one of the biggest losses outside of banking in British corporate history. In its annual results, published today, the supermarket group revealed it made a pre-tax loss of £6.38bn in the year to the end of February, compared with a pre-tax profit of £2.3bn the previous year. […]

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John Chatfeild-Roberts: The oil price play has many more acts to run

It is easy to be wise after the event but given the ending of quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve last year (and therefore no more extra dollars being “printed”) simple economic theory would predict that the price of something no longer in excess supply should rise. And it did! From the end of […]

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Brian Tora: Is the market pricing in future risks properly?

With the general election campaign now in full swing, our domestic market is displaying the sort of nervousness that might be expected when the final outcome is so uncertain. Building a base above 7,000 for the FTSE 100 is now looking a tough challenge. While the success or otherwise of the majority of those companies […]

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IMF knocks back Greek hopes of loan extension

The International Monetary Fund has rejected requests from Greece to extend the deadlines on loan repayments, according to reports. IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said yesterday that Greek ministers should instead focus on restructuring the debt-ridden nation’s economy rather than seeking an extension, the Wall Street Journal reports. “It’s clearly not a course of action […]

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German finance minister dampens hopes of Greece bailout deal

Germany is pessimistic on the prospects of reaching a deal on Greece’s bailout in talks scheduled for next week, the FT reports. Germany’s finance minister has virtually ruled out a deal from the summit attended by eurogroup finance ministers, due to be held in Riga, Latvia on 24 April. “Nobody expects that there will be […]

I LOVE UKIP
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Ukip to investigate advice ‘voucher’ system for retirees

Ukip has promised it will work to guarantee free advice to pensioners, as well as sharply increasing the budget for at-retirement guidance services. Alongside plans to overhaul state pensions announced yesterday, Ukip described current offerings from The Pensions Advisory Service and Citizens Advice as “completely inadequate”. It states that a Ukip government would make funds […]

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HSBC paves the way to replace chairman

HSBC is reportedly seeking a new chairman to replace Douglas Flint. Sky News reports the bank has appointed headhunters MWM Consulting to specifically replace Flint. HSBC has a long-standing relationship with headhunters MWM Consulting to recruit for non-executive directors.  Flint has served on the bank’s board since 1995, and took on the chairman’s role in 2010. While […]

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Mark Barnett: The hunt is on for resilient companies

With political uncertainty high on the agenda, my focus is to find companies that can be resilient across many different macro-economic outcomes. Resilient in as much as whilst the shares may fall out of favour with the stockmarket for a period, the company itself has the management team and business model in place to enable […]