Europe

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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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Asset Allocation: BlackRock’s Justin Christofel shifts to ‘less demanding’ European equities

BlackRock’s fund manager Justin Christofel is another believer in the European equities story but is cooler on UK and US stocks. In his co-managed £76.8m Global Multi-Asset Income Fund he has shifted marginally out of US equity exposure into European equities, where valuations are “less demanding”. “Equities are a bit more attractive in Europe than the US […]

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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 […]

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France starts HSBC criminal probe and sets €1bn bail

HSBC has confirmed it is being investigated by French authorities, which have imposed a bail of €1bn as they probe alleged tax evasion offences linked to the Falciani List. The list, first leaked to French authorities in 2008, contained details of more than 100,000 HSBC account holders which former HSBC worker and whistleblower Herve Falciani believed […]

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Looming threat: Is the FCA going over the top on EU’s Mifid II rules?

The FCA has been accused of “gold plating” European rules and imposing onerous costs on advisers after proposing firms record all client conversations. As the regulator fires the starting gun on implementing the EU’s recast markets in financial instruments directive, experts warn the legislation will have significant implications for advisers. Last month, the FCA published […]

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CBI: UK growth set to continue but Eurozone threat remains

UK economic growth is set to pick up in the next three months, according to data from the CBI. Figures from the CBI’s growth indicator show growth holding steady for the three months to March, with signs of positivity for the next quarter. In a survey of 764 businesses, the CBI found stronger growth in […]

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Neil Woodford: Don’t look to Europe to take over from US

Markets often do surprising things in the short term but the recent divergence of the MSCI AC Word index price level and underlying earnings expectations is intriguing. Having recovered rapidly from the financial crisis lows, global earnings have broadly plateaued since 2011. Until recently, that is. The chart (below) shows a sharp deterioration in earnings […]

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Asset allocation: McInroy & Wood cuts equities in favour of ‘healthier’ government bonds

The team behind discretionary investment manager McInroy & Wood reduced the equity weight in its balanced fund from 80 per cent to 70 per cent “as a first step” strategy. East Lothian-based chief executive Tim Wood made this “significant change” to the portfolio in response to concerns about earnings growth. “We were becoming nervous about […]

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Kleinwort Benson profits surge as revenue rises 58%

Kleinwort Benson Investors, the Dublin-based asset management boutique, has seen its revenue stream growing to €24.6m (£17.9m) for 2014, according to its annual results published today. The asset manager, which is part of BHF Kleinwort Benson Group SA, registered a 58 per cent increase in its revenue year on year.  KBI’s assets under management reached £5bn at […]

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FCA reviews independence standards as Mifid II deadline approaches

The FCA is reviewing the standards advisers must reach to hold themselves out as ‘independent’ ahead of the introduction of Mifid II reforms in January 2017. The Mifid II changes are designed to strengthen protections for retail investors across the EU through limits to the use of commissions, stricter requirements for product design and distribution, […]

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New York beats London as top finance centre, again

New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore remain the four leading global financial centres, according to researchers. The latest Global Financial Centers Index shows that New York continues to be the leading global financial centre, but only beat second-place London by one point on the 1,000 point scale. Both cities moved up seven points compared […]