Europe

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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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HSBC to consider ditching UK headquarters

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint has promised shareholders the bank will re-evaluate the location of its headquarters. Speaking at a shareholder meeting in Hong Kong ahead of the bank’s London annual general meeting on 5 May, Flint was asked by investors about the location of the bank. According to reports, Flint said: “We are beginning to […]

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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 […]

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Profile: How an Aussie lawyer became a global asset management CEO

The man at the helm of the recently merged business Columbia Threadneedle Investments is an industry veteran who has watched how increasing regulation has shaped the markets. A former board member of the Investment Management Association (now known as the Investment Association) and a governor of the Pension Policy Institute, Campbell Fleming says it is […]

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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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Asset allocation: Rathbones’ David Coombs on why euro QE is four years too late

The European Central Bank’s decision to finally kickstart a quantitative easing strategy has in turn spurred much elation with many fund managers upping their allocation to the embattled region. The Bank’s €60bn-a-month bond buying programme has raised hopes that not only will the initiative help repair the currency bloc’s economy but that it will push […]

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MM leader: Time to sit up and take notice on Mifid II

When it comes to European financial services regulation, there can be a sense of policymaking happening at a distance, in a remote office in Brussels far removed from the daily travails of adviser life. Advisers may feel dealing with the mounting regulatory requirements from just the FCA is more than enough for them to be […]

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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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Investment analysis: What’s next for the ‘triple zero’ eurozone economy?

The eurozone is breathing easier these days thanks to the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme. The central bank raised this year’s Eurozone growth forecast to 1.5 per cent up from 1 per cent previously. Eurozone consumer prices fell by 0.1 per cent in March 2015 from a year earlier, suggesting that fears of continued deflation […]

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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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UBP to buy RBS’ Coutts International

Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privée has confirmed it is to acquire Coutts International, RBS’ international private banking and wealth management arm. The sale, which follows RBS’ decision to create a UK-focused bank, includes business managed from Switzerland, Monaco, the Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong, and assets under management of over CHF30bn (£22bn). RBS commercial and […]