Global

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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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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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Industry calls for clarity on IMF asset manager stress tests

More clarity is needed on why asset managers should be subjected to bank-like stress tests as the industry is at risk of overregulation, say industry experts. The International Monetary Fund is the latest organisation to call for asset managers to be subject to stress tests, in a similar way to banks, in a bid to […]

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BlackRock Q1 profit up 9% helped by ETFs inflows

BlackRock has reported a 9 per cent rise in net income in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, helped by large inflows into its exchange-traded funds. Net income was £551m in the first quarter of 2015, up from £507m in the same period last year. The company saw $70.4bn […]

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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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Mark Dampier: An investment trust for a cautious outlook

An interesting feature of investment trusts is they have an inbuilt way of showing you whether they are in-fashion or unloved. Trading at a significant premium to net asset value indicates a trust is in high demand. Trading at a discount suggests the reverse is true. I am surprised at how many investors will purchase […]

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Shell agrees £47bn deal to buy BG Group

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed a takeover of oil and gas exploration company BG Group in a deal which values the business at £47bn. Under the terms of the deal, investors would receive a premium of about 50 per cent on BG’s closing share price of 910.4 pence as at 7 April. BG shareholders will […]

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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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Oil prices ‘unlikely’ to return to previous highs

Oil prices dropped around a percentage point in early Asian trading after Saudi’s Opec governor said it would be hard to recover to previous oil price highs. Saudi’s Opec governor Mohammed al-Madi believes that hitting the $100 to $120-a-barrel mark again would be “difficult”, the BBC reports. He also said Saudi Arabia would not ’unilaterally’ cut its output to […]