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Firms watch Baghdad not Brown

Investment house economists have been left unimpressed by Brown&#39s budget and are continuing to watch the news on Iraq to determine future changes in the world&#39s stockmarkets.
Pundits believe the budget will have little impact on share prices as all significant changes were flagged up in the pre budget review or leaked.

Framlington head of equity income, monthly income and high-income funds George Luckraft predicts the Chancellor&#39s &#39luck is about to run out&#39. He says: &#34Gordon Brown is not a very good mathematician. He&#39s just tinkered around the edges with flashy things like the child trust fund, which is going to be amazingly expensive.

Luckraft has slammed the Chancellor&#39s &#39overoptimistic&#39 figures for growth for 2003 revised to 2-2.5 per cent from 2.5 to 3 per cent. He believes the rise and fall of the FTSE is being largely determined by the changing situation in Iraq not by the Chancellor.
Luckraft says: &#34The markets might rally further when there is an ultimate solution in Iraq. There will be a temporary bounce but then the reality of the economy will hit in and we could see further depression.&#34

Gartmore head of strategic research Richard Urwin believes the Chancellor has kept growth predictions high in order to duck the issue of taxation and avoid damaging public confidence. He believes the future inevitably holds higher borrowing, taxation and larger gilt issues.

Urwin says: &#34 There were very few surprises in this budget and in terms of the grand scheme of things it will have little effect on the economy and the markets because we knew what he was going to announce. But what is important is that the over all shape implies this is a stimulative budget.&#34


Gartmore extends focus funds discount

Gartmore is extending the 2 per cent discount off the initial 5 per cent charge on lump-sum invest-ments in its focus fund range until April 30. The range consists of the American Focus, European Focus, Global Focus and UK Focus funds.

HSBC and Zurich give investors bite of FTSE cherry

HSBC and Zurich have both established capital-protected bonds that could mature earlier than the investment term if the FTSE 100 index reaches a certain level at specified points. Both products return investors&#39 original capital regardless of the index performance. HSBC&#39s capital and growth plan has a six-year term but could mature in year three. The […]

Bristol & West to market guaranteed bond via IFAs

Bristol & West is offering a range of capital guaranteed bonds for distribution through IFAs for the start of the new tax year.The global income and growth guaranteed equity bond is a two-part investment that allows investors to place up to half their capital in a seven-year fixed-rate bond paying interest of 5.25 per cent […]

Forsyth explores fixed-interest hedge funds

FORSYTH PARTNERS FORSYTH ALTERNATIVE INCOME FUND Type: Hedge fund of funds Aim: Income and growth by investing in fixed interest hedge funds, sovereign, corporate and emerging market bond funds Minimum investment: Lump sum $20,000 Place of registration: Cayman Islands Investment split: 100% in fixed interest hedge funds, sovereign, corporate and emerging market bond funds Charges: […]

Cricket - thumbnail

England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.


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