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Gartmore’s King remains wary on UK market

Gartmore investment manager Simon King says he will remain cautious on the UK stock market for the first half of 2009.

King says that the market has become unreceptive to valuing stocks in terms of their fundamentals and says he is focusing on larger companies that have limited balance sheet risk.

He says: “We remain very cautious about the prospects for consumer-related stocks and, in an environment where banks are becoming more draconian, about businesses where financing risk is likely to become an issue.”

King believes the second half of 2009 will be more fruitful as equities turn in advance of an economic recovery.

“We expect further, negative economic and company news flow during the first half of 2009 and are sceptical that the stock market can make headway against this background.

“However, we are conscious also that the market will return to a more normal discounting mechanism ahead of any hard evidence of a reflationary economic revival. While we believe that this inflexion point remains some way off, we think it will be a very profitable one for those who anticipate it correctly.”


FSA warns public over firm

The FSA has issued a consumer warning about an unregulated firm, Pure Money Limited, which has been offering mortgage, insurance and investment advice. The regulator is urging anyone who has arranged a mortgage, remortgage, insurance or investment through the company to contact the FSA.

Final-salary fears over solvency of firms

Advisers need to weigh up the benefits of final-salary pension guarantees against the financial strength of the employers, given current market conditions, says Axa Winterthur.

Working titles

This year, I have been heavily involved in the area of financial capability. When I was heavily (albeit constructively) critical of the pilots for phone-based guidance, I expected to be dismissed as a spoiler but to the credit of the Treasury team, my aversion for brown- nosing led to a one-to-one debrief which they genuinely appreciated, as evidenced by my presence at the FSA/ HM Treasury summer school.

More brokers assisting clients, says AMI

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has revealed that brokers unable to assist clients due to lenders offering better deals direct decreased from half to a third in September 2008.


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