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Hambro&#39s Costar says bull has come in from the cold

Highly rated J O Hambro fund manager Mark Costar believes there is clear evidence that the UK is in a bull market despite the gloomy predictions of most rival investment houses.

Costar, who runs the boutique&#39s flagship UK growth fund, says the resumption of corporate activity in the weeks following the market low in mid March combined with attractive valuations have convinced him that the stockmarket has entered a bull run.

He says the rallies over recent weeks demonstrate the extent to which appetite for risk is returning as investors look beyond what he sees as short-term economic weakness.

Costars&#39 view is supported by stockmarket historian David Schwartz, who believes recent rallies have the hallmark of past bull markets. But Costar believes fund managers who have performed well in the last three years will need disproportionately strong evidence to persuade them to change their bearish view.

He says: “It has only taken a few weeks of rising markets for corporate activity to improve, with seven or eight cash bids for companies. We are in a bull market in everything but name.”

Schroder UK alpha plus fund manager Richard Buxton says: “It&#39s not unrealistic to say we could see a continuation of this rally for some weeks yet. But the recovery is most likely to be W-shaped, with a possible further retracement later in the year.”


Brokers in legal threat as Pru pulls protection plug

A leading protection broker is threatening a class action law suit against the Prudential after it raised premiums and withdrew guarantees on new and pipeline critical-illness business. Many IFAs are outraged and are vowing never to place business with the Pru again. Thousands of cases are affected by the move even though many applications were […]

Product matters

The geared upside phenomenon keeps escalating and this time, Nvesta, formally known as Eurolife, has launched two six-year tracker plans. The first, the quad tracker plan, offers four times the upside of the FTSE 100 subject to a maximum of 80 per cent while the second, the super tracker 30, is offering a return of […]

IFA greets closure of loophole

National IFA the Millfield Partnership has welcomed the Chancellor&#39s decision to remove the little known 5 per cent deferral option on life policies. Current legislation allows the deferral of gains when the proceeds from a maturing life insurance policy are reinvested in a new policy with the same insurer. The holder then has a second […]

29% boost in business for Hay

Abbey National&#39s specialist pensions administrator James Hay Pension Trustees has seen a 29 per cent rise in its corporate business for the first quarter.


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