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Neptune’s Burnett says states won’t quit euro

Exit from the eurozone would be a disastrous decision for a member country and is unlikely to happen, says Neptune head of European equities Rob Burnett.

At a Fidelity FundsNetwork investment forum last week, he said: “We hear lots of talk about members leaving the euro to lower interest rates and devalue currency but we do not see this happening.

“On paper, it makes sense but it would be disastrous for a single economy. It would see its borrowing costs rocket as there would be huge capital flight from those who see the economy is about to devalue.”

Despite the difficult economic climate at present, Burnett is confident that investment opportunities remain for strong businesses with recurring revenue.

He said: “We like conventional defensives and have done for the past 12 months. We like pharmaceuticals and consumer staples, companies with strong balance sheets in all liabilities and companies that are self-financing with decent dividends that do not need to involve themselves with the banking system.”


Lower the lapses

Times are going to get tough. Protection sales have escaped the ravages of the credit crunch and recession so far, while mortgage and investments have taken an almighty battering, but this period of calm can’t last forever. Not only will sales be hit at some point but also lapse rates will start to increase as more people lose their jobs and try to save money by cancelling their protection policies.

Pension pledge lasts just one day

Advisers have hit out at Standard Life for guaranteeing annuity quotes on its own policies for only one day compared with an industry average of two weeks.


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