Things must be on the mend at last, says David Cowell of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers . Just look at those valuations….
Ashcourt Rowan goes to Towry for £97m. And yea, it comes to pass brethren; medium-sized firms building themselves up, usually at the price of reduced service to clients and introducers, purely in order to be bought by bigger firms so the executives can make a short term killing. Also pretty good for a firm that hasn’t made what I would call a profit. Not that I ain’t a capitalist, you understand, but as someone once said, St. Paul I think, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”.
However, one might as easily quote ‘The Governator’ who, when asked if money changed people, remarked that he didn’t feel any different now he was worth $58m from when he had $54m.
The UK headline manufacturing PMI ticked up from a revised 52.7 in December to 53.0 in January, the first pickup in growth for four months. The positive effects of the fall in the oil price are clearly feeding through, helping to support demand while at the same time reducing manufacturers’ costs. The manufacturing sector certainly appears to be heading in the right direction. That export orders are now rising, after the dip towards the end of last year, is a positive move. News, combined with the biggest decline in input costs for six years. This has enabled firms to increase their profit margins, while still being able to reduce output prices. Onwards and upwards.
Did anyone listen to Robert Peston’s prog on Radio 4 about the concentration of wealth? I had to turn it off after 15 minutes of the biggest load of socialist twaddle and skewed statistics merely chosen to fit. No wonder Eddie Mair takes the mickey out of him on PM. It is a fact that a quarter of income tax comes from just 0.5% of the adult population and around half comes from 3%; what sort of twisted mind would think that raising taxes on these would be productive? More to the point, what makes politicians think that they can spend our money better than we can?
Carrying on the general theme of singing our praises; should you have clients who are still wary of a higher exposure to equities, don’t forget our Enhanced Income Portfolio which is designed to return 6% pa of which 4% can be taken as income or rolled up as required. When confidence returns it can be seamlessly changed to higher risk levels. The full fact sheet is on the website but here’s a taster:
The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash target rate by 25bp to a new record low of 2.25%, expecting inflation to fall further below the 2-3% inflation target in Q1. This could add as much half a percentage point to GDP growth in 2015. Domestic demand is running below trend and the weaker A$ should aid a gradual recovery in the non-mining economy. The trade deficit narrowed in Q4, reflecting a solid rise in exports across the board. Oz is interesting providing one hedges the currency.
Tsipras, so I hear, has tentatively agreed to a deal by which the bulk of Greek debt will be extended to 40 or 50 years at 0% interest or near. That is not the debt forgiveness that he promised his electors but it is the next best thing. The eurozone will create the compromise for Greece and when the next crisis hits, probably triggered by France, Europe will either have to create a true fiscal union and mutualise the debt of all countries or break up the eurozone. Since an increasingly large portion of Europeans want to keep the European Union, and since this is a political decision and not an economic one, they will probably end up neutralising Greece’s debt….plus c’est la meme chose.
As if to sabre-rattle, the ECB announced on Wednesday that it would no longer accept Greek bonds as collateral from Greek banks in return for liquidity as of next Wednesday. Greek banks will still be allowed to get emergency funding from the Greek Central Bank, via the so-called Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) facility. However, the ECB can veto the use of ELA with a two-thirds majority in the Governing Council when they meet in a couple of weeks.
In a bid by Theresa May to boost her credentials for the Tory Party leadership, a secondary school teacher was arrested today at London’s Heathrow International airport as he attempted to board an international flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a pair of compasses, a slide-rule and a calculator. At a press conference, a UK Border Control spokesman said he believes the man is a member of the notorious extremist Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the police with carrying weapons of maths instruction.
‘Al-Gebra is a problem for us’, the spokesman said. ‘They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.’ They use secret code names like “X” and “Y” and refer to themselves as “unknowns;” but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.
When asked to comment on the arrest, opposition leader Ed Miliband said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of maths instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes.” Fellow Labour colleagues told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the opposition leader.
Have a good weekend.
For and on behalf of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers
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