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Global Matters Weekly – (il) Liquidity of property

Towards the end of last year, St James’s Place (SJP), M&G Investments, and Canada Life all announced closures and suspensions of open-ended UK property funds. This trend isn’t new; since the 2016 Brexit referendum, property funds allowing daily transactions have faced suspensions several times due to the challenge of matching liquidity with the illiquid nature of property assets.

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Global Matters Weekly – MOVErs and shakers

As someone with a tracker mortgage I’m taking a keen interest in the widely anticipated cuts in the bank base rate that are expected to materialise over the course of this year. I am fortunate (perhaps) to have fixed rate debt elsewhere – so my aggregate cost of funding has remained manageable – but nonetheless, like most homeowners my monthly costs have risen in recent years as interest rates (and utility bills, service charges, insurance etc) have gone up. I even read this morning that that average cost of a pint of beer in London is now £5.90. Please tell me where, as I’m sure I pay more than that!

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Viewpoint – January 2024

Markets began to consolidate in January and returns ended the month in a more mixed fashion, compared to the ‘(almost) everything rally’ seen in Q4 2023. Global developed and US equities both continued their momentum to reach all-time highs, returning 1.2% and 1.7% respectively. Equity markets in Asia continued to show limited signs of agreement, with Japan posting a 7.8% return, while further challenges in China impacted Emerging Asia, falling 5.2%. UK equities ended the month down 1% after some varied data prints, while European equities outperformed, returning 1.9%.

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Global Matters Weekly – China is on the move

Over 13 years ago an episode of US sitcom The Office aired in which Michael Scott tried to raise the alarm surrounding China’s impending global dominance, and in 2023 China dominated a new market – Electric Vehicles. In the final quarter of 20231 Chinese Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD outsold the western incumbent Tesla, to become the world’s top selling electric carmaker.

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Global Matters Weekly – The fragility of trust

In 1954 two DeHavilland Comets were lost in separate midair accidents for unknown reasons at the time. The aircraft was a pioneering venture by the British aeronautical industry that launched the world’s first production jet airliner. Subsequent investigations found that the gauge of metal used was insufficient to withstand repeated pressurisation and de-pressurisation cycles which resulted in catastrophic survivable failure.

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