Insights

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There’s real estate, and then there’s real estate

General Policy

My colleague Ying Staton writes today in Singapore’s The Straits Times that values in the UK’s housing market will remain robust, after a few short-term jitters. Yet a cursory glance at the UK real estate market suggests that all is far from well, as investors rush to withdraw funds and fund managers slam the gates on them. So what explains her optimism?

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Russia: Big Brother for ‘Big Four’

TMT

Just before the Russian State Duma was dissolved for the September elections, it voted for the controversial amendments to the counter-terrorism legislation dubbed the ‘Big Brother Law’. The new amendments signed by President Vladimir Putin yesterday could completely change the country’s mobile industry landscape and seriously affect Russia’s preparations for the 2018…

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General Politics

Brexit upside for Chinese investors

General Politics

I have spent this week in Shanghai and Beijing explaining the likely consequences of the vote for Brexit to investors and hearing their views.

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General Politics

The Heathrow test

General Politics

The political manoeuvring over Heathrow expansion is a case study in political risk and the final decision, recently postponed once again, will present an important test for David Cameron’s successor.

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The UK’s ‘Canada Option’ just got even more difficult

Trade & Manufacturing

There are reports today that the European Commission is on the verge of the declaring the EU-Canada CETA a mixed agreement, paving the way for it to be ratified via national parliaments. This would be a big reversal for the Commission, which has fought a long battle over the Lisbon Treaty and what it does or does not do to restrict member state ratification rights in…

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Brexit and energy: the only certainty is uncertainty

Energy & Commodities

In the midst of some of the most tumultuous events ever seen in UK politics, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom’s appearance yesterday before the Energy and Climate Change Committee received little attention. But Leadsom, now a Tory Party leadership contender, trailed today’s decision by the government to back the Committee on Climate Change recommendation for the Fifth…

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Banking on Norway-lite

Financial Services

My colleague Gregor Irwin has just published a great blog on the ‘room in the middle’ between the views of the supporters of Brexit in the UK and the emerging views in the rest of Europe on what might constitute an acceptable trade-off between rights in the single market and the UK’s expressed intent to take back policy control from Brussels. Gregor’s view is that one…

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Peering through the Brexit fog

It was hard to imagine before 23 June that the uncertainty about what exactly ‘Out’ would mean could get any worse. But since the vote all sorts of ideas have been floated. Is it possible to peer through the Brexit fog to get an idea of where the UK’s relationship with the EU might be heading?

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General Politics

Is there still life in bipartidismo?

General Politics

The story of Spain’s December 2015 general election was fragmentation. I made the case myself here. Spain’s historic two main parties – the centre-right PP and the centre-left PSOE – fell to just above a combined 50% of the vote in that election. 

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Information is power for the 21st century taxman

General Policy

EU countries agreed last night a set of common anti-avoidance principles for corporate taxation, incorporating the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting principles into law. This is seen by many as a watershed for co-operation on the design and base of business taxes, going far beyond earlier commitments to exchange information and co-operate in the enforcement of tax…

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General Politics

Three ways Brexit could hurt Turkey

General Politics

While a lot has been written and said about the impact of Brexit on EU member states (and we have offered our own assessment), less attention has been paid to Turkey. One of the few statements came last week from the head of the Turkish-British Business Council, Remzi Gür, who said that the country would not suffer any commercial or strategic losses if the UK left the EU…

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Fed slashes interest rates again

Financial Services

That is the headline you did not read last week, but in many ways it should have been. The focus of analysts has naturally been on when the Federal Open Markets Committee – the group that sets US monetary policy – will next raise interest rates, following the first rise in seven years last December. For now, the Fed is on hold, with expectations falling of another…

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The Consequences of the EU Referendum

General Policy

Whatever the result on 23 June Britain faces political risk. If Britain votes to leave there will be political instability in the UK, the process of withdrawal will be messy, and investors will give their verdict on the structural implications for the UK economy. If the UK votes to stay David Cameron will have to work hard to keep his job, his Europe problem will not go…

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The Don, the Dems and Dodd-Frank

Financial Services

We now have two all-but-certain US Presidential candidates. For all their manifest differences, they have one thing in common: neither has warmly endorsed the Dodd-Frank post-crisis framework for banks. So we might ask where either candidate might go for ideas on what to do to it. Three possible answers this week.

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SPIEF: talk business, think sanctions

General Policy

When the guests of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) land at Pulkovo airport the first thing they see are the huge advertising posters of the US-sanctioned Bank Rossiya alongside with numerous adverts of familiar Western brands – from Total and Mercedes to Coca Cola and Pepsi. Indeed this year’s ‘Russian Davos’ was largely a question of talk business,…

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Chicago on Thames

Financial Services

Another ‘what if’ Brexit case study yesterday. ESMA has finally announced that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has been recognised as a qualified central counterparty for EU banks and investment firms. This means that EU counterparties can use the CME to clear derivatives trades and in doing so meet their EU obligations under the European Market Infrastructure…

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Metro-mayors, and the new policy space in England’s cities

General Policy

Friday saw the close of nominations to be Labour’s candidate for the new posts of metropolitan mayors of Greater Manchester, West Midlands, and Liverpool City Region. The choice by an important Labour figure such as former Secretary of State Andy Burnham to throw his hat into the ring for Mayor of Greater Manchester reflects the authority and influence that these new…

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Dealing with political risk: What FTSE-100 companies say

Financial Services

Political risk takes many forms and is not easily defined, but it is high and rising by just about any standard. Governments are under pressure or have been forced out of office in countries as far apart as Venezuela, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand. Armed conflicts have becomes entrenched in the Ukraine, Syria and the Sahel. Geopolitical tensions are…

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