Fidelity Internationals commentary on Brexit

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Friday June 24, 2016 08:41
The Asian Banker--27 Jun--Asian Banker

Paras Anand, Head of European Equities, Fidelity International: "The vote by the UK electorate to leave the EU has certainly taken both the currency markets and European stock markets by surprise. It is important to recognise the scale of moves that we are seeing are in context to a strong performance both by Sterling and by UK markets over the last week. Whilst the result will lead to political uncertainty which may lead to shorter term volatility in the markets, it is important to remember that such events impact the long term prospects of companies only at the margin. The consequence of the vote on the UK domestic economy and Europe more broadly is difficult to call and will likely only be evident over time but the fall in the currency increases the competitiveness of those sectors exporting both goods and services internationally and should increase the appetite for inward investment over time. If we look at the corporate sector in particular, we are in an environment where companies are holding significant cash balances and the scope for ongoing corporate activity remains. This should limit the extent of the falls that we should see over the coming weeks and months.

"What we are doing today is no different to last week which is using the opportunities that arise from these short term macro-economic events to focus on companies that we want to own for the longer term. The Pan-European corporate sector is truly international in nature. If you look at the US corporate sector, it very much faces off the domestic economy; the Asian corporate sector likewise earned 60% of its revenues and profits from the Asian region. Compare that to the Pan European corporate sector which is much more broadly based. So even in a scenario which the vote to leave has a negative impact on demand in the UK and Europe to a greater extent than we currently believe, it will not at the aggregate level dominate the prospects for companies as much as some might believe."

Tim Orchard, Chief Investment Officer, Asia Pacific ex Japan, Fidelity International said: "I expect to see continued volatility and uncertainty, something financial markets generally don't like. Shorter-term, we are likely to see increased demand for safe haven assets such as gold. Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, the actual process of leaving and negotiations around this will be complex and drawn out. Then there is the possibility of a domino effect happening to countries within Europe so uncertainty is likely to prevail.

"From an Asia Pacific perspective, a 'risk-off' environment doesn't bode well for Emerging Markets or perceived higher risk assets like Asian equities. However, the majority of our Asian holdings have a domestic focus; Asian corporates earn around 60% of revenue and profits from the actual Asian region."

--www.theasianbanker.com (June 24, 2016)--

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