Half of UK & US firms predict a recession in 2020 and a third predict a global recession

  • Just under half of firms in the UK (46%) and US (45%) predict their country will go into recession in 2020, according to research by trade finance provider Stenn
  • The poll of over 700 senior executives at medium-large sized businesses across the UK, US and China, also revealed that well over a third (37%) of UK firms and one in three (35%) US firms expect to see a global recession or international global crisis in 2020
  • In the UK, a third (33%) of firms expect the economy to shrink in 2020, with well over a tenth (14%) expecting it to contract by 1-3%
    • A further 6% expect the UK economy to stay flat with no growth
  • In the US, almost one in five (16%) expect the economy to shrink in 2020, most likely by 1-3% (7%)
    • In addition, 6% also expect it to stay flat with no growth. 

Dr. Kerstin Braun, President of Stenn Group, commented: “2019 was weaker than expected and the stakes are only higher for 2020. Governments around the world are having to act forcefully to prevent the economic hit from Covid-19 deepening, taking a coordinated approach and opening the liquidity pipe for both fiscal and monetary support.

While a low interest rate provides an important cut in borrowing costs for businesses and consumers at this delicate moment, the coronavirus outbreak will be a real test of the health of the UK and US economies. Lowering rates alone isn’t enough to be effective in offsetting the economic impact of Covid-19. We already know the Chinese economy is going to be hit in the first and second quarter.

“For us, the plunge in oil coupled with the economic damage of Covid-19 marked the beginning of a global recession. Our research showed that at the beginning of the year, half of UK and US businesses predicted a recession and a third predicted an international global crisis, and just three months into 2020 and we’re starting to see this play out.”

Methodology

The survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 706 senior decision makers at medium-large sized businesses, across the UK, US, and Chinese markets. The research fieldwork took place on the 18th – 28th November 2019. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.

About Stenn

Stenn International Ltd. is a UK-based, non-bank trade finance provider specialising in cross-border trade. Stenn’s trade finance solutions are comprehensive and can be combined to cover the entire supply chain from purchase order to delivery of goods. Innovative practices allow Stenn to finance in sectors and geographic regions currently underserved in global trade. The company operates globally with offices in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, Miami, London, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Mumbai, Chennai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai and Qingdao.

Learn more at https://stenn.com or follow TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

Global sell-off could be seen by investors as best buying opportunity in a decade

The worst global market sell-off since the 2008 crash will become an important buying-opportunity for investors, affirms the chief executive of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and services organisations.

The prediction by Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, comes after equities lost a tenth of their value this week as investors piled into havens on growing concerns the coronavirus outbreak will hit the world economy and impact corporate profits.

Mr Green notes: “Until this week, the markets had largely shrugged off the impact of the outbreak of coronavirus.  We warned about complacency leaving many wide-open to nasty surprises.

“This has now changed. Investors have done a ‘one eighty’ – from a muted overly confident reaction to the serious and far-reaching global issue of coronavirus to running like headless chickens. 

“Both extremes are worrying and could potentially wreak havoc on investors’ returns.”

He continues: “However, the worst global market sell-off since the 2008 crash will almost certainly become an important buying-opportunity for many investors. 

“With markets on the brink of correction territory, panic-selling, mis-pricing of high quality equities, and lower entry points, this could turn out to be one of the key buying opportunities in the last 10 years.

“Some of the most successful investors will embrace volatility to create, maximise and protect their wealth.

“As ever in times of increased turbulence, there will be winners and losers. A professional fund manager will help investors take advantage of the opportunities that volatility presents and mitigate potential risks.

Earlier this week, Mr Green noted: “In the current volatile environment, investors – including myself – will be revising their portfolios and drip-feeding new money into the market to take advantage of the opportunities whilst reducing risk at the same time.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Global investors should not be spooked by the return of volatility on stock markets but, where possible use it to their financial advantage.  

“Of course, no–one knows for sure what will happen in the immediate future but, as stock markets typically rise over a longer-term period, now is the time to capitalise on the more favourable prices of decent stocks.

“It can be expected that in coming days, serious investors will be bargain-hunting.”

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit

The past few months have seen a huge amount of political change. In December 2019, for example, the Conservative Party won their largest Parliamentary majority since 1987, while January of this year featured the passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill through parliament. With the recent cabinet reshuffle, and Sajid Javid’s resignation as Chancellor, February has also proven to be an eventful month.

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit
CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment: Jamie Johnson

However, in the period since the election, there has been a growing sense that we have returned to some semblance of normality. The three years after the referendum were turbulent and hostile, with nail-biting parliamentary votes and overheated political discourse becoming par for the course. With no election likely until the middle of this decade, and with the Government in a relatively strong position, this stress is seeming to subside. Whatever your political disposition, this is no doubt a good thing for businesses and investors.

Data suggests that the UK stock market grew by an impressive £33 billion in the immediate aftermath of the general election. The effects of the so-called Boris bounce have likely been overstated, but it has hasn’t been as short-lived as some had predicted. Property also saw an uptick; according to Zoopla’s UK Cities Price Index, demand for UK property rose at the fastest rate since 2017. Similarly, according to Nationwide, prices in January were at a 14-month high. This is especially good news in light of modest house price growth in recent years as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

Looking forward, then, the property market could be set for renewed growth.

What can the Government do to propel the property market forward?

As mentioned, following through on their Brexit promises is crucial. Whether you voted remain or leave, 2019’s missed deadlines created profound uncertainty amongst business leaders. Therefore, it’s not just about the completion of the process, but also about making sure negotiations go smoothly and businesses are being made aware of the progress made.

The EU Withdrawal Bill passing through parliament was an important first step. Indeed, it showed that this majority has allowed Boris Johnson to get on with Brexit in a way his predecessors found difficult. But the Government’s ability to tick all the other boxes during the transition period is unproven. There is still a long way to go in terms of reassuring the property market that Brexit is in safe hands and that investing can continue without concern.

Furthermore, the Government must also deliver on its previously stated aims for policy in the property space. The domestic market, for example, is supportive of a new stamp duty surcharge on international buyers of UK property — an approach the Conservative Party has previously supported. According to a recent poll conducted by FJP Investment, as many as 70% of UK property investors are in favour of such a move.

There are also other areas that the Government should follow through on to help realise the full potential of UK property. Fighting the housing crisis, for example, will require coordinated policy to encourage construction, investment, and stakeholder engagement. On that last point, the Conservative Party has previously suggested consulting local people on the design of new-build developments. Doing so would hugely increase the attractiveness of such developments, so it’s little wonder that 68% of investors surveyed by FJP Investment supported the policy.

The Government must also commit the necessary resources to construction if it is to tackle the central challenge to UK property: insufficient supply. More homes being built will almost certainly bring prices down and make rents more affordable, but a national building revolution, of sorts, may be required.

A recent promise of £100 billion for construction over the next five years is a step in the right direction, while Boris Johnson’s promise of a million new homes over the same period shows ambition for UK property. But governments of all stripes have set, and missed, huge housebuilding aims, and property leaders are tired of empty promises. Now is the time for investment and reform to fulfil that huge target.

Looking forward, UK property appears to be in a strong position. With so much latent demand, and with prices rising, 2020 is likely to be more positive than last year. Further, with Brexit likely to be completed, the entire market may be set for an upturn. However, this can only happen with the right government support and policy implementation — indeed, without it, the housing crisis will not be resolved. Thankfully, the Government’s aims broadly align with property investors’, meaning they likely have the right priorities to help property return to form.

Jamie Johnson is the CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment

Markets DISMISS Trump impeachment – but monitor China trade relations and Coronavirus

The bullish financial markets are indifferent to the Trump impeachment trial – more concerning is the U.S.-China trade deal and the Coronavirus, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial services and advisory organisations.

The comments from deVere Group chief executive, Nigel Green, come as U.S. President Donald Trump’s historic impeachment trial got underway on Tuesday in the Senate, with Democrats calling for his removal from office and Republicans determined to have him acquitted.

Mr Green says: “A major geopolitical event such as the impeachment trial of a U.S. President would, typically, send shock waves through financial markets.

“This has not been the case here. The seemingly relentlessly bullish markets have largely shown indifference to the impeachment process. 

“This is because investors see the likelihood of Trump being removed from the White House following a Senate trial as almost zero.”

He continues: “However, what is far more likely to cause market jitters in the coming weeks are vulnerable trade relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies.

“U.S.-China phase one deal has stopped additional tariffs being imposed on each other’s goods.  However, it does not address serious structural issues of trade between two vastly different economies, one which has enormous state capacity. In addition, the sheer number of goods – amounting to $200bn –that China will need to buy from the U.S. could, ultimately, make the deal unworkable.

“The hard part is negotiations yet to come.”

Mr Green goes on to add: “Markets will also be weighing concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus that has afflicted hundreds in China so far – as hundreds of millions prepare to travel during the Lunar New Year period. It’s the largest annual human migration on Earth.

“The World Health Organisation is meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation.  An upscaling of the threat could depress markets and hit consumer sentiment and spending.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “This bull market isn’t bothered about Trump’s impeachment trial. It will be closely monitoring other major issues, including the U.S.-China trade dispute – the far-reaching impact of which is likely to outlive Trump’s presidency.”

UNCTAD’s Global Investment Trends Monitor

It is my pleasure to share with you the latest issue of UNCTAD’s Global Investment Trends Monitor with the first full-year estimates for 2019.

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) remained flat in 2019, at $1.39 trillion, a 1% decline from a revised $1.41 trillion in 2018. This is against the backdrop of weaker macroeconomic performance and policy uncertainty for investors, including trade tensions.

FDI flows to developed countries remained at a historically low level, decreasing by a further 6% to an estimated $643 billion. Flows to developing economies were unchanged at $695 billion. Flows to transition economies rose by two thirds to $57 billion.

Trends in selected economies:

– FDI in the United Kingdom down 6% as Brexit unfolds.

– Hong Kong, China divestments cause a 48% FDI decline in turbulent times.

– Singapore up 42% in a buoyant ASEAN region.

– Zero-growth of flows to both the United States and China.

– Brazil up 26% at the start of a privatization programme.

– German inflows triple as MNEs extend loans to foreign affiliates in a year of slow growth.

Looking ahead, UNCTAD expects FDI flows to rise marginally in 2020 on the back of further modest growth of the world economy.

For the latest issue of the Global Investment Trends Monitor and the UNCTAD Investment Policy Monitor, please click here. An in-depth analysis of FDI trends will feature in the forthcoming World Investment Report 2020, to be published in June 2020.

By James X Zhan

Director, Investment and Enterprise
Lead, World Investment Report
United Nations Conference on Trade & Development
Palais des Nations, Geneva
http://www.unctad.org/wir
http://www.worldinvestmentforum.org
http://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org

The Link: The world’s biggest taboo we dare not discuss

Although it should be a relationship we are all most concerned about, it remains under wraps. “The Link”, as we call it, is the critical connection between equal opportunities for women, overpopulation and the problem of climate change.

Let us start with demographics. The world is heavily overpopulated, and according to some estimates by as much as 300%. This not only has an impact upon things like housing availability and the level urbanization, but also – more fundamentally – on consumption of the world’s finite and barely renewable resources and its vulnerability to famine. Overcrowding on a wide scale is strongly correlated with poverty, social unrest, crime, pandemics, large scale economic migrations and, in turn, to pollution and climate change.

But what makes this subject a political “hot potato” is the fact that women, given true equal rights, will self-limit population growth and the coexistence of rapid population growth in some regions and fears of depopulation in others. Germany, Italy and China, for instance, face the prospect of reducing indigenous populations as women marry later (or not at all), have smaller families or do not have any children at all. Even though this should be an advantage to a country in the face of growing automation, it is a political crisis because governments see population numbers as correlating with their country’s status in the world.

Companies also want population growth, because more population equals more consumers and available labour. However, the biggest driving force in population growth is the cultural norm of “the family”. In many countries the pressure exists from within the extended family to conform through marriage by a certain age and the production of children. This right is also sacrosanct and even discussing it can be a tricky process. Moreover, even in the developing world it is increasingly being supported through statutory family friendly employment policies.

Back at the turn of the century books were even being published such as “The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless” by Elinor Burkett. There was then even the vestiges of a movement to assert the rights of single, childless (never called “child free”) workers and claim parity with those who received often generous employee benefits. But nothing truly came of it. Yet, it remains the big issue because it not only costs the employer and taxpayer a large slice of GDP to support those expanding their families, but there is also a direct link between every birth, the drain on finite global resources and other social/environmental problems.

Robin Chater, Secretary-General of the Federation of International Employers (FedEE), has addressed this issue at conferences several times, knowing that invariably the message will be seen as an attack on the family. However, because the issue is sensitive does not mean that it should be ignored. Robin reflects: “I can recall standing up at an international conference organised by ‘The Economist’ in Athens a few years ago. I produced lots of evidence to illustrate how much the world was overpopulated, then linked it directly to climate change – on many fronts, as well as more people equals more CO2 – and finally demonstrated that population growth was strongly linked to women’s rights. The more equal the society the more well balanced a society’s population will be. At the end of my talk the audience of around 200 people was momentarily silent and then up stood the vast majority of the women in the room and clapped. Not the men present, just the women.

What is FedEE?

The Federation of International Employers (FedEE) is a leading corporate membership organisation for multinational companies. It was founded in 1998, with financial assistance from the European Commission. Today it is an independent body with corporate members all around the globe. 

NDB President reports to BRICS leaders at 11th Summit in Brasilia, Brazil

NDB President reports to BRICS leaders at 11th Summit in Brasilia, Brazil

On November 14, 2019, Mr. K.V. Kamath, President of the New Development Bank reported to the Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa during the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil.

“Thus far, the NDB has approved 46 projects for USD 12.8 billion in our member countries. By the end of this year, we expect the approvals to reach about USD 15 billion. In 2020, we are targeting approvals of USD 8-10 billion,” said Mr. K.V. Kamath.

“We are measuring the impact of our work through our contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals that our members have committed to. We are also supporting projects that address some of the core developmental needs in our member countries, as articulated in their development agendas,” said the NDB President.

NDB President reports to BRICS leaders at 11th Summit in Brasilia, Brazil

Mr. K.V. Kamath highlighted operations of the Bank in its member countries:

  • In Brazil, the NDB is supporting improved physical connectivity of remote areas to logistical hubs while simultaneously laying the infrastructure for enhanced digital connectivity.
  • In Russia, in addition to financing infrastructure that will conserve and improve accessibility to historic and cultural centers, the Bank is moving into new areas such as bringing digital technologies to the judicial system, expanding higher education and supporting railway sector.
  • In India, the NDB is investing in improving connectivity of rural areas to markets and opportunities, as well as in better management of water resources.
  • In China, the Bank is contributing to the rehabilitation and restoration of environmental assets that were adversely impacted during the phases of rapid growth and lending for innovative green technologies.
  • In South Africa, the NDB is assisting energy and water projects, two areas that are at the heart of the country’s economic and social challenges.

“NDB has thus far received USD 5.6 billion in capital, including advance payments of the fifth instalment by China and Russia. We expect to receive the balance USD 900 million of the fifth instalment from our other three members by January 2020,” stated the NDB President.

“The Bank’s Africa Regional Center in Johannesburg has proved that on-the-ground presence makes a big difference to our work. Our Brazil office is already staffed and ready to open and we await completion of necessary formalities. Preparations for our office in Moscow are at an advanced stage and we will open this office early next year. We will follow that up with our Delhi office in the first half of 2020,” added Mr. K.V. Kamath.

“Going forward, the Bank is capable of sustaining between USD 8-10 billion of annual lending. With the initial USD 10 billion of capital that has been provided to it by the founding members, by 2027, the Bank can achieve a total asset book of about USD 50 billion.”

“As and when the decision is taken to admit new members to the Bank, and capital from these new members is received, the Bank can grow further. Under this scenario, it can achieve a total asset book of about USD 90 billion by 2027,” projected the NDB President.

Background Information

The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. To fulfill its purpose, the NDB will support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments. According to the NDB’s General Strategy, sustainable infrastructure development is at the core of the Bank’s operational strategy for 2017-2021. The NDB received AA+ long-term issuer credit ratings from S&P and Fitch and AAA foreign currency long-term issuer rating from Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR).

Read the full text of the President’s Report on the NDB website: https://www.ndb.int/president_desk/report-of-the-president-2019/ 

Triple Hit: Brexit, Election and Christmas impacting office space take up

Confidence of potential occupiers of office space has taken a triple hit in the run up to Christmas

The annual Christmas slowdown in office deals has come earlier in 2019 than ever, as a triple hit of Brexit worries, Election uncertainty and staff taking a long Christmas break has upset potential occupiers’ confidence according to Office Agents Offices.co.uk.

“We are seeing a very early slowdown in deals being done, and we are being told it’s because of three main reasons: Brexit, the General Election and the long 12-day Christmas holidays this year”, says Offices.co.uk Senior Broker Jonathan Ratcliffe.

Brexit is well reported, as is the General Election – but combined with an annual leave trick staff are using whereby using 5 days annual leave nets them 12 days off. The effect is a delay in bosses decision making process.

One potential deal for a large office space in Bank, City of London was kicked back 6 months as the occupier simply couldn’t get their head around how the economy might change in 2020. They are an international company, with offices in Berlin, Madrid and London and their European CEO simply cannot predict what will happen in the UK – he’s been forced to delay his office search until next summer.

“It seems to be a recurring theme – Brexit has dented confidence; the Election supercharges the effect and Christmas is slow anyway – we might as well finish for 2019 now and get the mince pies out” says Ratcliffe

Reports from regional cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham are that office space enquiries are drying up much earlier than previous years.

Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk adds: “Leeds was really busy until the news of the Election, then the phone stopped ringing”

How employees are using 5 days annual leave to net a 12 day Christmas Holiday: https://www.offices.co.uk/christmas-holiday-hack-get-a-festive-12-day-christmas-break-by-taking-just-5-days-off/

Spokesperson Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk is available for comment on 020 3151 3360 or by email [email protected]

Offices.co.uk is a National Provider of Serviced Offices and Flexible Workspaces.

Website: https://www.offices.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/offices_co_uk

SMEs hoarding record levels of cash amid Brexit turmoil – and it’s costing them billions a year

  • SMEs now hold an estimated £333 billion in cash deposits – a record high
  • But SMEs are set to miss out on £3.7 billion in interest this year because their money is languishing in low-paying savings accounts
  • This may also be damaging to the UK economy as it relies heavily on the performance of SMEs, says Flagstone

UK small and medium-sized businesses are holding record levels of cash as uncertainty surrounding Brexit persists – and it is costing them billions of pounds a year, new analysis reveals.

In the last 12 months, SME’s cash reserves have increased by more than 3% to £333 billion – the highest level on record – according to analysis of UK Finance figures by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of Flagstone, the UK’s largest cash deposit platform.

Much of this growth has been from deposits into instant-access accounts. Indeed, nearly 58% of all SME cash reserves are now being held in instant-access accounts, suggesting that firms want quick access to their money.

However, by doing this firms are missing out on billions of pounds of interest as these accounts typically pay the lowest interest rates.

With SMEs currently holding £191 billion in instant-access accounts and receiving an average rate of 0.41 % [1], they are on track to earn £566 million in interest in the coming year, CEBR’s analysis found. However, if they were to switch to a market leading instant-access rate of 1.40% [2], they would earn £2.7 billion in total in the next year – £2.1 billion more than they are currently expected to earn.

Further, UK SMEs currently hold £141 billion in fixed-rate deposit accounts earning on average 0.86%, meaning they are expected to earn £1.2 billion in the next 12 months. But if SMEs instead switched to the market-leading 1.95% one-year fixed rate, they would collectively earn £2.8 billion in interest in the coming 12 months – £1.6 billion more than they would have otherwise.

It means, in total, firms are expected to miss out on £3.7 billion in interest in the next year because their money is languishing in low-rate savings accounts.

That extra £3.7 billion would be enough to fund for a year the salaries of more than 123,360 additional workers on the UK average annual salary of £29,588[3].

Separate research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Flagstone reveals why SMEs are reluctant to shop around for a better rate for their cash.

Almost four in ten (39%) of the 500 firms surveyed said the hassle of opening an account is the greatest barrier stopping them from moving their money followed by 34% of firms who said the perceived risks of depositing money with a challenger or non-high street bank was the biggest deterrent.

Andrew Thatcher, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of Flagstone, said: “It’s clear that firms are worried about what effect Brexit will have on their business and are hording cash in case the waters become choppy. However, whilst this may be a sensible move, our study reveals that firms aren’t choosing the best home for their cash. Often, firms are getting sub-optimal rates of interest when they could be getting much higher returns on their cash by shopping around.

“The research shows that savings apathy doesn’t just affect individual savers, but also the nation’s businesses too. Each year SMEs are missing out on billions of pounds of interest because they’re failing to shop around for a better deposit rate for their cash reserves. Firms that forego this extra cash could be missing out on the chance to grow their business by hiring extra staff or investing in productivity improvements.”

“The solution a platform like Flagstone provides is that it not only consistently keeps business owners and financial directors in the path of the best rates, but it also removes the barriers to switching, providing a simple way to increase income and reduce risk. If you are an SME or charity with excess cash at bank it makes no sense not to at least consider a service such as Flagstone and choose from one of hundreds of deposit products at the touch of a button to earn more money.”

[1] All figures on current SME cash holdings and average interest rates are Bank of England data, analysed by the Cebr

[2] Correct as at 4 November 2019

[3] Employee earnings in the UK: 2018, released by ONS on 25 October 2018. Annual figure calculated by multiplying median full-time gross weekly earnings (£569) by 52

Flagstone

Flagstone is an FCA authorised and regulated fintech company (FCA reference numbers 676754 and 605504) located in London and founded in 2013. Flagstone’s online cash deposit platform enables companies, charities and individuals to earn more interest and reduce risk through diversification. Completion of a single application gives the client access to over 550 deposit accounts from 38 different banks and enables them to research and open accounts in just a matter of keystrokes. The platform puts clients in control of their cash, giving them access to market-leading and exclusive rates from a growing panel of UK banks, consolidated reporting and regular new rate alerts to ensure that their cash is working as hard as possible for them 24/7. For more information, see www.flagstoneim.com or watch a short film explaining what we do and how it benefits clients by clicking here.  

All of the UK banks on the Flagstone platform are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. Deposits placed with any of these banks via the Flagstone platform are afforded exactly the same Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection (i.e. £85,000 per individual depositor per authorised institution) as if the client placed the deposit directly with the bank.

Pound boost as hung parliament and Corbyn risks reduce on Farage-Johnson pact

11 November 2019

The pound will receive a welcome boost after Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will not be pitted against Conservatives in almost 320 seats in next month’s election, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial organisations.

The upbeat message from Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group comes as the Brexit Party’s leader Nigel Farage will stand aside in all 317 seats won by the Conservatives in the 2017 general election, fighting only seats held by other parties in the 12 December general election.

Mr Green notes: “Nigel Farage has given the Prime Minister a massive boost in the election as he stands down candidates from his Brexit Party.

“In turn, this will give a welcome boost to the Brexit-battered pound, which has consistently been something of a Brexit bellwether.”

He continues: “The move reduces the likelihood of another hung parliament, which would have led to more parliamentary paralysis and more crippling delays on Brexit.  

“All of this would have generated yet more, intensified uncertainty – something financial markets loathe.  This is why the pound has jumped on the news of the informal Johnson-Farage pact.

“Looking ahead, a Conservative majority would give the government the enhanced ability to move on with the Brexit process. 

“Wealth, jobs and opportunity-generating businesses – both in the UK and internationally – have been crying out for certainty. There is the hope a majority government could lift the fog of Brexit that’s been hampering investment and confidence.

“Should a Conservative majority be returned next month, I believe that the pound will reach $1.35.”

Mr Green goes on to add: “The pound will also be given a boost as the agreement is a serious hammer blow for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

“His anti-business rhetoric, and high tax and low-profit policies would lead to considerable and sustained selling of the pound.”

Last week, the deVere CEO noted: “I believe we can realistically expect a Corbyn government would trigger an exodus of the country’s most successful and wealthiest individuals who contribute significantly both directly and indirectly to the British economy.”

Nigel Green concludes: “Sterling’s outlook will become increasingly bullish over the next few weeks if the Conservatives continue to do well in the polls in the run-up to the election.”