Investec Asset Management: UK Election Results December '19

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Investec Asset Management - UK General Election Results

Investec Asset Management portfolio managers give their views on the UK General Election result.

The views expressed in this communication are those of the contributors at the time of publication and do not necessarily reflect those of Investec Asset Management as a whole.


John Stopford - Head of Multi-Asset Income 


We expect some further recovery in sterling and UK domestic stocks on reduced uncertainty and the removal of the tail risk of market-unfriendly policies ? although a fair amount of this is already in the price, given the polling in advance of the election. UK political uncertainty has manifested in weak business investment, which has contributed negatively to GDP growth for five of the past eight quarters, and a subdued housing market, with national house prices failing to keep track with inflation. 


The Conservative win has provided some near-term economic clarity, as the UK will finally leave the EU and public sector net investment will increase back to historically high levels. We believe markets will begin to anticipate a Boris ‘boom-let’. This would tend to support higher gilt yields (the UK is one of the most expensive government bond markets we cover) and a stronger pound. However, we feel the rally will be limited, due to the potential for a swift post-Brexit transition to further uncertainty about the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU. 


Simon Brazier - Co-Head of Quality 


We expect an initial bounce as the market reacts positively to greater political certainty, particularly with regards to Brexit. Sterling is likely to appreciate further amid this initial optimism, benefiting smaller more domestically focused companies relative to their larger more globally diversified peers. 


The market had already started to price in a Conservative majority, which may limit the size of any short-term gains, and in reality ‘getting Brexit done’ only applies to the Withdrawal Agreement. Far greater uncertainty still exists around a trade agreement, where the risk of ‘no deal’ remains, particularly given Boris Johnson’s stated aim of a deal by the end of 2020 or leaving without one. We believe business investment is likely to remain weak amid this ongoing uncertainty. With consumption growth constrained by a record-low savings ratio, the UK economy is still vulnerable in the longer term. 


Alastair Mundy - Head of Value 


The new Conservative government should bring resolution to Brexit (although many would argue that leaving the EU is just a first small step in Brexit) and therefore we believe it favours domestic earners over international earners, as: 

  • Sterling could strengthen
  • We are due a budget, in which we would expect to see voters thanked for making the ‘right’ decision, and in which the government could commit to higher fiscal expenditure.
  • Many consumers and companies have probably been delaying consumption and investment, so we could see a rebound in activity.
  • Overseas bidders will be more confident of the economic outlook and may seek to buy up cheap UK assets.
  • International equity buyers, who have probably been avoiding UK equities and particularly domestic earners, may be tempted (or forced) back into the market.


Ken Hsia - Portfolio Manager, 4 Factor - Europe 


A Conservative majority had increasingly become the consensus view in the run-up to polling day, reflected in the gradual strengthening of sterling. While it introduces the least fresh uncertainty, the final Brexit terms and any trade deal with the EU remain to be established. Thus, while we expect a relief bounce in UK-centric companies that have de-rated to trade at a discount to the rest of Europe, we do not expect an immediate impact on incomes or corporate investment within the UK.


Important Legal Information:

All investments carry the risk of capital loss. This content is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer, or solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell securities. All of the views expressed about the markets, securities or companies reflect the personal views of the individual fund manager (or team) named. While opinions stated are honestly held, they are not guarantees and should not be relied on. Investec Asset Management in the normal course of its activities as an international investment manager may already hold or intend to purchase or sell the stocks mentioned on behalf of its clients. The information or opinions provided should not be taken as specific advice on the merits of any investment decision. This content may contains statements about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, new legislation and regulatory actions, competitive and general economic factors and conditions and the occurrence of unexpected events. Actual outcomes may differ materially from those stated herein.?



John Stopford

Head of Multi-Asset Income

Simon Brazier

Co-Head of Quality

Alastair Mundy

Head of Value

Ken Hsia

Portfolio Manager

Investec Asset Management

December 2019

Please note that these are the views of Portfolio Managers of Investec Asset Management and should not be interpreted as the views of RL360.

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