!css
02/03/2017

Weekly News Bites: Blank of England

Our top picks from this week's Morning Chat

Blank of England: UK manufacturing was slower than expected in February, with the purchasing manufacturers index down to 54.6 from 55.7 in January. This – along with US dollar strength – helped push Sterling below $1.23. Nonetheless it still marked a seventh consecutive month of expansion (i.e. above 50) – most remarkable when you consider the doom many forecasted in the wake of Brexit. (Bank of England exit stage left). (02/03)

Sailing in circles: Over the last few months, capital flight has resumed from Greek banks, with total assets tumbling to the lowest levels since 2001. The latest panic is rooted in a messy disagreement between the IMF and the EU over the level of Greek debt to write off, an inevitably if the country is ever going to sail out from its dire straits. At present, Greece is still waiting for the IMF and EU to green-light the latest tranche of bailout cash, without which it will default on the July debt instalment it owes to… you guessed it, the EU and IMF. (01/03)

Jay L. bird: South Korea – the world's 11th largest economy – continues to be rocked by a sensational corruption saga, with prosecutors officially charging Samsung Group chief Jay Lee with bribery and embezzlement. Mr. Lee, the de facto head of one of the most powerful families in the world, allegedly made millions of dollars in indirect payments to South Korea's impeached President. Among measures to stem the rot, Samsung has announced it will shut its all-powerful corporate strategy office, a central hub which controlled major initiatives at the group level; some say it was a thinly veiled instrument of power for the founding Lee family. (01/03)

The best things in life are freelance: The number of "freelancers" in the UK workforce surged 43% to two million in 2016, double the number in 2008. Freelancers often work in the "gig economy" – as artists or musicians, or at companies such as Deliveroo or Uber – a distinct category from the 2.8 million self-employed people who own their own businesses. They have increasing their economic clout, contributing £119 billion in turnover to various businesses in 2016 – about 5% of GDP – up from £109 billion in 2015. (28/02)

Taking centre stage: A jump in the polls for 39-year old "neither Left nor Right" En Marche party leader, Emmanuel Macron, has led to a strong rally in French bonds, with 10-year yields now at 0.91%; at the beginning of February, they were at 1.14%. On Friday, he unveiled his economic plan, slashing public spending by €60 billion and cutting 120,000 public sector jobs. He also vowed to strictly curtail unemployment benefits for those who choose not to work. While these reforms are far less shocking than those proposed for former front runner François Fillon, Mr. Macron believes they have a better chance of working. (27/02)

Disclaimer

Your eligible deposits with Kleinwort Benson Bank Limited are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit guarantee scheme. Any deposits you hold above the limit are unlikely to be covered.

Please click here for further information or visit www.fscs.org.uk

Kleinwort Benson places all client deposits with a spread of approved counterparties including other parts of the Societe Generale Group (the “Group”). As such their financial standing is linked to that of the Group. Depositors should form their own view of the financial standing of the Group based upon publicly available information.

Kleinwort Benson is a participant in the Guernsey Banking Deposit Compensation Scheme (the ‘Scheme’). The Scheme offers protection for ‘qualifying deposits’ up to £50,000.00 subject to certain limitations. The maximum total amount of compensation is capped at £100,000,000.00 in any 5 year period. Full details are available on the Scheme’s website www.dcs.gg or on request. Please note deposits with Kleinwort Benson outside the UK are not covered by the UK FSCS.