Sterling dips after BoE’s Broadbent says UK growth may slacken
Research by the True and Fair Campaign, which lobbies for clearer charging by fund managers, shows around 40 percent of a typical UK equities fund is effectively a copy of weightings in the overall stock market. However, investors are often paying for “active” fund managers who aim to outsmart competitors and beat benchmarks. These funds can cost up to three times the fees for passive funds that merely match the market and are commonly used as a cheap way to access an asset class or sector. This could have cost British investors 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) in excess charges over the last five years, according to the report. The True and Fair Campaign is spearheaded by Alan and Gina Miller who run SCM Partners, a boutique wealth manager that invests client money into exchange traded funds, tracking indexes. They have become prominent critics of charging structures in investment management and last year launched a campaign to impose a standardised code for disclosure of fees. According to their latest report, nearly half of the British fund industry is guilty of “closet indexing”. Investors are largely unaware of this, Gina Miller said, because of a lack of transparency in the funds industry. “Because UK funds only have to report what they own once a year, most investors will be unaware that in many cases they are often misled into buying something which turns out to be just an illusion,” she said. The Investment Management Association was not immediately available for comment.
UK Reverses Swine Flu Vaccine-Narcolepsy Decision
Sterling was down 0.1 percent at $1.6018, with traders reporting demand to sell the currency at levels above $1.60. The pound has edged lower since hitting an eight-month peak of $1.6164 on September 18 when the U.S. Federal Reserve unexpectedly opted to keep its stimulus intact. Two more BoE policymakers, David Miles and Paul Tucker, were scheduled to speak at 1030 and 1245 GMT respectively. Their comments will be scrutinised for their reaction to recent strong UK data and for whether they make any attempt to temper growing market expectations that the central bank will have to raise interest rates earlier than it has flagged. “North of $1.60 seems a little toppy … The burden of impetus on UK data is ever higher to maintain sterling at these levels,” said Jeremy Stretch, currency strategist at CIBC. He added that the Broadbent comments had marginally helped lift short sterling futures and weighed on the pound. However, he said the comments sent mixed signals as Broadbent also defended the BoE’s decision to tie interest rates to the labour market, which has shown signs of improvement recently. Against the euro, the pound also fell. The euro was up 0.2 percent at 84.28 pence, with traders reporting bids above 84.00 pence. The euro showed little impact against the pound despite below-forecast German Ifo sentiment data. Analysts at Morgan Stanley said the recent string of firm UK data was likely to keep alive early rate hike expectations, keeping the pound supported. “We would view any further sterling/dollar setback into the $1.5950 area in the coming days as a near-term tactical buying opportunity,” they said in a note to clients.
UK should return to Bulgaria
“While the Indian government may have played a villain’s role in this whole episode, Britain’s NRI community and Keith Vaz (British-Indian MP) stood by me,” he said. “I thank the UK government that they did not stay misguided for too long,” he said, adding that he had not been given any explanation for being detained. “I have never done anything illegal, immoral or unethical. So I kept asking them to let me know what my fault was. I was not informed about the reasons. But there was no bad behaviour on their part. At one point one of the officials did get angry but I stayed cool so there was no problem,” Ramdev said in reference to his detention. Ramdev is in the UK to chair a series of yoga shivirs and talks organised by the Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust. Vaz, who had accompanied the yoga guru from a gathering in Leicester for the meeting here today, said he would make further inquiries into the reasons behind the hours of questioning. “No Indian citizen travelling on a valid visa should be held in this way. I hope this will not stop Baba Ramdev from coming to the UK again. All his belongings and passport with a two-year valid UK visa have now been returned to him,” Vaz said.
Photo credit: Wikipedia This just in: An example of what happens when people change conclusions based on the data rather than digging in their heels in favor of a pet hypothesis. In this case, the UK government has reversed a previous decision regarding the 2009-2010 European Pandemrix vaccine for swine flu and its link to narcolepsy , a sleep disorder that can seriously disrupt activities of daily living. As a result, per The Guardian : The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has contacted people turned down for compensation last year to explain that, after a review of fresh evidence, it now accepts the vaccine can cause the condition. The move leaves the government open to compensation claims from around 100 people in Britain, and substantial legal fees if a group action drawn up by solicitors is successful. According to the Guardian, heres why the UK is taking this step: The government U-turn follows a major study of four- to 18-year-olds by the Health Protection Agency which found that around one in every 55,000 jabs was associated with narcolepsy. A spokesman for (vaccine maker) GSK said it had details of around 900 people from 14 countries who had narcolepsy and were vaccinated. Emphasis mine. Its a good example of drawing new conclusions based on new information, otherwise known as the appropriate conduct of science, and then doing the right thing. A total of 100 people among 6 million who received this vaccination in the UK developed narcolepsy, for an adverse event rate of 0.0017%. The death rate from the swine flu in the UK was 0.026% . Put another way, 26 of every 100,000 people who had the flu died; 1.67 people of every 100,000 (1 in every 55,000 according to the study) receiving the vaccine developed narcolepsy. In addition, the vaccine in question evidently was given to groups at high risk for adverse events from contracting the swine flu.
UK authorities clear Baba Ramdev after second round of questioning
Having once been very popular in the UK, Bulgaria spent years in the wilderness following declining quality towards the end of the communist era. However, current winemakers argue that the wine industry is back on its feet again and deserving of a second chance. Its very important to bring belief in Bulgarian wines back to the UK market, Milko Tsvetkov, owner of Villa Yustina, told the drinks business on a recent trip. Were making good wines again. Good quality and good value, echoed his trade director, Petya Angelova. Equally striving for better quality is Krasimir Patishanov, general manager of the Brestovitsa co-operative. During his three years in charge he has introduced new, in-winery, bottling lines and encouraged his growers to reduce yields something that the co-op has been encouraging for the last 15 years. The consumers in the UK need to come back to Bulgaria because the wines have the quality and are developing at a good price. Patishanov also made the case for indigenous grape varieties such as Mavrud and Rubin arguing that they offered a new experience in their own right and were interesting grapes to blend with international varieties. Theyre good enough to compare with international varieties, he said, and they make blends unique. Merchants welcome blends because its something interesting and new. We dont need to produce something that has already been done and only Bulgaria can offer these (native) varieties. Kalin Martinov, CEO of Starolets winerys owner MK 2004, continued: Its a dream to be back in the UK but only with good quality wines. In the last few years there have been new players and theyre investing in new technology and equipment.