Capital Markets Corporate

March 26, 2021

Our Weekly Newsletter

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Across Instinctif Partners’ Financial Services team, we are always keeping an eye on the key developments taking place across the sector to evaluate their impact on the many businesses we work with. Here we share our picks of the week’s most interesting news, and our expert views.

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Advisers warned not to disregard Europe’s ESG rules  

Advisers have been warned that Britain’s departure from the European Union does not necessarily mean they are safe to disregard its new sustainable investing rules. The EU’s regulation on sustainability disclosures in the financial services sector, also known as the SFDR, came into effect on March 10. While the UK government elected not to implement the regulation after leaving the EU, experts have warned that the government is considering implementing similar rules and that advisers should therefore consider following SFDR regulation as good practice. (From FT Adviser, 17 March 2021)

Big banks’ trillion-dollar finance for fossil fuels ‘shocking’, says report 

The world’s biggest 60 banks have provided $3.8tn of financing for fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal in 2015, according to a report by a coalition of NGOs. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic cutting energy use, overall funding remains on an upward trend and the finance provided in 2020 was higher than in 2016. A significant proportion of existing reserves must remain in the ground if global heating is to remain below 2c, the main Paris target, with financing for new reserves the exact opposite of what is required to tackle the climate crisis. (From The Guardian, 24 March 2021)

Investors pour $170bn into global stocks in just a month  

Global investors have poured $170bn into equities in the last month, fuelled by the strengthening positive economic outlook. Successful vaccination rollouts across developed countries is increasing the likelihood that economic activity will revert to normality in the first half of 2021, possibly prompting investors to be more upbeat about companies’ medium-term prospects. The sharp rise in equity inflows have also been partly triggered by some retail investors using their share of the $1.9tn stimulus to purchase shares. (From FT, 22 March 2021)

UK SMEs best bet for ISA investors 

Funds that invest in UK SMEs and Asia have been among the best performers since ISAs were introduced in April 1999. The positive performance of UK small caps reflects the strength of entrepreneurship in the country. Robust returns from SME investments could offer a better alternative asset class to allocate capital than cryptocurrencies. (From The Times, 21 March 2021)

February property transactions soar to highest level since 2007 

The volume of property transactions in the UK in February 2021 reached its highest level since the same month in 2007. The sharp rise in home purchases last month has been driven by consumers frantically rushing to complete transactions before the original Stamp Duty holiday deadline in March. The SDLT holiday has been extended to 30 June, with the threshold tapering up until 30 September when it reverts to the pre-pandemic threshold. (From Mortgage Introducer, 23 March 2021)

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