Capital Markets Corporate

April 1, 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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Bitcoin’s 7% surge gives blockchain firms a boost  

Bitcoin jumped in value by as much as 7% at the start of this week. This follows the news that card payment giant Visa is allowing the use of another digital currency, USD Coin, on its payment network. While USD Coin is different to bitcoin as it is tied to the US dollar, the news was an encouraging sign for the crypto-currency community that it is becoming more mainstream. (From Daily Mail, 29th March 2021)

The fintechs trying to turn retail investors green  

Despite increased focus on ESG investing and a surge in its popularity, this investment area has lagged behind modern users’ appetite to have all of their data at their fingertips. Finding information about the carbon impact of investments has long been a difficult, manual process for retail investors. However, “green fintech” is beginning to catch up, with upcoming company Sugi enabling investors to link its accounts to brokerage platforms, testing the temperature of portfolios and sharing recommendations. (From Financial Times, 29th March 2021)

Don’t let SPAC mania sway London’s IPO reforms 

The recent flurry of IPOs during the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced Lord Jonathan Hill’s review conclusion of UK listing rules: that both investors and issuers are frustrated by the restrictions around giving forward-looking information in an IPO process. According to industry figures, the listing prospectus has become a document for legal protection rather than a source of information for potential investors. There is also concern that the craze around special purpose acquisition companies will affect industry opinion and could lead to the IPO process becoming less rigorous when the focus should be on making it more transparent and open. (From Financial Times, 29th March 2021)

Retail sales recover 2.1% in February 

The volume of retail sales rose 2.1% over the last month, partly driven by strong household spending on home improvement goods. The proportion of sales conducted online reached 36.1%, the highest on record, as consumers rushed to use digital means to ensure they could continue to access products while the UK high street remained closed. (From Sky News, 26 March 2021)

Deliveroo underwhelms on stock market debut

London’s biggest stock market launch for a decade failed to deliver this week as shares in Deliveroo plummeted after the company failed to heed investor concern about its gig economy model. Shares in the food-delivery business had been offered to investors at 390p each, but closed 14% lower at 284p per share, having fallen 30% initially. The company had initially hoped for a share price of up to 460p. (From BBC, 31 April 2021)

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