By: Dr Matthew Partridge 24/05/2019 After nearly three years in office, Theresa May is set to stand down as Conservative party leader on 7 June – but who do the bookies and betting exchanges expect to replace her? Already, £1.14m has been wagered on Betfair on the identity of the next Tory leader and, despite the large number of candidates, the clear favourite is the former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson. Betfair is now quoting digital odds of 1.93, which works out at an implied 51.8% chance.The traditional bookies feel the same way – Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred are all offering 8/11 (57.9%), though the best odds on him are 10/11 (52.3%) with Boyle Sports. Boris’ main rival seems to be Dominic Raab, who was Brexit secretary between July and November 2018. Betfair has him in second place at 6.8 – a 14.7% chance. However, all the other potential candidates are quoted at relatively long odds, reflecting the uncertainty in the process. … [Read more...] about What are the bookies’ odds on the new Tory leader?
By: Jane Lewis 24/05/2019 Julian Richer, the entrepreneur who put people before profits, and yet produced plenty of the latter, has been lauded for handing his empire over to his staff. What is his motivation?Everyone from politicians to newspaper leader writers has been queuing up to salute Julian Richer, who has just handed control of Richer Sounds – the hi-fi store chain he founded as a teenager – to his 522 staff. The move wasn’t entirely a surprise: “My life’s work is my legacy and I haven’t got a spoilt child to run the business,” Richer observed in 2013. But at 60, “he has reached the age when he thinks of posterity”, says the Financial Times. Richer “made the big reveal” to staff, who erupted into cheers, in a small Salvation Army hall in central London, says The Guardian. A committed Christian, with a weekend sideline as the drummer in a funk band, Richer has long since passed responsibility … [Read more...] about Julian Richer’s crusade to clean up capitalism
By: Alex Rankine 24/05/2019 Australia’s voters were “too scared to rock the country’s economic boat”, says Clara Ferreira Marques on Breakingviews. Australia’s centre-right prime minister, Scott Morrison, scored a shock victory in last weekend’s general election, defying polls that had given the opposition Labor party a clear lead. Labor wanted to remove tax breaks and increase spending. Voters opted for Morrison’s promise of tax cuts instead. The country’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rallied 1.7% on news of Morrison’s surprise victory to hit an 11-year high, but investors shouldn’t get ahead of themselves. There seems little scope for a surge in growth.Australia dodged the global financial crisis and has gone 27 years without a recession, but the economy has started to wobble. In the first quarter, the annual pace of GDP growth was a mere 1.3%; the long-term average is around 3%. GDP only grew by … [Read more...] about Reinflating Australia’s housing bubble
By: Dr Matthew Partridge 24/05/2019 Saturday’s election in Australia proved embarrassing for bookmaker Sportsbet, which not only sustained huge losses on winning bets on the Liberal-National coalition, but also incorrectly paid out on a Labor victory two days early. Overall, it is reported to have lost a total of A$5.3m. By contrast, the two handicap bets I recommended, at 1.11 on Betfair and 4/6 on Bet365, both paid off, as did my recommended bets on the coalition candidates in Aston (Victoria) at 1/6, Kooyong (Victoria) at 1/5 and Casey (Victoria) at 2/5, as well as in Hughes (New South Wales) at 1/5.Indeed, not only did the coalition win in each of those constituencies, but the Liberal candidates managed to increase their share of the vote in Aston and Hughes. Even in Casey, the closest of the four contests, Liberal Tony Smith still managed to win on second preferences by a margin of just under 9%. Admittedly, since the bets were at short … [Read more...] about Betting on politics: Australia catches out the bookies
By: Alex Rankine 24/05/2019 Investors are gloomy about the prospect of a Brexit deal, but that means that the worst scenarios are already in the price, Jason Hollands of wealth manager Tilney tells The Times. UK investors have deserted their own stockmarket en masse since June 2016, with £11.47bn of net inflows into global equity funds, says Hugo Cox in the same paper. That has significantly increased their exposure to America and the dollar in particular. Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note that for all the Brexit fuss, the MSCI United Kingdom All Cap index has “been the least volatile of any stockmarket index in the world since 2016”, says Harry Brennan in The Daily Telegraph. The strong presence of multinationals such as Unilever on the London market has shielded investors. These firms make over 70% of their sales overseas and their international perspective eclipses domestic turbulence.British investors, then, should take another look … [Read more...] about Investors are still too gloomy about UK stocks