Happy New Year! Hopefully all of us have entered 2012 in the best possible ways. Most of us will have (over)indulged on food and drink over the festive period, and by now we’ve also already passed what is said to be the most depressing day of the year – January 3, 2012.
But what will this New Year 2012 bring? Collapse of the Euro(zone)? Collapse of London Underground during the Olympics? England winning the football world championship or Great Britainwinning most gold medals at the Olympics? Or will we see a powerful Year of the Dragon as the Chinese calendar suggests?
Well, after all the overindulgence that the festive period brought, read below some predictions that we at the MHP Asset Management team have in our minds for this year – Year of the Dragon, or will the markets play dragon slayer yet again?
Gay Collins, Executive Chairman of MHP: “I predict that the FTSE will be marginally higher than it was on December 31 2011, that investors will remain cautious, that the implementation of RDR will be delayed again and that there will be more women on the Boards of FTSE 100 companies (but not enough to get to the 30% target without some serious impetus).”
Sara Lyons, Consultant: “Since it’s the Chinese year of the dragon, I predict that emerging markets such as China will continue to show its worth and influence on the global economy through extending its financial support to the EU. I predict this year to be one of the greatest years in sporting history, with many surprises heading our way…Will it finally be England’s year at winning Euro2012, or Andy Murray’s year to win Wimbledon or even Great Britain to win the most amount of medals ever since competing in the competition or Europe retaining the Ryder Cup title for a consecutive year..all will be revealed.”
Renny Popoola, Consultant: “I predict that with the extensive Eurozone debt and bleak times we are living in as well as predictions of another recession on its way, it provides a great opportunity for emerging markets to fully extend its influence to the EU as well as bargaining power in the decision-making process. The Artist will win the Oscar for “Best Film”, Obama will be re-elected in the US election and unfortunately Boris Johnson will continue to reign as Mayor.”
Sylvie Szoke, Account Manager: “I predict that Obama will lose the presidential election, relations between the EU and the UK will worsen, one or two counties in the European Union will default on their debt and that Meryl Streep will win an Oscar for her role as Margaret Thatcher.”
Christian Pickel, Senior Account Manager: “I think we will continue to see the volatility of the markets worldwide, as the investors won’t shake off their Angst about political and economical uncertainties. On a more positive note, London will see some great Olympic Games, and as long as the Londoner works from home or walks, runs or cycles to work instead of using public transport, the London Underground meltdown might be avoided as well.”
James Morgan, Consultant: “I predict increased decoupling within the EU/Eurozone, with the EU-10 hit hardest – if the debt crisis continues these will be the most susceptible, as they suffer from lack of capital inflows and are squeezed by the bigger economies when it comes to inter-national decisions. Likewise, UK inflation to fall towards the end of the year (and I’ll predict a figure of ~3%), with the BofE adding to quantitative easing through gilt-buying. This will lead to negative then minimal growth in H1 and H2 respectively.”
Paul Young, Senior Account Manager: “2012 will be the year for the more conservative investor with defensive sectors such as utilities and healthcare being favoured as a safe haven, and outperforming versus riskier sectors like mining and financials. The first half of 2012 will be tough as the debt crisis continues its rampage but a successful London Olympics will give the UK the “shot in the arm” it needs to propel it out of the doom and gloom. This will be reflected in the performance of the FTSE which will end the year above 6,000 points. Rose tinted glasses? Perhaps.”
Andrew Fleming, Associate Director: “2012 will be the most important year for UK pensions for decades. The introduction of automatic enrolment from October will eventually mean millions of people who are not currently in a pension will be saving towards their retirement. For many, it will be a financial shock to find themselves suddenly contributing at least 4 per cent of their income to a pension. But in the long term, 2012 may come to be seen as the point at which the British pension system finally began to shape up, and deliver decent fair and affordable retirement income for all working people.”