“Ask God's blessing on your work, but don't ask him to do it for you.” Dame Flora Robson, English actress, March 28th 1902 - July 7th 1984
- The US rallied off its lows to close almost flat (NASDAQ up on the day)
- Bond yields continued to drop, losing a further 7bps on the 10 year to close at 1.84%, whilst VIX was off again
- Two Fed Presidents (Boston’s Rosengren and Chicago’s Evans) both called for QE to continue throughout 2013....
- ....whilst a third (Minneapolis’s Kocherlakota) went further saying that “monetary policy is currently not accommodative enough”
- Asia saw profit taking across the region ahead of the Easter weekend, led by China
- China the main drag after PBoC announced liquidity withdrawal via repos, along with regulators limiting wealth management products, which saw banks trade sharply lower
- The Nikkei was also hit by profit taking as the yield on 10 year government bonds fell to a 10 year low
- The Yen strengthened as Kuroda reiterated policy easing options, dampening expectations for impending novel measures being announced
- European markets opened the final day of the quarter in fine fettle and continued to advance over the course of the morning....
- ....aided by peripheral bond yields across the Continent falling and a modicum of a bounce for the Euro
- UK banks trade higher following the BoE capital review yesterday on increasing hopes that the sector may avoid onerous capital raising
- M&A a big feature across Europe, most notably Ziggo strong following Liberty’s purchase of a 12.65% stake and Intercontinental Hotels boosted by the sale of the Park Lane Hotel
- Biggest deal of the day is DE Master Blenders (makers of Douwe Egberts coffee) in talks to be acquired for EUR9.7bn by Joh.A.Benckiser
- Cypriot banks reopen to relatively calm scenes
- US macro data almost uniformly disappointing, led by Q4 GDP which was revised down from 0.5% to 0.4%....
- ....and there was a sizeable jump in initial jobless claims to 375k (expected was 340k) and last week’s number was revised up to boot
- ....then we had the latest Chicago Purchasing Manager’s survey, which fell sharply to 52.4 from 56.8 last month (see below)
- Yet the S&P rose on the open and before long had broken above the previous all-time high closing level
- Volumes however remained pretty light across all markets as the quarter drew to a close
- FTSE ended the day higher by 0.38%, whilst most of Europe was up small on the day, with Italy down a fraction
- The S&P was higher by 0.15% with the question on everyone’s lips: would the market establish a new closing high?
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“Nobody gets anything for nothing” – Gloria Swanson, American actress, born 27th March 1899 – died 4th April 1983
- Despite a weaker US consumer confidence number, durable goods data best described as mixed
- & continued uncertainty surrounding Cyprus..US markets once again ground higher post our departure
- With the S&P +0.26% finally coming to rest 2 points short of an all time closing high at 1563.77
- New home sales data was better & crude +1.5% helped Energy names but
- Lack of +ve catalysts on what was 2nd quietest trading day of the year seem to be the theme.
- Asian markets hung on US coat-tails & results from some Chinese bank helped the SHCOMP +0.2%
- While Korea +0.5% consumer confidence printed at highest level since last May..
- ..despite tension mounting with North Korea, who are upping their aggressive stance
- Good news also for the Philippines +2.7% who receive their first ever investment grade credit rating from Fitch
- & a nice showing from the Japanese market which closes up +0.2% despite 80% of firms going ex-dividend
- Europe initially opens higher as reports are Cypriot banks should open tomorrow, though
- Depositors in Laika are rumored to lose 80% of anything held over €100k (unconfirmed).
- UK & French initial Q4 readings of GDP are both confirmed at -0.3% (expected)
- While Italian Jan retail sales fall -0.5% (f/c 0%), Industrial Orders -1.4% (f/c +0.6%) & Industrial Sales -1.3% (prev +0.8%)
- Italy remained the focus of the morning as Bersani due to report to President over progress..
- ...in forming a new government today & initial comments weren’t really encouraging
- “Possibility of a broad coalition does not exist” and “country is in a mess, has a difficult year head”
- They then had what looked like a pretty weak bond auction with btc at only 1.22x (more below)
- The BOE help out the UK banking sector by revealing capital shortfall of only £25bn
- Someway less than the £60bn being bandied around yesterday..(more below) while
- Corporate land saw four profit warnings (ICAP -6.3%, SMA Solar -2.9%, IVG Immobilien -41% & minnow Bellzone Mining -45%)
- Two more placings, Safran -1.5% (French govt seller €449m) & TDC -1.6% (largest shareholder NTC seller $430m)
- Though Kuoni +3% & Mediaset +5.3% both manage to post some decent numbers..
- But by midday distinctly risk-off feel to the whole thing, SXXP -1% & US 10 Year back to 1.85%.
- Afternoon kicks off with some worse looking US Feb Pending Home Sales data (-0.4% vs f/c -0.3%)
- We’re then treated to some leaked Cypriot capital controls which are “probably negative” (more below)
- US opens 60bps weaker, not a huge surprise given action in Europe, but precedes to rally for no obvious reason..
- ..leading European markets off the lows into the close. So we finish
- FTSE -0.22%, Eurostoxx -0.4%, Italy -0.9%, Spain -1.13% & S&P currently -0.2%
- To end worth pointing out current rumblings in Slovenia...been the talk of the credit markets
- but in Equity land has barely raised a mention...more below.
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“When we have a Deputy Prime Minister who tells people not to drive cars but has
two Jags himself, and where the Minister who tells people not to have two homes
turns out to have nine himself no wonder the public believe politicians are hypocrites.” William Hague, British politician, born March 26th 1961
- Wall Street ended the day largely unchanged from the level when we shut up shop yesterday
- VIX rose a little, whilst 10 year treasury yields fell by 4bps to 1.92%
- Dutch finance Minister Dijsselbloem said that he didn’t say that the Cypriot bailout was a “template” for future bank rescue....
- ....but added that “not all the risks should be carried by the state or the taxpayer. Shareholders, bondholders and depositors could also contribute”......which would seem to mean the same thing!
- ECB’s council member Nowotny says that Cyprus is no model for other cases....all clear then!
- EU Financial Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said on French TV that the right decisions have been taken on Cyprus....
- ....but also mentioned that he is worried by the level of French debt
- The Cypriot Finance Minister dampens Eurozone exit calls by saying that they will do whatever it takes to remain in the Euro
- The banks in Cyprus will remain closed until Thursday
- Focus switches to Italy, where Bersani has two days left to form a government and is meeting Berlusconi’s deputies today
- Peripheral yields a touch lower, lending support to European equities which open slightly better
- London features include Kazakhmys (-11%) on a dividend cut and writedown on ENRC stake and Wm Morrison (+3.5%) on an upgrade from Citigroup
- Lots more placing action: Telefonica sold 2% stake for €975m to cut debt; Cofinimmo: sells 5.8% treasury shares in ABB; Savills: Oaktree placed 7.8m shares
- In a repeat of yesterday’s move, Italy and Spain led a retreat for equities and by lunchtime they were both lower by more than 1% and other markets were flat at best
- The latest durable goods and capital goods data from the US painted a rather mixed picture
- The January CaseShiller Home Price data showed prices climbing in 20 US cities by the most since June 2006 (see below)....
- ....but the latest US consumer confidence figures came in short of expectation....
- ....with its lowest reading since the end of 2011, save for the January 2013 number
- Reports that the IMF are to publish a “substantially positive” statement on the Italian banking sector after market hours today gave the market a filip
- CBS News report exciting news for techies with a story that Apple are to launch the iPhone 5S in late June
- Markets got a case of the jitters once again on the following headline: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO PUSH FOR DEPOSITORS WITH ABOVE 100,000 EUROS TO FACE BAIL-IN UNDER NEW BANK RESOLUTION LAW - EU LAWMAKER....
- ....and this one: EU PARLIAMENT BACKS EU100K DEPOSITOR ‘BAIL-IN’
- ....and this one wasn’t a winner either: NORTH KOREA WARNS UNSC OF ‘IMPENDING DANGER OF NUCLEAR WAR’
- However, markets shrugged it all off, as FTSE ended the day up by 0.33%
- Once again, Italy (-0.95%) and Spain (-1.84%) are the main European laggards, but Greece led the falls with a decline of 4.9%
- The S&P was once again preparing for an assault on the all-time high, trading up by 0.44%
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The possibility that individual savers would be ‘bailed-in’ to facilitate the required bail-out of the Cypriot economy became reality over the weekend, following the agreement reached by EU finance ministers ahead of the ECB-imposed deadline. The furore surrounding last week’s proposed tax on deposits has led to small depositors (less than €100,000) dodging the bullet, but the resolution involves a winding down of one of its largest banks, with bondholders wiped out and a significant levy on large depositors, raising the worrying prospect of the deal becoming a template for further eurozone bailouts, which have so far largely avoided targeted depositors. In Moody’s words “policy makers’ recent decisions raise the risk of deposit outflows, capital flight, increased bank and sovereign funding costs and broader financial-market dislocation throughout the euro area in the future”.
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“I like my money right where I can see it....hanging in my closet.” Sarah Jessica Parker, American actress, born March 25th 1965
- After we closed on Friday, the UK was placed on rating watch negative by ratings agency Fitch
- Wall Street finished last week in an upbeat mood with the S&P closing near its intra-day high and about 15bps higher than where we left it
- Decent earnings from Nike (+11%) and Tiffany (+2%) helped sentiment
- The VIX was down 3% at just above 13.5, whilst 10 year bond yield rose by 6bps to 1.96%
- The major feature of the weekend was the Cyprus bail-out being agreed at the last minute (see below)
- Asia was the first area to get a chance to breath a collective sigh of relief
- Markets did indeed bounce, albeit on light volumes, led by Japan (+1.7%), Korea (+1.5%) and Thailand (+2.1%)
- The Euro rallied almost back to $1.305 on the news of an agreement
- As one would expect European markets were feeling very perky first thing
- In the UK the highlights were Vodafone, up sharply, on paper talk of the possibility of the disposal of their stake in Verizon in the US....
- ....and Schroders also better on news of the agreed takeover of Cazenove Capital
- In Europe the stand out feature was Metso, the Finnish company, which announced plans to demerge its less profitable paper and power units
- From mid-morning the Euro, equities and bonds started to see a gradual erosion of the gains....
- ....with the euro trading below the level at which it stood minutes before the successful conclusion of the Cypriot negotiations were announced
- By 13:00, the Italian MIB index was showing a loss on the day of 1%, having earlier been higher by more than 1% (see below)
- The Kremlin are threatening to “freeze assets” of German companies in Russia in retaliation to the terms of the EU bailout
- Premier Medvedev says that “in my view, the stealing of what has already been stolen continues”
- ....and President Putin orders Russian officials to look at restructuring their EUR2.5bn loan to Cyprus
- ...and in another story with a Russian twist, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was reported to have been detained in the US by the FBI
- ....which his spokesman described shortly thereafter as “utter rubbish”
- In mid afternoon, markets took a further leg down on a comment from the Dutch Finance Minister suggesting that the Cyprus bank restructuring plan should be seen as a template for the rest of the Eurozone (see below)
- Within minutes the peripheral markets in Europe saw a sharp sell-off in equities and bonds and the Euro was knocked back below $1.29
- Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera speculating on a possible Italian downgrade did not help sentiment either....
- ....and the Italian treasury declined to comment
- The banks that had led the rally first thing were looking decidedly queasy by late afternoon (Barclays trading more than 7.5% off its intra-day highs, SocGen by more than 10%, Banco Popolare by 9.5%)
- The market received a dual boost late in the day with Draghi allegedly distancing himself from the comments of Dijsselbloem....
- ....and Federal Reserve member Dudley saying that the Fed must keep monetary policy “very accommodative”
- FTSE ended a turbulent day down by 0.22%, whilst the European markets were gerenrally worse, led, not surprisingly, by Spain and Italy, both down by more than 2%
- The S&P was also lower, by 0.35%
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"For a small, open economy like Cyprus, Euro adoption provides protection from International financial turmoil". Jean-Claude Trichet, former ECB President, in a speech on January 18th, 2008
- US lost ground post our close, led by Google, which ended the day down by almost 10% post poor earnings and weakness in the banking sector also impacted
- 10 year bond yields fell by 6bps to 1.9%, whilst the VIX rose by 11%
- Japan very weak post comments from new BoJ Governor Kuroda, who stopped short of announcing new stimulus
- Thailand weak once more on local rumours that the stock exchange would require increased collateral and fears that the Bank of Thailand might introduce capital control, given the strength of the Baht
- Other markets in the area were pretty unexciting and very quiet
- The ECB have given Cyprus three days to find EUR5.8bn before funding is cut off....
- ....and according to the press the Governor of the Bank of Cyprus, the wonderfully named Panicos Demetriades (!), is working on plan B
- ....with news that the Finance Minister did not get the requested Russian financial support
- S&P cut the beleagured country’s long-term credit rating from CCC+ to CCC
- Speculation grows that capital controls will be put in place to stop money leaving Cyprus
- Meanwhile, the Cypriot parliament debate the issue today
- More woe in the luxury goods market, with profit warnings from Burberry and Mulberry
- Europe comes in weaker with no catalyst to spark forward momentum....
- ....and a disappointing series of German IFO numbers do nothing to cheer
- European markets open lower, but rally over the course of the morning
- Today’s stars in the UK are BT up strongly on a big broker upgrade and BP, on a larger than expected share buy-back announced
- At the other end of the scale, luxury names are hit by profit warnings from Burberry (calm down!) and Mulberry
- As one would expect (particularly on a dull Friday!) rumour and counter-rumour did the rounds on Cyprus, causing market to gyrate
- ....or as one of our brokers put it: “lots of Cyprus headlines coming out (may or may not be true, but heading the right way). Lousy liquidity, equities on the rebound”
- ....until a headline which simply stated: CYPRUS PARLIAMENT COMMITTEE CHANGES REJECTED BY ECB
- Then details of the new deal started to leak: deposit haircut above EUR100k to be 7-8%, Laiki Bank to be restructured
- Christopher Pissarides, head of the Economic Council in Cyprus, said he hopes for a quick solution for the banks....join the crowd!
- FTSE ended a volatile day up by just 0.07%, whilst most of Europe was down small
- As we headed off into the gathering gloom, the S&P was higher on the day by 0.55%
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“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” - Ferris Bueller (played by Matthew Broderick, American actor, born March 21st 1962)
- US markets finished higher on the day as the S&P rallied a further 0.14% post our departure
- Nothing really new from Cyprus & the FED’s latest FOMC statement didn’t surprise
- The committee observed “moderate economic growth following a pause late last year”
- Bond buying kept at $85bn per month (2 days worth is enough to bailout Cyprus!)
- After hours Oracle -7% after sales & profit miss estimates (they blamed sales staff for missing tgts)
- Asian markets traded higher post US move and a better-than-expected Chinese HSBC PMI (51.7 v 50.8 f/c)
- Japan +1.3% outperforms ahead of Kuroda’s first policy speech on expectations it’ll be dovish
- Hong Kong -0.13% “tried to rally” but a poor performance from heavyweight Tencent -4% weighs (#’s yday)
- Europe called -0.2% but that was pre a some pretty awful looking French PMI data
- Followed swiftly by the German & Eurozone versions also missing estimates
- At least the UK’s ok though as retail sales data for February surprises to the upside (more below on all of this)
- & the budget deficit looks loads better, but probably a one-off (as 4G license sales hit the book)
- Swiss watch data also lower than expected across the board, though high-end (>€3k) still pretty firm
- So we head lower pretty soon...headline from Italy also reminds us that particular problem still not sorted
- ITALY'S 5-STAR MOVEMENT OFFICIAL SAYS WILL ASK FOR REFERENDUM ON EURO MEMBERSHIP
- Despite this Spain get away €4.51bn (2015/2018/2023) paper vs target sale size of €3-€4bn (btc 2.82x)
- Cyprus talks ongoing, with latest being FinMin saying meeting with Russia was “very constructive”
- Rumor plan b (including smaller deposit tax & Russian assistance) to be put to party leaders today
- Also ECB keep the ELA for Cyprus at current levels till Monday & can only consider adding more funds
- If EU/IMF program is in place to ensure solvency of their banks...(more below)
- Midday we’re down c 0.9% ahead of some US data, volumes track -12% vs 20 day average..so data;
- US initial jobless for last week 336k vs f/c 340k & prior revised down to 332k from 336k
- Continuing claims 3053k vs f/c 3050k & prior revised up 3048k from 3024k
- US retail sales for Jan up 1% vs 0.9% forecast, though prior revised lower -2.3% vs -2.1%
- Existing home sales 4.98m vs f/c 5m & prior revised up to 4.94m vs 4.98m
- Philadelphia Area Manufacturing +2 vs f/c -3 versus prior of -12.5
- Got all that..good..so in summary data is a little better, (though Philly Fed catching up with PMIs)
- Late afternoon rally sparked as a Good bank/bad bank solutions is mooted for Cyprus;
- *CYPRUS POPULAR BANK TO BE SHUT DOWN, STATE-RUN CYBC SAYS
- *CYPRUS POPULAR BANK TO BE SPLIT IN GOOD, BAD BANKS: CYBC
- Nicosia (DPA) -- Cyprus' troubled second-largest bank Laiki will close, the state broadcaster RIK said on Thursday.
- Though as typical with these kind of headlines, they’re soon denied
- *CYPRUS CENTRAL BANK HASN'T BEEN INFORMED, TAKEN SUCH DECISION
- We end down, but off the lows FTSE -0.7%, SXXP -0.7%, S&P currently -0.4%, more headline watching tomorrow
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- So the Cypriot Parliament voted the EU rescue package down by 36-0, the largest reverse since Arbroath beat Bon Accord by the same scoreline in the first round of the Scottish Cup in September 1885
- Markets largely ignored the reverse, with the S&P closing a tad higher than the level when we shut up shop
- 10 year treasury yields slipped a further 4bps to 1.9%, whilst the VIX rose by 7.7%
- China was rampant overnight, closing higher by more than 2.5%, helped by respected commentator Tom DeMark suggesting that the market could rally by 28% by September
- Despite the Cypriot vote, European markets open better as the focus turns to what the ECB will do next and Russian/Cypriot meetings
- Bank run fears alleviated somewhat as ECB say they would continue to provide funding to Cyprus “within the existing rules”
- Bank of England minutes from February MPC show no surprises, although tone of the meeting was more hawkish....
- ....with the vote on further QE unchanged from last month at 6-3 against (same hawks, same doves)....
- ....and £ rallies by more than a cent against the $ on the news
- UK employment data showed a pick-up in January, whilst earnings growth weakened, rather surprisingly (see below)
- Italian President Napolitano starts consultations today to try to form a government
- Euro rallied on reports that the Cypriots agreed the sale of Laiki Bank to Russian investors, reducing their financing needs by EUR4bn....
- ....which was subsequently denied by the Russians
- ....and Russian energy giant Gazprom also announced that they are not in talks with Cyprus either
- UK Budget largely a non-event (and mostly pre-leaked anyway!), bar the latest “help to buy” scheme for the housing market
- ....which acts as a catalyst to propel the house builders sharply higher (Barratt +9.2% at one point, Taylor Wimpey +6.5%, Persimmon +8.4%, Bovis +4.1%, Bellway +4.8%)
- UK GDP forecast for 2013 revised down from 1.2% to 0.6%, with the public borrowing figure revised higher
- Rather surprisingly, the UK gave up gains and moved into negative territory, whilst the European markets and Wall Street continued in a positive frame of mind
- ....despite an earnings miss from FedEx
- The latest report from the IMF concludes that Slovenia’s top banks may need 1 billion Euros of funds....form an orderly queue please!
- Meanwhile, the home in France of IMF chief Christine Lagarde is searched by police
- Post the Budget, Fitch announce that it will review the UK’s credit rating in the light of the Chancellor’s decisions
- Late European headline boosted Vivendi (shares up 5.5%), as they are said to weigh splitting off SFR to focus on media assets
- The plethora of placings continue with £80m of Jupiter, a convertible issue from Atos, Italian food distributor Marr placing EUR50m being today’s runners
- FTSE ended the day lower by 0.13%, whilst the whole of Europe closed up, led by Italy (+2.2%) and France (+1.43%), helped by the Vivendi move
- The S&P was also trading higher, by just over 0.5% as we packed up for the day
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“I am certain that most Germans have instinctive liking for Italy, just as Italians admire Germans for their many qualities.” - Mario Monti, current caretaker Prime Minister of Italy, born 19th March 1943
- US markets were actually in positive territory at one stage yesterday, completely ignoring the..
- ..Cyprus inspired global sell-off, but ultimately it didn’t last as 45 mins before the close, headline hit
- "Cyprus President Anastasiades said has NOT have support to pass the deposit levy through Parliament"
- S&P fell -0.27% post our departure to close -0.55%. Of note volumes were dire.. 7% below 20-day average
- Also WSJ hinted Fed may signal slowing bond purchases as early as November
- Asian markets staged something of a rebound, no-doubt inspired by the relatively strong EU/US performance
- Plus a sold Chinese FDI figure, +6.3% (y/y) in Feb vs f/c of -4.3% & prior number of -7.3%
- Elsewhere Japan strong on a weak Yen & a nice move from Sony +7% rallying post “OZ” weekend box office sales
- Macro to the fore at the EU open with several more Cyprus headlines floating around
- Morning rumour was the initial deposit levy scheme is a non-runner & the vote has been postponed until tonight
- Presumably they’ll come up with another plan after it fails...headless chickens spring to mind
- Italian Jan industrial production looks good (+0.8% vs f/c -0.3%) while UK data on the whole about in line
- Feb CPI 0.7% (f/c 0.7%), RPI 0.7% (f/c 0.8%), PPI Output 0.8% (f/c 0.4%), PPI Input 3.2% (f/c 1.5%)
- 10am latest German ZEW better as Economic Sentiment 48.5 (f/c 48.1), Current Situation 13.6 (f/c 6)
- But Dax only moves +10bps. Elsewhere EBA say that the EU’s biggest banks has €112bn capital shortfall
- Spain sell €4bn 3/9m bills, top end of target range & yields better (3m 0.285%, 9m 1.007% from 0.421% & 1.144% in Feb)
- Corporate wise worth mentioning more placings, $590m Richemont (-4.3%) out last night & $1.3bn Ziggo (-5%) this morning
- Also “sensationalist” note from Goldman on Iron Ore, they forecast a c40% fall over next 2 years -> hits miners (c -3%)
- Sainsbury +1.7% as lfl sales better & Thyssenkrupp tumble -5.5% on rumours of a capital raise
- By midday markets are pretty flat, Euro is 0.2% lower & trading pretty “lacklustre”
- Afternoon kicks-off with US housing starts for Feb +917k vs +915k f/c, building permits +946k vs 925k
- But these really just sideshow as Cyprus headlines really start to heat up.. afternoon we have:
- 14:33 – CENTRAL BANK OF CYPRUS SAYS IF BILL NOT PASSED CYPRUS WILL LEAVE EURO (twitter apparently)
- 14:59 - Taxi driver: "Every single person I've picked up at Larnaca airport has been a Russian flying in to get their money out of banks"
- 15:37 - CYPRUS FINANCE MINISTER SUBMITS RESIGNATION, MARKET NEWS SAYS
- 15:57 - Cyprus Ruling Party To Abstain From Bailout Vote, DJ Says.
- 16:24 – Local Press Reporting bank holiday has been extended till Tuesday & that “no” vote will be given
- Euro breaks back below $1.30 to new lows for the year & chat that money markets are seizing up (see below)
- So really your guess is as good as mine as to how this will pan out, but if headlines are believed
- They’ll be a “no” vote & Cyprus will be leaving the Euro...Interestingly...
- FTSE only -0.26%, Eurostoxx only -0.4% & S&P -0.5% (but weakening)..
- Anyone for a game of Spoof?
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Ffastfill, the derivatives software provider, last month received a recommended cash offer at 20p/share from Pattington, already the owner of 25% of the company. Takeovers have historically been a feature of the UK Smaller Companies Fund, and we are always looking for new ideas to replace them. One of the companies we added to the Fund last month – Dotdigital – acts as a good case study of the ‘recurring income’ intangible asset which we seek.
Dotdigital has been on our radar for some time now. It runs digital marketing campaigns for companies using a ‘software as a service’ model which in effect means clients access its tools via the internet. As consumers have switched from print media to online media, so too has companies’ marketing spend. Dotdigital’s main platform, DotMailer, is an email marketing campaign management system. Despite the emergence and growth of social media (for which Dotdigital also offers marketing tools) the humble email still dominates online messaging traffic.
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