30th March 2014
1) What a fortnight for investors in insurance companies. Stocks took another pounding on Friday following news that some 30million older insurance policies are to be reviewed. Insurers with closed books were the worst affected. By late on Friday, the watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority had rowed back a little and prices recovered but were still down. Legal & General is calling for the full details of the review to be disclosed and is upset about the surprise news. From here though, it is clear insurers and especially closed offices face significant political and regulatory risks.
2) Inmarsat shares are starting to get noticed. The Guardian reviews the firm and shares are up around 9% in a fortnight, while Credit Suisse has just issued an upgrade. It’s in the news for helping track Flight MH370 though not unfortunately as we know the plane and its wreckage have not been found yet
3) Invesco Perpetual’s High Income fund now managed by Mark Barnett is moving sector to the Investment Management Association’s UK All Companies and out of the Income sector with its requirement to target a particular yield over three years. The firm says Barnett’s other funds may follow. Investment Week says it has been ejected. Amid all the other noise about these funds will investors notice?
4) Charges on workplace pensions will be capped at 0.75% from April 2015 says the pensions minister Steve Webb.
5) Lee Freeman-Shor, manager of the Old Mutual European Best Ideas fund, warns that some European stocks could blow up on some investors.