The theme at our Annual Seminar on Wednesday was all about battles and overcoming adversity, ranging from the Battle for Brexit to the Battle for value. As promised, here are a few of the take-away highlights that we wanted to share with you;
- If anyone is living under the mis-conception that negotiating post-Brexit trade deals will be straightforward, it is worth noting that the "simple" WTO tariff sheet for the US contains 19,575 individual tariff line items. The "sophisticated" version for anyone unlucky enough to open this mother of all spreadsheets has 192,275 lines. Enough to send even the most seasoned of trade negotiators into a very deep depression!
- Whilst Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders failed in their bids to take France and Holland out of the EU in recent European elections, politics in the EU could still turn toxic. Keep a close eye out for the poll ratings of Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement (M5S) ahead of the anticipated Italian General Election in February next year. Could the Italians be about to deliver a mortal blow to the European project?
- Take a look over the channel and London offices start to look like a bargain. Prime office yields in Paris, Zurich and Munich are 3.00%.
- Amidst all the current political uncertainty, London needs to retain a sense of perspective. New Yorkers live under the shadow of Trump tower and a tweet-mad President who is under investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US election. A constant reminder to most American investors of London's enduring stability!
- London is still the number one World City, whilst Atlanta and Frankfurt are this year's new entrants in the top twenty of the St Bride's World Cities Index.
- Multi-let Industrials are flavour of the month. Capital Industrial have reportedly acquired Wates Industrial Estate in Mitcham for an eye-watering £21.43 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 3.80%.
- Expense is relative. That said a Dominos Pizza now costs an outrageous £14.99 and Arsenal season tickets are clearly over-priced at £891. And that is without Champions League football!
- Oxford is the world's pre-eminent university and the UK boasts 12 universities in the top global 100.
- We might act like a nation of Victor Meldrew's on a bad day, but we are actually 19th on the World Happiness Index. The French languish in a truly miserable 31st place, which only serves to make us feel even happier!