MoneyWeek 1049

MoneyWeek is a weekly magazine that enables you to become a better-informed, smarter investor and enjoy the rewards of managing your money with confidence. Week-in, week-out we'll guide you through the financial world as it changes, alerting you to all the opportunities to profit and dangers to avoid, as they appear. Income strategies, rising-star companies, the best funds and trusts, clever ways to preserve your wealth during market turmoil... you will get the best ideas from the sharpest financial minds and investing professionals in Britain.

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United Kingdom
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3 Min
from the editor-in-chief...

“After years of stagnating productivity in the West, record profit margins are great news” By the end of last year we were convinced that the UK would see a stunning pent-up demand-driven V-shaped recovery. We encouraged you to look at end-of-pandemic value stocks in November as the vaccine came good. And byDecember we were subjecting you to excitable “Roaring Twenties” cover stories. Then came the UK’s second lockdown. “So much for that,” you might have thought. But there is good news. As usual, it turns out we were less wrong than early. Five months on, the V is here. A few weeks ago, the consensus GDP growth forecast for the UK this year was 5.5%. Not any more: Berenberg has their forecast at 6.7% and Goldman Sachs have just revised theirs up…

1 Min
feud of the week

A Spanish aristocratic family is being rocked by a bitter dispute over a painting by Goya, says Isambard Wilkinson in The Times. Diplomat and playwright Íñigo Ramírez de Haro alleges that his elder brother, Fernando (pictured), the 10th Marquess of Villanueva del Duero, and his wife, Esperanza Aguirre, a former senior leader of the conservative Popular Party, did not declare the painting as national heritage “so that its sale for millions of euros would avoid tax and official restrictions”. The brothers sold the work – a portrait of an ancestor painted between 1795 and 1800 – in 2012, after it was valued at €8m by Sotheby’s. The sale was to repay Fernando’s debts, but the couple were to pay Íñigo a share of the €5m they received. Nine years later,…

1 Min
good week for

Profits at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, more than doubled after the company heavily invested in digital advertising to reach those “working and playing online” throughout the pandemic, says The Times. Revenues jumped 34% to $55.31bn in a record-breaking first quarter, while profits rose to $17.93bn. The firm makes more money from digital advertising than any other company by selling space on its Google search pages and on YouTube. The Oscars “lacked the usual glitz and glamour” due to coronavirus restrictions’ effects on the guest list, but it was a standout night for “real, jaw-dropping jewellery”, says The Daily Telegraph. Zendaya’s “midriff-baring Valentino dress became truly Oscars worthy” (pictured), thanks to $6m-worth of Bulgari diamonds. Andra Day, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Viola Davis also sported “lashing of white diamond jewellery” on…

1 Min
bad week for

An oligarch’s son “caught up in the world’s largest divorce case” was ordered to pay £75m to his mother this week after the judge ruled him “a dishonest individual who will do anything to assist his father”, says The Guardian. Temur Akhmedov was found to have been colluding with his father, billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, to hide “hundreds of millions of pounds” to avoid paying a £453m divorce settlement. London will be the “biggest employment casualty of the pandemic”, says The Daily Telegraph. The end of the furlough scheme coupled with “the impact of the Brexit deal” will cost the capital over 150,000 jobs by the end of the year, with employment dropping 3.9% to 3.7 million. The city has the highest unemployment rate of any UK region, at 7.2%.…

2 Min
india’s turmoil hits emerging markets

“India’s problem is the world’s problem”, says Yasmeen Serhan in The Atlantic. Just weeks ago, the country thought it had put the Covid-19 pandemic behind it. Then it reported more than a million new cases and over 8,000 deaths over a three-day period, setting grim new global records in the process. As the virus sweeps through developing countries “the world is on track to record more Covid-19 deaths this year than it did in 2020”. Difficult months ahead India’s tragedy has exposed a fragile medical system, says Michael Safi in The Guardian. It spends just 1% of GDP on its state healthcare service, one of the lowest figures in the world. The country was the world’s biggest vaccine producer heading into the pandemic but vaccinating 1.39 billion people is no easy task:…

2 Min
a new headwind for the oil market

A slowing Indian economy is a new headwind for oil prices. The country is the world’s third-biggest oil market, importing more than $100bn of the fuel in 2019. Before Covid-19, world oil consumption was around 100 million barrels per day (mbpd). That figure tumbled by 8.7mbpd last year, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA thinks global demand will recover by 5.7mbpd this year, says Robert Perkins of S&P Global. The agency has raised its forecasts because of strong rebounds in China and the US. Oil prices have enjoyed a strong start to 2021, with Brent crude rising by about 27% so far to trade at $66 a barrel this week. That is thanks in large part to supply curbs agreed by the Opec+ cartel of producers,…