MoneyWeek 1080

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.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the editor-in-chief...

Earlier this year asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen renamed itself abrdn. This is a very silly name for many reasons. Not having vowels is silly. Not having a capital letter is silly (particularly at the beginning of sentences). But there is good news. The company is not as silly as it sounds (which is why I sit on the board of an investment trust it manages). It has a new advertising campaign on the go. And it’s pretty good. Instead of the vague inanities you get with most financial advertising (which suggest it all has something to do with teeth whitening and holidays) the firm has actually had a go at explaining what investing is – the financing of the companies that actually do the stuff that keep the economy…

1 min
a giant leap for consumer-kind

US supermarket giant Walmart has stolen a march on arch-rival Amazon by deploying airborne drones to deliver packages to customers in a small rural town, says Danny Fortson in The Sunday Times. Following a $2.75bn (£2.1bn) deal with drone start-up Zipline (which is backed by Bill Gates) last week, Walmart celebrated its move towards fully automated e-commerce by flying pharmaceutical deliveries more than 50 miles to Pea Ridge in rural Arkansas. Amazon has been trying to develop the technology itself for years – first unveiling an early prototype for US TV audiences in 2013 – but Walmart has opted to use third-party expertise instead. It appears to be paying off – Zipline’s fixed-wing drones are already widely used in the developing world, “where needs are more urgent and restrictions less…

1 min
good week for

Australia’s superfood fans are facing an “avo-lanche”, says The Sunday Times. Blockbuster harvests from maturing trees have resulted in a glut hitting the market, with prices falling to a record-low average of A$1 (54p) per avocado. Growers are now struggling to sell their produce and have resorted to feeding spare crops to pigs. Pop-star Rihanna (pictured) has been made a national hero of Barbados, stealing the limelight from Prince Charles at a ceremony that removed Queen Elizabeth II as the country’s head of state on Tuesday, says The Times. The singer and businesswoman – with an estimated $1.7bn fortune – was born in Saint Michael and raised in the capital, Bridgetown.…

1 min
bad week for

The chief executive, chairman, and several other executives at Japan’s third-biggest bank Mizuho have resigned due to repeated failures of the company’s $4bn IT system, says the Financial Times. Mizuho has been buffeted by IT problems since the group was created via a three-way merger in 2002. Recent problems include interruptions to the ATM system, resulting in reprimands from Japan’s Financial Services Agency and the Ministry of Finance. Australian bank Westpac is set to pay out A$113m (£61m) in fines for poor treatment of customers, including the charging of dead people for financial advice, says BBC News. Australia’s corporate watchdog said one of six investigations into the bank found it had charged A$10m to more than 11,000 dead clients over ten years. Last year Westpac was fined A$1.3bn for Australia’s biggest…

2 min
stockmarkets are trading on thin ice

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic”, according to US president Joe Biden. Markets disagree. The FTSE 100 tumbled by 3.6% last Friday, its worst day since June 2020. This week the index rounded out its worst month in over a year. Traders dusted off the old lockdown playbook, selling travel and leisure stocks and crowding into tech. The CBOE VIX volatility index, the US stockmarket’s “fear gauge”, recorded its biggest gain in ten months. Investors fly in the dark With little information about the new variant, traders began to overreact to any crumbs of news: markets rallied at the start of the week on anecdotal reports that Omicron only causes mild symptoms, only to retreat the following day after the boss of drug…

1 min
oil traders suffer omicron chill

Oil has had its worst month since the pandemic began. Brent crude started November at $84 a barrel, but news of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 saw it crash by 18% in days to end the month around $70 a barrel. The fuel is still up 37% since the start of 2021, but the scale of the selloff reflects bets that global fuel demand could take a sizeable hit as governments once again tighten travel restrictions. Lockdowns last year cut global oil demand by more than 10%, says Caroline Bain of Capital Economics. The key question is how Opec+, a group of oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, responds. It had been gradually raising output to take advantage of recovering global demand. If Opec+ now opts to delay that…