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Euro-Area Consumer Prices Fall Most in a Year

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Euro-Area consumer price index

Euro-Area consumer prices fell the most in a year in the month of February, adding to deflation concerns on the European Central Bank to expand stimulus in its next meeting in March.

Inflation rate plunged to minus 0.2 percent from 0.3 percent recorded last month, according to the data released Monday. Core inflation down to 0.7 percent from 1 percent in January.

The continuous fall in inflation may prompt ECB policy makers to review their current stimulus after stating during Frankfurt meeting they will make adjustments going forward. Inflation rate has fallen below ECB’s goal of 2 percent amid drop in oil prices and poor exports, the current situation may push the central bank to take more aggressive action to curtail the situation.

“If we look at Europe at the moment, the danger we face is without any doubt deflation not inflation,” ECB Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said in an interview on Sunday. “If the low energy prices have sustainable long-term effects, we have to act. That seems to be the case, but we will see in March.”

“With inflation expectations low and falling, the threat of a more persistent bout of deflation remains very real,” Jessica Hinds, an economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London wrote in a client note before the data. “As such, the ECB cannot afford to disappoint expectations of more stimulus in March.”

 

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Investment

Investors Should Prepare for the Growing Covid Aftershocks: deVere CEO

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Stock - Investors King

Covid was the ‘earthquake,’ but investors now need to prepare themselves for the growing ‘aftershocks’, warns the founder and CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organizations.

The warning from deVere Group’s Nigel Green comes as concerns mount over the economic slowdown in China, global inflationary pressures and turbulence in emerging markets.

Mr Green observes: “Covid was like a monumental earthquake that shook the world economy to its foundations – and like major earthquakes, there are potentially highly damaging aftershocks.

“For many, life is almost back to normal, but investors need to be aware of the ongoing multiple investment headwinds that have come about as a direct result of the pandemic.

“It’s our belief that there are three main causes for growing concern that could hit investors’ returns.

“First, there’s an increasing consensus that China’s economy – the world’s second-largest – is likely to slow faster than many analysts had previously anticipated.

“Growth could slump below 5% as a perfect storm is brewing with Beijing moving to reduce its dependence on real estate, to increase regulation in a range of key sectors from education to technology, plus they’re dealing with a serious energy crisis and the lingering impact of the pandemic.

“China’s slowdown will have serious and far-reaching effects for economic growth across the world.

“Second, the risk of inflation moving from ‘transitory’ to ‘permanent.’ If high prices for commodities and supply chain disruptions continue in 2022, which many are assuming they will, the global economy may face the risk of rising persistent inflation.

“This will mean that interest rates rise higher and faster than the markets expect, which could trigger ongoing global stagflation.

“And third, as this rising inflation threat has increased the pressure on central banks to ease their stimulus programmes earlier than anticipated, is likely to create turbulence in emerging markets.”

With many Covid-triggered headwinds picking up pace, how can investors prepare to mitigate the effects and seize the inevitable opportunities that arise from volatility?

“Despite these aftershocks, which would normally drive investors to increase their exposure to fixed-income, it’s almost universally agreed that stocks will continue to outperform bonds. There’s no real alternative,” says Nigel Green.

“Given the mounting upheaval, investors should stay in the market but should review their portfolios to ensure that they are properly diversified across asset class, sectors, regions and currencies.  This will best position them to get the best outcomes.”

He concludes: “The increasing worry about the aftershocks to the global economy will continue in the near term.  What will savvy investors do? Judiciously buy more stocks.”

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Investment

Investors Should Gain Comfort From BVN, eNaira, NIN, TSA – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari speaking at the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative summit held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia said that initiatives to drive the digital economy and fight corruption in the country should give investors a lot of comforts.

The President then went on to mention initiatives such as eNaira, Treasury Single Account (TSA), Bank Verification Number (BVN), and National Identification Number (NIN). He said his regime would keep encouraging public and private initiatives in the country that would increase investments in health, capacity building, youth empowerment, education, poverty eradication, climate change, gender equality, and food security.

He then called for more investment in healthcare and education as they present opportunities for investors in a country as large as Nigeria.

His full statement was “Digital Economy in Nigeria has many potentials for investment, as it has remained the fastest growing sector in both 2020 and 2021. Nigeria has many opportunities for investment in broadband, ICT hardware, emerging technology, and software engineering. We have recently approved the National policy on Fifth Generation (5G) network. Our aim is to attract investors in healthcare, smart cities, smart agriculture among others. The benefit of real-time communication will support all other sectors of the economy.”

He continued “To further improve and reposition the economy to attract investors, eNaira, the electronic version of our National currency puts us on track to become the first African country to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency. We believe this and many other reforms, will help us increase the number of participants in the banking sector, make for a more efficient financial sector and help us tackle the illicit flow of funds.” 

The President highlighted the regime’s anti-corruption initiatives and efforts to increase accountability and transparency which include The Treasury single account that centralizes Government funds, ensuring all Nigerians with a bank account use a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the nationwide National Identification Number (NIN) exercise. He then attributed growing social unrest to inequalities and unfair policies that exclude the majority from opportunities for participation and admonished world leaders and global investors to prioritise inclusive and humane policies.

 

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deVere to Position $2bn in Environmental Investments in 5 Years

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deVere Group - Investors King

One of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations has doubled its commitment on positioning assets under advisement into environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments.

At the beginning of the year, deVere Group, which operates in more than 100 countries globally, said it would aim to have $1bn in socially responsible investment vehicles within five years.

The game-changing financial powerhouse now says its target is “$2bn or more” within the same time frame.

deVere’s dramatic doubling of its pledge comes as world leaders, industry chiefs and experts head to Glasgow this weekend for the start of COP26, an event seen as a critical turning point in the struggle to avert the worst effects of climate change.

CEO and founder of deVere, Nigel Green, says: “Climate change – and the major, far-reaching fallout of it for economies and communities around the world – is the greatest risk multiplier. There’s no question that it is the defining issue of our time.

“In the 2020 annual risk report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), the top five risks in terms of probability were environmental, and the top four of five risks in terms of impact were both social and environmental in nature.

“Our climate is changing at a quicker rate than previously predicted. We’re already noticing the impacts of human-created global warming.”

He continues: “As a society, we have a small window of opportunity to slam on the brakes to save our planet.

“But this takes determination, honesty and resources. It requires unprecedented levels of investment, which is why deVere is now aiming to position $2bn into ESG investments within five years.”

The deVere CEO and founder says the new target is achievable as investors, keen to get ahead of the curve “as well as earn profits with purpose”, are receptive to the opportunities as the world scrabbles to mitigate the environmental, economic and social fallout of the current situation – “a situation which is likely to be a constant risk.”

In addition, the latest research “underscores that the majority of environmental, social and governance investments are continuing to outperform their non-sustainable counterparts and have lower volatility.”

As well as its $2bn commitment, deVere is one of 18 founding signatories of the UN-backed Net Zero initiative, the international alliance of powerhouse global finance companies that will help accelerate the transition to a net zero financial system.

Its membership means it is committed to “aligning all relevant products and services to achieve net zero greenhouse gases by 2050 and to set meaningful interim targets for 2025.”

The organisation has also confirmed that it “aims to significantly speed-up its own meeting of these Science Based Targets to reduce operational emissions in line with limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Centigrade.”

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said: “Uniting the world’s banks and financial institutions behind the global transition to net zero is crucial to unlocking the finance we need to get there – from backing pioneering firms and new technologies to building resilient economies around the world.

Mr Green concludes: “The clock is ticking and after decades of inaction our planet hasn’t got the luxury of time.

“We all need to be taking more action and at a quicker pace.”

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