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What piracy?

13 June 2005 Angelo Coppola

After being range-bound during the earlier part of the week, the London market received a boost following positive comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Quentin Smith at OMAM UK says that the Fed’s comments focussed on the fact that interest rate rises would continue at a measured pace and concerns that the US economy was entering a serious slowdown were overdone.

At its monthly meeting the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.75% for a 10th successive month amid slowing consumer expenditure and a housing market slowdown.

Over the week the All-Share advanced 0.7%, with the FTSE 100 0.6% higher and mid caps and smaller companies both gaining 0.8%.

Technology stocks led the sector gainers, with insurance buoyed by news of the merger of Britannic Group with Resolution Life to create a £1.8bn closed fund company, while selected resources, basic industries and consumer staples were the laggards.

High street retailer Woolworths (+3.5% to 36½p) reported a 4.4% decline in same store sales in the fiscal first quarter as consumer spending slumped. The company commented that current trading has remained difficult and that the outlook for consumer spending remains poor.

Woolworths also blamed the decline on lower sales of DVDs because of piracy. It is planning to close a fifth of its unprofitable MVC entertainment outlets and sell the rest and said that the planned sale is under way.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

The second draft amendments to Regulation 28 will allow retirement funds to allocate up to 45% of their assets to SA infrastructure, with a further 10% for rest of Africa; but the equity & offshore caps remain unchanged. What are your thoughts on the proposal?

ANSWER

Infrastructure? You mean cash returns with higher risk!?!
Infrastructure cap is way too high
Offshore limit still needs to be raised
Who cares… Reg 28 does not apply to discretionary savings
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