IN FINANCIAL circles, the shock at the news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union can be felt well beyond the City of London. Across the Channel, financiers from Frankfurt to Milan are expressing regret, sadness and disbelief at news that very few had expected. “Everyone feels disheartened and sad,” says Marie Owens Thomsen, chief economist of Indosuez Wealth Management, the private banking arm of Credit Agricole, who fears dark days lie ahead for Britain, including a worsening balance of payments and a recession. In addition to Britain’s fate, money-managers on the continent are worrying about volatility (and buying opportunities), risks of contagion, what Brexit might mean for monetary policy and the euro and how it will reshape Europe’s financial-services industry.
“Of course our stock prices are not making us happy,” says a spokesperson for ING, a Dutch bank, after stockmarkets on both sides of the Channel slumped on the news, “Uncertainty and unrest are never good.” Eric Chaney, head of the research and investment strategy team at AXA IM (or Investment Managers), is getting plenty of calls, especially from…Continue reading