Wednesday, 15 June 2016

There is no investor panic over Brexit

The Remainiacs are trying to spin a slight devaluation in the value of the pound as investors losing confidence in a post-Brexit UK but as usual they're wrong.

Currency speculation is a high volume, short term investment. Traders are expecting a short term devaluation of the pound in the immediate aftermath of the referendum and they will welcome it. Trading currency is like trading anything else - buy your product as cheap as you can and sell it for as much as you can. They are dumping their sterling investments to help drive devaluation and once the referendum is over and the pound reaches the price they want they will buy it back at rock bottom prices and sell it on when it bounces back. It's not investor panic, it's how the markets work.

If you're looking for an indication of investor confidence then you need to look at the bond market. Bonds are basically loans given by investors to companies, governments and other organisations. The yield on a bond is the amount of profit the investor can expect to make when the bond matures and the issuer buys it back off you. The higher the yield demanded, the less confidence investors have in the ability of the issuer to pay. It's exactly the same principal as taking out a bank loan - the higher the risk of you not paying back your loan, the higher rate of interest the lender applies to the loan to cover their expected losses. If Greece was looking for a high street loan they'd be turning to the likes of Wonga, not Barclays.

A 10 year Greek government bond is attracting an 8.2% yield at the moment. Compare that to 1.6% for the US and 3% for China and you can see that investors have a lot less confidence in Greece's ability to buy back the bonds that they're issuing at the agreed price. 10 year UK government bonds are trading with a 1.146% yield today. That means investors have more confidence in the ability of the UK to buy back that bond in 10 years' time than they do in the United States to buy back theirs. UK government 5 year bonds are attracting a yield of 0.726% today compared to 1.38% for US government 5 year bonds. UK government 2 year bonds are attracting a yield of 0.38% compared to 0.88% for US government 2 year bonds. Investors aren't panicking about Brexit, they are expecting stability even in the short term.