Brexit: $17bn investment bank pulled every penny out of Britain before EU referendum result

‘We started selling off our UK holdings to absolute zero maybe a month before the vote’ 

Colin McClelland
Tuesday 01 November 2016 09:05
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The global economy ‘is being hit by a slew of nationalist sentiment’, says Carnegie Investment Bank strategist
The global economy ‘is being hit by a slew of nationalist sentiment’, says Carnegie Investment Bank strategist

Carnegie Investment Bank, which manages $17.2bn (£14bn) for clients, sold all of their UK holdings as opinion polls narrowed ahead of the Brexit vote in June.

“We had equities and corporate bonds in Britain before the vote,” said chief strategist Henrik Drusebjerg. “We started selling off our UK holdings to absolute zero maybe a month before the vote,” he said. He wouldn’t give the value of the assets sold.

The Stockholm-based bank is staying out of UK investments because uncertainty remains too large a factor regarding negotiations to leave the EU, the strategist told Bloomberg Radio on Monday. A separate survey of 83 money managers commissioned by NN Investment Partners revealed that Brexit and the potential breakup of the EU was deemed the biggest investment threat globally.

Sorrell on brexit anxiety

“It will definitely end with a deal that is so bad they will either get an election about this new bad deal, or they will have to have a parliamentary election before that,” Mr Drusebjerg said. “It’s very possible that Britain will never reach Brexit because I think down the road it will be obvious that the deal they will get will be really, really bad for the economy.”

Brexit is shaping up to be the worst of a slew of nationalist sentiment that’s hitting the global economy, the strategist said, citing a potential Donald Trump victory in the US election, a constitutional vote in Italy in December to limit the power of the Senate and parliamentary votes next year in Germany and France.

That could result in the election of more politicians who advocate trade barriers, which would be negative for investors, he said.

Bloomberg

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