News in brief: volatility, optimism, Singapore

News in brief
News in brief

Investors urged to be optimistic despite global volatility

It has never been “easier and cheaper to invest globally”, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The comments from deVere Group CEO and founder Nigel Green, come after China’s main stock market plummeted 5.5% on Friday - its biggest drop since the August crash - as well as intensifying geopolitical factors, amongst other issues, influencing investors’ actions.

Green says: “Investors are aware that there is volatility, uncertainty and headwinds, causing markets to continue to be unsettled.

“Main triggers include the Chinese authorities’ efforts to eliminate what they deem to be suspicious trading practices prompting a huge slide and causing ripples around the world, bond yields coming under pressure, the Federal Reserve’s likely imminent rate rise, the commodities price crash, the slowdown in China and other emerging markets, and the concerning political and security issues facing the world…This turbulence is likely to continue and perhaps intensify this week, an important week, and it can be expected to remain for the rest of the year.”

However, despite this unsettled period, Green urges investors to be optimistic for two key reasons: “First, history teaches us that volatility creates important buying opportunities. And where we are now is no exception…and second, it has never been easier and cheaper to invest globally. Investing across geographical regions is one of the cornerstones of a well-diversified portfolio.”

Sustainability a major challenge to UK export 

Finding or growing a sustainable customer base is identified as the biggest challenge facing UK-based tech start-ups today, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov.

The start-ups surveyed also highlighted establishing the right product-market fit (54%), having access to reliable and good public infrastructure such as pervasive connectivity (48%) and finding suppliers (44%) as important contributors to growth.

The research, spearheaded by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) – Singapore government’s technology arm, engaged 193 UK-based early stage tech start-ups, to better understand the business challenges they are currently facing, and what it takes for them to consider expanding their business overseas.

The start-ups surveyed include young UK tech businesses with less than 5 years of operations, with majority at the early stages of raising their seed, angel or Series A funding. To date, they have received, on average, £1.1 million in funding, and stated that they need an average of £650,000 over the next 12 months to meet their business goals.

The majority of the founders surveyed have built high tech businesses that aim to tackle challenges in a diverse range of sectors from financial services, public/government services, education, transportation, to healthcare, using big data and analytics, mobility, and future communications and collaboration technologies.