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Brexit-Backing Billionaire Gains $300 Million After Johnson Win -

Brexit-Backing Billionaire Gains $300 Million After Johnson Win(Bloomberg) -- Champagne was flowing in London’s Mayfair as the news hit.Boris Johnson’s Conservatives weren’t just winning, they were trouncing Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour across the U.K., including working-class Northern towns far removed from the West End.Michael Spencer, founder of interdealer broker Icap and longtime Tory donor, threw a celebration at Scott’s, the upscale seafood restaurant in London, according to a person familiar with the matter. About 200 guests toasted Johnson’s triumph.The result was a “crushing national repudiation of the dangerous and divisive neo-Marxist policies” embraced by Labour’s leadership, Spencer said in a statement.Corbyn made attacks on the ultra-wealthy a key part of his campaign, as well as pushing for nationalization of utilities, higher taxes and another referendum on a deal to leave the European Union.Other rich Brits celebrated his defeat in quieter ways and started looking ahead to the next stage of Brexit, which the size of Johnson’s victory almost certainly ensures.Peter Hargreaves, one of the biggest supporters of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, said he was relieved by the Conservative Party’s victory. He blamed Labour’s disappointing showing on Corbyn’s lack of appeal even in the northern heartlands.“I was in contact with lots of friends in the North and they were quite surprised how many Labour voters weren’t going to vote for Corbyn. They were petrified of Corbyn.”The Lancashire-born billionaire had another reason to celebrate. He owns about a third of online investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, whose shares rose 4.1% as of 12:40 p.m. in London, boosting the value of his stake to $4.1 billion and his overall fortune to $4.6 billion.His wealthy peers also had a bumper day. In total, the 16 Brits on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index -- including Jim Ratcliffe and James Dyson -- added around $2.8 billion to their combined net worth on Friday.Relief was a common theme.“I don’t need to celebrate -- I’m just very, very happy with the result,” said John Caudwell, who founded Phones 4U, the mobile-phone retailer. “If Labour had got a majority or there was a hung parliament, which wasn’t impossible, I would have been devastated. Far from celebrating, I would probably have been in a corner somewhere sobbing.”That sentiment echoed across the City of London after months of fearing a Corbyn victory would do even more damage to the British economy than a hard Brexit with no transition deal.“Business in general will really appreciate the clarity,” said Jeremy Isaacs, financier and founding partner of private equity firm JRJ Group. “Markets should react positively that the Corbyn risk is gone and we should see foreign direct investment flowing into the country.”While Hargreaves had said he would stay in the U.K. no matter the result, many wealthy families based in Britain had made plans to relocate to more tax-friendly regimes such as Monaco or Switzerland if Corbyn came to power. Now those plans are instantly gone, says John Elder, a founding partner of Family Office Advisors LLP, a firm based in London that provides strategic advice to wealthy families. Instead, he expects family offices will look for bargains in myriad asset classes in the U.K., from property to stakes in companies.“There is political stability and clarity,” Elder said. “The U.K. is now an undervalued country to invest in for at least the next five years.”Read more: U.K. Plc Cheers Johnson Election Win, But Brexit Still LoomsThe London property market in particular could see a boost, according to Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank.“It will release a lot of pent up demand in the market,” he said. “One group that may want to move on with things quite quickly are overseas buyers. With the pound rising they’ll experience an erosion of their buying power, which may well encourage transactions,” although he cautioned that Brexit would still hover above the market.It isn’t just foreign capital that might flow back into the British property market. Mark Stephen, the founder and managing director of Reditum Capital, a London-based real estate investment firm, said a major domestic pension fund is poised to place 50 million pounds to 100 million pounds ($134 million) to work in his fund now that Johnson and the Tories have won control of Parliament.Reditum plans to invest the fund in land earmarked for new housing developments north of London and in Newcastle. “They premised the investment on the result going the way it did, so hopefully we can wrap that up in the next year,” Stephen said.Boris and BrexitOthers money managers were more circumspect.Ever since the Brexit referendum was passed in June 2016, Seven Investment Management LLP, an investment firm in London with 13 billion pounds in assets, had been weaning its portfolios of U.K. stocks and looking abroad to fill the gap. Now its portfolio managers will take a serious look at ramping up British equities, said Ben Kumar, an investment strategist with the firm.But he’s telling clients he remains cautious because after Brexit no one knows whether Johnson will succeed in negotiating new free trade agreements with Brussels by December, and another with Washington.“The problem with Boris is that he doesn’t care what he’s promised before, deadlines just go flying by, so will he get it done by December?” Kumar said. “The point is, uncertainty hasn’t gone away.”Hargreaves is also focusing on how the next stage of Brexit negotiations proceed now that Johnson has the biggest Tory majority since 1987, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.“It’s like a game of poker,” he said. “You have a hand that you’ve got to play well.”Still, the prevailing expectation was that the new government’s mandate would restore some zip to an economy that’s largely been in a holding pattern since the U.K. voted to leave the EU in 2016.Mobile-phone billionaire Caudwell said now is the moment to make some big bets on the economy as a whole.“There has definitely been a reluctance on my part to press buttons to further investments,” he said. “Now I can go full steam ahead.”\--With assistance from Viren Vaghela, Ambereen Choudhury, Nishant Kumar and Thomas Buckley.To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Metcalf in London at;Edward Robinson in London at;Ben Stupples in London at bstupples@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Fri, 13 Dec 2019 10:40:33 -0500

Victorious Johnson Pledges Prosperity, Growth, Hope: U.K. Votes -

Victorious Johnson Pledges Prosperity, Growth, Hope: U.K. Votes(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Boris Johnson’s emphatic election victory puts the U.K. on course to leave the European Union next month, after pro-Brexit voters in Labour heartland areas swung behind his party, delivering its biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher’s in 1987.The prime minister urged people to heal the divisions over Europe and pledged to repay the trust put in him with an era of “prosperity and growth and hope.”Key Developments:With all seats declared, the Conservatives have 365 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, a gain of 48, to Labour’s 203 seats, down 59Jeremy Corbyn says he will step down after Labour’s worst result since World War IIU.K. Plc Cheers Johnson Election Win, But Brexit Still LoomsPound Surges and Gilts Drop as Tory Landslide Jolts U.K. AssetsJohnson Wins Crushing Majority in Election That Upends BritainThe pound rose by the most in almost three years as the scale of the Tory victory became clearJohnson Pledges to Unite Divided U.K. (3:15 p.m.)Speaking outside his Downing Street office, Johnson thanked voters who have never voted Tory before and promised to “work around the clock” to repay the trust they have put in him. To voters who didn’t back him and want to remain in the EU, he promised to “never ignore your good and positive feelings of warmth and sympathy towards the other nations of Europe.”Urging people “to find closure and to let the healing begin,” Johnson said his staff will now step up their work to “make 2020 a year of prosperity and growth and hope.”Anti-Brexit Group Abandons Fight (2:50 p.m.)The main lobby group pushing for a second referendum on Brexit has abandoned the fight.Swinson: No Regrets on Campaign Strategy (2:30 p.m.)Former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson -- who stepped down after she lost her seat to the SNP -- said she does not regret her party’s campaign built around canceling Brexit, despite a poor performance.“I’m proud that Liberal Democrats have been the unapologetic voice of Remain in this election,” she said. “Obviously it hasn’t worked, and I, like you, am devastated about that. But I don’t regret trying, trying everything, because the prize was to save our future, save our children’s future.”Swinson said she was proud to be the first female leader of the party but “even more more proud that I will not be the last.” Seven of the 11 Liberal Democrat MPs are women, including Layla Moran, who dramatically increased her majority. As recently as the 2015 general election, their elected MPs were all male.Macron Warns U.K. Over Straying From EU Model (2 p.m.)French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on Friday that the further the U.K. strays from the European Union model after Brexit, the further the country will be from the bloc’s single market.“The more ambitious the deal they want, the higher the regulatory alignment should be,” Macron said. “Every time they depart from EU regulations, they will stray away from an ambitious accord.”EU to Prioritize Most Important Issues (1:25 p.m.)The European Union will prioritize topics to be covered in trade negotiations with the U.K. to make sure the most important issues are taken care of by the time Britain leaves the bloc, Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels.“We’ll put specific focus on those issues that are an economic cliff edge at the end of 2020 if they would not be done,” Von der Leyen said. “These are issues where we have neither an international framework to fall back on nor the possibility to take unilateral contingency measures covering the period after the first of January 2021.”Merkel: Disorderly Brexit Now Off Table (1:15 p.m.)German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Boris Johnson’s decisive victory will help negotiations on the future EU-U.K. relationship and may help “reunite” Britain.“We now have some security that the agreement we worked on will be valid,” Merkel told reporters on Friday after a summit in Brussels. “That means a disorderly Brexit is really no longer a reality.”Corbyn Blames Brexit for Defeat (1 p.m.)Jeremy Corbyn blamed Brexit for “taking over” the general election campaign and said he will talk to the Labour Party’s national executive about the process to replace him as leader, which he expects to begin early next year.“I have pride in our manifesto we put forward, and all the policies we put forward which actually have huge public support,” Corbyn said in a pooled TV interview. “My whole strategy was to reach out beyond the Brexit divide to try and bring people together.”Corbyn said he suffered unprecedented personal abuse from the media during the campaign, and called for a period of “good discussion within the party” to consider the way forward.Many Labour MPs have said Corbyn, who has described himself as a “Marmite” or divisive figure, was the reason for the party’s catastrophic performance. Lucy Powell, Labour’s MP for Manchester Central and a Corbyn critic, said she wanted to see more “contrition and humility” from the leadership.Chancellor: Business Welcomes Conservative Win (12.49 a.m.)Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said there will be a “deal dividend” as a result of the election outcome and Johnson passing his Brexit withdrawal agreement.“Because of the election result, there are investors who have decided to deploy money in the United Kingdom,” Javid said on Sky News. “Business after business wants an end to the uncertainty.” Pressed on whether there was still a threat of no-deal at the end of 2020, Javid said: “No one needs to worry about no-deal, because we now have a solid majority.”Sturgeon: Independence a Matter for Scotland (12:15 p.m.)Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland’s semi-autonomous government will publish the “democratic case for a transfer of power” from Westminster “to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge.”Under current law, Westminster must vote to allow Scotland a further independence referendum, a move Johnson has ruled out. Sturgeon argued the SNP election result gives her the mandate to put that decision to Scotland without Westminster approval, saying she’ll set out her “detailed” case next week.“I have been clear that a referendum must be the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament,” she told supporters. “This is not about asking Boris Johnson or any other Westminster politician for permission. It is an assertion of the democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future.”Johnson Returns to Downing Street (11.42 a.m.)Almost an hour after he arrived at Buckingham Palace, Johnson returned to Downing Street, walking briskly up to the front door. Why was he with the Queen for so long? She may have had a lot of questions for him, but equally he could have been held up by the Changing of the Guard at the palace, which prevented him from leaving.Cameron Offers his Praise (11.31 a.m.)Former Prime Minister David Cameron, a long-time rival of Johnson who resigned after losing the Brexit referendum in 2016, offered “big congratulations” on the victory.“It’s an extraordinary result, a powerful result. It marks the end of Corbyn and Corbynism and that’s a very good thing for the country,” Cameron said in a pooled TV clip. “It gives us a very strong and decisive government, and the opportunity to build the dynamic economy and good public services we need.”What Happens to Brexit Now? (11.12 a.m.)MPs return to Parliament on Dec. 17, followed by a Queen’s Speech laying out the government’s program two days later. Johnson will then look to introduce the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before Christmas, with the aim of passing it in good time before the Brexit deadline of Jan. 31.The 11-month transition period will start from the end of January, during which time Johnson will get down to thrashing out a trade deal with the EU. He’ll first need Parliament to sign off his negotiating objectives, and the EU will also need to get approval for its mandate.If Johnson sticks to his campaign promise to not extend the transition period, the U.K. and the EU will have a tight time line to hammer out an accord. If the talks fail, the U.K. will leave the EU without a trade agreement at the end of 2020.Johnson Sees the Queen (10.51 a.m.)The prime minister is leaving Number 10 Downing Street in a gray Jaguar to go to Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II will ask him to form a government. Recall that he made a similar visit just five months ago when he replaced Theresa May as Conservative Party leader. This time he’s heading back with his own mandate to run the country, finally able to move from campaign mode to governing.Corbyn May Stay for a While (10.18 a.m)Corbyn may remain as leader until April because Labour Party rules dictate a minimum 12-week leadership election. The timetable must be set by the National Executive Committee which isn’t meeting until January.Electoral Questions (10:02 a.m.)The Conservatives and the Brexit Party combined got 47% of votes, less than the 52% of support for parties in favor of a second referendum, polling guru John Curtice told the BBC.The result is likely to prompt more debate about the U.K.’s first-past-the-post electoral system, as victory didn’t come for those with the most popular idea but rather those with the better organized campaign, said Curtice, who ran the team of psephologists that delivered the exit poll last night.Future Europe Ties (9:57 a.m.)Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the decisive result means the EU and U.K. can move forward on completing the Brexit withdrawal agreement.Varadkar told reporters in Brussels before a meeting with fellow EU leaders that the next steps will be to develop a future economic partnership with the U.K., “one that’s going to be mighty and one that’s going to be good for all of us.”Earlier:Johnson’s Victory Gives Him a Free Hand to Get Brexit DoneBrexit Rewrites U.K.’s Political Map: Balance of Power SpecialCorbyn to Stand Down as U.K. Labour Party Faces Record Defeat\--With assistance from Richard Bravo and Tim Ross.To contact the reporters on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at;Jessica Shankleman in London at;Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Fri, 13 Dec 2019 10:25:49 -0500

Johnson Urges Healing After Winning Election That Upends Britain -

Johnson Urges Healing After Winning Election That Upends Britain(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Boris Johnson won an emphatic election victory that redraws the political map of Britain and gives the prime minister the mandate he needs to pull the U.K. out of the European Union next month.The result spectacularly vindicated Johnson’s gamble on a snap election to break the deadlock in Parliament over Brexit, as his Conservatives won their biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher’s in 1987. The pound rose by the most in almost three years as the scale of the victory became clear.Live Blog: U.K. General Election“I urge everyone to find closure and to let the healing begin,” Johnson said in a speech outside his Downing Street office in which he acknowledged the divisive three years since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. “Here in this people’s government the work is now being stepped up to make 2020 a year of prosperity and growth and hope.”The outcome was a repudiation of the main opposition Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and his radical program of state intervention, nationalization of industries and tax rises for the better off. Corbyn announced his intention to resign after a catastrophic run of losses to the Tories in Brexit-supporting districts in northern England and Wales. These areas were considered traditional Labour strongholds and Johnson’s success here was the breakthrough that secured his victory.Elsewhere, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, who campaigned to remain in the EU, lost her seat.Having routed political opposition to Brexit across much of the country, Johnson still faces resistance in Scotland, where support for the pro-independence Scottish National Party surged, setting up the prospect of a renewed constitutional standoff over the U.K.’s future.Northern Ireland may also present a thorn in Johnson’s side. Unionist parties lost their majority and nationalists made advances, suggesting that pressure for a referendum on Irish unity may grow.Johnson held a solid lead over Labour in polls before Thursday vote, but just how Brexit would play out in the U.K.’s third general election in four years was never certain. What emerged was the biggest shift in British political allegiances for decades as areas that had voted to quit the EU turned away from Labour and toward Johnson and his “Get Brexit Done” mantra.Corbyn, who had tried to straddle both sides of the divide, said the issue had “taken over” the campaign and cost his party votes. “I did everything I possibly could in order to bridge the divide between those that voted leave and those that voted remain,” he said in a pooled TV interview.Some defeated candidates disagreed, saying the Labour leader had been raised as a concern by voters more than Brexit. Corbyn said he will talk to the party’s national executive about the process to replace him as leader, which he expects to begin early next yearWith all seats declared, the Conservatives had won 365 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, a gain of 48, to Labour’s 203 seats, down 59. The results showed the Conservatives taking some districts from Corbyn’s party for the first time ever, compounding Labour’s fourth successive general election defeat.Leaders including Angela Merkel of Germany and U.S. President Donald Trump offered their congratulations. Trump, in a tweet, again raised the prospect of a “massive new trade deal” after the U.K. leaves the EU.Johnson’s majority gives him the power to get his own way on Brexit, especially if he needs extra time to negotiate with the EU. He has said he will start to push legislation through parliament before the end of the year to meet the current departure date of Jan. 31.Calling the result “historic,” Johnson hailed “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”Investors responded to what they saw as a possible end to the political gridlock and uncertainty that has hung over British assets for years. The pound surged 1.7% to $1.3387 as of 11:15 a.m. in London. The benchmark FTSE 100 index of stocks jumped 1.9% despite being heavily skewed to exporters vulnerable to currency appreciation. The more domestically-focused FTSE 250 rallied 4.4% to the highest on record as trading volumes soared.For Labour, the heavy losses raise questions over its future direction after voters decisively rejected Corbyn and his program. Corbyn plans to remain in place until a successor is chosen but he’s facing pressure to stand aside immediately.“Tonight is an absolute disaster for the Labour Party,” Ian Murray, Labour lawmaker for Edinburgh South, told the BBC. “There has got to be a change of direction. That work either has to start tomorrow or the Labour Party has to reassess what it stands for.”Few people predicted the political earthquake that took place.In England and Wales, voters moved to the Conservatives almost everywhere, but particularly strongly in places that voted to leave the EU. Former industrial areas abandoned Labour for the first time in generations, with mining and steel towns that suffered from mass unemployment under the Conservatives in the 1980s now embracing the party.Scotland, which opposed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, staged a rebellion as the SNP retook seats it lost two years ago. It ended the night with 48 of 59 districts, halving the Tory seat tally, defeating the Liberal Democrat leader and reducing Labour to a solitary district. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon reiterated her demand for another independence referendum, something Johnson has ruled out.“Boris Johnson has a mandate now to take England out of the EU,” Sturgeon said. “He must accept that I have a mandate to offer Scotland the choice of an alternative future.”For an interactive election map, click hereFor Johnson, his convincing majority marks the culmination of an extraordinary rise to power. After he led the pro-Brexit campaign three years ago, Johnson watched as Theresa May tried and repeatedly failed to negotiate an EU divorce agreement the House of Commons would accept. Once in power, Johnson secured a revised Brexit deal with the EU, but also couldn’t persuade Parliament to rush it into law.That prompted him to trigger an early election -- the next one wasn’t due until 2022 -- in the hope voters would give him the majority he needed. He now has a mandate “not just to get Brexit done,” he said, “but to unite this country and to take it forward and to focus on the priorities of the British people.”Addressing supporters in London on Friday morning, he said he had a “heavy responsibility” after winning support from former Labour heartlands. “We must rise to the challenge,” he said.\--With assistance from Heather Harris, Robert Hutton, Anna Edwards, Alastair Reed and Sam Potter.To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Ross in London at;Alex Morales in London at;Greg Ritchie in London at gritchie10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at, ;Rosalind Mathieson at, Alan CrawfordFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Fri, 13 Dec 2019 10:14:32 -0500

EU warns of post-Brexit rival Britain after Johnson win -

EU warns of post-Brexit rival Britain after Johnson winEuropean leaders warned Friday that Britain could become a formidable rival, just hours after a big victory by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's conservatives all but sealed the UK's Brexit divorce. Led by France and Germany, EU member states said they would pursue a swift trade deal with a tight deadline of end 2020, but insisted that any new arrangement must uphold European values and norms. "There is no question of concluding a deal at any price," EU Council President Charles Michel told a news conference after the talks.

Fri, 13 Dec 2019 10:03:43 -0500

The EU just agreed to its own 'Green Deal' -

The EU just agreed to its own 'Green Deal'The EU is headed for carbon neutrality. Well, most of it.European Union leaders agreed Thursday on a pledge to make the trading bloc carbon neutral by 2050. But the so-called "Green Deal" comes after several eastern European countries resisted the climate-conscious move, and makes an exception for coal-reliant Poland that activists aren't happy about, BBC reports.World leaders -- save for President Trump -- met over the last two weeks for the United Nations' COP25 climate conference in Madrid. And at the tail end of it, EU leaders meeting in Brussels all agreed to embark on "on to an irreversible path to climate neutrality" by 2050, dedicating a 100 billion euro "Just Transition Mechanism" to help fossil-fuel-reliant countries make the switch. But even after previous holdouts Hungary and the Czech Republic agreed to the deal once addendums for nuclear power were added, Poland still wouldn't get onboard.Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Thursday that he'd gotten an exemption from the Green Deal because the country relies on coal for 80 percent of its energy needs, per The Guardian. While Morawiecki said he'd suggested the country could get to climate neutrality by 2070, the EU decided to press on without him and revisit the decision in June 2020. And to Neil Makaroff, European Policy Adviser for the international Climate Action Network, that's a "traumatic signal" that might leave less developed countries wondering why they should bother with climate action if the world's leading trading bloc can't come to an agreement, he tells The Verge.More stories from Trump's pathological obsession with being laughed at The most important day of the impeachment inquiry Jerry Falwell Jr.'s false gospel of memes

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