Brexit latest: reactions from Switzerland and Europe

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Mark Haefele, the global chief investment officer at UBS Wealth Management: “While the UK vote may give encouragement to anti-EU groups in other nations, our European economists do not expect any further referenda of EU membership in the short term, given a lack of necessary majorities.

“In the near term, investors should pay close attention to domestic political developments in the UK, including any formal announcement of a wish to leave the EU.

“UK companies and sectors most closely leveraged to the domestic economy (such as financials, consumer discretionary, and the FTSE 250 mid-cap index) should continue their pre-referendum underperformance, versus defensive names and international firms that benefit from a weaker pound. Increased uncertainty may lead to declines in euro-zone equities, too, with financials likely to be hardest hit if they have significant UK exposure or large operations in London.”


Marie Owens Thomsen, the chief economist Indosuez Wealth Management: “It’s bad for UK but a great buying opportunity for the rest of us. Brexit won’t invoke a global recession but it will invoke a UK recession. I would sell everything related to UK and buy everything else when the market dips.

“For Switzerland, the greatest near-term impact is pressure on the Swiss franc. For sure, the Swiss National Bank will take the necessary steps to cap the level and rate of appreciation. But in the meantime, it’s great for Switzerland’s import-intensive economy, and even for globally respected domestic manufacturers. The biggest beneficiaries will be Swiss pharmaceutical firms, who are both intense importers and price setters in export market. My focus would be on buying Swiss exporters with world-leading positions in their market.

“The fall in the value of the pound sterling will not be good news for the UK. The country isn’t particularly export-intensive. Imports will surge as the price of imports falls, widening the current account deficit and raising the risk of a balance of payments crisis. In other words, it raises the risk of Britain returning to the dark days of the 1970s, when its finances were constantly in crisis and it was running to the IMF for help.


Berenberg Bank: “The sovereign has spoken. The UK has voted with a majority of roughly 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union. The UK and Europe enter a new age of elevated risks.

“Future historians may cite today’s vote as the beginning of the end of the UK as we know it. The risk has risen that the country may ultimately lose Scotland and Northern Ireland.

““The UK had outperformed all other major economies in the western world in terms of per capita GDP growth since joining the European Economic Community in 1972. It will now likely end up poorer, more isolated and somewhat at the mercy of a big neighbour over whose affairs it has now forsaken all influence.

“On the European continent, we have to brace ourselves for serious ripple effects. The UK vote to leave pushes the EU into a serious identity crisis. This will embolden all those who call for copycat referenda on EU or euro membership. Our best guess remains that no other country will follow suit and leave the EU in the near future. However, the risks now loom much larger than before. Following the result, we expect the UK to file for divorce from the EU shortly.

“Of course, the City of London will remain a great international centre for financial and other services. But it looks likely to lose some part of its business as it turns from an ‘onshore’ to an ‘offshore’ financial centre for Europe. The Brexit decision comes as somewhat of a shock to markets, which had largely priced out the risk earlier this week. However, it is not a black swan. The world as we know it does not end with a Brexit. It just became a more risky place last night.”

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