18 June 2024

Boris Johnson’s clarity will set direction for the pound, the markets and business

| The European |

The announcement of Boris Johnson becoming Britain’s next Prime Minister is largely priced-in to the pound by the markets, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, which has 12bn under advisement, comes ahead of the announcement of either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt becoming the new Conservative leader and therefore Theresa May’s successor as the UK’s Prime Minister.

Mr Green says: “Boris Johnson has been the clear favourite in this leadership race since the beginning.

“As such, the markets have been pricing-in the immediate impact on sterling of a Johnson administration.

“It can be expected that there will be a knee-jerk reaction for the pound to the downside on the announcement that Boris Johnson has won the keys to Number 10.  But as it is expected and priced-in, it will not drop too much further or for too long.”

He continues: “Sterling is currently floundering due to the ongoing Brexit chaos and uncertainty which has put the brakes on the UK economy.

“The pound’s weakness has also been driven by fears regarding Mr Johnson’s embrace of the possibility of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, with many forecasting an economic shock for Britain if this were to occur.”

He goes on: “However, there’s also an argument to suggest that Mr Johnson’s controversial ‘do or die’ approach – and a hard break – will at least end the years of failed negotiations which have fuelled endless uncertainty for business and the markets.

“A quicker and cleaner exit from the EU could indeed deliver an unexpected boost for the pound as international and domestic investors get the clarity they crave before stepping off the sidelines and investing into the UK.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Sterling will suffer a dip on the confirmation that Mr Johnson is Prime Minister – but it will not be a major price shock and will not last long as markets have priced-in this scenario.

“The surprise could be that a clarity of purpose of a Johnson administration on the overriding issue of the day – Brexit – could well give the pound a lift.

“The importance of clarity for the markets and business should not be underrated. It now just remains to be seen if the former London Mayor and foreign secretary delivers on what he has said– or whether there will simply be more Boris bluster, which would sink the pound further and kill-off investment hopes.”

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