Barclays report: Equities to continue outperforming bonds in 2018

Francesco Grosoli
Updated 13 January 2018
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Barclays report: Equities to continue outperforming bonds in 2018

Barclays has released a major report which examines major asset classes globally.
The Q1 2018 compass report outlines how investors are being best served by leading portfolios toward developed and emerging market equities, in addition to high-yield and emerging markets bonds, while taking into consideration the importance of maintaining a well diversified long-term core investment portfolio.
The report, prepared by Barclays Private Bank, shares the latest views on the long-term strategic asset allocation (SAA) and highlights short-term tactical adjustments recognizing investment opportunities emerging from shorter-term cyclical views from across asset classes and markets across the world.
Commenting on the report, Francesco Grosoli, Barclays’ head of Private Bank for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “The first compass report for 2018 outlines the main themes dominating investment portfolios as we look to the year ahead, where we expect stocks and equities to continue outperforming bonds in the economic cycle. Currently, no key indicators signal a major change to this outlook.”
He added: “Equity markets continue to show robust growth potential in the US, Europe (ex-UK), and emerging markets, particularly the Asian markets. The report also emphasized that investments are best served in diversified long-term core portfolios with a strategic mix of assets, using professional investors providing active management on top of this allocation to achieve strong long-term returns.”
The latest edition of the Compass Research Report kept an overweight position in developed markets equities.
Leading indicators related to this asset class currently indicate brighter times ahead.
These firming prospects for global growth and inflation are what matter for trends in corporate earnings and therefore prospective equity market returns.
Emerging markets equities are also maintained as an overweight allocation in the moderate risk portfolio as the business cycle continues to firm up, as evidenced by business confidence surveys and trade data. Asian markets remain as the preferred region, with Korea, Taiwan and China (offshore) showing the highest conviction country bets on a strategic basis.
High-yield and emerging markets bonds has also maintained an overweight benchmark.
Allocation to cash and short-maturity Bonds, developed government bonds, alternative trading strategies and investment grade bonds remained underweight in the latest compass report.
The report also kept a neutral view to investments into vommodities and real estate.


VFS Global opens visa application center in Riyadh

Updated 23 September 2018
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VFS Global opens visa application center in Riyadh

VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions, has announced the opening of a UK visa application center in Riyadh, close to the diplomatic quarter.

VFS Global said the new center, which will serve travelers to the UK and Australia, is equipped to handle more visa applicants conveniently with increased seating capacity and ample parking space, while also offering ancillary travel services within the premises for a seamless customer experience.

Officially inaugurating the center, Ambassador of the UK to Saudi Arabia Simon Collis said: “‘Our customers in Saudi Arabia are extremely important to us, and we continually look for new and innovative ways to improve the visa service we offer, both to Saudi nationals and local residents. We offer an excellent visa service for those who choose to apply for a UK visa. 

For Saudi nationals, the average processing time for non-settlement visas is less than five days. Whether speed, convenience or comfort is the priority, we hope that this new VAC — and indeed the visa services available across the whole of Saudi Arabia — provide our customers with a Great British welcome from the very start of their journey to the UK.”

The new center is located at 2591, Al-Hada District, besides Courtyard Marriott Hotel and close to Ritz Carlton, Riyadh. Visa applicants to the UK and Australia can access details on visa application procedures at www.vfsglobal.co.uk/sa/en

Located on the Makkah Road, the center is also well-connected to the city center and other neighboring towns.

Vinay Malhotra, regional group COO for Middle East, South Asia and China, VFS Global, said: “The new standalone center has been designed with a view to provide a comprehensive experience to applicants in terms of visa processing and accessing necessary travel services under one canopy. The UK continues to remain a popular destination for tourism, business and student visitors from Saudi Arabia. The latest visa figures show that over 130,000 Saudi nationals were issued a UK visa in the last year.We are confident that the new center for the UK and Australia visa applicants will provide enhanced convenience and ensure customer delight.”

Managed by professionals, the center also offers the comfort of a Premium Lounge for more personalized service as optional service.