The Great Debate UK

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Losing team’s national stock markets at risk

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SOCCER-WORLD/By Ross Kerber

Two national market indexes that may not shine on Monday are those of Spain and the Netherlands, whose soccer teams are scheduled to meet in the World Cup's championship game on Sunday.

Whichever country's team loses can expect a drag on its market index of 49 basis points, said Wharton business school professor Alex Edmans. That is the amount that national stock indexes tend to be held back on average on the day after their country is eliminated from the World Cup, according to a paper he published in 2007 with two co-authors, Diego Garcia of the University of North Carolina and Oyvind Norli of the Norwegian School of Management.

In an interview with Reuters, Edmans said his predictions seem to be playing out this year as well, based at least on anecdotal observations. For instance, as an English citizen, Edmans noted ruefully that the FTSE 100 index fell in late June as England's team played below expectations before being tossed out of the tournament by Germany on June 27 by a score of 4-1.

"As an England fan and an English shareholder I've been suffering both ways!" Edmans said.

Is it time for investors to look towards the U.S.?

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Kully Samra-Kully Samra is branch director at Charles Schwab, UK. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The economic crisis that has prevailed over the global markets in the last 12 months has undoubtedly rattled investors worldwide, but rather than leaving their heads in the sand, seasoned investors have continued to search for opportunities amidst the instability.

Shareholder confidence vs. value investing

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Brendan Woods- Brendan Wood is Chairman of Brendan Wood International, a global intelligence advisory firm. Recently, BWI published the World’s TopGun CEOs as ranked by 2500 institutional investors, which provides insight into the executives in whom shareholders feel the greatest confidence. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The Brendan Wood International’s panel of 2500 institutional investors suffered through last year’s markets believing value would somehow prevail. Those value investing “diehards” indeed died hard.

The stockmarkets: irrational nonchalance

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Laurence Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Before the credit crunch, we had what I called a Prozac market. Investors on both sides of the Atlantic seemed to be in denial, as irrational as the people who end up in the bankruptcy court because for years they have kept on smiling while the bills piled up unopened.

from The Great Debate:

Time for China to act on foreign listings

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wei_gu_debate-- Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --

China has talked about plans to allow foreign companies to float on its domestic stock markets for at least a decade, but that's all there has been: talk.

Now would be a good time to convert some of that talk into action. Beijing has been struggling with its own investment strategies: the state gets feeble returns on the U.S. Treasury bonds it owns, and its equity stakes in foreign financial firms are well under water.

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