A big week for trade talks…Brexit enters the end game…markets in carnival mood, Elon Musk blasts off…Europe’s largest cruise ship MSC Bellissimo is launched in Southampton and it’s mardi gras week with Pancake Tuesday in the UK, Las Fallas in Spain, and of course the Rio festival.

In the reporting season last week, if UK CEO’s were nervous about Britain leaving the EU they certainly weren’t showing it in their results which have been generally upbeat…

In industrials Warren East ROLLS’s CEO waxed lyrical on a near doubling of underlying annual profits and a new generation of aero engines.  Shares continue to perform well+10% in the last 12 months (

In housebuilding, we saw CEO of Britain’s most valuable house builder PERSIMMON David Jenkinson last week and which builds 15,000 houses a year. The company has become very profitable partly thanks to the Help to Buy scheme, in 2018 the first UK housebuilder to pass £1bn in profits. (source MSN)

In airlines IAG boss Willie Walsh was openly dismissive of fears about “planes not flying” after Brexit, citing the Open Skies agreement as he reported a 10% rise in profits to €3.2bn (source Market Watch)

On Brexit, once we have left the European Union next month what are the politics tragics going to talk about? Perhaps we can get on to important things like building out a proper infrastructure, investing in manufacturing and technology, funding education and health and restoring UK productivity…though interestingly what the Jeremiahs won’t mention is the fact that EU investment has doubled since the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016…

http://www.latest-news-headlines.eu/article/brexit-boost-european-investment-in-uk-more-than-doubled-since-referendum/5528848

Party time in Southampton at the w/e at the launch of Italy’s largest ever cruise ship…MSC Bellissima weighed in at a staggering 171,000 tons and was launched at the cost of $1bn…the ship carries 5,000 passengers…a meeting with SOMEC’s management at the Star LSE sponsored bi-annual conference, a company that makes much of the liner’s glass structures backed up just how well the global cruise ship market is doing…

4328494_1755_msc_bellissima_aerea_2_jpg_pagespeed_ce_8hmQz_2Pp8

On the other side of the pond, Trumpie having returned from meeting Rocket Boy in Hanoi and missing Michael Cohen’s exocets on Capitol Hill, was back in his element at the w/e at the Republican conflab in Maryland…2 hours of giving it large about Democrats wanting to abolish cars, cows and planes, usual run of the mill stuff from DT to his base…

http://www.startribune.com/trump-is-now-firmly-in-control-of-the-republican-party/506612782/

Trump is now firmly in control of the Republican Party – StarTribune.com

www.startribune.com

Acquiescence to Trump overwhelms and at times erases principles that conservatives viewed as GOP’s foundation for more than a half-century.

He then having given Mueller and Sessions both barrels he turned to his favourite two topics, golf and the Federal Reserve weaving them into the same sentence by claiming “ the Fed is like a golfer who can’t putt…”which may or may not be true. The President’s other claim that his Aberdeen golf course is the best golf course in Scotland I would dispute, preferring Gullane myself but each to their own ????

He also couldn’t resist having another swipe at the global warming crowd, saying he didn’t want to see “windmills” and the climate change consensus is certainly having its work cut out as the populists gain ground on both sides of the Atlantic.

www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-25/europe-s-populist-right-threatens-to-erode-climate-consensus?srnd=premium-europe

Europe’s Populist Right Threatens to Erode Climate Consensus – Bloomberg

www.bloomberg.com

Europe’s consensus in favor of curbing greenhouse gas emissions is weakening due to rising support for right-wing populists, many of whom cast doubt over whether people bear the responsibility …

Certainly no worries about global warming from Elon Musk who clearly combines trying to save the planet by selling “green, battery powered” cars with recarbonising it seeing his Space X blasting off burning an estimated 440 tonnes of fuel during flight

SpaceX_CRS-1_launch_cropped

Talking of rockets, markets continue to point up as the tortuous Brexit end game nears and Trump and Xi get closer to a deal on trade…we remain constructive on high yield, corporate fixed income and income paying equities…we also continue to like China, the stock market there up 10% last week alone and 25% ytd and selectively commodities and property…

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ian-cowie-you-trust-in-the-party-comrade-ill-put-my-faith-in-consumers-rrvn7z5mx

Ian Cowie: You trust in the party, comrade. I’ll put my faith in consumers | Money | The Sunday Times

www.thetimes.co.uk

China’s weighting in the MSCI is about to quadruple from 0.7% to 3%…we’re at 6% at South River so well exposed…the Shanghai Composite’s +25% ytd.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-28/china-stocks-to-see-fourfold-increase-in-msci-index-weighting

That’s it, sticking with the party theme, three big European festivals going on this week ahead of the Lenten fast which starts on Wednesday.

Las Fallas in Spain…

fallas03

Pancake Tuesday in the UK…

pancake_happy tuesday

And of course, the major mardi gras festival in Rio

pb-130212-brazil-carnival-nj-02_photoblog900

Have a good week!!!

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