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Expat Investor : October 2007
NEWS October 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 3 TD Waterhouse launches European platform ALIL's E- Saver Offshore hit with expats Expat Investor, "Interest in trading on foreign markets is booming. We've seen a year-on-year doubling of international trade volumes since 2003 and non-UK trades now account for up to 10% of our daily volumes. Much of this investor interest has been focused on US markets, but we expect cheaper trading costs and greater flexibility to drive volumes in European markets as they move online. Mr Rigby continues, "International trading appeals to those who want to invest directly in some of the world's best-known companies, and want to do this in real time and on a level playing field with local investors. "With no stamp duty in most markets outside the UK, direct access to tens of thousands of companies worldwide, and a flat rate trading commission of £12.50 online, there has never been a better Fast Facts 88122 Fast Facts 88121 Fast Facts 88123 Fast Facts 88120 ALLIANCE & Leicester International's (ALIL), latest launch, an internet savings account which can be both applied for and managed online, has proved a hit with expats. ALIL reports that applications have been received online from 84 different countries, including Thailand, Madagascar and even the tiny Island of Sark. And because of the global reach of the online application form, applications are being received around the clock. The key features of this sterling denominated account include instant access, both joint and single accounts, annual interest payments, minimum balance £1,000, online application process, no paper statements but an up-to-date transaction history viewable online, and deposits and withdrawals completed electronically for speed and security. Fast Facts 88002 time to look outside the UK for investment opportunities." make their way through the economy and should relieve any budgetary fears," adds Mr Tigue. Any improvement in the health of the budget and trade should act as a catalyst for dollar strengthening, according to Mr Tigue, but he admits that the real difficulty lies in predicting when this will happen. "In the meantime, US exporters and companies with overseas earnings should benefit and by default large blue chips like General Electric and ExxonMobil look attractive. Failing that, investors fed- up with the UK summer could take advantage of the favourable exchange rate and the slowdown in US house prices and buy a beach- side house in Florida -- providing, of course, they've first used their ISA allowance to buy Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust shares." he mused. A fist full of sterling EARLIER this summer the US dollar fell to a 26-year low against sterling. But investors should resist the temptation to ditch US equities altogether, says Jeremy Tigue, manager of the Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust, Britain's oldest global growth fund. The dollar has continued its downward spiral, painting an uninspiring picture for UK investors enquiring into US equities, but according to Mr Tigue there are still some great opportunities. "The last time it (the dollar) was pitted against the pound at over $2 for any significant length of time was in 1979 at the beginning of the North Sea oil boom, which led to a sharp spike in oil prices. Then it was a case of the pound strengthening thanks to its new found oil reserves and UK investors saw the value of their currency rise from $1.60 to $2.40. Today's dollar exchange rate however is a different story altogether. From a high of $1.38 to the £1 on 13 June 2001, the dollar has felt the strain of a widening budgetary and trade deficit and has followed a downward trend not just against the pound sterling but against the euro and other major currencies worldwide," points out Mr Tigue. However, there are signs that this trend could be about to reverse -- potentially providing a fillip to sterling investors. "The pick up in UK and European growth over the last few years should see demand for US exports continue to increase not least because of today's more favourable exchange rates. The US budgetary deficit is also closing. After making a swathe of tax cuts in 2000 and 2001 to avert a recession, recent tax increases are slowly starting to TD WATERHOUSE, one of the UK's leading execution-only brokers, has launched an online trading facility in European markets. Markets in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain are now available online as well as via TD Waterhouse's existing telephone trading service, enabling retail investors to capitalise on stocks in some of the most buoyant global economies. Angus Rigby, Chief Executive Officer of TD Waterhouse UK, tells Isle of Man retains 'AAA' STANDARD & POOR'S (S&Ps) has confirmed the Isle of Man has retained its 'AAA' rating, the highest awarded. S&Ps noted the Island's "very strong credit standing" and the "proactive Government policy of promoting high value added industry". It also noted that the Isle of Man has outperformed other 'AAA' jurisdictions such as Singapore, Bermuda, Luxembourg and the UK in respect of its growth during the last five years.