Share Prices & Company Research


26 January 2024

Market Round-Up

Two of the biggest UK investment banks, Panmure Gordon and Liberum, have agreed to merge. Set to be called Panmure Liberum, this will be the UK’s largest investment bank, and the impressive track record of both gives reason for this to be a successful merger. This announcement comes on the back of a slowdown in London equity markets and soaring interest rates, causing hardship for many investment banks.

Liberum is employee-owned, and Panmure Gordon has been owned by Atlas Merchant Capital since 2018. Combining the businesses will mean the firm has 250 corporate clients, able to receive advice on everything from acquisitions to equity research. Panmure Gordon’s chief executive will lead the new business, with Liberum founder, Shane Le Prevost, its chair. The consolidation should help Panmure Liberum get through a difficult period, with its main clientele, small and medium-sized businesses, struggling because of poor sentiment and high interest rates.

Oil prices have reached soaring heights, rising by 4% to US$80 a barrel, among the disruption to international trade in the Red Sea and growing tensions in the Middle East.

Shipments through the Red Sea have been paused, causing diversions around the southern tip of Africa. This has added thousands of miles, increasing some journey times by 10 days, pushing up costs and delaying deliveries.

Inflation has started to decline back towards the Bank of England’s 2% target. It has been a fluctuating ride, with inflation currently at 4%, up from 3.9% in November. Economists have expressed concerns over the increasing prices of oil, promoting higher inflation and undermining recent progress.

On a positive note, even though this is a sharp rise, oil prices still remain notably lower than the levels of March 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Please note that this communication is for information only and does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell the investments mentioned. Investments and income arising from them can fall as well as rise in value. The information and views were correct at time of publication but may have changed at point of reading.
Market Round-Up
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