Monday, 29 February 2016

Where will the Pound go from here?


One thing that we cannot ignore at present, no matter how hard we might try, is the E U referendum just announced by David Cameron.

How will it impact upon us? The truth is that nobody knows, but there is an awful lot of uncertainty and speculation. This will no doubt continue right up to 23rd June, and perhaps even beyond.

In the “stay in” camp, we have DC plus a split cabinet, and the other major political parties. On the “Brexit” side, are some high profile names, including Boris Johnson, Michal Gove, Chris Grayling and others, plus the normal EU sceptics. It is sure to split opinions rather like Marmite. Where exactly do you turn to for the truth though? In total there are over 1/3 million Brits living in France that could be impacted by the outcome of the referendum.

One thing that we cannot ignore at present, no matter how hard we might try, is the E U referendum just announced by David Cameron.

How will it impact upon us? The truth is that nobody knows, but there is an awful lot of uncertainty and speculation. This will no doubt continue right up to 23rd June, and perhaps even beyond.

In the “stay in” camp, we have DC plus a split cabinet, and the other major political parties. On the “Brexit” side, are some high profile names, including Boris Johnson, Michal Gove, Chris Grayling and others, plus the normal EU sceptics. It is sure to split opinions rather like Marmite. Where exactly do you turn to for the truth though? In total there are over 1/3 million Brits living in France that could be impacted by the outcome of the referendum.

The most important thing for many buyers (UK buyers certainly) is the question, "where will the Pound go from here?" If you were an international investor / fund manager and you have the option to invest in Sterling, (with the EU vote imminent) or elsewhere (where you avoid that hassle / risk), then where would you put your money? The answer is that investors are normally very cautious, and therefore Sterling is unlikely to find many buyers in the months ahead.

In short those who are trading from the Pound to buy other currencies will have to choose their opportunities very carefully or buy on a forward contract when the opportunity arises to guarantee a rate.



Peter Elias

www.allez-francais.com

05 55 28 46 40

Monday, 22 February 2016

EU referendum set for 23rd June

Last week saw both GBP/EUR and GBP/USD rates both move around 2% each between the highs and lows. GBP/EUR rates peaked at 1.2990 early in the week before falling to a low of 1.2760 on Thursday.

It seems that Sterling was the main reason for last week’s movements with the talks between David Cameron and the other heads of the EU member states creating a cloud of uncertainty over the pound. Sterling crosses were shifting with no data to back up the movements, with investors unsure which currency to put their funds in.

The pound has had a pretty torrid time recently and this uncertainty will not do anything to help. Even the strong retail data last week couldn’t do anything to bolster the pound with the markets just brushing the release aside to concentrate on what is going on in Brussels.

Last week’s movements just go to show that the markets move for a number of different reasons and whilst we have a very strong opinion on where we think they might go, any fresh rumour can instantly change the direction.

It came out over the weekend that David Cameron had reached a deal with the EU leaders which has now paved the way for a public referendum on 23rd June this year. This means we could have a very choppy four months ahead for Sterling and there are bound to be a number of opinion polls coming out that could influence the markets. Cameron’s deal was dealt a huge blow yesterday however when Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, stated that he will campaign to leave the EU. It is thought that Johnson could get a lot of backing with this so it is going to be a very interesting few months.

Foremost Currency Group can act as your eyes and ears on the markets to help you find the opportune timing to make the most of your currency. We have a number of different contract options to help safeguard your funds against adverse market movements. One of these being a Forward Contract whereby you can lock in an exchange rate for a future settlement date by simply placing a small margin against the trade.

If you would like to speak with one of our professional, knowledgeable currency specialist please get in touch for as free, no obligation consultation. Tel +44 (0)1442 892068 ask for Adam and quote ALFR/PE



image credit denzel @ pixabay

EU – in or out?

So now we know a little bit more about where we stand. David Cameron is back from various EU Summits, and the cards are on the table concerning what the EU club can concede to the UK as a special case.

Now DC will impart those concessions to his party, then the greater UK public, and then he will seek to schedule the promised referendum on whether to stay within the EU market or quit and standalone.

The principal topics for negotiation were :
  • Child benefit
  • Migrant welfare payments
  • Eurozone
  • Protection for the City of London
  • Sovereignty
  • 'Red card' for national parliaments
  • Competitiveness
  • Some limits on free movement
The major impact for people involved with the French property market are in 2 areas. Firstly the strength, (or weakness) of the £, which impacts significantly upon activity on the French side of the Channel, and the secondly the consequences of a potential Brexit if that were to happen.

For the moment the focus is very much on the currency aspect. Markets do not like uncertainty, and tend to be volatile during such periods. Over the weeks ahead there are sure to be opportunities for buyers and sellers of Euros and Sterling. Timing is crucial – making the skills of a dedicated currency dealer all the more important.

Sterling v Euro over the last trading week.




Friday, 12 February 2016

Starting my own business

When we arrived in France back in 2001, we had purchased a house in S W France almost despite the work of French agents rather than because of their assistance. But it did reveal a great opportunity, and as a consequence I have worked since 2002 as an Agent Commercial selling houses.

It is indeed a popular option for those ex-Pats living in France who do not run gites, or B & B businesses, or work somewhere in the building / renovation trade.

My vision was a bit different to most, and I wanted to work independently rather than for an Estate Agency, so the set-up for our business Allez-Français varies from the traditional style.

Read more in my article in English Informer in the UK:  Starting my own business, by Peter Elias





Thursday, 4 February 2016

Changes to Social Security rules from January 2016


From January 2016, all permanent residents, (those who have lived in France for 3 months or more), can apply for a Carte Vitale. This includes both EU and non-EU citizens.

A new system, the ‘Protection Universelle Maladie’ simplifies health insurance for foreigners living in France.

It does not matter if you are unemployed, retired or pre retired, the PUM guarantees your right to reimbursement of around 70% of all your health costs. The other 30% will be covered by most top-up or “complémentaire” insurance schemes.

Last year, the EU Commission stated that France was breaching EU rules (a bit like it does with Social Charges on CGT), by making “early retirees” moving to France complete a process of five years residence before allowing them to become part of the French health system.

The new legislation came into effect on 1 January 2016 - essentially simplifying the whole process - if you are a bona fide resident e.g. proof of your tax returns, income, bills etc.

If you are not working and therefore not paying and social security contributions if France, your quarterly contributions will be assessed and set according to any income you have over 9,611 € pa (for 2016).

If you are in receipt of a UK State pension - you will be issued with an S1 which will negate the need for any contributions.


Image: Peggy_Marco @ pixabay