Investments  

Adviser event cancelled over Coronavirus concern

Adviser event cancelled over Coronavirus concern

The ongoing coronavirus threat has resulted in an adviser event in central London being cancelled this week.

Advisers and discretionary fund managers were due to attend the Columbia Threadneedle investment conference on March 3, but received an email today (March 2) stating that as a result of the Coronavirus and the “feedback” the company had received, it has decided to cancel the event. 

The email stated: “Against the backdrop of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and feedback we have received, the decision has been taken to cancel our event in central London given ongoing concerns around travel and conferences bringing together a large group of people.

"Additionally, with the impact on global markets, some of you have indicated you may no longer be able to attend.

"While we are disappointed to cancel at this late stage, we take the well-being of our clients and employees extremely seriously. Please accept our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.” 

The event was to be held at the Savoy Hotel. 

The conference was scheduled to present to advisers and DFMs on topics such as the outlook for Japanese equities, sustainable investing and the outlook for global equities.  

The impact of the Coronavirus on the wider world was highlighted in the latest missive from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an inter governmental organisation which, in its update on the outlook for the global economy said the present crisis meant global economic growth could fall from its previous estimate of 2.9 per cent, to 2.4 per cent, and that in the event of prolonged disruption, growth could be as low as 1.5 per cent this year.

The challenge facing policy makers is that Coronavirus reduces the supply of goods and services in the economy, because it makes it more difficult for goods to be produced and brought to market, rather than reducing the demand for goods and services among individuals and consumers. 

If the problem were a lack of demand alone, then increased government spending could fill in for the lost demand in the short term.

According to FTAdviser's sister publication the Financial Times, the Italian government is to seek permission from the European Central Bank to increase public spending by £3.5bn this year to stimulate economic growth.

If the stimulus does not lead to growth because the problem is a supply rather than a demand shock, the impact would be higher inflation.  

Guy Monson, chief investment officer at Sarasin, said: “The virus holds particular risks for the world economy because it creates both a demand and supply shock to goods and services.

"A demand shock alone can be mitigated by interest rate cuts and central bank support. However, if labour is quarantined, critical supplies become unavailable and public gatherings are restricted, the impact of rate cuts will be muted at best."

He added: "Policy makers face an unenviable trade-off – arrest the shock to GDP or contain the virus and prevent a full-blown health panic.