Dubai: CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, asked its global member base to gauge the likelihood of potential outcomes of a British exit (Brexit) from the EU, to understand global investors’ views on the likely impact of United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, following the referendum on 23 June 2016.
More than 2,000 investment professionals participated in the survey, with 50% of respondents based in the EMEA region. Among other questions, they were asked to indicate the likelihood of the following consequences of Brexit, in terms of their probability of occurrence by 2026:
- UK fragmentation (i.e. Scottish independence)
- EU wholesale disintegration
- EU strengthening (federal state)
- NATO disintegration
- More ‘exits’ from the EU
- No significant changes
- Brexit will not happen
In the UAE, 71% of CFA professionals think that Brexit will not impact Dubai’s competitiveness as a global financial centre. Furthermore, 58% of respondents affirmed that Middle East companies will reduce their presence in the UK in wake of the Brexit. Only 10% agreed that companies from the Middle East with significant operations in the UK would seek to expand in the kingdom.
UK fragmentation is rated as most likely, with 59% of respondents regarding it as more likely than not. More exits from the EU came next in the list with more than 48% of respondents seeing this as likely and just 26% thinking it unlikely. NATO disintegration was regarded as being the least likely outcome.
Most respondents expect the uncertainty following the referendum vote to last for up to six months (33%) or for between six and 12 months (25%), and a further 26% believe that the uncertainty may persist for up to two years.
Half of respondents also expect firms from their own local market to reduce their presence in the UK. Just 5% indicated that they thought firms from their local market might increase their presence in the UK.
In terms of the relative attractiveness of international financial centres, Frankfurt and Dublin are thought most likely to emerge as ‘winners’ from Brexit, with 69% and 62% of respondents picking them as likely beneficiaries. Most expect little change in the status of financial centres outside the EU. 82% of respondents expect London to be a loser as a consequence of Brexit.
Paul Smith, CFA, President and Chief Executive of CFA Institute, said: “In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum vote, we can see considerable variance over how long investment professionals expect market uncertainty to last, but that uncertainty will be with us for a while at least. In addition, while changes in the relative attractiveness of one financial centre over another will see some lose ground and others gain, those changes can be disruptive for clients and for investment management businesses. As the consequences of Brexit continue to unfold and evolve, the role of our organisation is to help our members and CFA exam candidates understand what these changes mean at a global, regional and local market level, prepare for them, and contribute to an investment management industry which protects clients’ interests and puts investors first.”