Victor Hill

Post Card from Deep France

Post Card from Deep France

12 mins. to read

We are driving on the A64 motorway, spindling south westwards from Toulouse, and, were we to follow it all the way we would skirt the foothills of the Pyrenees towards as far as Biarritz. It is a heat-shimmering, impeccable two-lane highway. But though the Mercedes is travelling, for now, at the statutory 120 kilometres per…

Russia, China and Iran: Should We Ever Invest in Bad Boys?

Russia, China and Iran: Should We Ever Invest in Bad Boys?

15 mins. to read

As seen in this month’s issue of Master Investor Magazine. Emerging markets once lured investors with the promise of rich pickings. The BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) were once sure to make us wealthy, or so Jim O’Neil, formerly chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, assured us. When they went off the boil he…

Pearson PLC: a British champion of learning

Pearson PLC: a British champion of learning

7 mins. to read

On 23 July, those of us who love the Financial Times were shocked to learn that its owner, Pearson PLC (LON:PSON), had sold the pink pages to the Japanese media group Nikkei for £844 million. Pearson had owned the 127-year old newspaper since 1957. A Greek economist friend emailed me immediately: Another bastion of the…

Primark’s Secret: Thrift is Cool

Primark’s Secret: Thrift is Cool

8 mins. to read

The Credit Crunch of 2008, and its aftermath, changed the way we think and spend. From the time that the banks messed up, ordinary people’s wages in the UK barely rose for six years, while prices of staples like food and energy soared. The luxury sector continued to thrive because the modern rich (amongst whom,…

Carnival: Cruising to a Nice Return

Carnival: Cruising to a Nice Return

8 mins. to read

How will you spend your holidays, this summer? We all need them and we are prepared to pay good money for them. But the holiday sector has offered mixed rewards for investors of late. A few weeks ago I took a look at look at Thomas Cook Group PLC (TCG). It is a great business,…

Winners and losers in Mr Osborne’s Brave New World

Winners and losers in Mr Osborne’s Brave New World

8 mins. to read

On 08 July George Osborne delivered the first budget from a Conservative government since Ken Clark stood at the House of Commons despatch box in March 1997. Although many of Mr Osborne’s measures had been well trailed, the final coup de grâce – the introduction of a mandatory Living Wage – came as a surprise. This will have important implications on both government finances and corporate profitability in the UK which I would like to unpack here.

The only rival Google fears

The only rival Google fears

8 mins. to read

Microsoft changed our lives. I couldn’t have written this article without their technology, and you couldn’t read it. Some say that Apple is the technological touchstone. Then again, so many seem to be drawn to Facebook, like moths to a flame. Many others swear by Twitter. Personally, there is one technology titan whose services I…

Thomas Cook Group will get beyond this mess

Thomas Cook Group will get beyond this mess

8 mins. to read

The conventional wisdom, until recently, was that consumer services had been blown out of the water by the advent of the internet. Why would anyone go to a high street insurance broker to sort out his car insurance when he could log onto the internet and get a get a quote directly from Gocompare.com or…

Ryanair is flying high
Senohrabek / Shutterstock.com

Ryanair is flying high

8 mins. to read

Let’s talk about the vibrant industry whose customers we all are on a regular basis: budget, or low-cost, no-frills airlines. Thanks to these operations, we Brits are amongst the most peripatetic people on the planet. Two business models have emerged in the airline industry over the last 20 years. Firstly, there are airlines which specialise…

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