The Budget has had almost no impact on fund managers' views of the economy, although it has confirm...
The Budget has had almost no impact on fund managers' views of the economy, although it has confirmed their view the Chancellor is a positive for the markets.
The result is groups such as Credit Suisse Asset Management, Legal & General, Gartmore and Britannic see no need to reshape portfolios.
Bill Mott, head of UK equities at Credit Suisse, says: "In investment terms, the Budget was a non-event.
"It has done nothing to change the landscape and perimeters of the UK equity market. The driving forces in UK equities will remain the same."
This is by no means a criticism of the Chancellor by the group.
Mott adds: "He has done exactly what he should have done, which is absolutely nothing.
"Brown has been fiscally responsible which should limit the rise in interest rates."
Margaret McLaren, investment director at Britannic Asset Management, says many fund managers have already forgotten the Budget because it has had so little impact.
"In real terms, it has changed very little," she says. "It really was a Budget that was as expected. I don't think it has changed anyone's expectations about interest rates other than suggesting that we are closer to the peak."
One policy thrust McLaren notes is the move to encourage long-term savings and investment by the general public, including cuts in CGT for employees owning stock in the company they work for.
She says: "The Government is spreading the shareholding democracy, making moves in the right direction."
Apart from this, McLaren feels there were no real surprises for the tobacco or drinks industry, although she welcomes tax relief for small businesses buying e-enabling computer hardware and software, as it is good news for UK suppliers and software companies.
Eric Moore, UK equities fund manager at Gartmore, also picks up on the potential for tax relief on computers as a factor which could increase business efficiency and pass cost savings on to customers in the form of reduced charges.
Dresdner Kleinwort Benson's UK equity research team argues that the Budget will not alter the main story in the market at the moment: the split between the old and new economy sectors.
The team thinks spending increases in the NHS could produce some benefits for private sector companies such as Nestor Healthcare and Community Hospitals.
David Rough, investment director at Legal & General, says: "It is fair to call it a neutral to positive budget and overall the City has nothing to be frightened about. The only potential time bomb is the double taxation withholding tax, which may actually hurt more of the multi-nationals than the Government is saying it will."
Like McLaren, he thinks that maintaining Isa investment levels at £7,000 is broadly positive for the investment market, and CGT reductions for employees holding shares in the companies they work for is welcome news.
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