Weekly Client Update – 1st September 2023

Markets Overview

US markets: The US stock market had a volatile week, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index both ending the week lower.

European markets: European stock markets also had a volatile week, with the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index ending the week lower. The losses were driven by similar concerns to those in the US, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Asian markets: Asian stock markets were mixed this week, with some markets closing higher and others closing lower. The Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closed higher, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closed lower. The gains in Japan were driven by a weaker yen, which boosted the value of Japanese exports. However, concerns about the Chinese economy weighed on the market in Hong Kong.

Emerging markets: Emerging market stock markets had a volatile week, with some markets closing higher and others closing lower. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index ended the week lower. The losses were driven by concerns about the global economic outlook, as well as rising interest rates in the United States.

Overall, the global markets were volatile this week, with investors selling off riskier assets amid concerns about rising inflation and interest rates.

Islanders stranded from Spain to Scotland as air-traffic-control fault continues to affect flights

Dozens of Islanders were stranded at airports across Europe this week as knock-on effects from a ‘very rare’ nationwide air-traffic-control failure continued to disrupt flights. A technical issue on Monday afternoon with the automatic data handling of National Air Traffic Services resulted in the cancellation of 27% of all flights, which had been due to depart and arrive from UK airports, while many more were delayed. While NATS announced several hours later that it had resolved the issue, airlines and airports were disrupted for days. Ports of Jersey confirmed that four flights out of Jersey Airport had been cancelled. Mr Turner described seeing ‘a queue of people going out of the terminal building and down the road’. He said: ‘We saw people crying, others arguing with helpless airport staff, a lot of anger and confusion. ’With almost no available flights from Scotland or northern England until Thursday, the couple now hopes to fly from Birmingham on Wednesday. ‘But we are being warned that the knock-on effects to flights could carry on for days and there is no guarantee that we will get home on Wednesday either,’ said Mr Turner. He added:

‘The costs are racking up and there are questions over whether the airlines will pay out refunds for the issues resulting from the air-traffic-control technical issue and also whether our travel insurance will cover us for hundreds of pounds worth of hotels, trains and taxis. ’The couple said they may have to do the same as a group of friends, who hired a car and drove nine hours overnight to Poole to catch the ferry. Jersey Airport director Robin MacRae said: ‘[The] issue with UK air traffic control is thankfully a very rare event but we appreciate how disruptive it is for passengers. ‘During the rest of this week, it is expected that many flights departing Jersey Airport will be full and potentially subject to changes as airlines catch up following delays and cancellations caused by the air traffic network issues in the UK. ’An easyJet spokesperson said that the majority of its flights were now operating ‘as planned’ but that some services had been cancelled. ‘We notified customers in advance, providing them with options to transfer their flight for free or receive a refund to help them rearrange their plans. ‘While this is outside our control, we apologise for the difficulty this has caused for our customers and we remain focused on doing all possible to assist and repatriate them as soon as possible at this very busy time of year,’ the spokesperson added.


Older hands (and wiser heads) go on patrol at Jersey beaches

The RNLI has proved that age is no barrier – after recruiting a number of over-50s from the surfing community to patrol Jersey’s beaches this summer. Following a shortage of experienced lifeguards following the pandemic, the charity ran a recruitment campaign encouraging older Islanders to join the life-saving team. And anyone else – old or young – who is keen to join the beach lifeguards is invited to attend open days next month. Jake Elms, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor in Jersey, said: ‘We lost a lot of our experienced lifeguards after the pandemic, so last year we actively recruited veteran surfers who had grown up on the beach and this led to an intake of older lifeguards. ‘It gives them the opportunity to keep fit, use their surf knowledge and gain casualty care training. ‘They help coach the less experienced lifeguards and bring a lot of life experience which can be useful for dealing with anti-social behaviour on the beach or in a trauma care situation.’

One of the new members, 53-year-old Digby Ellis-Brecknell, whose son already works for the RNLI, said: ‘My son enjoyed his role last year and I spent so much time in the sea, either spear fishing or open-water swimming or surfing, that I thought it was about time I spent some time helping other people, protecting the environment I like, and giving something back in that ocean environment. ’He added: ‘I think as an older lifeguard, you certainly bring one thing, and that’s life experience. In certain situations, you can step back a little bit, take your time, and think through a situation before rushing in. ‘And that’s just life experience. ’Fellow new recruit Michael Charlton (54) said the veterans were ‘pretty fit for older guys’ and can give the ‘youngsters a run for their money’ .The lifeguard open days will be held from 11am on 2 and 9 September at El Tico in St Ouen’s Bay.


Partner and son of ‘fit and healthy’ Islander who died suddenly to take his place in charity challenge

The partner and son of a ‘super fit’ Islander who died suddenly this summer have stepped up to take his place in a ‘gruelling’ charity challenge next month. Steve De Sousa – described by his family as an ‘accomplished athlete’ who lived a healthy lifestyle – died on 1 July, aged 54. Now his partner Alexis Dolling (52) and 22-year-old son Ollie are set to compete in his memory in the 20km Swim Run Jersey event on 9 September. The pair set out to raise £1,000 but have already surpassed £3,500 Ms Dolling said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the response, and added: ‘Over 100 people have contributed, and it’s not only the amounts that they’ve donated which are humbling, but the number of people sponsoring us. There’s a lot of love out there for us, and a lot of people are suffering grief as a result of Steve’s passing. ’She continued: ‘Steve always used to help other people, even if it was just a word of encouragement, and it was never about him. Their support reflects his enthusiasm and positivity.’

Discussing their decision to support Brightly, Ms Dolling said: ‘Steve’s childhood was very humble and he often spoke with Ollie about the challenges he faced growing up. ‘Steve was a talented footballer and he shared stories of how his teachers had often helped him by providing kit and taking him to matches. These helping hands enabled Steve to have these sporting opportunities, representing the school and developing into an accomplished athlete across a number of sports. ‘What that teacher did for Steve is what we want to do now, to pay along the favour. ‘Brightly is a charity specifically for children and young people in, or on the edge of, the care system and they provide grants to enhance childhoods and enable independence.‘ Ollie feels that Steve would be a strong supporter of Brightly and that the work they do would have resonated with him.’


102-year-old veteran pilot to abseil 17-storeys in aid of charities

It may have raised £7,000 for charity, but Second World War pilot Colin Bell’s visit to Jersey in May now seems rather tame compared with his latest fundraising efforts. The 102-year-old Mosquito bomber pilot is abseiling 17 storeys down the Royal London Hospital – the highest elevated helipad in Europe – on 14 September. This follows a sponsored walk he undertook last month[August].The retired Flight Lieutenant – who flew 50 operations over wartime Germany as a member of the Light Night Striking Force, part of Bomber Command’s Pathfinder group – spoke to a captivated Jersey audience about his experiences three months ago. Sponsored by Ravenscroft, the evening raised funds for the Jersey branch of the Royal Air Forces Association and Tunbridge Wells’ Hospice in the Weald, which cared for his late wife.

Now the veteran, one of the few surviving pilots of the Second World War, has decided to mark the summer in his own characteristic way. ‘I may be 102-years-old, but I still want to do my bit to raise much-needed funding for three amazing charities: London’s Air Ambulance, the Royal College of Nursing Foundation, and the RAF Benevolent Fund. ‘I have decided to do this by undertaking two challenges – a sponsored walk at places significant to my wartime role flying Mosquito Bombers and an abseil. ‘I am glad to be doing something – quite frankly at my age, I am glad to be doing anything,’ Mr Bell said. Islanders gripped in May by Mr Bell’s descriptions of flying over heavily defended enemy territory, who want to support his latest efforts, can do so using his JustGiving pages.


Grants available for electric cars, vans, mopeds and motorbikes in Jersey

Islanders hoping to buy new or used electric vehicles can now apply for grants of up to £3,500 and a scheme to help with the cost of installing electric-vehicle smart chargers at homes and businesses has also gone live. The incentive schemes, launched this week by the government, are the latest of several initiatives designed to support Islanders with making the switch towards greener living. The government is also offering grants towards e-bikes and electric boilers and air source heat pumps. The financial support will cover 35% of the cost of an electric car or van, up to a maximum of £3,500, and can be used on vehicles costing up to £40,000.It can be accessed through approved retailers in the Island. Used EVs are also eligible for the purchase scheme but must be new to the Island and bought through an approved retailer.

Islanders purchasing electric mopeds or motorcycles under £5,000 can apply to receive £300 off the total price through the scheme. To coincide with the launch, £350 towards the installation of a charger at homes or small businesses is also available, which can be applied for and installed via the scheme’s approved electricians. Jersey Electricity, meanwhile, installs chargers free of charge, with monthly payment plans starting at £30. Commenting on the £3,500 cap, Assistant Environment Minister Hilary Jeune, who has responsibility for energy and climate change, said: ‘We are trying to encourage the cheaper and smaller-sized end. With the purchase of cheaper cars, there will be more of a discount. We are also trying to encourage the purchase of used cars, and there are lots available for under £10,000.’She continued: ‘I appreciate and understand that the purchase of a vehicle can be a significant financial cost, whether new or used. We see the highest uptake of electric vehicles in jurisdictions that make them cheaper to buy, which is why we’ve launched these incentives today to do just that. ‘The aim now is to get more electric vehicles into the Island. We know many Islanders are considering going electric with their next vehicle and this extra bit of financial support will hopefully help them make the switch. ‘We also hope to see a reduction in the number of petrol and diesel vehicles coming into the Island as demand for that decreases due to Islanders going electric. ’Unlike the e-bike grants, this subsidy scheme is ‘first come, first served’ until the funds are depleted, and not a lottery scheme.


Construction vessel completes work on French wind farm

A large ship which has been a common sight on the horizon off Jersey’s south-west coast for months has now left the area after completing its work on a new wind farm. AEOLUS – an offshore construction vessel – was used to drill and seal 62 piles for the turbines in the £1.8 billion project operated by Ailes Marines. The wind farm has been producing electricity since 6 July, although it is not yet fully operational. When it is completed, the facility will have an installed capacity of 496 megawatts, with the annual production of 1,820 gigawatt hours supplying more than 800,000 homes – or nearly 9% of Brittany’s total electricity consumption. It will cover an area of 75sq-km – around two-thirds the size of Jersey – with the turbines arranged in seven rows 1,300m apart, with 1,000m between each raised platform.

A total of 35 of the 62 turbines have so far been installed. Each one comprises a 90m mast and three 80m-long blades and stands up to 30m above sea level. The project is one of four offshore farms being developed by the French in response to global warming and the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase renewable-energy production. The French government has set a target of establishing 50 offshore wind farms by 2050.


Albert Pier mural proposed to honour lifeboat coxswain

A mural commemorating one of the Island’s most honoured lifeboat coxswains on the 200-year anniversary of the RNLI could soon adorn the Lifeboat Station on the Albert Pier, if plans are approved. The proposed design – by the artist Bokra (Ben Robertson) – features an image of Thomas James King, a coxswain awarded several medals for his valiant service in the 20th century. The mural aims to engage the public with an understanding of the voluntary service, made up of Islanders willing to give their time and efforts to save lives at sea. It will cover a significant portion of the north-east elevation of the lifeboat station. Plans have been submitted by Godel Architects following recent approval for the larger ‘bunker mural’ on the Albert Pier, which has been created over one of the cast-concrete structures from the Second World War. There will be ‘no significant impact’ or ‘detriment’ to the historical Grade 2 listing of the Albert Pier and setting, according to the application, which is supported by Ports of Jersey.


Who was Thomas James King?

In 1949, a gold medal was awarded to coxswain Thomas James King, and bronze medals to seven other crew members, after they helped rescue a yacht named Maurice Georges, which was stranded on the Demi des Pas rocks, south of St Helier. The crew had earlier been searching for eight hours for a military aircraft that had reportedly come down. Eventually, after nine hours at sea, the stricken yacht was towed back to port with its four crew. In 1975, the Queen Mother named the Island’s new lifeboat Thomas James King. The vessel was a Waveney-class boat, built by Groves and Guttridge in Cowes at a cost of £100,000, which was funded by an appeal in Jersey.


Push for ‘every girl’ in Jersey to have the chance to play football

New plans to ensure ‘every woman or girl inspired by the Lionesses has the chance to play football’ have been announced following the launch of a government-backed drive to boost participation in the sport. While the men’s game has gone from strength-to-strength over recent years – with several Island players going on to gain professional contracts in the UK and the Bulls emerging onto the scene in 2018 – there has been less investment in the women’s game. The female league currently has just four teams registered, with one Island player – Libby Barnett – saying that the sport has been ‘catastrophically under-supported and under-valued for decades’ .But now the government has confirmed that funding from the Connect Me: Connecting our Communities micro-grant scheme, which supports projects focusing on improving people’s mental or physical health, has been made available to the Jersey Football Association. The funds will be used to appoint a football development officer with the specific remit of increasing the number of women and girls playing the sport.

The new role – backed by over £20,000 of government funding – will be developed to support clubs to expand their current offering to players and coaches, while also aiming to engage with minority groups, such as the Portuguese community, families on low income and anybody requiring additional support following the pandemic. JFA chief executive David Kennedy said: ‘As the only sports body in Jersey to have achieved the UK Equality Standard for Sport, we pride ourselves on our diverse offering to ensure football in Jersey is for all. ‘We want to ensure that every woman or girl inspired by the Lionesses has the chance to play football locally, enhancing both their physical and mental health. ‘We are incredibly thankful to the Jersey government for approving this funding application, which enables us to recruit a designated women and girls’ football development officer to help us reach our target of significantly increasing female participation.‘The hope, like any sporting spectacle, is that people will be inspired by watching an event of this magnitude and get involved themselves. Whether that be playing, coaching, officiating or just generally volunteering in local sport; we hope that we will see a positive impact here in Jersey, too.