Weekly Client Update – 3rd November 2023

Market update

FTSE 100: The FTSE 100 index opened up 22.72 points, 0.3%, at 7,469.25. It has risen 2.4% so far this week, which would be its best gain since a 3.1% rise in the week to September 15.
The FTSE 250 was up 112.02 points, 0.6%, at 17,879.32 and the AIM All-Share was up 2.02 points, 0.3%, at 692.36.

European markets: In European equities, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.2%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was up 0.4%.

US markets: In New York overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1.7%, the S&P 500 soared 1.9% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.8%.

Asian markets: Equities in Asia were on the up. The Shanghai Composite climbed 0.7%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 2.5%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney shot up 1.1%. Financial markets in Tokyo were closed Friday for Japan Culture Day.

Emerging markets: Despite the considerable difficulties presented by the increase in interest rates and the rapid strengthening of the US dollar, the IMF and interest rate spreads indicate that none of the major emerging markets, such as Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, and Turkey, seem to be experiencing any significant debt-related difficulties.

China has also seen a significant rise in its deficits, with its debt-to-GDP ratio doubling in the last ten years and projected to surpass 100% by 2027, according to the IMF. Additionally, Japan and China continue to maintain loose monetary policies.

Storm Ciarán

Storm Ciarán, a tempest of unprecedented ferocity, unleashed its wrath upon Jersey, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. With wind speeds reaching a staggering 100mph and a menacing tornado tearing through the landscape, the island was subjected to a relentless onslaught that wreaked havoc on homes, uprooted trees, and ravaged vital infrastructure.

The sheer force of the storm prompted an urgent and comprehensive emergency response as over 100 distress calls inundated the ‘999’ lines, necessitating the evacuation of 36 households to ensure their safety and well-being.

The catastrophic impact of the storm was further compounded by widespread power outages, impassable roads strewn with debris, and flooding exacerbated by a one-meter storm surge breaching the island’s sea walls.

Witnesses recounted harrowing tales of the tornado’s fury, describing how it mercilessly uprooted trees and razed structures to the ground, leaving a scene of desolation and chaos in its wake.

In the face of such adversity, the collective efforts of emergency services and dedicated government personnel have been paramount in mitigating the crisis.

Tirelessly engaged in clearing debris-laden roads, ensuring the structural integrity of buildings, and providing crucial assistance to affected residents, these unsung heroes have embodied the spirit of resilience and community solidarity amidst the turmoil.

In the aftermath of the calamity, Islanders have been advised to exercise caution and limit unnecessary travel, considering the prevalent hazards posed by debris and compromised infrastructure.

Notably, the closure of the Airport until 2pm and the suspension of several government services underscore the magnitude of the challenges that confront the island community in the wake of the storm.

As the community grapples with the aftermath, a collective call to action has resonated, urging residents to extend a helping hand to their neighbours, particularly the vulnerable, many of whom continue to grapple with power outages and communication disruptions.

While the gradual reopening of shops signals a tentative step towards recovery, the unfortunate closure of Waitrose in St Helier, attributed to flooding, serves as a stark reminder of the lingering impact of the tempest.

In a glimmer of hope amid the chaos, the arrival of the Commodore Goodwill has breathed new life into the island’s restocking efforts, providing much-needed supplies and support to a community in recovery.

Furthermore, the decision to offer free government car parks for the day stands as a testament to the collective resolve to stand together and weather the storm’s aftermath with unity and resilience.

Sports centres closed

Jersey’s sports centres and pitches will remain closed on Friday, November 3, with the most severely affected facilities, particularly FB Fields, facing uncertain timelines for reconstruction.

Safety assessments conducted on Thursday revealed extensive damage to structures, changing rooms, and equipment, rendering FB Fields inaccessible for the foreseeable future.

Springfield and its park may reopen once the nearby fallen trees are cleared, while Les Quennevais Sports Centre has requested the public to avoid the premises as debris is removed.

Oakfield Sports Centre’s evaluation is ongoing, while the anticipated reopening of Haute Vallee Pool and Langford Sports Centre is slated for Saturday. Amid the widespread devastation, the Island’s communities have united, with Table Tennis Jersey expressing their determination to rebuild following the destruction of their tennis centre.

The Assistant Minister for Infrastructure, Lucy Stephenson, acknowledged the profound impact on Jersey’s sports community, emphasising the arduous and prolonged process of recovery in the face of such extensive damage.

As the island navigates the aftermath of Storm Ciarán, unprecedented 999 calls underscore the urgency of adhering to safety measures and staying home during this challenging period.

Zoo’s flamingo dies during storm

Sadly, even one of Jersey Zoo’s Chilean flamingos died during the storm. However, the zoo’s staff has reassured the public that all other animals are safe, monitored closely, and receiving proper care. The storm inflicted damage to several trees within the zoo premises in Trinity. As a result, the zoo will remain closed until Monday, November 6, to facilitate thorough inspections and the clearance of debris, ensuring the safety and well-being of both the animals and visitors.

Jersey clothing brand recognised internationally

A Jersey-based clothing brand, Jèrriais Clothing, has gained international recognition after being featured in GQ magazine’s ‘Lookbook’ section, only two months following its launch.

Founded by Josh Heath, the brand emphasizes premium clothing, offering customers versatile and comfortable wardrobe options for all seasons, with a current focus on streetwear and plans for expansion into sportswear and other fashion domains in the future.

Heath expressed his excitement at the brand’s inclusion in GQ, describing it as a significant opportunity and a source of pride in the early stages of their journey.

He also highlighted the importance of small businesses in Jersey, encouraging others with a passion for entrepreneurship to pursue their dreams, citing the Island’s potential for generating support.

New Meze Bar

Elke Jacques, a familiar figure in Jersey’s culinary scene, has realized her dream of owning a restaurant in St Aubin, introducing a new Meze Bar that offers Middle Eastern cuisine.

Supported by a three-generation team of women, Jacques aims to foster a welcoming “family community vibe” and cater to private parties.

The Meze Bar, operating under the Flavour brand, emphasizes healthy and wholesome food, boasting a diverse range of vegan, vegetarian, Lebanese chicken, and Persian lamb dishes.

Jacques attributes her passion for hospitality to her father and grandmother, who were also in the industry. The restaurant, situated above the St Aubin Sports Bar, holds an entertainment license for live music and a DJ.

Currently operating from Thursday to Saturday, the establishment plans to expand its offerings with ‘Bistro Sundays,’ serving roast dinners and speciality coffee as a tribute to the Soleil days. Jacques’ culinary journey began in 2009 with Flavour.je, offering nutritious soup made from local ingredients.

Over the years, she expanded into various pop-up ventures and operated a world food café before opening the Meze Bar.

Tobacco smugglers told to leave

Two men, Valentin-Costi Ivan (22) and Marin-Gabriel Memis (32), were caught attempting to smuggle a kilo of tobacco into Jersey by concealing it in their waistbands.

Arriving at the Airport from Liverpool, they each carried 20 pouches, with 50 grams of tobacco in each.

Admitting to the fraudulent evasion of duty, they were ordered by Relief Magistrate David Le Cornu to leave the Island and not return for at least three years.

Despite receiving credit for their guilty pleas, their three weeks in custody led to the destruction of the tobacco and a duty owed amounting to £737 each.