Client Weekly Update – 28 April

Market Update

The European markets opened higher on Friday, extending gains from the previous session. The FTSE was last trading 0.2 percent higher. French CAC was last trading 0.2 percent higher. The biggest European market by volume, German DAX was last trading 0.7 percent higher.

U.S. stock futures fell as investors digested the latest round of corporate earnings. DOW Jones Industrial Average Futures fell by 114 points or 0.3%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures slipped 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose after the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged in the first monetary policy meeting chaired by new governor Kazuo Ueda. Japanese markets were all higher and led gains in the region, with the Nikkei 225 closing 1.4% higher at 28,856.44. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.42% in its final hour, while the Hang Seng Tech index jumped 1.12%. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component ticked up 1.08% to end at 11,338.67 and the Shanghai Composite rose 1.14% to close at 3,323.27.

‘Life is not all milk and honey – the “old normal” is gone’

The twin threats posed by Russia and China to the western world were spelled out in detail at a business lunch in by a former Fleet Commander of the Royal Navy who is now the King’s representative in Jersey. The Lieutenant-Governor, Vice-Admiral Jerry Kyd, who addressed the audience at the monthly lunch organised by the Jersey Chamber of Commerce, described how the established world order seen at the start of the 21st century had changed radically in a little over two decades. Vice-Admiral Kyd said that ‘a flock of five defining “black swan” events had rocked the globe: the 9/11 attacks on the US, the 2008 financial crisis, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – which he described as ‘strategic debacles’ – the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine .He said: ‘These were unsettling reminders that life is not all milk and honey – the fact is that the “old normal” of the millennium period has gone, and it’s not coming back.’

The war in Ukraine was described as ‘the latest birthing pain’ of the unfolding new world. He added: ‘I sympathise with the view that [Vladimir] Putin’s actions are also, to a degree, a result of 30 years of western complacency and strategic myopia – not only did we take our eye off the real geostrategic threats of Russia during the “wars of choice” in Afghanistan and Iraq, we also allowed western strategic deterrence to largely fail.’ Vice-Admiral Kyd said the Russian president was looking to achieve ‘durational escalation’ of the Ukraine conflict by stretching it into the future, including a forthcoming offensive in the summer and a ‘defining’ stage in the autumn when both sides would be exhausted. The longer the war in Ukraine lasted, the more it would test the patience of western nations who were tiring of the expense and would remain reluctant to commit troops to the conflict.

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, was tipped as the next US president by Vice-Admiral Kyd, who said he did not believe Mr DeSantis would be prepared to support Ukraine. Chinese president Xi Jinping stood to gain from the continuation of the war in Ukraine, when asked whether he felt China was looking to make a similar move against Taiwan. He said: ‘The gamble [by China] would be that the West has not got the stomach for the fight, with the US reluctant to carry on in the role of the world’s policeman.  ’Vice-Admiral Kyd also said that while he did not anticipate Chinese action towards Taiwan in the near future, he felt that President Xi wanted to leave his own legacy, and that as a result he felt that China would continue to hold all options open. The Lieutenant-Governor admitted that a Jersey audience might feel powerless to influence the events unfolding on the world stage, but said that it was important for Islanders to stand by their values and make sure young people were educated about what was happening. As patron of the Chamber of Commerce, he joked that he would address a lighter subject matter when he next spoke at a Chamber event.

Minister says sorry over tree protection plan

Tree protection proposals have fallen ‘well wide of the mark’, according to the Environment Minister. As part of the proposed policies, which the minister has vowed to change, work on trees with a trunk greater than the width of a Pringles tube would require planning permission, and it could take the Planning Department 28 days to rule on the application. Deputy Jonathan Renouf recently announced a two-week extension to the consultation on the proposals to ensure Islanders wishing to comment were able. Deputy Renouf said: ‘In an ideal world, our first proposals would hit the bullseye. ‘In this case they clearly didn’t just fail to hit the bullseye, they were well wide of the mark. I would like to apologise for that, particularly because I know this has caused distress to many. ‘I accept that the policies proposed in the consultation are too tight and would catch too much routine work within the planning system.

‘Therefore, The Environment Minister, who has faced criticism over the proposed policies from tree surgeons and landowners in recent weeks, reiterated the need for greater protection for trees in Jersey. He added: ‘It’s important to add that I stand by the need for greater protection for trees, the mandate for which derives from a unanimous vote in the States Assembly last year. ’According to the government, when the revised law is implemented, some work on trees will require permission before it can proceed. A list of exceptions will specify which type of work can go ahead without planning permission.The consultation, which ends on 7 May, can be accessed at I have committed to changing them, and to working with the tree surgeon and professional gardening communities to correct these deficiencies.’

Sections of sunken trawler to be taken to La Collette

The land-based operation to transport recovered sections of the L’Ecume II fishing trawler to a secure site at La Collette is due to begin. And further tributes to one of Jersey’s ‘most-respected’ fishermen, Michael ‘Mick’ Michieli, have poured in after a body was recovered from the wreck on Wednesday. The trawler sank on Thursday 8 December following a collision with the Commodore Goodwill freight ship off Jersey’s west coast, triggering an immediate search-and-rescue operation spanning 36 hours. A follow-on recovery mission using the offshore support vessel MV Freja took place in December, with two bodies being recovered from the wreck. They were identified as crewmen Jervis Ramirez Baligat and Larry Simyunn, from the Philippines. In February, it was decided that the vessel should be raised for both ‘evidential gain and for humanitarian reasons’ and specialist teams and equipment – including a 60-metre-long crane barge – started the operation earlier this month. On Wednesday evening, the States police said that a body had been brought ashore and that the family of Mr Michieli had been informed.

A formal identification process is due to take place. Jersey Fishermen’s Association president Don Thompson stressed that the recovery of a body was ‘not something to celebrate’ but added that it ‘helps to bring things to some sort of closure’, particularly for the Michieli family. ‘It brings to an end all the worry and wondering of what’s happened to Michael; it brings to an end all of the speculation as to whether he was trapped in the wreck or not and to some extent there will be a bit more of an indication as to what might have happened. ‘Fishermen are a very close-knit community and to lose one of your members, one of your colleagues, one of your friends, in that way – it is hard to put into words how that feels,’ he said. He added that Mr Michieli was ‘well-known for being absolutely super-resilient and super-determined’. Jersey Lifeboat Association coxswain Andy Hibbs – also a friend of Mr Michieli – said it was ‘a great relief that we got him home’. He described Mr Michieli as one of Jersey’s ‘most-respected’ fishermen. ‘He was a really decent, genuine family man,’ he continued, adding that he hoped the recovery process could help provide ‘closure and hopefully justice’.

Massive wooden sailing ship arrives ahead of Barclays Jersey Boat Show

The world’s largest ocean-going wooden sailing ship has arrived in the Island ahead of the Barclays Jersey Boat Show which starts tomorrow. The show – the largest free-entry public event in the Channel Islands – regularly attracts more than 30,000 people. It is being held across all three days of the bank holiday weekend at the St Helier Marina and Weighbridge. One of the highlights of this year’s event is the Götheborg of Sweden sailing ship, which is visiting Jersey for the first time. Commenting on life aboard the vessel, deckhand Kimberly Andreasson (31) said: ‘The ship becomes your world; you live in a bubble. It’s only the ship, it’s only the job and the people. ‘You don’t have any signal on your phone, so you don’t know what’s going on in the world.’

HMS Hurworth, a hunt-class mine counter-measure vessel, will be berthed alongside Victoria Pier. Tickets to go aboard Götheborg and HMS Hurworth can be found online via the Jersey Boat Show website. There will be a range of displays, demonstrations and stalls to view, as well as trips on the water organised by boat tour and charter companies Le Mourier and Jersey Duchess. The Weighbridge will feature entertainment on the Solent Stevedores main stage and a variety of food and drink concessions. Harbourmaster Captain Bill Sadler said: ‘This year’s event is shaping up to be a great day out for Islanders. It will inspire people interested in maritime matters, and provide everyone with musical entertainment, catering stalls, and a chance to look around a variety of vessels.

Tenth Big Rideout could see 1,200 bikers take to roads in Jersey

Up to 1,200 bikers will ride on publicly open roads between St Catherine and the Watersplash next month after organisers briefed the Island’s Constables this week. Although honorary officers will support the event by policing key junctions and roads, there will be no official road closures on Sunday 28 May, when the Island’s tenth ‘Big Rideout’ will be staged. New organiser Greg Mansell attended the April meeting of the Comité des Connétables yesterday to share plans with the parish heads. Mr Mansell said that initial proposals to break up the rideout into waves, and even over several weekends, had been rejected by the Island’s biking community, and it was thought that the most efficient approach was for the bikes to ride as if they were normal road users. This approach was supported by the Constables, who have consistently refused to designate the rideout as an official parade or procession over its decade-long history.

This is because of concerns about policing the event, including managing the riders on closed roads, which would mean that the Island’s normal traffic laws, including speed limits, would be suspended. However, the Constables did express their support for the event, which raises money for Holidays for Heroes Jersey, and said their honorary officers would help where they could. Mr Mansell added that this year, riders would need to register online before the event and pay an entry fee in order to better control the numbers, which have grown from around 300 riders to more than 1,000. The bikers will muster at St Catherine from 10am before heading around to Gorey and along the coast road to town. Unlike last year, the bikers will not have to stop at La Collette to allow batches of riders to travel along Victoria Avenue. Instead, they will be allowed to continue. However, they will have to stop at any red lights along the way. The Big Rideout is scheduled to take place between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 28 May.

Red-letter day

Jersey Reds stand on the brink of history and, arguably, the greatest sporting achievement the Island has ever witnessed. Tomorrow, at the Stade Santander, Reds will kick off at 3pm with the hopes of every Islander behind them, knowing that a win against Ampthill, in the last game of the season, will seal a first-ever Championship title. It has been a remarkable season for Harvey Biljon, the Reds director of rugby, and his team. They have lost only one league match all campaign and had, until now, their defining moment last week, beating title rivals Ealing in front of a bumper crowd of over 3,000. Biljon and his boys will be hoping more will come to get behind his team and roar them to victory.

They need just to win to get them to the 99 points needed to win the league and, come the end of the match, hopefully 99 red balloons will fly by among the celebrations, while a bonus point will take them to the magical 100 mark. ‘The crowd was immense last week and, if we do get it right, we want to celebrate with all the supporters,’ said Biljon. ‘They lifted the players at crucial times last week. It was the crowd that got the players off the ground and got them going again and we want the same again this weekend. ‘The supporters will get behind us and the Island’s been getting out behind us and I trust and I hope that everyone, government included, understands how massive this is. If we get this right it is absolutely huge in rugby and across the world. ‘Any other campaign we’d be going to the Premiership. It would be a promotion game. It is so exciting for the Island. Let’s make sure we can get everyone here. It will be brilliant.’