Alexandra West
19 January 2017 · 7 min read

2017…the year of the rooster, Trump and flying cars

What does the year have in store for Aerospace & Defence stocks?

The Aerospace & Defence sector has two distinct sides to it, with civil aerospace and defence often proffering very different investment narratives. Historically, terrorism and political instability have tended to cause the two sides of the sector to diverge, with defence valuations surging and civil valuations falling. This happened most notably after 9/11 in 2001. At the end of 2016 though, a year defined by terror attacks and political turmoil, the situation was quite different. Defence stocks were the stand out performers during last year, driven initially by the fact global defence spending is now growing, having been in decline from 2011 – 2015, and more latterly by Donald Trump’s US election victory. However, civil stocks have also performed well. Although there have been a high number of terror attacks during 2016, improved airport security measures have forced terrorists to seek new targets and so aerospace stocks have been largely unaffected, and in fact have continued to benefit from the structural growth of passengers numbers which continues to drive output growth. So what does 2017 have in store for aerospace and defence?

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Alexandra West
18 January 2017 · 3 min read

SFO shows its metal with £497m fine for Rolls-Royce

Black cloud over engine manufacturer should now start to lift

The Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) five year investigation of Rolls-Royce has finally come to a conclusion, with a verdict that shows the SFO is getting tough on corruption, but one which should hopefully allow the dark cloud over Rolls-Royce to start lifting.

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Alexandra West
12 January 2017 · 2 min read

Airbus does it again

Record breaking 2016 for Airbus as it exceeds delivery target

At yesterday’s annual New Year press conference, Fabrice Bregier (Airbus Commercial CEO) triumphantly announced that Airbus delivered 688 aircraft last year, exceeding its target of 670. 

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Alexandra West
11 January 2017 · 4 min read

Cyber wars

Will Russia’s attempt to influence the US election change global cybersecurity policy?

The news this week that Russia tried to influence the outcome of the US election is likely to have elevated cybersecurity up Mr Trump’s ‘to do’ list for when he takes office next week. The report from the Intelligence Agencies stated that “Russia’s effort the influence the election represented a significant escalation in directness, level of activity and scope of effort compare to previous operations.” Cyber is not a new topic, and has been a buzz word in the defence industry over the past five years as companies sought exposure to what has been seen as a growth market. However, cyber is still a very small percentage of revenues for the defence primes and the market has been very fragmented. In today’s blog, I ponder what impact Russia’s meddling in the election will have on cybersecurity.

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Alexandra West
5 January 2017 · 3 min read

Do we need another Strategic Defence and Security Review?

UK Armed Forces have secretly begun preparing for another round of defence cuts

In last July’s blog ‘Can aerospace & defence weather Brexit?’  I wrote that the economic and political impact of the UK’s decision to leave the UK would require a new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). This has proved wrong thus far; Theresa May has maintained that the strategy remains intact and therefore the 2015 SDSR is extant and fit for purpose. However, press reports over Christmas that the UK Armed Forces have secretly begun preparing for another round of defence cuts suggest that my prediction may yet come true.

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Alexandra West
3 January 2017 · 4 min read

Trump wants to defeat ISIS and eliminate budget caps

Leaked memo outlines the President Elect’s defence priorities

A leaked Pentagon memo has given us a fascinating insight into President Elect Trump’s approach to US Foreign Policy. It suggests that Mr Trump is going to take a very different approach to handling Russia compared the current administration. His top four priorities are reported to be; defeating ISIS, eliminating budget caps, developing a new cyber strategy and finding greater efficiencies in the US Department of Defense (DoD). You will note that controversially Russia does not feature in this list. In today’s blog we examine what this new approach could mean for the defence industry.

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