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‘Glaring’ Risks Ahead for World Economy, Says Jacob Rothschild

RIT Capital Partners Plc Chairman Jacob Rothschild
RIT Capital Partners Plc Chairman Jacob Rothschild. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Risks to the world’s economy are “glaring and global,” with growth likely to suffer as governments withdraw fiscal and monetary support, according to Jacob Rothschild, chairman of RIT Capital Partners Plc.

The U.S. economic recovery is “fragile,” European monetary union “in doubt” and Japan is facing a “monumental” challenge following the earthquake earlier this year, Rothschild said in a statement to shareholders today. Inflation is threatening growth in emerging economies, he said.

“The risks ahead are glaring and global,” the 75 year-old British financier said in the statement. “It is likely that the withdrawal of the fiscal and monetary stimuli which will surely come soon will have an impact on global growth: indeed there is already evidence of some slowing down” since March.

Investment banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG have cut their estimates for global growth as unemployment in the U.S. remains high, oil prices threaten to choke the recovery and Europe’s debt problems undermine investor confidence. The MSCI World Index of stocks is down 0.8 percent to 1,324.91 points since March 31.

Rothschild said the fund is reducing its investments in oil and gold, which were key drivers of its performance in 2010, without giving specific details. It increased its liquidity and is building stakes in some “frontier markets” with characteristics similar to the so-called BRIC economies some years ago, he said.

RIT’s net assets climbed 9.3 percent to 1.98 billion pounds ($3.24 billion) in the 12 months to March 31, the fund said in the statement. That compares with a 5.2 percent rise in the MSCI World Index and a 5.4 percent climb in the FTSE All-Share Index, it said.

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