What the Trump Presidency Means for Finance

Donald Trump, victory, means, finance, Swiss

Donald J. Trump, U.S president-elect (Picture: Shutterstock)

Donald Trump has won the U.S. presidency, which has wide-ranging implications for financial markets and banks. Here are ten points from finews.ch and finews.asia.

1. Swiss Central Bank in the Market

The prospect of a Trump presidency already caused a glut of Swiss franc buying. His victory will prompt massive safe harbour inflows into the Swiss currency, which policymakers in Switzerland don’t want. The Swiss National Bank, or SNB, will have to buy euros in a bid to weaken the franc, a costly move which will further bulk up its balance sheet.

2. Bad for Banks, Clients go Defensive

Stock markets in Asia have already responded to a potential Trump victory by easing considerably. There is no sign that investors want to make big bets amid the uncertainty linked to Trump’s policies and plans, which in turn will hit banks’ commission and fee income even more.

3. U.S. Banks Stand to Gain

Even if observers and bankers on Wall Street assumed a victory for Hillary Clinton, a Trump presidency doesn’t necessarily bode ill for U.S. investment banks at least. He is expected to appoint several former U.S. bankers to key positions in his administration, namely from Goldman Sachs. He also counts hedge fund managers among his allies. All told, it is hard to believe that Trump would tighten financial regulation further.

4. Gold as a Bellwether

Gold bugs emerging early in the presidential campaign have been proven correct. The precious metal is set to gain, as well as remain an important indicator of broader financial market sentiment.

5. Silicon Valley Rethink

Many tech pioneers favoured Clinton, but others including billionaire investment guru Peter Thiel backed the Republican candidate – and he’s probably not the only Trump supporter. California’s tech community is due a rethink, but can draw some comfort from the fact that Trump is also a businessman, including several bankruptcies.

7. FX Boom

A Trump victory puts into question global free trade agreements, which the Republican has said he wants to quit or revise. This isolationist approach will accentuate a currency war, as already seen by the Mexican peso’s crash. Foreign exchange dealers have ample work to do – and volatility.

8. Asia Seeks Safe Haven

Trumps victory puts numerous emerging markets under pressure, which will lead to massive portfolio shifts in Asia. Singapore and Japan, both extremely stable economies, are poised to benefit from this and will be in a position to negotiate with the U.S. The Yen in particular will strengthen.

9. Uncharted Territory for Swiss Banks

Clinton maintained very close ties to UBS, where her husband was also paid for at least one speaking appearance. Swiss banks and in particular UBS and Credit Suisse had been hoping for more sympathy in Washington – hopes which have now been dashed. The big banks have much at stake given their large presence in the U.S. Trump made vague campaign promises to create more jobs.

10. Renaissance for Swiss Blue Chips

Many Swiss firms like Nestle and Schindler draw a huge proportion of their revenue from the U.S. and are well-known as a result. With a flight into safe stocks with favourable dividend yields, Swiss blue chips will be in demand.

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