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International investors pessimistic about UK

A trader at a trading floor in London. About 62 per cent of global investors hold an unfavourable view of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. (REUTERS)

By Agencies

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his country are winning a race they would rather lose: to the bottom.

Global investors are more pessimistic about the UK than any other major economy and Brown gets overwhelmingly negative reviews, according to a global quarterly poll of investors and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers. It shows 66 per cent of respondents are pessimistic about investment climate in the UK, which tops the list.

This downbeat attitude extends to Brown, whose government has produced record budget deficits and imposed a 50 per cent tax on bank bonuses. Among global respondents, 62 per cent hold an unfavorable view of him. Those numbers are even worse when it comes to respondents in the UK alone: 86 per cent of British residents said they hold an unfavorable view of their political leader. That includes 63 per cent who are very unfavourable.

In a list of nine global political, economic and financial figures, only one person does worse than Brown: former US Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. "Brown is playing with fire," said poll respondent Florian Broekhuizen, a portfolio manager for F Van Lanschot Bankiers NV, Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.

"The UK could face serious troubles the next couple of years, and as we have seen in Greece, when markets lose faith in the government, this is not good for the investment climate."

Greece's plunging finances prompted ratings firms to downgrade the nation's sovereign debt last month.


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