Wine investments to benefit from Brexit

A survey of over 100 UK IFAs and wealth managers has found that over a quarter expect the demand for investments in wine to grow over the coming 12 months as investors look for more real assets and diversification in the wake of the decision of UK voters to leave the EU.

According to Cult Wines, a specialist in the acquisition and investment management of fine wines, the research into the views of 101 UK intermediaries in July this year found that 27% expect Brexit to drive investments in this area.

Industry benchmark the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index gained 3.6% in June alone in the wake of the Brexit vote. This was the largest positive monthly movement since November 2010, and the index’ monthly closing level of 269.07 was the highest since August 2013.

In the week after the Brexit vote, Cult Wines says its trade sales rose 106%. The trend of strong sales has continued since then, the company says, as US and Asian investors have benefitted from weaker sterling against the dollar and the Hong Kong dollar.

The diversification element of invesing in a real asset such as wine is cited by about half, 48% of those intermediaries who see increasing investments in fine wine. Some 42% cited “attractive medium to long term returns”. The compounded annual return on investable wines since 1988 has averaged 10.65%, Cult Wines says.

Intermediaries also noted that awareness of wine as an invesable area has been rising among high net worth retail investors – as it has for alternative physical investments generally.

Cult Wines estimates the fine wines sector to be woth over $4bn annually, adding that “fine wines tend to perform well when the pound is weaker and boasts a number of defensive characteristics. Holdings in wine are not normally linked to other asset prices, with the long term correlation between wine prices and the FTSE 100 at just 0.04.”

Tom Gearing, managing director at Cult Wines, said: “An allocation towards fine wine provides investors with a number of guarding characteristics, and has the advantage of not necessarily following the general trend of lagging behind the rest of the market during economic expansion because demand is consistently strong. Real assets remain an attractive option as they tend to change in value independently of the core financial markets.”

Globally, sales of fine wines to investors continue to grow. Cult Wines opened an office in Hong Kong earlier in 2016; the market estimates that half of Bordeaux’s fine wines went to Asia last year, while its share of the Bordeaux export market has more than doubled over the past decade. Cult Wines’ own sales to Hong Kong in the first half of 2016 were £1.6m, and it expects annuals sales over £5m. Compound annual growth experienced in the region in the past four years has been 235%, and it expects annuals sales of £20m by 2020.


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