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UK business chiefs less concerned about Brexit

UK business chiefs less concerned about Brexit

LONDON: Britain’s Brexit transition deal last month has boosted confidence among finance chiefs at some of the country’s leading companies, a survey published on Monday showed.

Accountancy firm Deloitte said 27 per cent of chief financial officers it interviewed after the deal was struck were more optimistic than three months earlier.

That compared with 18 percent of CFOs who were more optimistic before the deal was struck.

Prime Minister Theresa May and the rest of the EU’s leaders agreed on March 19 to keep their existing trade ties unchanged for 21 months after Brexit in March 2019.

The deal pushed back the risk of disruption for companies until the end of 2020, although for the transition agreement to become effective London and Brussels must first agree on their long-term trade ties for the period after 2020.

Deloitte interviewed 106 CFOs from large British firms and major British subsidiaries of foreign companies between March 7 and March 21. About four-fifths of them responded before the transition deal was reached.

Risk appetite strengthened after the deal, with 23 per cent of those responding after the deal was done saying it was a good time to take on risk, up from 12 per cent beforehand.