Good morning, it's Paul here with the SCVR for Wednesday.

Estimated completion time - as usual, it will be mostly done by the 1pm official finish time (when the emails go out), but I might carry on adding more material after that, if there's anything interesting on the newswire.
Edit at 14:59 - today's report is now finished.

By the way, as I'm using the new site now, I don't see any thumbs down votes at all, which makes me happy!


China & coronavirus

This is still the main pre-occupation for investors right now. The quandary is that, we know this is a temporary issue, but we have no idea how serious it might become. So far, China seems to have done a remarkable job in containing it as much as they can. But the measures taken are so extreme (shutting down transport & factories in many areas) that they cannot possibly continue. Therefore, as China begins to return to work, after the extended new year holiday, the big question is whether the virus begins to spread more aggressively, or not, once people are mixing in close contact again, on public transport & in the workplace?

We only have to look at the devastation caused on the cruise ship, by confining people in close proximity. It may have quarantined the ship from the rest of the world, but it caused the rapid spread of the virus on the ship. Thus proving how contagious this thing is. I'm no expert on germs, or science, but as a layman, I can see that there still seems to be a very considerable risk to health and wealth, from this problem.

As regards shares, which is the topic here, it sometimes feels inept to be focusing on that when people are dying, but we have to. The issue for shareholders, especially in volatile small caps, is that we have to balance the fact that China supply chains are starting to be significantly disrupted. The press is full of reports that factories are running low on parts from China (Jaguar Land-Rover saying they only have enough for 2 weeks, and are rationing things like key-fobs (1 per car, not 2), and flying small items into the UK in suitcases). Complex, just-in-time supply chains are obviously the most at risk.

It's clear that we have become far too dependent on…

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