Tuesday , June 19 2018
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FT Opening Quote

Hungarians have been having a say on sterling and the UK’s EU referendum, Whitbread sales have been given a Costa coffee boost. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by City Editor Jonathan Guthrie, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here. How much weight should the views of Hungarians have in the Brexit debate? Quite a lot, when one of them is George Soros, the Budapest-born, US-based investor. He helped drive the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992 and believes sterling could drop 15- 20 per cent if Britons vote to leave the EU.One hesitates to contradict the famous investor, who has written a piece for The Guardian. But 15-20 per cent seems like a surprisingly large correction. Sterling floats freely and markets are making an allowance for the possibility of a pro-Brexit vote, which is reflected in opinion polls split down the middle. Countries participating in the ERM were required to keep their currencies trading within narrow relative bands through market interventions and rate-setting. This made sterling more susceptible to a steep fall back then – 15 per cent against the Deutschmark in the weeks following Black Friday, when the Treasury gave up trying to defend it. The other notable Hungarian is prime minister Viktor Orban, who took out a full-page advert in the Daily Mail. He urged readers to vote Remain.

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Hungarians have been having a say on sterling and the UK’s EU referendum, Whitbread sales...

Chris Nuttall
Award-winning journalist with more than 35 years' experience in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the internet at local, national and international levels. At the BBC for 17 years and has spent the past 15 with the Financial Times. Served as a foreign correspondent in Sri Lanka, Washington and Turkey as well as in a roving role for the BBC. Turned a late 1980s geeky interest into a professional focus on the internet and technology and was founding World Editor of the BBC News website and the BBC 's first Internet Correspondent.

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