By Tyler Betts: FX Risk Manager at Infinity International

As a foreign exchange company, we find ourselves in a fairly well-informed position.  Our business model means we have relationships with a range of industries across various sectors, giving us access to interesting insights.  Most articles focus on the doom and gloom, but as someone on the front line of Infinity, I’m keen to share some of the more positive thoughts and feelings from across the spectrum of our network.

We all know that as a direct result of Covid-19, some businesses face crushing hardship as revenue streams dry up, whilst others are seeing unparalleled levels of demand with global supply chains unable to keep pace.  The one thing we can probably agree on is that it’s not ‘business as usual’ for most.

So, where are we seeing opportunities?

  • Some of our clients have seen a huge increase in demand from supermarkets, with export businesses turning their focus inward to help the UK keep shelves stocked.
  • Products for the home are in huge demand (it’s not just loo roll!).  Distributors have struggled to keep up with orders for gym equipment, gardening tools, home computing, paint and kids’ toys to name a few.
  • Medical supply companies are having to operate almost 24/7 to keep up with the additional pressure on the healthcare system.
  • Manufacturing and engineering companies are gearing up to source more of their components and materials from closer to home, reducing reliance on the Far East.
  • Collectibles and consumer gift-ware businesses are booming as people now have more time to enjoy their hobbies, considering that most of us are stuck indoors.

What our clients say

The big challenge I hear from our clients is that nobody knows how to accurately forecast the future performance of most metrics within their business, making it a huge struggle to plan for the short to medium term.  This is no surprise, as even for the largest global institutions, there is no precedent in modern history to model this current pandemic against.

When will it end?

As a business, we find it important to keep our finger on the pulse of sentiment and confidence, which is often reflected well in surveys.  A positive insight from a group of Treasurers I received yesterday suggested that most participants believe that we will have a handle on Coronavirus by the end of April, with business going back to normal between 4 – 6 months.  If this is the case, I think this will be a great result, although there will of course be unavoidable pain and insolvencies along the way.

The one thing we can be certain about is that things will eventually return to what we define as normal.

What’s your view?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the current situation.

If you have a spare minute, it would be great if you could complete a short survey we’ve put together to garner and share better insights in the future.

Stay safe out there and thanks for reading.