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Purplebricks investor Woodford says Brexit vote presents opportunities

The most famous investor in hybrid agency Purplebricks, star fund manager Neil Woodford, says Brexit presents opportunities as well as challenges.

In a video message on his website Woodford - who bought 30 per cent of Purplebricks for £7m in mid-2015, at a fraction of the price it is worth now - says markets of all kinds are “clearly shocked by the decision” but insists it is not as negative as first impressions suggest. 

“That is not to say there won’t be challenges in the near-term. There will. We now face a period of uncertainty as the exact terms of Britain’s exit from Europe are negotiated. Financial markets loathe uncertainty” admits Woodford, whose message did not urge investors to keep the faith with his portfolio in general.

“My job is to peer through this short-term uncertainty and focus on the long-term fundamentals of the economy and the businesses in which we invest. As I have said on a number of occasions recently, the global economic backdrop will continue to be challenging, regardless of our membership of the EU. Many of the greatest economic challenges that we face now and in the future, in my view, dwarf the economic issues associated with [the] outcome” he says.

Woodford does not mention Purplebricks by name - nor does he mention any other individual investment of his funds and advisers - but he concludes: “In the longer term, it is my view that the trajectory of the UK economy, and more importantly the world economy, will not be influenced significantly by [the] outcome. Although market conditions such as these can be unsettling, we would strongly urge investors to look through this period of uncertainty and focus on the long-term opportunity.”

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