On the back foot

Market view


One thing companies have had to learn over the past 18 months is how to be defensive. Pervasive equity market weakness and risk-averse investor sentiment have pushed firms onto the back foot as they try to ride out this spell of turbulence within the markets.

The corporate universe has been buffeted by a plague of bad news, ranging from accounting irregularities, asbestos, pension fund deficits and litigation to Sars and the war in Iraq. If that wasn’t enough, last year’s quarterly ‘warnings’ s

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