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Germany most likely to win World Cup, UBS calculations show

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UBS Global Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office (CIO) uses econometric tools, usually applied to assess investment opportunities, to predict the winner of this year’s football World Cup. Simulations indicate no country has higher odds of winning the tournament than Germany, leading the table with a likelihood of 24 percent. Brazil and Spain also stand a good chance of lifting the trophy, with chances of 19.8 and 16.1 percent respectively. Host nation Russia will start in the Cup’s weakest group and is expected to progress to the round of 16, where it is likely to lose against Spain or Portugal. Economically, Russia’s estimated spending on the tournament of 0.7 percent of GDP is not expected to boost the nation’s economy in a significant way. However, it might generate greater economic benefits compared with hosts in more developed economies such as Spain, Italy or France.

Zurich, 17 May 2018 – UBS Global Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office today publishes a report on how its insights and tools can be applied to predict the outcomes of this year’s major global sports event. Following a systematic approach, CIO analyzes each team’s likelihood of doing well at the tournament’s different stages.

Mark Haefele, Chief Investment Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, says: "No matter whether they are analyzing global markets or soccer tournaments, people tend to be biased towards local favorites. The same quantitative discipline that the Chief Investment Office applies to investments has proven useful in successfully looking beyond a home bias in portfolios and sports events."

Michael Bolliger, Head of Emerging Markets Asset Allocation, UBS Global Wealth Management and lead author of the study, adds: "Investors can learn a lot from successful football teams. Seeking agility, building a diversified portfolio of talent, and remaining calm under pressure are virtues exemplified by successful football teams and investors alike."

The report includes a section on how to invest in Russia, the World Cup’s host nation, and an analysis of the impact the tournament might have on its economy. While reputational gains are difficult to quantify, CIO expects only a minor uptick in international tourism for Russia as a travel destination. However, the estimated USD 12 billion spent on infrastructure and related projects in preparation of the games might generate greater economic benefits in Russia compared with more developed economies.

The predictions at a glance

Find the full report here .

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