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FTSE 350

Welcome to our annual FTSE350 review for 2016. Our team of sector specialist writers has examined each sector within the FTSE350, giving their verdict on what the main challenges are for each and the companies therein and detailing the latest IC Views for each company within the top 350 in the UK

Click here for our companies editor Ian Smith's introduction, giving an overview on how the FTSE350 performed in 2016 and which sectors came out on top.

Each sector below is divided up into sub-sectors, each of which contains a comprehensive review, just simply click the drop down box to see the links for each individual sector article.For readers viewing this on mobile, please click here for a mobile optimised version

Mining (2 sectors)

Weakening Chinese growth has contributed to further precipitous falls in commodity prices, leaving mining stocks vulnerable financially and operationally.

Industrial Metals & Mining

As we move into 2016, the FTSE 350 miners are struggling with surplus production across a range of commodities; the result of unfettered capacity expansion at the height of the mining boom

Precious Metals & Mining

Continued dollar strength and global deflationary effects could weigh on precious metals prices in 2016, although increased geopolitical anxieties could provide intermittent support

Oil & Gas/Chemicals (3 sectors)

The continued slide in the oil price dominated headlines during 2015 and hammered share prices and business plans alike in the sector, with little chance of a recovery in the short term at least

Oil & Gas producers

Oil markets slumped to multiyear lows at the start of 2016, and there's little chance of respite in the near term

Oil Equipment & Services

Shares in the oil services sector have taken a shellacking subsequent to Opec's assault on oil prices, but any recovery is likely to be a protracted and painful process


Concerns that several chemical names no longer have the right formula have triggered some interesting opportunities to buy long-term stakes in what remains a quality sector

Financial Services (3 sectors)

Despite better tailwinds from the recovery in the UK economy, the banking sector continues to be beset by legacy issues from the financial crisis and a growing cohort of 'challenger' banks while the recent equity market slide has challenged asset managers.


The major lenders have not escaped the costs of past misconduct, but improved capital levels have raised dividend hopes

Financial Services

Favourable tailwinds remain for finanacial services players

Asset Managers

Sentiment towards asset managers currently hangs on one theme: emerging market exposure

General Retailers & Food & Drug Retailers (3 sectors)

The grocery sector remains in a state of flux as the rise of the discounters and stubbornly low food price inflation continue to challenge the mid-market players. On the high street, the battle between bricks and mortar and online continues with the extra spending power of the UK consumer still slow to show itself.

General Retailers

The landscape for general retailers continues to evolve, with each business facing its own unique set of challenges

Food Retailers

Britain's supermarkets are in for another tough year as German discounters Aldi and Lidl continue to steal market share

Clothing Retailers

Changing consumer dynamics including the march of online shopping and a focus on pricing and quality all make 2016 a difficult year to predict for clothing retailers

Food Producers & Household Goods (1 sector)

For many years exposure to emerging markets was thought to be a benefit to many, but weakening growth and currency fluctuations have begun to muddy the waters.

Real Estate, Housebuilders & Construction (4 sectors)

Another year, another strong return for pretty much all property assets as bricks & mortar continue to be a store of value for investors, but clouds could be gathering in some areas.

Real Estate

Real-estate companies still have value to release from their healthy development pipelines.

Construction & Materials

Construction companies look set to make steady progress, but don't expect any fireworks.

Home Construction

Solving the housing shortage has taken centre stage with the government, which is good news for housebuilders.


Real-estate investment trusts should see rising rental income this year, although yield compression will slow.

Travel & Leisure (6 sectors)

Improving consumer spending and a slow recovery in Europe have supported this diverse sector but emerging market wobbles and rising geopolitical tensions have served to negate much of this.


Beer giant SABMiller is set to leave the FTSE 100 as the world's biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, moves to complete its high-profile takeover.

Restaurants, Pubs & Bars

There's growth and income to be had in the restaurants and pubs sector, but the delicate state of consumer confidence and increasing competition make picking the right company as important as ever.


Litigation is a common theme for the tobacco industry, but this legal fight surrounding plain packaging is not to be puffed at.


A slew of mergers has left behind some potential wallflowers, who will need to be fleet of foot to prosper without a dance partner.

Airlines & Tourism

Companies remain hopeful that demand can bounce back in spite of terrorism fears, while the falling oil price is providing a boon.

Trains & Buses

The services this sector offers to its customers are virtually identical but where it operates can be a key differentiator.

Technology, Media & Telecoms (4 sectors)

The worlds of telecoms, broadcast and the media continue to converge, offering challenges and opportunities in equal measure.

Mobile & Fixed-Line Telecoms

Telcos and broadcasters are scrambling to satisfy changing consumer demands.


A strong advertising backdrop and digital gains should buoy the UK's largest media companies.

Software & Computer Services

Some software and IT services groups are surging ahead, while others have blown a fuse.

Technology Hardware

Soaring demand for connected cars and devices has sparked demand for microchips and antennae.

Support Services (3 sectors)

Continued growth in government outsourcing coupled with a gradual recovery in the construction sector should have boosted many companies in this diverse sector, but fortunes have been mixed.

Business Services

Business services are a wide-ranging group of companies within the FTSE 350, but one thing many of them have in common is a cyclical bent.


Outsourcers have benefited from a rise in government spending in outsourcing public services to the private sector. But some outsourcers still have a long way to go to recover from reputational damage they have incurred..

Industrial Transport

Industrial transporters are in a race to remain relevant in a constantly evolving marketplace.

Engineering, Industrials & Aerospace (3 sectors)

Slowing global growth continues to pose challenges to all but the most disciplined in these sectors.


Global economic concerns have dished up considerable volatility for the usually robust electrical engineering sector

Aerospace & Defence

Rising geopolitical tensions and active responses from the world's biggest buyers of military goods has seen defence emerge as one of the most attractive sectors for 2016.

Engineering & Industrials

A series of recent profit warnings from the UK's leading industrials suggests even the champions of British manufacturing aren't immune to stagnant global economic growth

Utilities (1 sector)

Utility companies are never far from political wrangles but weakening global energy prices have relieved some of the pressure in this respect, but also posed challenges to boot and put dividends in question.

Energy & Water

Investing in utility companies typically provides meaty dividends, but changing government policy has increased risk in the sector

Insurance (2 sectors)

Regulatory and political changes continue to drive considerable change in the insurance industry

Life Assurers

The life assurers are battling regulatory change and market forces, but some of the uncertainty will soon be lifting.

Non-Life Insurers

Soft premiums, a benign claims environment and Solvency II all pose a risk to non-life insurers.

Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals (2 sectors)

The top end of global healthcare markets remains in a state of flux with mega-mergers dominating the agenda again last year.

Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology

With Shire announcing its Baxalta deal just days into the new year, consolidation continues across pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Healthcare Equipment & Services

Could it be another year of mergers and acquisitions across the healthcare services and equipment sector?

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