Barclays’ Hiral Patel Discusses Top Themes Post-COVID



August 14, 2020

COVID-19 molecules up and down arrows.
COVID-19 molecules up and down arrows.

This week, Hiral Patel, Head of Sustainable & Thematic Investing at Barclays, was interviewed by AlphaSense on the post-COVID market. Patel covered Barclays’ 2030 thematic roadmap, backed by research from over 40 sector analysts, industry experts, and listed companies.

Source: Barclays: Sustainable & Thematic Investing: 2030 Thematic Roadmap: COVID Lens. To see the full report, log in to AlphaSense.

Barclays’ 2030 thematic roadmap plots 150 trends across six paradigms, including Technology & Innovation; Consumer, Food & Retail; Industrial, Manufacturing & Transportation; Health & Modern Science; Energy & Environment and Society & Culture.

To assess how the pandemic could impact the future pathway of each trend, Patel explained that Barclays Research grouped each trend into three categories: COVID acceleration (accelerated time frame/ larger market opportunity), steady state (unlikely to be impacted by the pandemic), and COVID deceleration (slower time frame/ smaller market opportunity).

Within COVID acceleration, there were five key themes that emerged from their analysis:

HealthTech & Consumer Health

  • COVID will likely shift the paradigm of how healthcare is provided (telehealth and AI drug discovery).
  •  Greater desire for consumers to regain control of personal health (digital health and wellness).
  • Healthcare policy will be a crucial area of debate in upcoming elections.

Regional Supply Chains & Industrial Automation

  • Sectors reliant on manual labor will be incentivized to consider industrial automation.
  • Value of logistic assets will grow as sectors invest in last-mile and micro-fulfillment.
  • Governments will be keen to improve the domestic resiliency of key sectors, including healthcare, medical supplies and food.

Online Learning & Flexible Working

  • Flexible working will become a mainstream reality.
  • Online learning will grow in higher education and business-to-consumer education technology.
  • Governments will consider additional safety nets, such as Universal Basic Income.

Sustainable Travel & Public Safety

  • A large portion of business travel is unlikely to recommence.
  • Additional measures will be taken to ensure public safety, including within travel, hospitality, and public transportation.
  • Sectors will transition to sustainable energy options, particularly during the COVID recovery period.

Digital & Internet Connectivity

  • COVID will likely further accelerate the transition towards a cashless society and digital inclusion.
  • Hygiene concerns will support the shift to alternative means of contactless payment authentication, such as facial recognition.
  • Governments will be keen to strengthen digital infrastructure for high-capacity broadband (5G.)

To read the full report (or to read more Barclays Research), login to AlphaSense, or start a free trial. To access the full webcast, please explore our Expert Briefing Series.

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