Bankers Turn Financial Skills On Picking World Cup Winners

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Economists and investment managers more used to predicting inflation and stock prices have turned their skills to forecasting how teams in football’s 2018 World Cup might fare.

The number crunchers at Swiss bank UBS have repurposed their sophisticated software usually targeting economic data to scrutinise the likely performance of every team at June’s World Cup finals in Russia.

Each match has been run through several simulations – and the result is Germany are predicted as champions.

Every team is given a percentage chance of winning the group stage and knock-out clashes.

Germany topped the 32-country table with a 24% chance of winning, followed by Brazil on 19.8% and Spain with 16.1%.

No hopers

No other team made double digits, but the field was led by fourth placed England, given a meagre 8.5% chance of taking the trophy.

Panama are rated as the competitions no-hopers with a zero chance of winning or coming runners-up.

In the 2014 World Cup, Germany beat Argentina 1-0 to win the championship with the Netherlands taking third place over Brazil. The Dutch team have failed to qualify this time around.

Michael Bolliger, head of emerging markets asset allocation at UBS Global Wealth Management and lead author of the study, said: “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.”

Download the full analysis

World Cup 2018 rankings

Rank Country Winner Runner-Up
1 Germany 24.0% 36.7%
2 Brazil 19.8% 31.9%
3 Spain 16.1% 28.0%
4 England 8.5% 18.7%
5 France 7.3% 16.1%
6 Belgium 5.3% 11.6%
7 Argentina 4.9% 11.3%
8 Portugal 3.1% 8.0%
9 Uruguay 1.8% 5.5%
10 Switzerland 1.8% 5.0%
11 Mexico 1.8% 5.3%
12 Russia 1.6% 4.6%
13 Poland 0.9% 2.9%
14 Colombia 0.5% 1.8%
15 Sweden 0.4% 1.4%
16 Iran 0.4% 1.7%
17 Nigeria 0.3% 1.3%
18 Peru 0.3% 1.2%
19 Serbia 0.2% 1.0%
20 Senegal 0.2% 0.9%
21 Iceland 0.2% 0.7%
22 Croatia 0.2% 0.9%
23 South Korea 0.2% 0.6%
24 Denmark 0.1% 0.9%
25 Australia 0.1% 0.5%
26 Morocco 0.1% 0.3%
27 Japan 0.1% 0.4%
28 Egypt 0.0% 0.2%
29 Tunisia 0.0% 0.3%
30 Costa Rica 0.0% 0.2%
31 Saudi Arabia 0.0% 0.1%
32 Panama 0.0% 0.0%

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