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2018 is the year of the Great Exhibition of the North. This summer, Newcastle and Gateshead will play host to a government-sponsored, 80-day marathon of events. Billed as the largest event in England this year, the Great Exhibition will showcase the best of the North East’s art, culture, design and innovation and we expect it to highlight the region’s ongoing success in high-end engineering, technology and life sciences.

It may also reflect on the success of the North East’s plcs, the most striking example of which is Sage’s transition from 1980’s start-up to £9bn FTSE100 stalwart. We remain on the look out for the next Sage and expect the region to continue to produce attractive IPO candidates following Ramsdens’ success last year. Overall 2017 was a positive year for the region’s listed companies, one highlight of which was the takeover of Quantum Pharma, an Singer Capital Markets client, by Clinigen for £150m. We are confident that 2018 will be another successful year.

Our top regional picks this year are Hargreaves Services, Zytronic and Applied Graphene Materials.

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