If I had a hundred pounds for every time over the last few years that I had either read—or for that matter written—a headline announcing that U.K. equities are cheap (“Bargain Britain!”), I probably wouldn’t need to think about it anymore. I’d be in the Bahamas.

But the fact that this has been true for a long time doesn’t make it less true.

The U.K. looks, on any measure, bizarrely cheap, particularly when compared with the U.S. The forward price-earnings ratio for the FTSE All-Share Index is about 10 times. It is the same for the FTSE 100, slightly lower for the FTSE SmallCap Index and only slightly higher for the FTSE 250. Compare the U.K.’s current forward P/E to its median over the last 15 years, says Duncan Lamont of Schroders, and you will see that it is on a discount of around 20%.

Look to the U.S. and it’s a different story. The U.S. market trades on around 18 times forward earnings and is trading at a 14% premium to the U.K. The yield differential is huge too. You can get 4.5% here on a portfolio of reasonably valued equities. In the U.S., you can get less than 2% on a portfolio of still quite expensive ones.

It is true that the U.K. has long been a much higher-yielding market than the U.S., but as the analysts at Berenberg pointed out, this relative dividend yield is still very much “towards the top end of its 50 year history.” You may consider the differential to be completely normal: Most market participants will say that the U.S. always trades at a premium. Always has, always will.

They are wrong. Go back 30 years and you will see the relationship only really kicked off in the late 1980s.

Still, the past is the past, and perhaps it seems obvious why the U.K. trades on a huge discount now. It’s bleak out there—there are strikes and high taxes as well as high state spending (though not enough to stop the strikes). Chuck in a global recession along with an overlay of Brexit, and clearly the hellhole that is modern Britain is cheap for a reason.

There’s also the fact the U.K. stock market is old, old, old—jammed not with the whizz bang tech of the U.S. but with banks, insurers, oil, gas, coal and mining. Miserable politics, a miserable economy and no sign of a growth mindset anywhere. Who would want exposure to this mess of a market?

Yet there’s a problem with this easy explanation. All the awfulizing suggests that U.K. P/E ratios are low because one can expect little growth from the U.K. However, look at the actual growth and it’s clear that this is valued differently to that in the rest of the world.

On to the valiant efforts of Panmure Gordon’s Simon French, who has spent much of the last few years delving into what he calls the “persistent undervaluation of U.K. listed companies.” Look at price-to-growth ratios, he says, and you will see they are consistently lower across most industrial sectors in the U.K. than in the U.S. and the European Union. It isn’t so much that there is no growth, it’s that U.K. growth is valued less than growth elsewhere.

What might explain that? French has looked at two possibilities. The first is that U.K. companies suffer from a deficiency of do-goodery—and so our ESG ratings are lower in the round than those of other countries. There might be something in this: French finds that there is a small premium attached to companies with higher ESG scores for a given level of earnings growth. But this, at best, can only explain a tiny part of the discount.

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