• Fintech specialist Saxo unveils its 2023 Outrageous Predictions for 2024
  • Prediction: AI deepfake triggers national security crisis
  • Prediction: Rise of obesity drugs stop people from exercising, triggering health crisis

Fintech specialist Saxo has unveiled its 2024 annual Outrageous Predictions led by its Global SaxoStrats team.

Firstly it’s worth noting these predictions don’t reflect Saxo’s primary expectations for the year ahead but serve as a series of unlikely events which, if they were to occur, would send shockwaves through financial markets.

The predictions are never intended to be accurate but rather daringly unconventional – but occasionally some Outrageous Predictions become surprisingly accurate.

READ Saxo’s Annual Outrageous Predictions: Which ones came close to hitting the bullseye over the years?

Here are some of our favourites for 2024, and  if they come true what’s in store for ASX investors.

You can read the full list here.


#1 Generative AI deepfake triggers a national security crisis

In the tech sector, generative artificial intelligence (AI) has been the hottest theme of 2023 but according to a outrageous prediction for 2024 by head of equity strategy Peter Garnry it could become a national security crisis.

“While everyone from McKinsey to the corporate sector and leading economists see generative AI as a great productivity-enhancing tool that will lift growth in decades to come, others see it as a potential new weapon,” he says.

“In a high-stakes game, a criminal group deploys the most deceptive generative AI deepfake the world has ever seen, phishing a high-ranking government official to hand over top-secret state information froma developed country.

“The daring move and success triggers the biggest national security crisis since WWII, ushering in a new era of far-reaching AI regulation.”

He says in a historic move to deal with the catastrophic side effects of generative AI, the US and EU declare that all content produced by generative AI should have the label ‘Made by AI’.

The generative AI deepfake incident prompts full-blown public distrust in information delivered on the internet, as AI-produced content swells to 90% of all information.

Who could benefit? Saxo reckon traditional media companies approved by their governments for disseminating public news soar in value, with shares in The New York Times company doubling.

“Adobe shares plunge as governments penalise the company, as the catastrophic deepfake was made using its software,” Garny says.

On the ASX  big winners could be media companies such as NASDAQ dual-listed News Corp (ASX:NWS),  Nine Entertainment Company (ASX:NEC) and Seven West Media (ASX:SWM).


#2 World hit by major health crisis as obesity drugs make people stop exercising

There’s been a lot of talk in 2023 about GLP-1 obesity drugs, touted as a solution to the world’s obesity epidemic.  Manufacturer of two such drugs Ozempic and Wegovy has seen the share price of its Danish maker Novo Nordisk rise ~50% YTD to become Europe’s most valuable company with a market cap of ~US$2.4o trillion.

But according to another Garny Outrageous Prediction for 2024, along with market strategist Charu Chanana,  the ease of taking a pill makes people stop exercising and increase their intake of junk food.

“As supply of GLP-1 obesity drugs is expanded, prices come down and governments choose to designate the obesity drugs as vital for improving health and stopping the obesity epidemic … however, in a turn of events, the supply of GLP-1 obesity drugs is unable to meet the widespread demand, and patients need to wait for years to get their injections,” they say.

“Meanwhile, they stop exercising or keeping to a healthy diet now that a pill can keep weight in check, fuelling a major health crisis.

“Global adult obesity rates shoot up from the current 39% to 45% in 2024.”

Who could benefit? Saxo reckon the processed food industry will see a significant demand lift with McDonald’s and Coca-Cola stock prices outperform broader markets by 60% each.

On the ASX Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) could go up along with Collins Foods (ASX:CKF), which owns KFC and Taco Bell stores in Australia and Europe.

Restaurant Brands NZ (ASX:RBD) has KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell stores in NZ along with 75 KFC outlets in NSW  and 75 in California).

READ CRITERION: Can these fast food stocks supersize profits as competition mounts?


#1 With oil at US$150/barrel, Saudis buy Champions League franchise

Saxo head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen and technical Kim Cramer Larsson outrageously predict Saudi Arabia – supported by FIFA –  launches a successful bid to acquire the UEFA Champions League, a globally renowned football tournament.

Hansen and Larsson predict Saudi Arabia’s radical restructuring of its economy  away from its dependency on oil revenues towards  becoming a tourism, leisure and entertainment  powerhouse, receives an added boost from a  meteoric rise in oil prices in 2024.

They predict oil will reach US$150/barrel around mid-year on stronger than expected demand, as the green transformation begins  to sputter amid rising costs, and after OPEC+, led  by Saudi Arabia, maintains a firm grip on supply.

Hansen and Larsson say in recent years, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), an avid football fan, has revitalised the Saudi Pro League by emphasising enhanced on-field performance through the acquisition of top-tier players.

They say MBS’s aim is to elevate the league among the world’s top 10 and capitalising on booming oil revenues, MBS eyes a bolder move to acquire the UEFA Champions League.

According to their predictions the Saudis swiftly transform the prestigious football tournament into a global club competition that FIFA had previously failed to do through a new irresistible money deal enticing the big clubs. The FIFA World Champions League emerges, featuring games in Riyadh, comprising 48 teams.

European clubs secure 32 spots, while Asia/Middle East, Africa, and the Americas gain five spots each, with the remaining allocated to Oceania, mirroring the current UEFA Champions League format.

Who could benefit? As oil goes to US$150 ASX energy stocks. Saxo says the NYSE-listed Manchester United share price doubles.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Saxo is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.