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  • Every Adult in Hong Kong to Get Cash Handout of $1,284

    Every Adult in Hong Kong to Get Cash Handout of $1,284

    (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s government unveiled a budget packed with giveaways including a one-time cash handout that economists said isn’t likely to spur growth, as the city struggles to stabilize an economy battered by political unrest and the coronavirus.The main feature of the annual budget announced Wednesday is a payment of HK$10,000 ($1,284) to each permanent resident of the city 18 or older, aiding a population “overwhelmed by a heavy atmosphere,” Financial Secretary Paul Chan said. Chan estimated the deficit will reach a record HK$139.1 billion in the coming fiscal year.The administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam is seeking to stop the slide of the collapsing economy, rolling out the boldest budget in recent years amid blame for government inertia. Months of political unrest over China’s role in the city pushed Hong Kong last year into its first annual recession in a decade, with economists forecasting a second annual contraction in 2020 as disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak further depress output.“In these unprecedented times, I am confident that the 2020-21 budget proposals will provide effective and targeted support to help the Hong Kong community withstand the current difficulties and gear up for a brighter tomorrow,” Lam said in a statement welcoming the spending plans.However, the handout immediately came in for criticism from economists.“This is obviously untargeted and regressive and will not solve the problem of those most severely hit,” said Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia Pacific economist at Natixis SA. “It is like throwing a drop in the ocean for many while you could have used that amount to cure the injuries of only a few.”Ahead of the budget, accounting firm KPMG LLP pushed for handouts yet in the form of electronic vouchers to encourage direct spending, rather than saving or moving the cash abroad.Kevin Lai, chief economist for Asia excluding Japan at Daiwa Capital Markets, is skeptical as to whether Hong Kong residents will rush to spend a cash windfall.“That sounds like a lot, but would you go out and spend it? The answer is no,” he said. “The economic benefits will only be marginal. Shops and restaurants are screaming for business. It’s not going to help.”The handout is not the first in Hong Kong. The government distributed HK$6,000 to all permanent residents in 2011. In 2018 the government introduced a “Caring and Sharing” program to hand out as much as HK$4,000 to certain low-income residents.Singapore also announced cash handouts in its budget last week, pledging a one-time payout of between S$100 ($71.52) and S$300 for Singaporeans age 21 and older, as part of a S$1.6 billion support package to help households cope with expenses. The city state is forecasting its biggest budget deficit in more than two decades in the coming fiscal year, with S$6.4 billion in support for an economy slammed by the coronavirus outbreak.Other MeasuresThe budget contained a range of measures aimed at lessening the pain of the recent downturn. Homebuyers, students, investors and small businesses all were targeted for support in the budget. In all, the package is worth 4.2% of 2018’s gross domestic product, according to Bloomberg Economics.“In view of the tough economic environment, we will adopt an expansionary fiscal stance and make optimal use of our fiscal reserves to implement counter-cyclical measures,” Chan said. The objective is “supporting enterprises, safeguarding jobs, stimulating the economy and relieving people’s burden, so as to help Hong Kong tide over the difficulties,” he said.The Hong Kong Police Force, widely criticized by residents for using excessive violence during the protests, is getting a big boost from the government that will push its spending to HK$25.8 billion in the coming fiscal year, according to a budget document. That’s a 9.3% increase on revised spending projections of HK$23.6 billion for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The police force plans to increase its staff by more than 2,500 by March 2021, the document shows.Chan unveiled an official forecast for economic growth this year of between -1.5% and 0.5%, and confirmed a contraction of 1.2% in 2019. The 2019-2020 fiscal deficit came in at HK$37.8 billion, the first shortfall since 2004.The economy in the first quarter is expected to be “rather bad,” Chan said at a briefing after the budget speech.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say...“It will go some way to offsetting the extra downward pressure from the coronavirus, which has slammed China’s economy -- with major spillover to business in the city. On balance, our forecast for GDP to contract 0.4% this year still looks reasonable.”\-- Qian Wan, EconomistFor the full note click hereHere are further details of the budget:Relief measures for businesses including a low-interest loan with 100% guarantee provided by the government, to a ceiling of HK$2 million, and a profits tax reduction of 100% on the first HK$20,000.Waiving business registration fees, extending subsidies on electricity and water and sewage bills.HK$700 million to promote tourism in the city once the coronavirus epidemic abates.For citizens, measures including salaries tax reduction of 100% on the first HK$20,000, waiving rates on residential properties to a ceiling of HK$1,500 per quarter, one month’s rent for lower-income tenants.Total recurrent funding of HK$75 billion provided to the Hospital Authority in 2020-2021.Hong Kong Mortgage Corp. to launch pilot program offering fixed-rate mortgage loans through the banks to provide homebuyers with more options and reduce risk of interest rate volatility.On the innovation front: HK$3 billion earmarked for a possible Phase 2 of the Science Park expansion program, as well as a possible third InnoHK research cluster at the park, HK$2 billion for a re-industrialization plan to support manufacturers setting up new smart production lines.The Department of Justice will receive about HK$450 million to enhance the community’s “understanding of the concept of the rule of law and its implementation.”“If the benefits from the cash handouts and tax cuts are distributed this year and everyone spends them this year, the economic boost could be 0.5% to 1% of GDP,” said Tommy Wu from Oxford Economics in Hong Kong.(Updates with information on past handout in 10th paragraph)\--With assistance from Matt Turner, Michelle Jamrisko and Natalie Lung.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Lam in Hong Kong at elam87@bloomberg.net;Enda Curran in hong kong at ecurran8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, Karen Leigh, Jodi SchneiderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Why Natixis S.A. (EPA:KN) Could Be Worth Watching
    Simply Wall St.

    Why Natixis S.A. (EPA:KN) Could Be Worth Watching

    Let's talk about the popular Natixis S.A. (EPA:KN). The company's shares saw a double-digit share price rise of over...

  • This $8.6 Billion Fintech Is Not Quite Cheap Enough

    This $8.6 Billion Fintech Is Not Quite Cheap Enough

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Consolidation in the digital payments industry has traditionally meant bold deals to buy fast-growing assets at sky-high valuations — with the acquirers often cheered on blindly by investors. Worldline SA has chosen a different path: A modestly expensive deal to buy struggling French peer Ingenico Group SA. Shareholders have frowned. Worldline Chief Executive Officer Gilles Grapinet must be wishing he’d stuck with convention.Ingenico has been a bid target for some time. It is weighed down by a handheld terminals business and has been playing catch-up in online payments. Late 2018 brought a management and strategy reset with the appointment of former Visa executive Nicolas Huss as CEO. Natixis SA, a French bank, dropped plans for a possible takeover not long afterwards, sending Ingenico shares to just 45 euros apiece. Just over a year later, Worldline is offering a combination of cash and its own stock that’s worth 123.10 euros a share based on its last closing price. That values Ingenico’s equity at 7.8 billion euros ($8.6 billion).Maybe Worldline should have moved sooner, but it would have struggled to coax its target to the table before now. An attempt at a deal last year would have been blatantly opportunistic, with Ingenico’s shares on the floor, and Huss’s elevation has bolstered the company’s bid defenses. Grapinet would have needed to offer a much bigger premium than the 17% that has secured this deal. What’s more, the transaction value of 15 times expected 2020 Ebitda is relatively sober in this part of the fintech sector. Fidelity National Information Services Inc. paid 29 times trailing Ebitda for Worldpay Inc. in July. Denmark’s Nets A/S succumbed to a leveraged buyout at 18 times Ebitda in 2018.The lower valuation reflects the fact that Worldline is not acquiring a business firing on all cylinders. The deal starts to look more pricey when you consider what the buyer is getting. Based on Ingenico’s expected financial performance for 2020, the starting return on the total 9.5 billion euros all-in cost (including assumed net debt) would be just 4%. Worldline reckons it can extract 250 million euros of financial benefits come 2024, when analysts forecast Ingenico could generate about 720 million euros in operating profit. Adjusting for tax, the returns might then get to a more reasonable 8%. Still, investors have to wait for it.What's more, Worldline’s board would expand to an unwieldy 17 members, including a director from the French state investment bank.Might things turn out better than Worldline’s shareholders believe? Grapinet has some options to do more than simply finish the recovery that Huss has started. One possibility would be carving out Ingenico’s terminals business and auctioning it to private equity firms. That would leave him with faster growing operations and help bring down net debt, which is likely to touch 2.5 times Ebitda after paying 2 billion euros for the cash part of the deal.It’s a reasonable piece of M&A, but no more. Investor caution is understandable. There may be higher quality targets out there. The snag is that Grapinet would have to overpay even more to get them.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Risks Mount for Hong Kong After Economy Shrank in 2019

    Risks Mount for Hong Kong After Economy Shrank in 2019

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The hits just keep coming for Hong Kong.In 2019, there was the escalating U.S.-China trade war, which squeezed exports. Then came violent protests beginning mid-year, with street-fighting between police and protesters driving away tourists and shoppers, hurting the services industries, and tipping the economy into its first contraction in a decade.Now, with advance figures Monday confirming an annual economic contraction for the first time in a decade at -1.2%, China’s deadly virus outbreak threatens to extend that losing streak into 2020. The economy was already in recession in 2019, shrinking in the second and third quarters, and that continued in the final three months of the year with a 0.4% decline from the previous quarter. While the contraction in the December quarter was less than the 1.5% expected by economists, the economy was still 2.9% smaller then the last three months of 2018.“The upside surprise seems to be due to a slight improvement in net exports of goods,” Raymond Yeung, chief China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in reference to the better-than-expected results. “However, I would disregard the fourth-quarter figures as the virus outbreak will certainly dampen any green shoots. We will see a bigger negative in the first quarter.”“Local social incidents with violence during the quarter took a further heavy toll on economic sentiment as well as consumption and tourism-related activities,” the government said in the release. The outlook for the Hong Kong economy in 2020 is “subject to high uncertainties” including the global economic recovery, U.S.-China trade relations, the ongoing protests and the progression of the viral outbreak, it said.“This is really the last nail in the coffin of the Hong Kong economy,” Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia Pacific economist at Natixis SA, said about the virus before the data was released. “This time around even the financial sector may be affected, and I doubt protests will calm down.”The VirusGiven the developing nature of the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China and elsewhere, forecasting the impact on Hong Kong is especially difficult. But combining that with longstanding issues such as the expensive property market produces one of the more difficult outlooks for Hong Kong since the 1997 handover.Drawing on experience from the 2003 SARS epidemic in the city, Aries Wong, lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Business, estimates visitor arrivals from mainland China could drop by an additional 10 to 20 percentage points, and annual economic growth could be cut by 0.5 percentage point if the outbreak subsides by July -- increasing to 1 percentage point if it continues for the whole year.“Surely the virus is going to add a bit more pressure on tourism and retail,” Wong said.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say...“China’s Asian neighbors are deeply embedded in regional supply chains, export to China’s consumers, and benefit from China’s tourist visitors. Hong Kong stands out as the most exposed -- our simulation shows a hit of 1.7 ppts in the first quarter.”\-- Chang Shu, Jamie Rush and Tom OrlikThe negative effects may be limited as the key affected sectors were already hit hard last year, according to Iris Pang, an economist with ING Bank NV, although that may not be much comfort to shopkeepers or restaurant owners.“The impacts are negative on retailers, restaurants, gyms, swimming pools, mass transportation and inbound and outbound tourism activities,” she said. “But as retailers have been hit by the violent protests, the marginal impact from the coronavirus should be moderate.”Anti-Government ProtestsHong Kong’s biggest crisis of 2019 hasn’t gone away. The impasse between protesters and the government remains unresolved, and the virus from the mainland will add to that mistrust and create new avenues for conflict, Wong said.The government halted plans to use a housing estate as a possible coronavirus quarantine facility after violent protests at the site. Demonstrators blocked roads, damaged traffic lights and set fire to a building lobby -- actions similar to those during the protests last year.“The downside risk from the political unrest will likely persist for a while,” said Tommy Wu, senior economist with Oxford Economics. “More protests could happen again after the virus outbreak fades, maybe later in the second quarter.”TradeWhile phase one of the U.S.-China trade deal brings some clarity to business on both sides, the deal also increased uncertainty for Hong Kong, which snapped a 13-month streak of export declines in December.Even if there’s an uptick in trade between the U.S. and China, Hong Kong might not benefit as it has in the past, with reports from late last year that China was considering re-routing trade that currently passes through Hong Kong to mainland ports to help meet its obligations under the deal.Any upside to be gained from a rebound in trade will be tempered by the damage wrought to China by the virus, especially if the disruption to industrial output and trade from efforts to contain the virus continue or worsen.“The virus outbreak is a significant downside risk to China’s growth, and that will feed through to Hong Kong as well – whether it is through trade, financial markets, or retail and tourism,” Wu said.GDP growth forecasts for 2020 as well as revised figures will be released with the upcoming budget on Feb. 26, according to the release.Wild CardsHong Kong’s property and financial markets have stayed resilient through the recession and ongoing protests. A pronounced downturn in either of these areas may hint at a further loss of confidence in the wider economy.The city’s longstanding currency peg is also often the subject of speculation. However, it’s unlikely the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will tinker with its existing policy as it would create uncertainty outweighing “any positive effect of a devaluation” Wong said.“During bad times, we don’t expect the HKMA to experiment with anything about the currency peg,” said ING’s Pang. “Who dares to take this risk?”(Updates with comment from economist in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Lam in Hong Kong at elam87@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, James Mayger, Robert FennerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Payment-Services Giant Worldline to Buy Ingenico in $8.6 Billion Deal

    Payment-Services Giant Worldline to Buy Ingenico in $8.6 Billion Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- Worldline SA agreed to buy rival Ingenico Group SA in a 7.8 billion-euro ($8.6 billion) deal the French technology companies say will form one of the largest payment-services providers.The two companies had been circling each other for years, and Worldline Chief Executive Officer Gilles Grapinet said on a conference call Monday that Ingenico’s reorganization last year made it the right time to bid.The takeover – the biggest of the year so far in Europe – continues last year’s spate of payments company mergers, which included a series of major deals from Fiserv Inc., Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Global Payments Inc.Ingenico shareholders will receive 123.10 euros a share in cash or a mixture of cash and shares, the companies said Monday. That’s 17% higher than the stock’s last closing price. Worldline is also offering to buy bonds that are convertible into Ingenico shares. Worldline shareholders will own about 65% of the combined company.Ingenico gained as much as 14% in Paris on Monday, rising to 119.9 euros, the biggest intraday move in more than a year. Worldline fell as much as 8.6%.The deal looks “very positive” for Worldline at first glance, giving the company an opportunity to add to its European leadership team and increase its market share, analysts at Bryan Garnier & Co. said in a note Monday. The combined company will also have a more diversified profile than its U.S. peers, they said.Read more about Ingenico’s management shakeup here.The deal comes after a number of challenging years for Ingenico, which provides payments processing services to customers including banks, retailers and e-commerce sites, and is one of the few large firms to remain independent in the rapidly consolidating payments industry in Europe.Ingenico for years has been pushing to refocus from its legacy business -- capturing transactions on behalf of banks or credit card companies using hardware terminals in stores -- toward new services in areas like online shopping.In November 2018, Ingenico CEO Philippe Lazare was removed following a request from the board. Lazare, who led the company for 11 years, had been under increasing pressure over its performance and management struggled to convince investors of the merits of its legacy terminals business.Ingenico has since recovered, its shares more than doubling in the past year after Chief Operating Officer Nicolas Huss took over as CEO in a move many thought could lead to a potential deal. The same month, Natixis SA declined to bid for Ingenico after holding preliminary talks.“Timing is everything,” Grapinet said when asked on a call with analysts why the company didn’t attempt to buy Ingenico last year. “If you look at the stock price, it could’ve been a bargain, but I’m not sure the board of Ingenico would’ve been ready to sell.”Worldline was spun out of French computer-services provider Atos via an initial public offering in 2014, and with a 11 billion-euro market value is now bigger than its previous owner. In 2018 Worldline snapped up SIX Group AG’s payments business for 2.3 billion euros, in one of the first deals that sparked the ongoing wave of consolidation in the industry.“The combination of Worldline and Ingenico offers a unique opportunity to create the undisputed European champion in payments,” Ingenico Chairman Bernard Bourigeaud said in a statement Monday. “This transaction comes at the time of accelerating consolidation of the industry.”French state investor and Ingenico shareholder Bpifrance Financement SA said it “fully supports” the deal and in a statement said it was “committed to contribute its Ingenico shares to Worldline’s public offer and intends to become a long-term reference shareholder of the combined entity.” Bpifrance owns about 5.3% of Ingenico shares according to data compiled by Bloomberg.SIX Group and Atos, Worldline’s largest shareholders, are also in favor of the deal.Payments dealmaking may be set to continue. Worldline will become the “platform of choice for further consolidation in Europe” Grapinet said on the call.Investors have been keen to cash in on alternatives to traditional banking services. Vista Equity Partners is considering selling a stake in Finastra in a deal that could value the company at more than $10 billion including debt, Bloomberg News reported in October.Earlier in January Visa Inc. agreed to pay $5.3 billion for Plaid, a fintech firm that connects popular apps like Venmo to customers’ data in the established banking system.The combined market value of Ingenico and Worldline will be about 19 billion euros as of trading Monday, leapfrogging rival Wirecard AG.(Updates with context throughout, share price, comments from analyst call)\--With assistance from Tara Patel and Thomas Mulier.To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Public Pensions Throw Their Weight Around in Private Debt

    Public Pensions Throw Their Weight Around in Private Debt

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Pension funds are the ocean liners of global markets. In the U.S. alone, state and local retirement funds have $4.57 trillion in assets. Across the developed world, the pool of money is close to $30 trillion. That means any change in their investment allocation, no matter how incremental, can create a seismic shift in certain corners of finance.The hedge-fund industry, for example, swelled over the past two decades in no small part because of eager pension managers. Local officials banked on star investors delivering outsized gains to help the retirement funds meet their lofty annual return benchmarks, which in some cases exceeded 7%. According to data from Pew Charitable Trusts, U.S. state pension funds had a 26% allocation to alternative investments in 2016, up from just 11% in 2006.Of course, with more hedge funds came fewer ways for them to profit — and pensions took notice. In September 2014, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System rocked Wall Street by announcing that it would divest the entire $4 billion it had across 24 hedge funds and six hedge funds of funds. In 2016, New Jersey’s pension fund cut its $9 billion hedge-fund allocation in half and New York City’s retirement fund for civil employees exited its $1.5 billion portfolio. More than 4,000 hedge funds have been liquidated in the past five years. With even some of the most well-known managers calling it quits, hedge funds are clearly in retreat.The market for private debt and direct lending is trending in precisely the opposite direction. Managers are raising money hand over fist, as they have in each of the past few years. Assets in private-credit strategies now total more than $800 billion — doubling from 2012 and up from less than $100 billion in 2005. By and large, it’s been simply too hard to pass up yields that sometimes crack double digits when typical junk bonds offer just 5%.Not surprisingly, public pension funds want in on the action. An overwhelming majority of private-credit investors expect them to pour money into the asset class in the next three years. While that may sound like good news for the industry in the short-term, it could be an early indication that it’s game over for the booming market as we know it.Bloomberg News’s Fola Akinnibi and Kelsey Butler talked to Al Alaimo, who oversees credit investments for Arizona’s $41 billion State Retirement System. He’s aiming to boost direct lending to 17% of the portfolio from about 13.6%. They also noted that the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund and the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois are increasing their private-debt exposure. More broadly, 281 U.S. public pensions were involved with private credit in 2019, up from 186 in 2015, according to Preqin data. And they’ve increased their median allocation to 2.9% from 2.1%.Now, that’s far from a huge stake. And pensions are something of an ideal candidate to invest in illiquid private debt, given that they have long time horizons and aren’t vulnerable to investor withdrawals, in contrast to Neil Woodford’s flagship fund and Natixis SA’s H2O Asset Management.That doesn’t mean that they can’t get into trouble, though. As I wrote in August, Alabama’s pension funds got caught up in the bankruptcy of luxury movie and dining chain iPic Entertainment Inc. The state’s pensioners now own and operate the theaters, for better or worse. Marc Green, the pension’s chief investment officer, recently told The Wall Street Journal that working through distressed investments has paid off before and iPic may yet be a winner for the Retirement Systems of Alabama.It’s worth heeding the lesson from the struggles of hedge funds: What worked before might not continue to work in the future, especially if more money is chasing the same strategy. “We wish there were fewer people in the marketplace,” Alaimo said about private debt.Of course, that’s true for any market. But it’s especially risky for private credit and direct lending because handing all the power to borrowers gives them an opening to lower yields and weaken creditor protections. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s also what happened in the leveraged-loan market as investors flocked to the floating-rate securities during the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle. For now, looser covenants aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, but without some balance, they could lead to steeper losses in an economic slowdown. A survey of more than 60 private-credit managers by the industry trade group Alternative Credit Council revealed expectations for the market to further expand and deliver strong returns. Curiously, just 23% said they expected recovery rates to be lower than historical averages over the next three years, while 42% predict they’ll be higher. That might be the case if the economy ramps back up, or slows down but avoids an actual recession. But it seems naive to think private debt will fare better than before when managers are fighting one another for deals and sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars, just waiting for a chance to invest. That dynamic isn’t likely to change soon, especially now that pension-fund behemoths are setting their sights squarely on private debt. For those that have been in the market for years, like the Arizona retirement system, it just means keeping tabs on existing managers to make sure they don’t veer into weaker deals.For those trying to catch what might be the back end of the wave, it’s not so simple. Without proper caution and foresight, they might find themselves quickly navigating troubled waters.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is Natixis S.A. (EPA:KN) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is Natixis S.A. (EPA:KN) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

    Today we'll take a closer look at Natixis S.A. (EPA:KN) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Basel III: French banks strike back

    * European shares rise on trade deal optimism: STOXX 0.6% * Trump says U.S. is very close to "big deal" with China * ECB keeps generous stimulus unchanged, Lagarde notes recovery * FTSE 100 outperforms as UK polls open, up 1.2% * S&P 500 hits record high Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://julien.ponthus.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net BASEL III: FRENCH BANKS STRIKE BACK (1542 GMT) The French banks' lobbying efforts to soften the impact of the so-called Basel III rules have not gone unnoticed.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Hope keeps the rally going, not earnings

    * On focus Natixis, Allianz and Richemont Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. Well, one thing's for sure, it's not because of great earnings, say DWS analysts who note earnings estimates for the S&P 500 have fallen by 8.6% compared to estimates of a year ago and that the fall is worst in cyclical export-oriented markets like Germany. This is not the basis for a sustained stock-market rally," writes Thomas Bucher, a DWS equity strategist.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Is the rally over?

    * On focus Natixis, Allianz and Richemont Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. The recent rally has been dominated by gains in cyclical stocks, which have outperformed defensives by 10% since September.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-European shares break 5-day winning run as Trump dampens trade talk hopes

    European shares broke a five-day winning streak on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he has not agreed to roll back tariffs on China, adding to uncertainties on whether the two sides were really getting close to signing a partial deal. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.3% lower after gaining 2.5% over the last five sessions.

  • Natixis (EPA:KN) Shareholders Received A Total Return Of -16% In The Last Year
    Simply Wall St.

    Natixis (EPA:KN) Shareholders Received A Total Return Of -16% In The Last Year

    It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 3-Judge orders Marex to pay most of $32 mln metals fraud bill

    Glencore warehouse unit Access World was mostly to blame for $32 million of losses from a complex metals fraud, but broker Marex Spectron will have pay most of the bill to French bank Natixis, a UK judge ruled on Wednesday. Access World failed to quickly identify fake receipts for nickel stored at Asian warehouses, but its terms and conditions capped liability, London High Court Judge Simon Bryan said. "Access World's breaches were of very high relative causal potency," Bryan said in his judgment.

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