|Bid||0.0474 x 0|
|Ask||0.0523 x 0|
|Day's range||0.0480 - 0.0480|
|52-week range||0.0443 - 0.1331|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||N/A|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Christine Lagarde is eager to make her mark at the European Central Bank. At the moment, we know precious little about her views on the future course of monetary policy. But one thing is clear, the new president wants the ECB to take on a bigger role in the fight against climate change.Lagarde thinks it’s possible to reconcile this ambition with the ECB’s mandate, which includes, at least indirectly, improving the quality of the environment. But she should be extremely mindful of another important principle: Market neutrality. That means the ECB should not offer an advantage to any particular company or sector.The central bank’s chief has pushed successfully for the inclusion of climate change in the strategic review of monetary policy being carried out by the ECB this year. Fortunately, there are steps the central bank can take (or, indeed, has taken) to help the environment without compromising on its other objectives. As Lagarde herself has noted, the ECB takes into account sustainability as it invests its own pension fund.On monetary policy, meanwhile, central bankers have to be mindful already of the impact that climate change will have on prices and other economic variables. It’s also right for the ECB’s supervisory arm to demand that banks are ready to withstand any climate-related shocks.Things would get much more troubling were the ECB to adopt the radical idea of twisting its monetary policy to penalize “dirty” industries and reward “green” ones. For example, the central bank could skew its massive corporate bond-buying scheme toward apparently virtuous companies, thereby affecting the borrowing costs of businesses.One could try to justify this approach by arguing that, as well as maintaining price stability, the ECB’s mandate also encompasses supporting the objectives of the European Union, which include “the improvement of the quality of the environment.” There’s also the view that polluting companies and industries will face greater risks in the future. The ECB would only be protecting its balance sheet by shunning them.These arguments are extremely dangerous.One pillar of the ECB’s asset-purchase scheme is “market neutrality” — namely, that the central bank shouldn’t favor any country or sector. The ECB buys corporate and sovereign bonds with the aim of lifting euro-zone inflation back to its target of close to but below 2%. When it chooses which securities to buy, it does so based on the relative size of the bloc’s various economies, and companies’ market capitalizations. The inclusion of special preferences would prompt accusations of overreach and undermine the independence of the central bank.The ECB does already use criteria to judge whether some assets are just too risky to be purchased. The central bank isn’t buying Greek sovereign bonds as part of its quantitative easing program, for example, because no major credit-rating agency considers them investment grade. It sold its portfolio of bonds from the retail conglomerate Steinhoff International Holdings NV after serious accounting irregularities emerged there — even though it wasn’t required to do so.However, it’s crucial that these eligibility principles are as market-neutral as possible. Arbitrary penalties would open the door to all sorts of whimsical assessments. Today’s ECB might choose to be harsh with oil and gas companies on the basis that one day they’ll be shunned by investors and regulators. Tomorrow’s policymakers might use that precedent to take a tougher stance against a high-debt country, if they feared it was headed for trouble.It’s fine for the ECB to include “green bonds” in its purchases — as it does presently — but it should go no further. Quantitative easing has been controversial enough, even as the ECB implemented it with laudable impartiality. Fanning those flames would be a terrible move by Lagarde.To contact the author of this story: Ferdinando Giugliano at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ferdinando Giugliano writes columns on European economics for Bloomberg Opinion. He is also an economics columnist for La Repubblica and was a member of the editorial board of the Financial Times.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.
Scandal-hit Steinhoff said on Wednesday it had refinanced some 9 billion euros (£8 billion) of debt in its overseas operations which include brands such as Poundland in Britain and France's Conforama, after pushing the deadline date back repeatedly. "Implementation of the restructuring is a major milestone on our recovery journey, bringing with it the stability that will allow us to turn the page and concentrate fully on maximising value from our operating companies," Group Chief Executive Louis du Preez said in a statement. Du Preez on Tuesday delivered a stark assessment of Steinhoff's options at the South African company's first public investor presentation since a $7 billion (£6 billion) accounting fraud scandal broke, saying its only hope for survival is to sell off assets to become a retail-focused holding company.
Scandal-hit South African retailer Steinhoff said on Tuesday its only hope for survival is to sell off assets to become a retail-focused investment holding firm, as it fights to contain the fallout of a $7 billion accounting fraud. In its first presentation to investors since then, the retailer's chief executive Louis du Preez said its "only way to survive" was to slim down into a pure investment holding company focused on retail. To achieve that Steinhoff is looking to sell off its non-retail assets and cut jobs at its French retail chain Conforma, its management said during the presentation.
South African retailer Steinhoff reported a 356 million euros ($401 million) half-year loss from continuing operations on Friday, as the damage from a massive accounting scandal drags on. Steinhoff first flagged holes in its accounts in December 2017 -- the warning shot for an accounting fraud since put at over $7 billion -- shocking investors that had backed its transformation from a small South African outfit to a discount furniture retailer spanning four continents. The owner of Mattress Firm Inc in the United States, Fantastic chains in Australia and Conforama in France said the loss from continuing operations came in at 356 million euros in the six-months ended March compared with a loss of 392 million euros a year earlier.
Steinhoff International has started legal proceedings against former Chief Executive Markus Jooste and ex-finance chief Ben La Grange to recover certain salary and bonus payments they got prior to 2017. The South African retailer's CEO Louis du Preez told lawmakers in March that Jooste, la Grange, along with six other people, were involved in inflating Steinhoff profits and asset values over several years, forcing the firm to restate years of financials. Steinhoff first flagged holes in its accounts in December 2017 -- leading to the exposure of a more than $7 billion (£6 billion)accounting fraud -- shocking investors who had backed its rise from a small South African outfit to a discount furniture retailer straddling four continents.
Steinhoff International warned of the lingering damage from a massive accounting scandal after the South African retail group reported a 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) annual loss, sending its volatile shares down 8 percent. Steinhoff first flagged holes in its accounts in December 2017 -- the warning shot for an accounting fraud since put at over $7 billion -- shocking investors that had backed its transformation from a small South African outfit to discount furniture retailer straddling four continents. While it reduced losses by 70 percent compared to the 4 billion euro figure in 2017, Steinhoff warned that the reputational damage it had suffered and advisor and professional fees would weigh on its performance this year.
* STOXX 600 down 0.2% in early deals after hitting 6-week highs a day earlier * Hopes of trade deal, dovish Fed limiting losses * UK housebuilders rise after strong Berkeley results * Saga sinks as tour operator warns on Brexit Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Thyagaraju Adinarayan. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: email@example.com OPENING SNAPSHOT: SUBDUED START AHEAD OF FED (0726 GMT) European stocks are slightly lower with banks, mining and auto sectors making gains, while defensives such as consumer staples and utilities are in red. Chip stocks are rallying today pinning hopes on a potential China-U.S. trade deal.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Thyagaraju Adinarayan. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: firstname.lastname@example.org WHAT'S ON OUR RADAR: SAGA, BERKELEY, STEINHOFF, ADYEN (0656 GMT) It's a lull in continental Europe, but there is some action in the UK with corporate companies continuing blame Brexit and/or political uncertainties for poor results. Saga says its tour operations business is still being hit by political uncertainties, housebuilder Berkeley Group has reported a 21% drop in pretax profit and Whitbread's like-for-like revenue per available room in the UK fell 6% in Q1.
South African retailer Steinhoff on Tuesday reported a $4 billion operating loss in the 2017 fiscal year, in a much-delayed earnings report revealing the impact of a $7.4 billion accounting fraud. Steinhoff, which is also listed in Frankfurt, delayed the results after finding holes in its accounts, shocking investors who had backed its reinvention from small South African furniture outfit into a discount furniture retailer straddling four continents. The owner of Mattress Firm Inc in the United States, the Fantastic chains in Australia and Conforama in France said operating loss came in at 3.7 billion euros ($4.14 billion) in the year ended September 2017 compared with profit of 278 million euros in the restated 2016 figures.
South African retailer Steinhoff said on Tuesday it had reduced the value of goodwill and intangible assets recorded in its accounts for the end of September 2017 by 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) to 7.2 billion euros. Steinhoff has repeatedly delayed its 2017 and 2018 financial statements after a $7.4 billion accounting fraud that stunned investors in the multinational retailer that had been at the vanguard of the European discount furniture retail industry. Steinhoff had published interim results for the period ending March 2018 that put the value of goodwill and intangible assets at Sept. 30 at about 9 billion euros.