|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's range||1,458.50 - 1,523.00|
|52-week range||562.80 - 1,523.00|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.18|
|PE ratio (TTM)||245.33|
|Earnings date||20 Aug 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||580.53|
Dutch business Mollie helps the likes of Deliveroo and Moet Champagne process online payments.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- After every financial scandal, the natural question that gets asked is: Where were the regulators?The answer, usually, is asleep at the wheel — or MIA altogether. When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened a formal probe into Enron in 2001, the energy-trading giant had already lost 83% of its market value and was weeks from declaring bankruptcy. More recently, a string of money-laundering scandals in Europe has shown watchdogs missed warning signs for years.When it comes to the spectacular collapse of German fintech darling Wirecard AG, though, things are rather more embarrassing. We know exactly what BaFin, the banking regulator for Europe’s No. 1 economy, was doing in the months leading up to the shocking revelation this June that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of cash on Wirecard’s books never existed. Not only was it dragging its feet in investigating a national electronic-payments champion, it was going after the very people trying to expose the company’s dodgy accounting practices. When evidence of sham practices was piling up in Financial Times reports based on whistleblower accounts and internal documents, BaFin filed a criminal complaint in April — against the newspaper’s reporters and several short sellers. A few months earlier, it slapped a short-selling ban on the stock, a sign of support for Wirecard that spared it maximum pressure from the financial markets. Years before that, when Zatarra Research published a negative paper questioning Wirecard’s risk controls in 2016, BaFin probed the messenger as well.Institutional biases and cognitive blind spots are nothing new, of course. The SEC failed to uncover Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme for decades, even after several warnings by a whistleblower, because he was such a prominent establishment figure. Wirecard’s success probably blinded BaFin in the same way as it did auditors, bullish shareholders and the German media.But in trying to explain how BaFin wound up using its finite resources to go after Wirecard’s critics, comments in July and August by its boss, Felix Hufeld, have been revealing in all the wrong ways. Excuses and defensive buck-passing have been the order of the day. Hufeld has said that BaFin didn’t have the power to fully investigate Wirecard’s fraud, and that it did all it could to spur other supervisory bodies and prosecutors into action. He has even said that, despite having a banking license, Wirecard was actually classed as a technology company — a category error so monumental that it’s akin to calling beef bourgignon a vegetarian dish. Even more disturbing is the revelation that employees at BaFin were trading Wirecard stock in the months leading up to its insolvency. The level of trading may have been low overall, but, given BaFin’s role as supervisor, the optics are terrible.With Hufeld resisting calls to step down, and plenty of questions still unanswered, no wonder German lawmakers have decided to launch a full parliamentary inquiry. This will doubtless have a broad sweep, and examine the extent to which Wirecard held the political and financial establishment in thrall. What’s really needed, though, is reform of Germany’s regulatory supervision system. While nobody expects a U.S. style prosecutorial regime to emerge overnight in Germany, there is hope that BaFin can clean up its act and learn from the scandal.More reform, more accountability and a serious overhaul of BaFin’s culture are needed. Garen Markarian, a professor at the University of Lausanne, reckons that top management needs to be replaced and those who traded Wirecard stock opportunistically need to be punished. There should also be tougher oversight of auditors, an area currently unevenly shared by BaFin and a much smaller entity, AOB.Europe’s interconnected financial markets require strong regulators. Wirecard may be an extreme and egregious case, but it has revealed lapses within German regulation and a lack of understanding of the risks payment processors and fintech firms can carry. That’s a problem given fintech’s increasingly systemic role — as seen by Adyen NV’s entry into the Euro Stoxx 50 index as Societe Generale SA departs. Worryingly 31% of fintech firms in Europe aren’t regulated under any regime. Improving BaFin should help deal with these challenges — or, at the very least, allow journalists and short sellers to get back to their own day job.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the European Union and France. He worked previously at Reuters and Forbes.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.
(Bloomberg) -- Adyen NV said it poached new merchants from embattled German payments firm Wirecard AG, as the Dutch company reported a 27% rise in revenue for the first half of the year.The scandal that plagued competitor Wirecard proved to be a boost in Adyen’s favor. Retail merchants looked for payment processing alternatives following the German company’s spectacular collapse in June, when Wirecard filed for insolvency after admitting that almost 2 billion euros ($2.37 billion) previously reported as cash didn’t exist.“We certainly got some inbound from merchants that wanted to work with us,” Adyen Chief Financial Officer Ingo Uytdehaage said in an interview. They were primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.Partnerships with a couple of former Wirecard clients are already live, while Adyen is still in talks with many others, the finance chief said. Some are “really well-known brands” that “wanted to convert quickly,” he said, declining to name specific new merchants.But, Uytdehaage said, the Wirecard scandal overall was “not good for trust in the industry.”Nonetheless, that same industry remains buoyant during the pandemic as more shoppers rely on contactless cards and ecommerce while shunning cash. Amsterdam-based Adyen, which processes payments for firms including Uber Technologies Inc. and EBay Inc., has benefitted from the trend, leading its shares to double this year even as Amsterdam’s AEX Index has declined 7.3%.On Thursday, the company reported 279.9 million euros in net revenue for the first half of the year, just beating average analyst expectations of 274.2 million euros. The Amsterdam-based company said it processed 129.1 billion euros of payments for the period, an increase of 23% from last year. Analysts on average had expected processed volumes of 127.15 billion euros for the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Adyen also reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 140.9 million euros, just missing analyst estimates of 144 million euros.Shares were down 4.3% to 1,397 euros at 9:43 a.m. in Amsterdam on Thursday.While Adyen’s first-half results show strong resilience to the pandemic, they “might not be enough to confirm the strong share rally these last three months,” KBC analyst Thomas Couvreur said in a note, adding that a derivative liability correction “might further cause some negative sentiment.”Despite the wins, there were some bruises for the Dutch company in the first half, particularly in the travel industry, where traffic has cratered due to the pandemic. Uytdehaage said the company is starting to see a rebound from online booking platforms with more people taking holidays in their local regions but “it’s absolutely not at the levels before Covid started,” he said.Adyen expects to continue to benefit from an accelerating trend from cash toward cards, even as customers start to trickle back into brick-and-mortar stores, Uytdehaage said, pointing to government incentives for customers to pay with cards or smartphones. The Amsterdam-based company offers merchants payments processing both online and in stores and in a variety of local payments methods.The finance chief confirmed the company’s outlook, and said it continues to hire new employees, growing its workforce to around 1,500 people by the end of the second quarter.Adyen still expects to grow net revenue at a rate between the mid-20s and low-30s in the medium term. It also plans to increase its annual EBITDA margin to above 55% in the long term. The company doesn’t define what it perceives as medium or long-term.(Adds more details in 7th, share price in 8th and analyst comment in 9th paragraphs)For 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.