|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's range||13.79 - 14.30|
|52-week range||11.84 - 25.61|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.20|
|PE ratio (TTM)||9.25|
|Earnings date||25 Feb 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||1.43 (9.77%)|
|Ex-dividend date||11 May 2020|
|1y target est||27.16|
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The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on contingent convertible bonds (CoCo), which are the riskiest debt banks can issue and are designed to act as a protective layer for them in times of trouble. Britain's Lloyds Bank and France's Credit Agricole this week launched tenders to buy back CoCo bonds as well. Other banks who have AT1 bonds - the most common type of CoCos - that will become redeemable this year include the likes of Julius Baer, Bank of Ireland, Lloyds Bank and Cooperative Bank, according to Axiom Alternative Investments records.
(Bloomberg) -- Marie-Pascale Schuller started feeling sick last week. The 57-year-old doctor specializes in respiratory illnesses, and she had a strong suspicion as to what her fever, cough and aches meant. She wanted to keep seeing patients without the risk of exposing them to Covid-19, so she turned to Qare, a telemedicine app backed by French insurer Axa SA that she’d started using part-time a year ago which allows her to meet with patients via video. The French government is now reimbursing people who use Qare -- usually a private service -- to cope with a surge in demand for doctor appointments.“I am not the only one. Many of my fellow pneumologists -- all of those I know at least -- are 100% telehealth now,” Schuller said in an interview from her home in the Paris suburb of Montgeron. “This is a sanitary measure, as much to protect themselves as the patients.”Telemedicine apps can be anything from text-based services to video chats with doctors. Their use had been growing before the arrival of Covid-19, and the virus is likely to push adoption higher. KRY, which offers telemedicine services in Germany, the U.K., Norway and Sweden, said it’s seen a 47% increase in the number of doctors working for its service in the last two weeks.People who are exposed to the virus are advised by groups like Britain’s National Health Service and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to self-isolate for at least 14 days. Those who develop symptoms have to stay home for at least seven days. With such a contagious disease -- a sick person spreads the illness to an average of 2 to 2.5 people -- large numbers of health-care workers will get exposed or become sick.Schuller has recovered from what she suspects was Covid-19. She worked through the illness for two hours at a time, resting for an hour between sessions and seeing about 12 patients a day. About a third of those are potential coronavirus sufferers, and all have been able to monitor their conditions from home.“It’s certain that more patients will be using telemedicine after this crisis because they will have gotten used to it, because it’s comfortable,” Schuller said. “We will continue to have our face-to-face meetings but -- especially in respiratory diseases -- what matters is to have long-term contacts with our patients to adjust the treatment, and telemedicine is very useful in this.”Read more: Virus Drives Patients to Virtual Doctors and Buoys TelemedicineThe European Commission in 2018 estimated that the global telemedicine market would grow by 14% a year to reach 37 billion euros ($40.5 billion) by 2021. Those numbers may now be surpassed as virus concerns boost demand, making such consultations more routine and widely accepted.Low-Grade FeverLondon-based Babylon Healthcare Services Ltd., one of the biggest providers which got $550 million in funding from investors including the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia last year, declined to give exact figures but said its user base has grown since the outbreak began.Janaki Thakerar is a doctor of general medicine with the NHS. Her oncologist husband came home from a night shift last week feeling unwell. The couple suspected it was the coronavirus and decided to stay home. By Sunday, Thakerar developed a low-grade fever. After taking an over-the-counter painkiller, she felt well enough to work.Thakerar started using Babylon five months ago to see patients remotely a few days a week, splitting her time between the app and NHS practices. While she’s in quarantine, she’s added more Babylon sessions and is helping with the NHS’s 111 service, a phone line people can call to discuss their symptoms. A lot of diagnoses are based on someone’s medical history, she said, so “you don’t always need to see patients.”And doctors are getting creative about some of the tests they’d typically do in person. For example, there’s the Roth test, which helps doctors estimate a person’s oxygen levels remotely. Patients take a deep breath, start counting to 30, and see how far they get before they need another one.“Things are really challenging,’ said Thakerar. “We’re not managing in the same way we were two weeks ago. It’s difficult for primary care, and all the other health conditions haven’t gone away. We’re all trying to be as resourceful as we can.”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.
Insurers have been given an extra two years to implement a new accounting rule aimed at increasing visibility into how they make money. The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) said on Tuesday it has approved delaying its new rule until 2023, following a request from the industry in 2018. "Timely implementation of IFRS 17 is vital to improve the quality and comparability of accounting for insurance contracts," the IASB said in a statement.
(Bloomberg) -- The new coronavirus that’s forcing lockdowns and roiling economies is spurring a silent revolution in the field of telemedicine.As COVID-19 spreads across Europe, leaving new patients in its wake, the fear of infection and a saturated health-care system are driving large numbers of people online for medical consultations. Startups like General Atlantic-backed Doctolib and insurer Axa SA-supported Qare in France, Swedish Kry International AB’s unit Livi, the U.K.’s Push Doctor and Germany’s Compugroup Medical SE that offer up virtual doctors are raking it in.“It’s unfortunate, but the current epidemic is pushing patients to make the leap, and it can accelerate a change in habits,” said Olivier Thierry, chief executive officer of Qare, a French platform that offers video consultations with its team of doctors. “Forecasts on growth are changing by the day.”The business of connecting doctors and patients through video consultations has had a slow start in Europe because of patient reticence, an unfriendly regulatory environment, disparities in health-care systems and insurance rules. Now, with hospitals struggling to cope with the virus, patients are turning to such services and governments are setting aside reservations about the risks of “couch consultations” to ease regulations.The European Commission in 2018 estimated that the global telemedicine market would reach 37 billion euros ($42 billion) by 2021, with an annual growth rate of 14%. Those numbers may now be surpassed as virus concerns boost demand, making such consultations more routine and widely accepted.Qare’s CEO sees telemedicine representing about 10% of France’s 400 million annual medical consultations by the end of 2021 from negligible numbers now. Qare, which takes a 20% fee for consultations, said that in the past couple of weeks it added 25% more bookings than usual. Last year, it had 80,000 appointments, up from 8,000 in its first full year of operation in 2018.For Sweden’s Kry, consultations for virus-related infections -- like colds, flu, cough and fever -- and other general demands has jumped 41% week-on-week in markets outside its home base, Johannes Schildt, its co-founder said. The startup, which raised 140 million euros in January from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, also operates in Norway, the U.K., Germany and France.The jump came “as health-care systems in our core markets struggle to cope with the Coronavirus-related strain,” he said.Doctolib, the top French startup helping set up medical appointments, says it saw a 40% increase in bookings last week. It clocked up 130,000 video consultations in its first year in that business last year.The startups that manage to broaden their customer base during the virus crisis will find themselves in an increasingly crowded race.In France alone, the market is spread between Qare, Livi, Mesdocteurs, HelloConsult, Medaviz, Hellocare, DoctoConsult and Doctolib. In the U.K. the business is shared by Babylon Health, which got funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Push Doctor, askmyGP and Livi.The current epidemic will show which players are “equipped, scaled and have the ability to face the crisis,” said Wais Shaifta, the CEO of Push Doctor, whose backers include Partech and Draper Venture Network. The U.K. company, which works with the NHS, has added 20% more consultations since the start of the year, with a bump since last week. Shaifta expects the virus to push numbers even higher.Telemedicine includes consultations not only with general practitioners but also in specialized areas such mental health, cardiology, dermatology and others, depending on local regulations. Dutch startup Ksyos has invested in the business in the Netherlands, Italy and Austria, and helps patients with long-term ailments to consult doctors on a regular basis.For all its growth, though, telemedicine is not without its detractors.In April, PWC cited an American pediatric doctors’ analysis report, that “telemedicine may benefit patients by making care more convenient and accessible, but new data suggests it may also contribute to the over-prescribing of antibiotics by physicians who aren’t able to physically examine their patients.”“Health care is a serious thing and reliable treatments cannot be traded for the comfort of consultations from a couch,” said Jean-Paul Hamon of the French doctors’ federation. “Telemedicine must be used with more judgment and authorities must make sure it’s not spreading into a business.” He said the coronavirus shouldn’t be “the excuse” to market telemedicine.At the December congress of the industry group called Telemedicine Society, Nicolas Revel, who heads France’s state health-insurance system, said he wasn’t comfortable with the rise of “patient-consumers.”Countries like Switzerland and Estonia have long used the system, initially with telephone consultations. Switzerland is starting to test video medicine with connected self-measurement devices that patients can use in their homes.In the Netherlands, the government says people who want “care and support at home should be able to communicate with their care provider 24 hours a day via a screen.” A startup called BeterDichtbij, better-closer in Dutch, offers a Whatsapp-type consultation with doctors.In Germany, the state has started relaxing rules on remote treatment, but the national culture around privacy and data protection remains a barriers. Doctolib, which entered the market with its appointment-booking offer, has yet to try telehealth in Europe’s biggest market, while Kry’s Livi is starting to make inroads.Governments have been cautious about the spread of the practice, putting the brakes mainly through what they’re willing to reimburse and what is covered by health insurance. The French state, for instance, has been concerned about what it sees as the emergence of a parallel “private health-care” system.“It’s not about our growth, but the government has put limits that don’t allow people to access telemedicine in some remote areas,” said Qare’s Thierry, calling such regulations a “straitjacket.”The coronavirus may be changing that.French Health Minister Olivier Veran this week said the government has published a decree easing reimbursement rules for patients using telemedicine.To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vidya RootFor 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.
(Bloomberg) -- AXA SA plans to create a 137 billion-euro ($156 billion) asset-management unit to cater to the growing demand for real estate and other alternative assets.The French insurer will divide its asset-management business in two units: alternatives under Isabelle Scemama and a 536 billion-euro “core” division arm led by Hans Stoter, according to a statement on Tuesday. The changes should take effect in the second quarter of this year.Institutional investors are pushing into assets such as real estate and private debt as bond yields hover close to record lows. Global assets under management reached $10.3 trillion last year, up from $3.1 trillion in 2008, according to research firm Preqin.There is a lot of opportunity in “private markets, which means markets where access to information is even more critical,” Scemama said in a telephone interview. AXA is one of the world’s top 10 investors in the alternative sectors and the new division will capitalize on that experience, she said.Pension funds and insurers increasingly rely on these assets to generate the yield they need to meet liabilities. For asset managers, these investments offer better insulation against the fee pressure exerted by low-cost index-tracking funds.AXA’s new alternatives unit will bring together its real-assets arm, structured-finance platform and its Chorus hedge-fund business, according to the statement.“We strongly believe in leveraging both traditional and alternative asset classes to provide investors with responses to the current hunt for yield,” Gerald Harlin, executive chairman of AXA IM, said in the statement.(Updates with comment from AXA IM Alts chief in fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Jack Sidders.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucca de Paoli in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shelley Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Patrick Henry, James HertlingFor 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.
AXA guided that underlying earnings at the AXA XL unit - which it swooped on in 2018 in a $15.3 billion bid to create a world leader in property and casualty insurance - would be 200 million euros ($216 million) lower than previously expected in 2020, at 1.2 billion euros. It accounted for about a fifth of group revenue in 2019. The French insurer appointed Scott Gunter, previously senior vice president of rival Chubb Ltd , as chief executive of AXA XL.
Move over revenue growth and dividend payouts: it's time to take your portfolio's temperature. Policymakers are pushing investors to do more to ensure their portfolio choices help to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change by limiting planetary warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably to 1.5C. A vanguard of insurers and pension funds, many of whom will be in Davos this week for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, say part of the answer is a new "temperature score" that gives a snapshot of how their investments are contributing to climate change.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, says it will cut exposure to companies linked to thermal coal, among other climate-friendly measures. It’s a powerful signal. Unfortunately, it only scratches the surface. If BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is serious about helping to eliminate coal while reshaping finance, his outfit can use its holdings of sovereign debt to tackle governments, too.Coal power generation has fallen steeply in Europe and the U.S. in the past year or so, thanks to cheap natural gas, higher carbon prices and green pressure. Yet in Asia, once you iron out some local peculiarities, demand for the black stuff remains remarkably resilient. That suggests that even if global appetite peaks soon, as most analysts estimate, it could well remain at high levels for years to come. Analysts at UBS Group AG estimated last July that on current trends the last coal-fired power station may close only in 2079. To blame are the likes of China, India and Vietnam. Their fleet is young, still growing and often state-backed; Western money managers selling out of public securities won’t change that. There is good news. BlackRock is an investment giant, with $7.4 trillion of assets under management, so Fink’s call to arms last week marks a significant move. Cutting off funds for coal producers and driving up their cost of capital is key to suffocating a sector that is the single largest cause of increased global temperatures.BlackRock’s strategic shift is also driven by self-interest. That’s encouraging, as such initiatives tend to outlast moral outrage. Heat from activists, like the BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign, helped, but Fink argues he is making sustainability the new standard because it makes financial sense. The surge of inflows into the firm’s environmentally friendly funds last week will encourage that view.The devil, as ever, is in the detail. BlackRock’s aim to divest thermal coal equity and debt will apply to its actively managed funds. Yet those amount to only under a third of the money it manages. As worrying is the threshold to be used to determine what has to go: The fund manager will sell out of any company where 25% of revenue or more is derived from thermal coal. That gets at narrowly focused producers like Australia’s Whitehaven Coal Ltd., but leaves untouched stakes in diversified heavyweights, like BlackRock’s 6% holding in Glencore Plc, the world’s top producer of seaborne thermal coal, or other sprawling conglomerates. It also tackles primarily miners, not utilities that consume the fuel.It’s possible to aim higher: Axa SA last year vowed to reduce its exposure to the thermal coal industry to zero by 2040.The bigger problem is that while such moves are necessary, they aren’t sufficient. That’s firstly because of the haven offered by private markets. If a large investment fund divests a stock or bond, or pressures companies into selling out of coal projects, what next? BlackRock investors may feel better, but will global production reduce overall? Quite possibly not. Will the world be greener? Also, possibly not, if the pit is sold to owners out of the public eye. Arguably, it may become harder to monitor. That suggests a more effective pressure point is demand, and that means tackling governments and state-backed firms still funding and supporting the fuel. Indeed, real impact will require a change in policy in Asian markets like Vietnam where coal is still a major employer and seen as a driver of economic growth. As a major investor in sovereign debt, even if much of it is in passive funds, BlackRock has enough leverage for meaningful dialogue at least.The challenge is significant. Consider China, which wants to reduce its reliance on coal. At least 200 million tons of coal capacity were ready to start production in 2019, while another 409 million tons of government-approved capacity are under construction, according to Bloomberg Intelligence numbers published last September. Together, that’s almost a quarter of China's up-and-running thermal coal capacity. In Indonesia, coal consumption may grow at the world’s fastest pace. Earlier this month, Jakarta ordered coal miners to slash production after record output last year. Prices immediately turned higher.Policy, then, is the lever to significantly reduce coal use in the region where it’s still growing: Asia. Go back to the UBS numbers. On current trends, the last coal-fired power station closes in six decades. But a red alert scenario where leaders accelerate closures would shutter the last plant in 2058, according to the bank, closer to the 2050 target set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Indonesia’s tussle with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2017 — when Jakarta temporarily severed business ties over a negative research report — is a reminder of just how much emerging market governments care about perception. BlackRock can make that count. To contact the author of this story: Clara Ferreira Marques at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.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.