GLE.PA - Société Générale Société anonyme

Paris - Paris Delayed price. Currency in EUR
29.82
+0.05 (+0.15%)
At close: 5:35PM CET
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close29.77
Open29.74
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's range29.25 - 30.08
52-week range20.81 - 32.23
Volume3,776,018
Avg. volume3,515,369
Market cap25.045B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.29
PE ratio (TTM)9.56
EPS (TTM)3.12
Earnings date06 Feb 2020
Forward dividend & yield2.20 (7.39%)
Ex-dividend date27 May 2019
1y target est43.49
  • Switzerland’s Central Bank Is Stomaching a Stronger Franc
    Bloomberg

    Switzerland’s Central Bank Is Stomaching a Stronger Franc

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Sight deposits at the Swiss National Bank increased only marginally last week, suggesting President Thomas Jordan and his colleagues aren’t taking much action to counter the strengthening franc.Iran-U.S. tensions and fears about the spreading Coronavirus has lifted the haven franc this year. Earlier on Monday, it breached the 1.07 per euro mark to touch a fresh three-year high.Yet the amount of cash commercial banks hold with the central bank -- seen as a early indicator of activity -- rose just 0.22% to 587 billion francs ($605 billion) in the week ending Jan. 24.While there’s been no evidence of interventions recently, the threat of action remains alive. SNB President Thomas Jordan told Bloomberg Television on Thursday that the pledge to sell the franc if needed remains in place alongside the central bank’s record-low interest rates.Last week, euro-area officials expressed optimism over signs of economic stabilization, citing easing global trade tensions and a mildly expansionary fiscal policy. UBS Group AG reversed its call for an SNB rate cut in March.“The SNB is tolerating a bit stronger franc, maybe also because the economic environment is looking a bit better,” Credit Suisse Group AG economist Maxime Botteron said.Responding to a U.S. decision to add Switzerland back on its watch list for currency manipulators, Jordan said the SNB was only looking to stave off deflationary conditions with its purchases of foreign currency.“U.S. pressure on Switzerland not to intervene to hold the currency down has given franc bulls another reason to be long,” according to Kit Juckes, a currency strategist at Societe Generale.(Updates with analyst comment in final paragraph)\--With assistance from Anooja Debnath.To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at cbosley1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.netFor 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

    Loose Lips at Brunswick: An Insider Tip Shared at a Paris Dinner

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.At the crack of dawn on a crisp day in January 2016, police officers massed outside a pair of homes in the Paris area. They hoped to make a breakthrough in two insider-trading probes. Their targets: a consultant at Brunswick Group LLP and a Societe Generale SA banker.Candice Baudet Depierre, who had been hired by Brunswick in 2010, was placed in custody soon after the raid at her home and interrogated by police officers. The following day, after her release, she tried to explain to her bosses at the advisory firm what had happened.Baudet Depierre admitted she may “have been imprudent during a dinner” in talking about an undisclosed Technip SA bid to take over oilfield surveyor CGG SA, according to court documents. It’s unclear who was privy to the discussion but Brunswick, which was involved in the tentative deal, fired her within days.For more than five years, French authorities have been investigating the outsized gains made by a loose network of traders from suspicious bets on securities, including Airgas Inc. and Alstom SA. In recent months, links have also come to light between that probe and separate insider-trading cases in the U.S. and U.K. involving bankers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS Group AG as well as a trader who earned $70 million in illegal profit.While the French raids at the home of the SocGen banker and the lender’s headquarters west of Paris were previously made public as part of a separate unfair dismissal lawsuit, Baudet Depierre’s involvement had remained confidential.Bonus OwedDetails on her part in the case emerged in a December ruling from the Paris appeals court and a previous employment tribunal decision as part of an unfair dismissal lawsuit she lodged.Her first attempt at obtaining compensation in court was unsuccessful, but the appellate judges ruled that while her dismissal was justified Brunswick still owed her an 11,000 euro ($12,200) bonus for 2015 and 15,000 euros for overtime work.Baudet Depierre and her lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment. Neither Brunswick nor SocGen are mentioned as having any involvement in any wrongdoing.As part of her appeal, Baudet Depierre said she hasn’t faced any charges in the CGG case and suggested, without naming them, that other Brunswick staff members had also been investigated. Brunswick declined to comment beyond saying the case concerns only one former staff member who was interrogated four years ago. SocGen representatives declined to comment.In court filings, Brunswick complained to the Paris court of appeals that Baudet Depierre’s imprudence threatened to tarnish the advisory firm’s reputation.Networking ‘Encouraged’Baudet Depierre countered by saying “Brunswick encouraged staff to do networking with bankers and lawyers, which necessarily meant sharing information,” according to the December ruling.CGG rose on a November 2014 report that the firm was weighing a sale to Technip. Less than a month later, its shares slumped as much as 38% after Technip said it had halted its bid.It is unclear how many people have been charged as part of the CGG probe in addition to Geneva trader Lucien Selce, whose lawyer disclosed the accusations against his client in yet another lawsuit.Selce has always denied involvement in any insider trading and no trial has been ordered; his lawyer declined to comment. An official at the office of France’s financial prosecutor, the Parquet National Financier, also declined to comment on the investigations.\--With assistance from Peter Chapman.To contact the reporter on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Paris at gsebag@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Christopher Elser, Alan KatzFor 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.

  • The Swiss Franc Is Rallying, But Will the Central Bank Intervene?
    Bloomberg

    The Swiss Franc Is Rallying, But Will the Central Bank Intervene?

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.The U.S. government’s complaints over Switzerland’s currency policy may actually make it harder for the central bank to stay out of the foreign-exchange market.The Swiss franc strengthened beyond 1.075 per euro for the first time since April 2017 after Washington put the nation back on its currency watch list and urged the country to adjust its macroeconomic policies.Strategists say Switzerland’s growth and inflation data may leave the Swiss National Bank no choice but to buy foreign currency in an effort to curtail the franc’s advance.“We know from the SNB’s intervention activity that the franc is already at critical levels, i.e. at levels at which it has intervened before last year,” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a strategist at Commerzbank AG. “There is a high likelihood that it will step into the market, or is already active.”SNB data in August suggested the bank had pumped billions of francs into markets, buying foreign currency in an effort to curb the franc’s strength. A stronger franc can make it harder for Swiss companies to export their products.The SNB said Tuesday that its interventions were designed only to offset the ill effects of too strong a currency. The interventions, which aren’t aimed at giving the nation a competitive advantage, are disclosed in an annual report, the SNB said in a statement.Five years since the SNB jolted markets by scrapping a cap on the franc and introducing negative interest rates, the currency’s strength means there’s little chance it will be able to end the policy any time soon.In the aftermath of the U.S. decision on Monday, traders are braced for swings in the franc in the weeks ahead. One-month implied volatility in the euro-franc pair rose to its highest in nearly two months on Wednesday, up by as much as 11bps to 4.27%. Meanwhile, Manuel Oliveri, a strategist at Credit Agricole SA, advises against chasing the franc higher.The U.S. decision “encouraged market participants to test the SNB’s appetite to keep intervening to dampen Swiss franc strength,” said Lee Hardman, a strategist at MUFG Bank Ltd. in London. “We still think the SNB will continue to intervene after the U.S. Treasury announcement, but it has created some additional uncertainty in the near-term which the market is testing now.”The franc traded at 1.07613 per euro at 11:17 a.m. in London. The currency was up 0.2% against the dollar to 0.9651.Here’s what strategists are saying:Credit Agricole (Avoid chasing franc higher)“We advise against chasing the CHF higher from current levels. The currency benefitted from the notion that the SNB was under pressure to turn less dovish on monetary policy, says strategist Manuel Oliveri.“We see low risk for that to happen with current EUR/CHF levels potentially offering good risk reward for long-term longs.”Societe Generale (Strong franc may become tougher challenge for SNB)“We suggest that EUR/CHF moving below 1.10 might be the intervention trigger, making the SNB active again and raising U.S. scrutiny,” says strategist Olivier Korber.“A strong CHF might thus become a tougher challenge for the SNB. The central bank now faces the risk of seeing markets testing its capacity to defend further appreciation. As the U.S. economy slows, the market’s appetite for safe havens looks set to grow. The JPY and CHF should be the main beneficiaries of these flows, mostly at the expense of the USD.”\--With assistance from Vassilis Karamanis.To contact the reporters on this story: William Shaw in London at wshaw20@bloomberg.net;Greg Ritchie in London at gritchie10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at delbaltaji@bloomberg.net, William Shaw, Michael HunterFor 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.

  • Ten Strategists on What U.S.-Iran Escalation Means for Markets
    Bloomberg

    Ten Strategists on What U.S.-Iran Escalation Means for Markets

    (Bloomberg) -- The tone in global financial markets has turned cautious after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian commander, fueling concern over an escalation in tensions.U.S. stock futures dropped and Asian shares reversed gains, while oil spiked along with the yen and gold. Qassem Soleimani, a feared Iranian general who through proxy militias extended his country’s power across the Middle East, was killed at the direction of U.S. President Donald Trump. The risk-off move deepened after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said “severe retaliation” awaited Soleimani’s killers.The shock news comes after most asset classes had a stellar 2019, with U.S. equities capping one of the best years of the past decade.Here are 10 analysts and money managers on what it means for the market outlook:BlackRock Inc.Wei Li, head of iShares EMEA investment strategy in London“Within the space of 24 hours, sentiment took a 180-degree turn. This very much characterizes the sort of year we expect 2020 to be: on the one hand, fundamentals are getting a bit better, trade headlines are getting a bit better, but on the other hand, bouts of volatility will be frequent.“Given how strong sentiment is and how fundamentals have been in terms of bottoming out and to some degree recovering, we could see investors using this opportunity to potentially buy the dip. Until we actually see tangible evidence of uncertainty impacting growth, we could see investors being quite tactical around the event.”Fidelity InvestmentsJurrien Timmer, director of global macro in Boston“If I can find an issue with the market, the forward P/E is now at 18 1/2. It essentially front-ran an expected improvement in earnings, and now those earnings have to come through, which I think they will. But at an 18 1/2 forward P/E, there’s not a lot of margin for error, and so when you add something geopolitical like this, it’s not the same as being at a 15 P/E. And so that leaves the market a little bit vulnerable, at least over the near-term.”Societe Generale SAKit Juckes, chief FX strategist in London“Gold’s a winner as tension increases, and oil prices are higher too. Bond yields are lower, the equity rally which was underway in the U.S. has stalled but not gone dramatically in reverse, and in the FX market, safe havens and oil-sensitive currencies benefit but it’s the yen which is the clear winner.“The key level to watch is probably EUR/JPY 120. That probably holds unless there is further escalation.“Given the scope for tension to persist in the Strait of Hormuz, a protracted period of higher oil prices has to be a risk.”Credit Agricole SAValentin Marinov, head of G-10 currency research in London, who calls the timing of the escalation “unfortunate.”It could “dash market hopes for a rebound of the global economy that is still to emerge from under the cloud of the U.S.-China trade war. Risk sentiment should remain fragile also because central banks may be slow to respond or simply no longer have the arsenal to respond in an adequate way.”He calls the yen and Swiss franc “attractive,” while saying the conflict could weigh on “risk-correlated oil importing currencies like the Korean won.”ING Groep NVAntoine Bouvet, senior rates strategist in London“Recent episodes of U.S./Iran tensions have not resulted in material escalation but even in a fairly benign outcome to this crisis, the bid in U.S. Treasuries and bunds should last at least into next week.”Colombo Wealth SAAlberto Tocchio, chief investment officer in Lugano, Switzerland“The ‘severe retaliation’ aspect is possibly what is scaring the markets as it could mean that there will be a counter-attack versus American diplomats. Markets could use this excuse to take some profits as sentiment and positioning are possibly too high.“We would then use the possible weakness to increase our equity exposure.”Saxo Capital Markets Pte.Kay Van-Petersen, global macro strategist in Singapore“We are moving potentially from proxy (Iran) versus proxy (Saudis and U.S.) to potentially direct Iran-backed forces versus U.S. forces.” However, “net-net, I struggle to see what Iran can really do.“People are still not back at their desks fully until next week to mid-January, so illiquidity could give us some overreaction to the downside. Still, let’s see how the next 24 to 48 hours play out. Remember, it’s the weekend already in the Middle East.”The gain in oil “honestly feels a touch overdone.” But this is positive for U.S. defense spending and even French defense stocks could get a boost later, he noted.“So much for Trump calling troops home.”Covenant Capital Pte.Edward Lim, money manager in Singapore“This attack merely highlights the geopolitical risk of the oil markets, and the market undergoing a possible oil shortage in the first one to two quarters of 2020.“We didn’t do anything on the news as we have already bought some oil stocks such as CNOOC and Total when oil was trading close to $60s at the end of 2019.”UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) Ltd.Steven Leung, executive director in Hong Kong“Investors are worried that the situation in Iran will worsen, since there could be some retaliation after the U.S. attack. People will want to cut risk ahead of the weekend. Stocks have rallied a lot in the past month or so, so any bad news flow is a reason to take profit.”Mizuho Bank Ltd.Ken Cheung, chief Asian FX strategist in Hong Kong“The reversal of risk-on sentiment will keep Asian FX under pressure. The USD Index also appeared to find a footing. These factors will probably prompt profit-taking flow on EM Asian FX. The magnitude could be amplified by thin liquidity during the New Year holiday.”(Updates with additional analyst quotes.)\--With assistance from Jeanny Yu, Subhadip Sircar, Hooyeon Kim, Cindy Wang, James Hirai, Anooja Debnath, Ruth Carson, Ksenia Galouchko, Matthew Miller and David Westin.To contact the reporters on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at jossinger@bloomberg.net;Yakob Peterseil in London at ypeterseil@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Cecile GutscherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • What Does Société Générale Société anonyme's (EPA:GLE) Share Price Indicate?
    Simply Wall St.

    What Does Société Générale Société anonyme's (EPA:GLE) Share Price Indicate?

    Let's talk about the popular Société Générale Société anonyme (EPA:GLE). The company's shares received a lot of...

  • Bloomberg

    SocGen Needs a Magic Wand More Than a New CEO

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The clock is ticking for Frederic Oudea. After more than 11 years running Societe Generale SA, the French bank is searching for an eventual successor. A new leader may bring a change of course, but undoing the lender’s strategic missteps will require some fancy footwork.SocGen wants a replacement to succeed the 56-year-old Frenchman once his term expires in three years, Bloomberg News reported this week. That a search is underway shows SocGen knows it needs to look beyond the obvious contenders, Oudea’s deputies — an acknowledgment that succession planning hasn’t gone well.And Oudea might be replaced before his term expires, according to Bloomberg. That the bank should be open to finding a new chief executive officer just months after reconfirming Oudea signals a lack of confidence in his restructuring plan, the bank’s biggest in years.SocGen’s shares value it at less than half of its tangible book; that’s well below its big domestic peers. BNP Paribas SA and Credit Agricole SA trade at more than 77% and 87% of book, respectively. No wonder the board is concerned.After failing to meet revenue, cost to income and profitability targets in his previous three-year plan, Oudea is cutting another 2,000 jobs, retreating from parts of fixed-income trading and selling some smaller foreign offshoots to improve capital. The moves are helping somewhat. The bank’s CET1 ratio — a measure of its ability to absorb potential losses — rose almost 50 basis points to 12.5% at the end of the third quarter, ahead of its own 2020 target.The trouble is that SocGen is far too exposed to a cut-throat, low-margin French consumer banking business, and a volatile investment bank. The two units made up a combined 60% or so of group revenue in the third quarter, and 50% of operating income. Revenue was flat in the retail business and fell in investment banking. Income from equities plunged, a reminder that even the bank’s areas of traditional strength cannot be relied upon when markets turn against them.While there were higher returns in the company’s insurance, car leasing and international businesses, SocGen’s exit from asset management has left it less diversified than peers. While the need to bolster capital didn’t give Oudea much choice but to sell Amundi SA, the strategy is hurting.With capital buffers just about where they need to be, Oudea or a potential successor are somewhat constrained. Dipping back into fund management now might be costly.Unless the outlook for interest rates improves, or there’s a sustained rebound in investment banking, it’s hard to see an alternative to finding more cuts, reducing risk and quitting non-core businesses. Making SocGen palatable to a potential buyer isn’t very aspirational but it’s better than standing still.To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 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.

  • Fear of an Inverted Yield Curve Is Still Alive for 2020
    Bloomberg

    Fear of an Inverted Yield Curve Is Still Alive for 2020

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- About a year ago to the day, the U.S. yield curve inverted for the first time during this business cycle. Sure, it wasn’t the part that has historically predicted future recessions, but it foreshadowed the more consequential inversion —  the part of the curve from three months to 10 years — which happened in March and lasted for much of the rest of the year through mid-October.This wasn’t much of a shock to Wall Street. Even in December 2017, many strategists saw an inverted yield curve as largely inevitable, with short- and longer-dated maturities meeting somewhere between 2% and 2.5%. That’s just what happened. It was enough to spur the Federal Reserve into action. The central bank proceeded to slash its benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points in just three months. Now the curve looks positively normal again.“Inverted Yield Curve’s Recession Flag Already Looks So Last Year,” a recent Bloomberg News article declared. Indeed, the prospect of the curve steepening in 2020 is drawing money from BlackRock Inc. and Aviva Investors, among others, Liz Capo McCormick and John Ainger reported. Praveen Korapaty, chief global rates strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., told them the spread between two- and 10-year yields will be wider in most sovereign debt markets. PGIM Fixed Income’s chief economist Nathan Sheets said “the global economy has skirted the recession threat.”Yet beneath that bravado, the fear of another bout of yield-curve inversion remains alive and well on Wall Street.John Briggs at NatWest Markets, for instance, predicts the curve from three months to 10 years (or two to 10 years) will invert again, possibly for a couple of months, because the Fed will resist cutting rates again after its 2019 “mid-cycle adjustment.” “I see the economy slowing to below trend growth, the market seeing it and recognizing the Fed needs to do more, especially with inflation low, but the Fed will be slow to respond,” he said in an email. Then there’s Societe Generale, which is calling for the U.S. economy to fall into a recession and for 10-year Treasury yields to end 2020 at 1.2%, which would be a record low. Even though the curve doesn’t invert in the bank’s quarter-end forecasts, it’s quite possible during a bond rally, according to Subadra Rajappa, SocGen’s head of U.S. rates strategy.“Over time, if the data weakens, the curve will likely bull flatten and possibly invert akin to what we saw in August,” she said. “If the data continue to deteriorate and the economy goes into a recession as per our expectations, then we expect the Fed to act swiftly to provide accommodation.”To be clear, another yield-curve inversion is by no means the consensus. The prevailing expectation is that the economy is in “a good place” (to borrow Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s line) and that Treasury yields will probably drift higher, particularly if the U.S. and China reach any kind of trade agreement. In that scenario, central bankers will be just fine leaving monetary policy where it is.Bank of America Corp.’s Mark Cabana summed up the bond market’s base case at the bank’s year-ahead conference in Manhattan: There will probably be no breakout higher in U.S. economic growth (capping long-term yields) but also no need for the Fed to cut aggressively (propping up short-term yields). That should leave the curve range-bound in 2020.That range, though, is not all that far from zero. Ten-year Treasury yields are now 20 basis points higher than those on two-year notes, and 22 basis points more than three-month bills. At the end of 2018, those spreads were nearly the same — 19 basis points and 31 basis points, respectively. That is to say, it’s not much of a stretch to envision the curve flattening in a hurry if anxious bond traders clash with a patient Fed.For now, traders seem to be pinning their hopes on resilient American consumers powering the global economy, using evidence of strong holiday shopping numbers to back their thesis. My colleague Karl Smith isn’t so sure that’s the best strategy, given that the spending is actually weakening relative to 2018, plus it usually serves as a lagging indicator anyway. Markets are also on alert for any cracks in the U.S. labor market, which has been the bastion of this record-long recovery. November’s jobs numbers will be released Friday.As for the Fed, its interest-rate moves are a clunky way to fine-tune the world’s largest economy. But that’s not the case for addressing angst around the U.S. yield curve. If the central bank doesn’t like its shape, it has the policy tools to directly and immediately bend it back.It comes down to which scenario Fed officials consider a bigger risk in 2020: Allowing the Treasury curve to remain flat or inverted, or moving too quickly toward the lower bound of interest rates? Judging by dissents around the more recent decisions, this is very much an open question.To get another inversion, “you’d need a Fed that wants to hold policy constant through a period of economic weakness: front end remains anchored near current levels due to policy expectations, long end drops due to diminishing growth/inflation forecasts,” said Jon Hill at BMO Capital Markets. “Not impossible by any means.” An inversion would probably come in the first or second quarter of 2020, fellow BMO interest-rate strategist Ian Lyngen said, though that’s not his base case.That sounds about right. Fed officials seem satisfied with dropping rates by the same amount as their predecessors did during other mid-cycle adjustments. Now they want to wait and see how lower interest rates trickle into the economy, perhaps making them more entrenched over the next several months. It’s hard to say for sure, though, given that Treasury yields have behaved since the central bank’s last meeting. The market simply hasn’t tested the Fed’s resolve.Relative calm like that rarely lasts, particularly when one tweet on trade sends investors into a tizzy. The path forward is almost never as linear as year-ahead forecasts make it appear.The same is true for the yield curve. We might very well be past “peak inversion,” but ruling out another push below zero could be a premature wager.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©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-CFTC enforcement fines, fees jump in 2019, even as activity, civil penalties fall

    The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission collected nearly 40% more in penalties and payments in fiscal 2019, even as civil penalties it assessed and total enforcement actions fell, the regulator said on Monday. The CFTC obtained monetary relief of more than $1.3 billion in the year ended Sept. 30 from 69 enforcement actions, a 39% increase from the previous year and the fourth-highest total in CFTC history, agency officials said in its annual enforcement report. The bulk of the monetary total came from disgorgement and restitution, and civil monetary penalties totaled $205.6 million.

  • SocGen's heads of Asia trade finance depart after bunker fuel losses
    Reuters

    SocGen's heads of Asia trade finance depart after bunker fuel losses

    SINGAPORE/PARIS (Reuters) - Societe Generale's regional heads of trade and commodities finance for Asia Pacific have left the Paris-based bank, raising concerns among Singapore-based shipping fuel traders that it may wind back financing services to the sector. France's third-biggest listed lender said this year it would shrink or exit some businesses to cut costs at its investment banking unit, and has been hit by losses from trade financing in the Singapore bunker fuel market. Societe Generale, or SocGen, confirmed on Thursday that Damien de Rosny and Timothy Siow had left the bank, without providing further details.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-Are European banks getting naughtier?

    * Qiagen surges as it explores sale 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. ARE EUROPEAN BANKS GETTING NAUGHTIER? "While U.S. banks were particularly hit by misconduct costs in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, European banks have been more exposed since 2015", a study published today by the ECB found.

  • Bonds Aren’t Believers in a Synchronized Upswing
    Bloomberg

    Bonds Aren’t Believers in a Synchronized Upswing

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The global bond market rallied for a second consecutive day on Thursday in an awkward development for the growing chorus of voices that have cropped up the last few weeks contending that the synchronized global slowdown was over. From China to Germany, and from Cisco Systems Inc. to freight shipments, the latest data show  it’s too soon to turn optimistic.In China, industrial output rose 4.7% in October from a year earlier, below the median estimate of 5.4%. Germany did post a surprise expansion in its gross domestic product for the third quarter, but that came with plenty of caveats. For one, the increase was only 0.1%, and the contraction for the second quarter was deeper than initially reported — negative 0.2% versus negative 0.1%. In the U.S., economists were passing around the latest Cass Freight Index for October, which fell 5.9% to mark its 11th consecutive year-over-year decline. This gauge has been around since 1995 and tracks freight volumes and expenditures by hundreds of companies in North America conducting $28 billion of transactions annually. More important, the compilers of the index noted in the latest survey that the index “has gone from ‘warning of a potential slowdown’ to ‘signaling an economic contraction.’” Cisco is not in the freight business, but comments by Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins late Wednesday after the computer company released fiscal second-quarter results echoed the sentiment in the freight industry. “Just go around the world and you see what’s happening in Hong Kong, you look at China, what’s happening in D.C., you’ve got Brexit, uncertainty in Latin America,” he said on a conference call with investors and analysts. “Business confidence suffers when there’s a lack of clarity, and there’s been a lack of clarity for so long that it’s finally come into play.”Maybe the global economy isn’t worsening, but it’s too soon to say an upswing is underway. Despite the sell-off in the bond market since September, yields are still showing caution. Yields on bonds worldwide as measured by the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index stand at 1.45%, which is closer to its all-time low of 1.07% in 2016 than last year’s high of 2.27% in November.AWASH IN MORE DEBTThe Institute of International Finance came out with its quarterly look at the mountain of global debt, concluding that it rose by about $7 trillion in the first half of the year to a record of just more than $250 trillion. That increase is more double the $3.3 trillion expansion for all of last year. It pegs global debt, which it sees expanding to $255 trillion by the end of the year, at a lofty 320% of global GDP. It’s no surprise that the world is awash in debt, but yields show there seems to be a dearth of it for the public because of massive purchases by central banks. As of October, the collective balance-sheet assets of the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and Bank of England stood at 35.7% of their countries’ total GDP, up from about 10% in 2008. Still, this is no time to be complacent. The IIF points out that much of the growth in debt has come in emerging markets, which is generally considered riskier than that of developed economies and where central banks are not doing things like quantitative easing. This could become an issue relatively quickly; the IIF pointed out that $9.4 trillion of bonds and syndicated loans from emerging markets come due by the end of 2021.CORPORATE CASH SHRINKSThe latest doubts about the strength of the economy kept the S&P 500 Index little changed for a second consecutive day. Perhaps that’s for the better because falling interest rates and bond yields are perhaps the single-biggest reason equities are up 23.4% this year in the absence of earnings growth. The second is probably share repurchases. But a new report from Societe General SA raises concern that the cash companies use to fund those buybacks is being depleted. “A boon for U.S. share buybacks” has left companies with less cash in their coffers, Societe Generale strategists Sophie Huynh and Alain Bokobza wrote in a report. Cash and money-market investments held by companies in the S&P 500 peaked in 2018’s first quarter on a per-share basis before falling 5.3% through the third quarter of this year, according to Bloomberg News’s David Wilson. S&P 500 companies have bought back the equivalent of 22% of their market value since 2010, the Societe Generale strategists noted in their report.CHILEAN CRISIS ENTERS NEW PHASEThe chaos in Chile, long known as the safest bet in Latin America, has become so bad that not even direct intervention by the nation’s central bank was able to reverse the slide in the peso. The currency fell about 1% Thursday, bringing its slide to 11.4% since mid-October. That’s the worst of the 31 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg and more than five times the next biggest loser, the Hungarian forint. What should have investors worried is that the peso depreciated even after the central bank announced a $4 billion currency swap program to ease liquidity in the market amid the worst civil unrest in a generation. “I don’t think it will help stop the sell-off in any way,” Brendan McKenna, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo, told Bloomberg News in reference to the swaps program. “There has to be some breakthrough on the political front for the currency to stabilize.” Foreign investors have been especially rattled since the government said Sunday that it backed plans to rewrite the constitution in response to four weeks of riots and protests in support of better pensions, wages, education and health care. If that were to happen, it’s possible the government would swing too far to the populist left to the detriment of the economy. FOLLOW THE CLIMATE CHANGE MONEYDespite the overwhelming evidence about climate change, there is still an alarming number of deniers. But if it was really all a big hoax or overblown, then why are the world’s biggest, most influential investment firms steering away from areas that are likely to be hit the hardest, such as the coasts? Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is considering real estate markets including Denver; Austin, Texas; and Nashville, Jeffrey Fine, a managing director at the firm’s merchant-banking division, said Thursday at a conference hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies. Fine may not have specifically cited climate change, but according to Bloomberg News’s Gillian Tan, he did note that more companies and young people are moving away from the coasts. The Fed held its first conference on climate change last week in San Francisco, with one central bank official saying it has the potential to “displace people permanently” amid damaging wildfires in California and storms punishing the Eastern Seaboard. About 3 billion people — or some 40 percent of the world’s population — live within 200 kilometers (124 miles) of a coastline, according to Bloomberg News. It’s projected that by 2050 more than 1 billion will live directly at the water’s edge.TEA LEAVESThe idea that the U.S. consumer was strong and carrying the economy took a hit a month ago when Commerce Department data showed that retail sales in September fell unexpectedly. The 0.3% decline from August was directly opposite the 0.3% advance expected based on the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s why Friday’s update from the government on October retail sales is so critical, especially heading into the holiday sales season. Economists are calling for a 0.2% rebound. Bloomberg Economics isn’t so optimistic, saying that decelerating wage growth suggests household demand will moderate. It is forecasting no change in spending. Although the headline number will get the attention, the smart money will be looking at sales among a control group that are used to calculate GDP and exclude food services, auto dealers, building-material stores and gas stations. By that measure, sales are seen rising 0.3% from no change in September.DON’T MISS Stock Investors Could Use a Refresher on the Basics: Nir Kaissar You Care About Earnings? The Stock Market Doesn’t: John Authers Too Many Young American Men Still Aren’t Working: Justin Fox Brazil’s Politics and Economics Are Growing Apart: Mac Margolis Matt Levine's Money Stuff: You Can Buy Almost All the StocksTo contact the author of this story: Robert Burgess at bburgess@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.Robert Burgess is an editor for Bloomberg Opinion. He is the former global executive editor in charge of financial markets for Bloomberg News. As managing editor, he led the company’s news coverage of credit markets during the global financial crisis.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Those Who Purchased Société Générale Société anonyme (EPA:GLE) Shares Three Years Ago Have A 29% Loss To Show For It
    Simply Wall St.

    Those Who Purchased Société Générale Société anonyme (EPA:GLE) Shares Three Years Ago Have A 29% Loss To Show For It

    Société Générale Société anonyme (EPA:GLE) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 34...

  • FOMO Doesn't Cut It as a Buy Signal for Stocks
    Bloomberg

    FOMO Doesn't Cut It as a Buy Signal for Stocks

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- According to the Thundering Herd, the herd is thundering back into risk-taking. And the greatest spur leading it on has little to do with politics, or the economy, or the corporate sector. Instead, it is driven by that most basic human emotion: fear of missing out. President Donald Trump’s much-heralded New York speech on Tuesday provided almost nothing that was newsworthy, but it did give him an opportunity to gloat — quite accurately — about the state of the stock markets. They have been on  a tear, with most of the key U.S. benchmarks breaking out of the ranges in which they have been stuck since early last year, to set new highs. They have done this even though, as the president never ceases to complain, the Federal Reserve raised rates repeatedly last year, before reversing much of that move over the last three months. The problem is to identify just why stock markets have suddenly strengthened. It isn’t because of an end to the trade war. Despite hopes, Trump failed to roll back any tariffs in his speech, or offer any promises on when a deal with China might be signed. His surprise announcement of new tariffs on Aug. 1 plainly forced the S&P 500 Index lower; nothing that has happened on the trade front since then would justify the 9% rally in stocks since markets troughed after that news hit.It is also hard to attribute the rally to the economy. When stocks took a dive late last year, they did so against a background of nasty surprises in the U.S. data, as measured by Bloomberg’s U.S. economic surprise index. In the summer, that data  started to surprise much more positively — but stocks were becalmed during that period. The rally has only come since the economic surprise indexes stalled, in mid-September. The S&P’s rally also roughly coincided with the season of corporate earnings announcements for the third quarter, which came in 3.8% ahead of expectations, according to FactSet. But earnings almost always exceed expectations, thanks to the games played by corporate investor relations departments. Over the last five years, they have on average beaten forecasts by more — 4.9%.  Further, third-quarter earnings were accompanied by such downbeat assessments of the future that the consensus estimate for earnings growth for the next 12 months has actually gone negative, according to SocGen Quantitative Research. And yet, despite all of this, there is no doubt that market sentiment has turned on a dime. In mid-summer, the U.S. yield curve inverted, a classic recession signal, and many braced for an economic downturn. That’s over. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s latest global survey of fund managers, we have just witnessed the greatest month-on-month improvement in economic sentiment since the survey began in 1994. A month ago, a net 37% of fund managers expected the global economy to deteriorate over the next 12 months; now, a net 6% expect an improvement.What could possibly be behind this? The president may have at least nodded at the answer with his claim that that the U.S. indexes would be 25% higher now if the Fed had negative rates. This is a dubious assertion, as only disastrous economic conditions would prompt the U.S. central bank to take such desperate measures.But that sudden improvement in investors’ sentiment did indeed come as the Fed reversed its policy of five years, and started to expand its balance sheet again. It did this to restore liquidity to the repo market, where banks raise their short-term funding, and the Fed has protested repeatedly that this is not a return to “QE” asset purchases to boost the economy. For all these protestations, the market has treated it as a turning point. Added to this, as mentioned, there is the age-old fear of missing out. The end of the year is coming, when investment managers will be judged on their performance. Those who are behind have an incentive to clamber into the market now, while there is still time. And the rally has been unbalanced, with most gains going to a small group of large U.S. stocks.  If the stars align for a broad recovery, there is ample potential for big rallies by smaller companies, and by stocks outside the U.S.  The rest of the world has joined in this rally, but there is still a long way to go before they catch up — and nervous investment managers are conscious of this. It is tempting to fit a narrative of economic and trade optimism to the rebound in appetite for risk. But sadly, this looks a lot like a return to the pathology that has dominated throughout the post-crisis decade: markets await free money from central banks, and fear missing out when that money arrives.To contact the author of this story: John Authers at jauthers@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.John Authers is a senior editor for markets. Before Bloomberg, he spent 29 years with the Financial Times, where he was head of the Lex Column and chief markets commentator. He is the author of “The Fearful Rise of Markets” and other books.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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