January 20, 2017
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On 20 January, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States and it may be tempting to deploy the time-honoured phrase “for better or for worst”, usually used in wedding vows. The “better” can probably be seen in the new president’s ability to coerce national companies, such as Ford and...

13 January 2017
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Promises compel only the listener. This observation accurately sums up the second week of January in the financial markets. The promises of tax and budgetary reflation, made by Donald Trump and his administration, were unflinchingly swallowed by investors throughout December. In the wake of healthy global economic indicators, investors are trying to second-guess the future profile of the economic cycle, in terms of its depth and its pace. In Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet Swan Lake, there are those who believe in white swans, i.e. faster global...

6 January 2017
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Following the resurgence of the cold war during 2016 between the US and Russia, 2017 could prove to be a year which mobilises the CIA. However, this acronym, which normally stands for Central Intelligence Agency, has another meaning for us, involving Constant growth, Inflation and Aggressive equity investment. These three themes are the key to a successful performance for investors willing to take risk, particularly in Europe, and more specifically in the eurozone. Our recent meetings with European companies have all concluded with the same edifying...

29 December 2016
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REFORM, this is the word that political leaders, election candidates, citizens and investors in the Western world have been demanding, clamouring and bellowing all year long. Throughout global developed markets, hundreds or even millions of voices have been calling out for change without always exactly knowing why. The British voters expressed their wish to leave Europe, but nonetheless want to benefit from a trading agreement with the continent. Donald Trump aims to challenge the liberal principles on which the US is founded by rescinding existing...

22 December 2016
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Global trading volumes have started to thin out. Investors are busy thinking about their Christmas presents after these past few weeks of equity market rally. Unfortunately, unrelenting news of terrorist attacks in Europe and further afield have reminded us of the fragility and the richness of our democracies. 2016 will have been a year rife with dangers and risks. Despite the global economy remaining broadly on track, stock markets were gripped by numerous phases of panic throughout the year. One more week remains until we can draw up the final...

16 December 2016
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The week got off to a euphoric start, as the recapitalisation of the Italian banks Monte Paschi and Unicredito was lunched. Confidence has been restored among the markets, which were also buoyed by a fresh wave of mergers & acquisitions. Deals announced included Imerys/Kerneos, Gemalto/Biométrie 3M and the acquisition of RTL radios by M6, while Vivendi is taking a stake in Mediaset. As expected, the Fed raised base rates for the second time in a year, surprising the markets by announcing three future hikes in 2017. Janet Yellen has...

13 December 2016
The no result in the Italian referendum does not mean Italy will leave the Eurozone.

Find our macroeconomic outlook for the Eurozone and our investment strategy by Igor de Maack.

9 December 2016
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It is impossible not to mention once again President-elect Trump, recently named 'Person of the Year' by Time magazine. With Donald, investors (especially equity investors) are, like Alice, in wonderland. US indices are hitting new all-time highs, while the European markets began their year-end rally in the wake of the resignation of the tempestuous Matteo Renzi, who overestimated his popularity among his citizens and linked his future with the result of a referendum on a somewhat technical issue.

Without any imminent elections looming,...

5 December 2016
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As most opinions polls had predicted, Italian electors voted against Matteo Renzi’s proposal to modify the role of the Senate. Following his resignation, the referendum result has opened a period of incertitude, which is nonetheless relatively customary in Italian politics. Early elections will probably be held by 2018 and there is no certitude that the populist Five Star party will be able to command a majority in order to govern. Furthermore, if an exit from the eurozone is proposed, it will also have to be decided by referendum. The Greek...