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WEDNESDAY TICKER: JULY 23RD 2014 - According to a local press reports, the Mobileye initial public offering on Wall Street will be valued at approximately $3.8bn. The original prospectus was for a valuation between $3.5-5bn, making the actual valuation at the lower end of estimates. The Israeli company will offer 8.325m shares at a price of $17-19 per share. The offering will most likely take place in two weeks, when the stock will be traded under the ticker MBLY on the New York Stock Exchange. Mobileye was founded in 1999 and has developed a camera-based system to mount on vehicles in order to aid in collision prevention - Rubicon Minerals Corporation has closed its previously announced bought deal financing of 7,060,000 flow-through common shares of the Company at a price of C$1.70 per Flow-Through Share for aggregate gross proceeds to the Company of C$12m. The Offering was conducted by a syndicate of underwriters co-led by TD Securities Inc. and BMO Capital Markets, and included National Bank Financial Inc. and Canaccord Genuity Corp. The gross proceeds from the offering will be used to incur eligible Canadian Exploration Expenses - BNP Paribas 2nd Quarter 2014 Results will be available on Thursday 31 July 2014 from 6.00 am (London time). A live webcast in English with synchronised slides of the analysts conference call hosted by Lars Machenil, chief financial officer, will be available on the bank’s website starting at 1.00 pm (London time) - After six years of severe recession that led to a cumulative loss of 1.1m jobs, the Greek labour market has started to show signs of recovery says National Bank of Greece. More than two thirds of employment losses in the private sector (730,000 jobs) are due to the closure of about 220,000 micro and small firms (30% of the existing micro and small enterprise population) together with layoffs in this segment. NBG Research’s composite indicator of employment trends, that combines information from forward-looking and coincident indicators, points to an employment growth of +0.6% y-o-y in Q3:2014 (or +20,000 jobs) and +0.9% y-o-y (or +32,000 jobs) in Q4:2014 compared to the same period of 2013 - Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a provider of high-performance professional trading software, says Robbie McDonnell has been transferred to EVP Global Sales from VP/Managing Director of Asia/Pacific. McDonnell will relocate from Sydney to TT’s headquarters in Chicago, where he will report directly to CEO Rick Lane and be responsible for leading TT’s worldwide sales operation - Eze Software Group, a provider of global investment technology, has expanded its Regulatory Filings Manager service to support Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) Annex IV filings. Clients can now leverage the robust functionality of this enterprise reporting solution to generate necessary reports in accordance with the compliance deadlines of AIFMD. Proposed by European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) last year, AIFMD requires that alternative investment funds meet specific risk management standards for better monitoring, measuring, and reporting. Funds need to provide supervisory authorities with detailed investment data on a quarterly or bi-annual basis for increased transparency into funds’ activity. “Our AIFMD solution is a natural extension of all that we have learned in helping our clients file Form PF and CPO-PQR,” explains Michael Hutner, senior managing director and co-head of global sales for Eze Software Group - Cordea Savills, the international property investment management company, has purchased three canal side office buildings in Camden, North London for a total of £14.07m on behalf a corporate pension fund client. The complex is on the former site of the Camden Brewery and comprises three buildings. Elephant House and The Cooper’s Building are Grade II-listed and let to Viacom for over 8 years. The Lock Building is let to a Charity, which offers the potential for redevelopment in the short term as there are mutual break options in 2015. Cordea Savills’ were represented by Fineman Ross and CBRE acted for the vendor, Derwent London -

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The European Review

By Patrick Artus, chief economist at Natixis

France’s industrial crisis: predictable and set to last

Friday, 03 August 2012 Written by 
France’s industrial crisis: predictable and set to last France’s industrial sector is in the midst of a steadily worsening crisis. There has been a decline in production, employment and productive investment, the external deficit remains significant, and export market shares are declining rapidly. We would argue that this situation was foreseeable, particularly if we add up issues with supply, domestic and external demand, and the impact of the eurozone crisis. Unfortunately, not a lot can be done about the weakness of demand, and the remedies to the supply problem are difficult to implement rapidly. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

France’s industrial sector is in the midst of a steadily worsening crisis. There has been a decline in production, employment and productive investment, the external deficit remains significant, and export market shares are declining rapidly.

We would argue that this situation was foreseeable, particularly if we add up issues with supply, domestic and external demand, and the impact of the eurozone crisis. Unfortunately, not a lot can be done about the weakness of demand, and the remedies to the supply problem are difficult to implement rapidly.

Let’s go through these issues, their causes and their implications.

Cause no. 1: The supply problem

Supply conditions for goods and services continue to deteriorate in France. The low profitability of companies discourages investment hence the production capacity of French industry is on the decline.

Since 2001, French industry sales prices have been falling relative to unit wage costs. Such falls reflect the excessive level of unit wage costs compared to the sophistication of industrial production in France. The downmarket nature of French industrial production prevents an increase in its selling prices, because of the high level of the price elasticity of demand for industrial products made in France: 0.9 versus 0.3 in Germany.

However, the rise in the unit wage cost – relative to selling prices – does not come as a result of the trend in productivity, but what has been happening to wages. This is because the level of costs is pushed up by the level of employers’ welfare contributions.

The subsequent fall in French industry’s profitability is substantial, reducing its capacity to invest and create jobs. This leads to the off-shoring of production capacity to countries where industrial profitability is higher, thereby weakening industry financially and threatening it with a serious crisis in the event of a recession and falling demand.

Cause no. 2: The demand problem

Between 2011 and 2012, French industry suffered from the weakness of both domestic and external demand. This resulted in a lower capacity utilisation rate than normal, which makes the problem of low profitability even more detrimental. And the decline in demand may deteriorate further if there is a fall in real wage incomes and government expenditure.

Cause no. 3: The euro-zone crisis

The eurozone crisis has two negative effects on French industry:

  1. it weakens demand and therefore imports in the eurozone countries that usually would have been France’s customers. This is significant because the eurozone accounts for 46% of French exports – the United Kingdom, which is also mired in a recession, accounts for 6%;
  2. it reduces domestic demand and capacity utilisation rates in Spain and Portugal and persuades industrial companies in these countries to turn to exports. As wage costs are lower in these countries, there is an increase in the competition that has a direct impact on French industry. France’s export market share tends to decline, whereas those of PortugalSpain and Ireland have recovered.

Remedies are very difficult to implement

Of the three issues mentioned, weakness of demand and the effects of the eurozone crisis cannot be controlled, particularly in a situation where there is private-sector deleveraging and a reduction in fiscal deficits. The question for French industry is therefore which remedies can be implemented on the supply side? We have put together the following list of possible measures:

 

  • an improvement in the sophistication of industrial production and in the differentiation of products, which will require innovation, investments, and marketing;
  • increased geographical diversification in companies' sales to increase the weight of emerging countries, which is currently quite low in France;
  • a major reform of the financing of social welfare in France to reduce the weight of welfare contributions paid by companies;
  • a fall in the hourly labour cost, either through a fall in the per capita wage, or through an increase in the number of hours worked (which is obviously a source of conflict).

 

However, these measures are all very difficult to implement rapidly.

It is also important to understand the major fragility of companies that are not very profitable (i.e. they have a shortfall in supply) when they are faced with a significant and lasting decline in demand.

Unfortunately, it looks as though this French industry crisis is not going to go away any time soon.

Patrick Artus

A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, of Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Adminstration Economique and of Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Patrick Artus is today the Chief Economist at Natixis. He began his career in 1975 where his work included economic forecasting and modelisation. He then worked at the Economics Department of the OECD (1980), before becoming Head of Research at the ENSAE. Thereafter, Patrick taught seminars on research at Paris Dauphine (1982) and was Professor at a number of Universities (including Dauphine, ENSAE, Centre des Hautes Etudes de l'Armement, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and HEC Lausanne).

Patrick is now Professor of Economics at University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. He combines these responsibilities with his research work at Natixis. Patrick was awarded "Best Economist of the year 1996" by the "Nouvel Economiste", and today is a member of the council of economic advisors to the French Prime Minister. He is also a board member at Total and Ipsos.

Website: cib.natixis.com/research/economic.aspx

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