Italy's Luxottica and France's Essilor on Monday announced they have agreed on a 50-billion-euro merger deal to create an eyewear giant with over 140,000 employees and sales in some 150 countries. The deal, one of Europe's largest cross-border tie-ups, brings together Luxottica, the world's top spectacles maker with brands such as Oakley and Ray-Ban, with Essilor, the world's leading manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses. By merging, the companies would have jointly reported net earnings of over 15 billion euros, based on 2015 annual results posted by the two companies, and a net combined operating profit EBITDA of about 3.5 billion euros.
Xi Jinping is set to become the first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum's annual gathering high in Davos. It's a visit rich in symbolism: Beijing is positioning itself as a global leader at a time when Western powers, and especially the United States, are retreating from the world stage. Globalisation and free trade are being attacked in the US and Europe. And with a new president about to enter the White House, President Xi's speech will be watched very carefully.
Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world. A top corporate CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 garment factory workers in Bangladesh. And the world's 10 biggest corporations together have revenue greater than the 180 poorest countries combined, according to a study published Sunday by Oxfam. The charity's report, "An economy for the 99%", was released as global leaders and the business elite traveled to Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum; it suggests the wealth gap is wider than ever, with new data for China and India indicating that the poorest half of the world owns less than previously estimated.
The European banks, which stocks are represented by the index Stoxx Europe 600 Banks, one of the 19 supersectors of the Stoxx family, had sharply underperformed the market until July 2016. The course of the banking sector had reversed in August when the index started to climb and its weakness turned into strength. The most convincing signal at this matter occurred the last October, when it broke on the upside moving average at 200 days, just one month after the historical down-trending line has been interrupted. In just six months, 50% of the down-move 2015/2016 had been recovered, at the beginning of 2017 the index of the European Banks had risen 50% from the lows.
UK’s powerhouse financial sector would face heightened risk and an exodus of 232,000 jobs without certainty over Britain’s Brexit deal, MPs in the House of Commons have heard. Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), said two thirds of the job losses would be felt outside Greater London, with the blow coming as soon as the euro clearing operation leaves Britain’s shores. Speaking to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee, Mr Rolet said the jobs figure came from a report produced by professional services firm EY for the LSE, which not only took into account the “few thousand” jobs lost from euro clearing itself, but the entire impact on financial services if the operation was moved outside the UK.
French investigators will probe Renault over suspected "cheating" in emissions tests of diesel motors, the Paris prosecutors office said today. Renault shares fell sharply on the news, which comes about two months after the government passed to the prosecutor the findings of an investigation by its consumer fraud agency. Renault insisted its engines complied "with French and European regulations". "Renault vehicles are all and have always been homologated in accordance with the laws and regulations. They are compliant with the applicable standards. "Renault vehicles are not equipped with cheating software affecting anti-pollution systems."
Half of the Swiss people, exactly 54%, are satisfied for their financial and economic situation, for 8% the opinion is negative and 38% maintained a neutral attitude, according to the survey by the consulting firm EY at the end of 2016. The values differ only slightly from the previous year (respectively 54%, 6% and 40%). But, considering only young people up to 35 years, the level of satisfaction is strongly decreased (from 61% to 46%) in a year while people dissatisfied (from 4% to 18%) grew. According Gröli Martin, head of consumer sector at EY Switzerland, the latter figure is worrying. "The results show that many young people are dissatisfied with their current situation, in particular of their income and financial expenses," it said in a statement today.
Morgan Stanley is cutting its global bonus pool for the equities division by as much as 4% and dismissing some employees after the industry’s results flagged last year, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Morgan Stanley, which ranked fourth for investment banking fees last year, cut more than 20 managing directors from its investment banking division globally, representing about 5% of the total, the sources said.
ABB has won a $75m order to supply advanced converter transformers for a high voltage direct current transmission link in Brazil. The 800kV Belo Monte connection will transmit renewable energy generated in the north of the country to the southeast, the Swiss company said. The 2,518 kilometre (km) link will transmit clean power generated in the north of Brazil, from the Xingu substation, to the Rio Substation in the southeast. It will be capable of transporting up to 4000 megawatts (MW) of electricity – enough to meet the needs of around ten million people. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2016.
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