The 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum will focus on five critical leadership challenges in 2017: strengthening global collaboration, restoring a sense of shared identity, revitalizing economic growth, reforming capitalism and preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The WEF will take place on 17-20 January 2017 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership. More than 2,500 participants from nearly 100 countries will meet and participate in over 300 sessions. The theme of the meeting calls on global leaders to renew the systems that have supported international cooperation in the past by adapting them to today’s complex, multipolar world in ways that foster genuinely inclusive and equitable growth.
Novartis announced an agreement for the acquisition of Ziarco Group Limited, a privately held company focused on the development of novel treatments in dermatology. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition adds UK-based Ziarco's once-daily oral H4 receptor antagonist, ZPL389, that is being developed for the chronic, itchy inflammatory skin condition to Novartis's existing portfolio of approved and investigational dermatological drugs.
Monte dei Paschi di Siena has until next Thursday to raise private capital. The government, which has already scheduled a meeting for Thursday December 22, could be able to open a public parachute before holiday break. Yesterday, as Consob was preparing to clear the prospectus of the recapitalization and the bond-to-equity swap (the ok came around midnight), the board of the bank approved the €5 billion capital increase.
Twenty-First Century Fox has formally reached an agreement with Sky for a total takeover to the tune of $14.8 billion. Under the terms of the acquisition, Sky shareholders will be entitled to receive £10.75 in cash per share, which represents a pretty healthy premium of 40 percent above December 6, 2016’s closing price. Twenty-First Century Fox already owns just over 39% of Sky. The price reflects a valuation of £10.75 per share, according to Reuters, who, along with the BBC, claimed that some investors were unhappy with the valuation but did not go into specifics. Reuters reported that the offer represented a 40% premium on the share price from the day before Fox’s initial proposal was received.
The Swiss National Bank is ready to intervene in the currency markets again as it continues to battle the "significantly overvalued" Swiss franc, the central bank said Thursday after it kept its key policy rate unchanged in deeply negative territory. The SNB's maintained its deposit rate at -0.75%, as expected by economists. It also maintained its three-month Libor target at -1.25% to -0.25%. "The negative interest rate and the SNB's willingness to intervene in the foreign exchange market are intended to make Swiss franc investments less attractive, thereby easing pressure on the currency," the SNB said in a statement.
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The Swiss government expects a renewed pick-up in growth as the global economy is set to continue generating momentum. In its economic forecasts that are updated every quarter, SECO said it expected Swiss economic growth of 1.5%, unchanged from its forecast in its September assessment. Economic growth for 2017 is expected at 1.8%, also unchanged from September, driven by domestic demand and foreign trade "The economic outlook thus remains positive, even if the 'Swiss franc shock' will likely continue to have some impact on the economy," the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said in a statement, referring to the sudden and sharp appreciation of the Swiss franc in January 2015.
The U.S. Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates for the first time in 2016 and the second time in a decade. At the conclusion of its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) December meeting, committee members voted unanimously to raise the U.S. central bank’s target range for the federal funds rate to 0.50 to 0.75 percent. The FOMC raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade last December. Janet Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, said “growth is a touch stronger, unemployment is a shade lower” as she announced a 0.25% increase in the benchmark rate to 0.50-0.75%.
The Fed has finally delivered a second rate hike a year after the last one in this cycle. “What’s more interesting is their guidance on where interest rates might go from here. This time last year the Fed turned out to be wildly off mark in what they were predicting. But this year there are reasons for thinking the Fed’s guidance is more realistic. The economy is in a more advanced stage of recovery and market pricing reflects this. We can expect rates to slowly climb through next year and beyond.”
An Italian judge approved on Wednesday a settlement agreement between Credit Suisse AG and the country's authorities under which the Swiss bank will pay 109.5 million euros to end a tax probe, Reuters reported. Milan prosecutors have been investigating since 2014 an alleged fraudulent system used by the bank to transfer up to 14 billion euros to offshore accounts, mainly through the use of insurance policies. Some 13,000 clients are allegedly involved and remain under investigation.
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