Benoit Hamon secured the French Socialist Party's presidential nomination on Sunday, beating rival Manuel Valls. Initial results gave Hamon 58 percent of the vote and Valls only 42. Hamon was the more left-wing choice of the two politicians. He supports a universal basic income and wants to reduce the traditional work week to 35 hours. He has also spoken in support of legalizing cannabis and increased investment in renewable energy. Valls, on the other hand, has called himself a more "Clintonite" leftist with a strong belief in pragmatism and individual responsibility.
The Volkswagen Group has become the world’s top-selling car company for 2016, despite making headlines for all the wrong reasons – chiefly its dieselgate emissions cheating scandal. VW has reported global annual sales of 10.31 million vehicles for 2016, overtaking Toyota’s annual total of 10.17 million, ending the Japanese company’s global sales hegemony of recent years. A spokesman for VW said: "2016 was a very challenging year for us." The company "made strides in resolving and overcoming the diesel crisis" and initiated fundamental change in the company's long-term strategy, he said.
Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay nearly $630m ($425m) to UK and US regulators to settle probes into whether it helped covertly move as much as $10 billion out of Russia through a process known as "mirror trading." New York and British authorities issued the fine on Monday over claims the money was moved out of Russia using so-called mirror trades among the bank’s Moscow, London and New York offices, said New York State’s Department of Financial Services (DFS). The DFS legal document which details the case says: "By converting rubles into dollars through security trades that had no discernible economic purpose, the scheme was a means for bad actors within a financial institution to achieve improper ends while evading compliance with applicable laws."
Despite some concerns around the start of last year, and the political shocks that unfolded over the course of the past 12 months, 2016 actually turned out to be quite a good year for investors, with most asset classes rising in value. But what can we expect over 2017, and how should investors approach the coming year? In this short outlook document we outline what we expect over the year ahead and set out what we believe could be the best-performing asset classes in each of our main scenarios.
Two City traders, George Urumov and Vladimir Gersamia, were convicted of multiple fraud offences following a four-month trial at Southwark Crown Court. The pair were handed jail terms of seven and 12 years respectively. The victim of the complex fraud scheme was Russian bank Otkritie, with the size of the losses related to the illegal actions exceeding £141 m ($176 m), according to a report in the Financial Times. The first part of the fraud was carried out in 2011, when Urumov joined Otkritie Securities Ltd (OSL) and manipulated the company into paying him approximately $25m as a “sign-on” fee under the false impression that it would be distributed to others also joining the company.
Johann Schneider-Ammann, Switzerland’s economy minister said Sunday he wants to have “background” talks with Britain so that a trade deal can be in place as soon as the UK leaves the EU. “My objective is clear. Not one day should pass after Britain’s exit (from the EU) without new regulations in place,” he told Blick daily. “It should be at least as good” as the present deal, he said. The paper said Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox declared during the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting that he was very interested in a trade agreement with Switzerland.
Bitcoin startup Xapo has revealed that it has gained an early ‘conditional approval’ from Switzerland’s financial regulator (FINMA) to operate in the country. The Switzerland-based company said in a new blog post that it has been given “conditional approval” from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to do business in the European country. CEO Wences Casares wrote in a blog: "We are happy to announce that, after almost two years of substantial effort and investment, Xapo has received conditional approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to operate in Switzerland".
Johnson & Johnson will buy Swiss drugmaker Actelion in a $30 billion deal that both secures promising research and bolsters the product portfolio controlled by the U.S. health care giant. The deal between the world's biggest producer of healthcare goods and Actelion, a leader in medicines treating high blood pressure, will create a new Swiss-listed firm called R&D NewCo focusing on the research and development of new drugs, the two companies said in a joint statement. The U.S. conglomerate will then buy Actelion's seven drugs that are currently on the market and two potential treatments in late-stage testing. The acquisition gives J&J access to the Swiss group’s line-up of high-price, high-margin medicines for rare diseases, helping it diversify its drug portfolio as its biggest product.
Mossack Fonseca actively marketed Canada as a tax haven and established shell companies here to evade taxes, according to the documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with the Star and the CBC. The joint investigation has revealed that Canada's tax legislation provides favorable conditions for evading taxes, creating anonymous business entities, and cleaning illegally-gained cash.
Credit Suisse is exploring options for expanding in Dublin, as the UK moves closer to exiting the European Union, according to a report from Bloomberg. It is believed Dublin is emerging as a favoured location for the bank’s so-called back-office jobs. The Zurich-based bank is also understood to be considering cities including Frankfurt as it develops plans for moving jobs to adapt to Brexit, according to two people familiar with the matter. Credit Suisse board member Noreen Doyle said in Dublin earlier this week that the bank is in the "early stages" of examining alternatives to the UK as it plans for Brexit's implications.
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