|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||26.40 - 28.07|
|52 Week Range||20.81 - 32.23|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.23|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||8.76|
|Earnings Date||May 06, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||2.20 (7.70%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||May 26, 2020|
|1y Target Est||43.49|
(Bloomberg) -- A sell-off in European equities intensified, pushing the regional benchmark into a technical correction, as more companies warned that the coronavirus would hit profits, while cases of the epidemic outside China increased.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 3.8%, extending its slump from the record high on Feb. 19 to 10%. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and Standard Chartered Plc were the latest companies to sound the alarm about the outbreak’s impact on earnings.Equities are plunging this week on fears about the outbreak’s impact on global growth and corporate earnings. The U.S. reported its first instance of coronavirus that doesn’t have ties to a known outbreak, while the World Health Organization noted there were more cases reported in countries other than China for the first time.Societe Generale SA strategists including Alain Bokobza and Frank Benzimra wrote in a note on Thursday that European equity markets remain vulnerable and are only halfway through the pull-back, with autos, oil, mining, luxury goods as well as travel and leisure among the most affected sectors.European equities have now wiped out all the sharp gains made since late October. The Stoxx 600, which now trades below its 200-day moving average, is on track for its worst week since the heat of the euro-area sovereign debt crisis in August 2011.“Given the recent volatility, fear is the dominant factor,” said Guillermo Hernandez Sampere, head of trading at asset manager MPPM EK. “In a very short period, we went from all-time high celebrations to panic mode. It’s too early to ‘buy the dip’ in my view and I expect investors to stay on the sidelines or increase cash.”Travel stocks tumbled yet again on Thursday, leading declines. The sector has plunged the most among industry groups since Feb. 19. AB InBev slid 11% to the lowest since 2012 after the world’s largest brewer forecast the steepest decline in quarterly profit in at least a decade due to the coronavirus. Standard Chartered slipped 3.6% after saying it will miss a key profitability target amid the outbreak.“Investors should minimize their exposure to industrial commodities, luxury goods and European airlines,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “We also favor quality stocks, especially large companies. “Defensive sectors such as utilities, real estate and health care are likely to do well in the equity markets compared to the broader markets.”Other corporate news also added to market pessimism. WPP Plc tumbled 16% after forecasting a fourth year with no sales growth. Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc fell 9% after saying sales will slump in the first half of the year, before an expected boost from the new DBX SUV in the second half.\--With assistance from Jan-Patrick Barnert and Ksenia Galouchko.To contact the reporter on this story: Namitha Jagadeesh in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Blaise Robinson at email@example.com, John ViljoenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Information about the number of executed transactions and the exchanged volume regarding the liquidity.
(Bloomberg) -- The 30-year Treasury yield sank to an all-time low as a report showing U.S. business activity is contracting added to concern about the global economic fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.Yields on the long bond fell as much as 8 basis points to about 1.88% on Friday as the outbreak accelerated outside China. The rate has fallen around half a percentage point in 2020 as investors with lengthy liabilities have snapped the debt up in a hunt for yield. And in a potential signal that recession fears are mounting, yield curves have reached the flattest levels this year.Traders are also ramping up bets that the Federal Reserve will need to act, with futures at one point pricing in more than a half-point of easing in 2020. Fed officials, for their part, say the virus’s impact on the U.S. economy should be short-lived and likely won’t require lower rates.“The coronavirus appears to be the primary driver here in the short term in a world where demand for duration is already high,” said Timothy High, a strategist at BNP Paribas. “There is considerable uncertainty as to how quickly the Chinese economy will ultimately recover from this tragedy and if the virus will spread around the world.”Treasuries rallied across the curve, with the 10-year touching 1.44%, the lowest since September. The 30-year rate broke the previous record low, set in August, after the report that U.S. business activity shrank in February for the first time since 2013.The August rally in Treasuries was fueled by U.S.-China trade tensions and sliding yields in Europe. The 30-year yield subsequently rebounded to as high as 2.44% in November.Yields resumed their slide in January, fueled mainly by the spread of the coronavirus. Bond gains gathered momentum following the Jan. 29 Fed decision, when Chairman Jerome Powell said policy makers were uncomfortable with inflation below the central bank’s 2% target. The demand for Treasuries held up in the face of record highs in U.S. equity benchmarks. Stock indexes tumbled Friday.“There’s more buying across the curve and the back-end,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale. “It seems like there’s a flow we’re not seeing, like someone is taking advantage of the steeper part of the curve and buying 30s.”\--With assistance from Edward Bolingbroke, Alexandra Harris and Sophie Caronello.To contact the reporters on this story: Vivien Lou Chen in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Greg Ritchie in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark Tannenbaum, Nick BakerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The spread of the coronavirus has suddenly sparked foreign-exchange traders into action.The dollar is emerging as the winner, heading toward a key psychological threshold that could supercharge a rally few saw coming at the start of the year. At the other end of the spectrum is the yen, which suffered its biggest two-day loss since 2017 after the threat of a Japanese recession sent hedge-fund buyers fleeing.The moves spurred gauges of volatility, which had been lying dormant near record lows in recent months.What’s going on in currency markets is “mad, bad and very ugly,” said London-based Kit Juckes, a strategist at Societe Generale SA. “It looks like huge capitulation by almost anyone who isn’t a dollar bull.”The greenback is outperforming virtually everything so far this year, confounding expectations that it would weaken following a trade deal between Washington and Beijing. The U.S. dollar index -- a widely-watched gauge of the currency versus its major peers -- has surged this week toward 100, which hasn’t been breached in nearly three years.It’s the level that capped the dollar twice in 2015 and effectively offered support during the first quarter of 2017 before finally giving in, heralding the greenback’s sharp decline that followed.“The 100 level is a big deal,” said Neil Jones, head of foreign-exchange sales to financial institutions at Mizuho Bank Ltd. “A number of buy signals will kick into play, it will set the alarm bells off.”There’s more good news for dollar bulls. The index’s moving averages are close to forming a so-called golden cross, when its 50-day measure rises above its 200-day equivalent. It would be the first time since 2018 and a sign to some traders of more gains to come. The pattern formed 13 times since the turn of the century, heralding average gains of about 2.5% in 40 days.Topsy TurvyWhile the dollar revels in its traditional role as a haven, the ferocity of the moves have turned other well-known paradigms on their head.The yen, which has long served as safe harbor from threats ranging from the Greek crisis to the U.S.-China trade war, has suddenly found its power drained. The coronavirus threatens to further weigh on a struggling economy, which analysts forecast will shrink an annualized 0.25% this quarter following a 6.3% contraction in the previous three months. Some options traders are betting the currency will weaken to 120 per dollar, from 111.96 currently.“A sharp slowing in tourism from China will have an important negative effect on the Japanese balance of payments,” said George Saravelos, a strategist at Deutsche Bank AG, which recommends investors stay long the dollar. “This is idiosyncratically negative for the yen, which no longer runs a goods surplus.”Market MovesWhile only the Swiss franc could match the greenback among major currencies on Thursday, rising to the highest level versus the euro in nearly five years, other haven assets also rallied, including U.S. Treasuries and gold, which touched the highest since 2013.Elsewhere, the pound slumped to lows last seen in November despite strong U.K. economic data, and emerging markets were not spared, with the won among the biggest losers after South Korea reported its first coronavirus fatality.Other Asian currencies slumped as contagion fears continued. The Singapore dollar slid to the lowest in almost three years on Thursday. The yuan retreated and the Australian dollar, which is seen as a proxy to the Chinese currency, slid to an 11-year low.“The emotional see-saw continues,” said Mark McCormick, global head of FX strategy at TD Securities.\--With assistance from Vassilis Karamanis and Jack Pitcher.To contact the reporter on this story: John Ainger in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at firstname.lastname@example.org, Neil ChatterjeeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Paris La Défense, 20 February 2020 Half-year statement on the liquidity agreement of SOCIETE GENERALE Under the liquidity.
Headquartered in Samara, Rusfinance Bank (RFB) is a commercial bank whose core business is car (around three-quarters of the loan portfolio) and consumer lending. As of 30 June 2019, the bank reported total assets of RUB146 billion ($2.3 billion).
(Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s central bank cut interest rates again, delivering the smallest decrease of its seven-month easing cycle but still risking a backlash as investor tolerance of lower borrowing costs starts to wane.Looking past market unease, Governor Murat Uysal is pushing Turkey’s inflation-adjusted rates further below zero at a time price pressures are intensifying. The Monetary Policy Committee reduced its key rate for a sixth straight time on Wednesday to 10.75% from 11.25%. While most analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a cut, a sizable minority saw no change.“Today’s decision serves to illuminate the priorities at the central bank,” said Phoenix Kalen, a strategist at Societe Generale SA in London. “It appears that the revival of credit growth -- particularly to corporates -- seems to be the overriding objective, worthy of the recent interventions,” she said, referring to the various measures authorities have taken to get in the way of the currency’s slide.After weathering 13.25 percentage points of easing since July, the lira has grown more volatile and Turkey’s geopolitical entanglements are unsettling nerves among investors. The latest move brings Turkey’s real rate to minus 1.4%, below such developed countries as the U.S., the U.K., Japan and Canada.Turkey’s currency has lost more than 3% against the dollar over the past month. It erased an earlier gain after the rate announcement and traded 0.2% weaker at 4:06 p.m. in Istanbul.The MPC left its guidance unchanged while adding a word of caution on Turkey’s lending boom. It also removed a mention of an improving outlook for inflation.‘Closely Monitored’“Developments in credit growth and its composition are closely monitored for their impact on the external balance and inflation,” it said in a statement. “The central bank will continue to use all available instruments in the pursuit of price stability and financial stability objectives.”Rattled by the drop in the lira, Turkish authorities have made it more difficult for foreign investors to bet against the currency by cutting the amount of foreign-exchange swaps and derivatives deals that banks can carry out with non-residents. State banks have also been making a stand by flooding the market with dollars.Interrupting the easing cycle carried risks for Uysal, whose predecessor was fired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for not reducing rates fast enough. Contrary to the thinking of most economists and central banks, Erdogan believes lower borrowing costs are more effective at slowing prices and has repeatedly said that rates will drop into single digits this year.“Despite interest rates falling, the exchange rate didn’t explode, inflation didn’t jump, markets didn’t get stirred up, nor was any other difficulty experienced,” state-run Anadolu Agency cited Erdogan as telling lawmakers last week.Meanwhile, inflation accelerated faster than forecast for a second month, reaching 12.2% in January. The central bank expects price growth to stay elevated in the first quarter at around 11.5% before it starts decelerating and drops to single digits from the second half.Uysal said the central bank expects to offer investors a positive real rate of return when taking the projected path of inflation into account. Its current forecast is for consumer price growth to slow to 8.2% by year-end.“Our understanding of Turkish inflation indicators does not support monetary easing from current levels,” Commerzbank AG economist Tatha Ghose said in a report. “Nevertheless, the political reality of Turkey is that the benchmark rate is very likely to be cut further.”(Updates with economist’s comment in final paragraph)\--With assistance from Harumi Ichikura, Zoe Schneeweiss and Constantine Courcoulas.To contact the reporter on this story: Cagan Koc in Istanbul at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul Abelsky, Constantine CourcoulasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Could Société Générale Société anonyme (EPA:GLE) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors...
(Bloomberg) -- (Updates story originally published July 3, 2019, to add post-publication comments from Fiyaz spokeswoman.)When Alshair Fiyaz, a wealthy businessman with a shaggy mane of hair, walked into the garden of London’s Four Seasons Hotel on a pleasant June evening five years ago, he had no idea he was being followed. He was there to meet Walid Choucair, a trader wearing a hoodie who collected “Star Wars” memorabilia and expensive guitars. Neither one noticed an officer from the National Crime Agency stick a recording device in the greenery.The investigator was tracking Fiyaz in connection with an insider-trading probe being conducted by the NCA, the U.K. equivalent of the FBI. Choucair wasn’t a suspect, and the officer didn’t know who he was before planting the bug. But after the meeting, the officer followed Choucair to an apartment near the Royal Albert Hall on the edge of Hyde Park. That fateful encounter at the Four Seasons, recounted in court, would turn Choucair, whose life was an adrenaline-charged chase for information about big deals, into Europe’s most high-profile insider-trading defendant. And his two trials—the first ended last year in a hung jury, the second with a conviction last week—opened a window on a loose network of traders from London to Dubai as well as a multinational investigation into suspected insider trading.Fiyaz’s name, and details of the Four Seasons meeting, came up frequently at the trials. Choucair said he often discussed trades with Fiyaz, who was so successful he’d bought an 86-meter yacht and a polo club. The two had partied at Tramp, a London club frequented by rock stars and royals, where they spent thousands of dollars on three-liter bottles of Cristal—although the manager of Tramp testified he had no knowledge of Choucair and Fiyaz being friends. Financial institutions alerted U.K. regulators about Fiyaz’s trading 71 times in 2013 and 2014, Choucair’s lawyer told the court, citing information from the regulator. A spokeswoman for Fiyaz said the suspicious activity reports related to only 27 trades and were triggered because financial institutions are required to flag transactions when a trader makes more than 10,000 pounds ($13,000) a day. She said he has never been interviewed or charged in relation to any crime and denies any suggestion of wrongdoing. But evidence, testimony and legal filings from Choucair’s trials, as well as interviews with traders, their friends, lawyers and people close to the investigation suggest Fiyaz may have been part of a network that cultivated ties to bankers, shared tips via burner phones to avoid detection, fed information to journalists and often secretly monitored each other’s trades. Using their own money or funds from wealthy associates, they made tens of millions of dollars betting on stocks just before a news splash popped the share price. In 2014, the core group of about a dozen traders made more than $100 million, a figure arrived at by adding up figures in legal filings and conversations with traders. Regulators in France and the U.K., where abnormal trading occurs ahead of more than one in five takeovers, spotted the uncanny timing of transactions by Fiyaz, Choucair and others. In addition to Choucair and Fabiana Abdel-Malek, a UBS Group AG compliance officer convicted at the same trial of providing him with information from a confidential bank database, seven men, including Geneva-based trader Alexis Kuperfis and former Societe Generale SA banker Stephane Fima, have been charged with insider trading in France. All have contested the charges. Another trader was arrested in Serbia in November on a U.S. warrant that alleged he committed securities fraud and was extradited in May, Serbian court officials confirmed. U.S. prosecutors are working with European counterparts on their own probe, Bloomberg News reported last month.Fiyaz’s spokeswoman said he hasn’t been questioned about insider trading or financial misconduct by authorities in France or any other jurisdiction. Loic Henriot, a lawyer for Kuperfis, said his client has never been part of a network of traders exchanging information. David-Olivier Kaminski, an attorney for Fima, said his client has nothing to do with the investigations that led to Choucair’s conviction.Choucair, now 40, testified at his trial about his first conversation with Fiyaz, six years his senior, at a pricey Chinese restaurant in London around 2005. They had seen each other at Tramp, where Choucair, the son of a Lebanese construction executive, was a member. Fiyaz and his brother Javed started showing up that year, according to two people familiar with the club scene. They would arrive in separate Rolls-Royces, descend the stairs, pass the red-neon Let’s Get Tramped sign, and set up camp in a corner, surrounded by a clutch of women. Choucair would spend thousands of dollars in that den two or three times a month. Whenever he ordered a $4,000 bottle of champagne, the staff would play the “Star Wars” theme music and announce “Lebanon is in the house,” according to people who’d been there with him.Choucair was out with a friend who knew Fiyaz when they spotted each other at the Chinese restaurant. They got to talking. “We spent the whole night having drinks, which I was very good at, and having a conversation, which he was very good at,” Choucair would testify at his trial 14 years later, trying to explain that his stock tips were coming from traders like Fiyaz and Kuperfis and not from his friend at UBS.Choucair had a privileged upbringing in London. He boarded at Mill Hill, a 212-year-old school set on 150 acres of lush parkland. But it was something more avant-garde that first got his heart racing as a young boy. Watching TV one day, he saw Guns N’ Roses’ wild-haired guitarist Slash tear through a solo and decided he, too, wanted to be a guitar hero. When he was 18, his father died and he inherited a fortune. He spent the next years in a blur of benders, and, in his sober moments, completed a business degree at King’s College London, he said at his trial. He bought an Aston Martin, started collecting guitars and filled his apartment with life-size figures from his other boyhood obsession, “Star Wars.” Fiyaz was raised with his brother in Belgium, where their father, a Pakistani businessman, had settled. They got started at the family company and made their money from shipping and investments ranging from Nigerian oil blocks to Danish department stores and a chocolatier, according to people who’ve met them and information on their websites. But they also attracted the attention of Belgian police, who suspected them of carrying out a scheme to avoid paying value-added taxes, two people familiar with the matter say. The investigation was closed after Fiyaz and his brother agreed to a settlement including a seven-figure payment, one of the people said. Neither was charged and there was no admission of wrongdoing. Fiyaz’s spokeswoman said the dispute was over whether sales by his company were exempt.By the mid-2000s, the brothers had moved to London, where they caused a stir in the Mayfair social scene. Alshair, the younger and more athletic of the two, was permanently dressed to go out. He and Javed faced each other across a pair of imposing desks in an office behind the Dorchester Hotel, where they ran their shipping business. They told people they were looking for fresh investment opportunities. When Choucair saw Fiyaz’s trading setup, he testified, he was intrigued and wanted in. He said that Fiyaz and Kuperfis, nicknamed the Cowboy because he hit the mark so often, showed him how to competitively trade contracts for difference, or CFDs, derivatives that allow a person to bet on a company’s stock without owning shares. It’s a way of trading on margin. With a relatively small down payment, profits and losses can exceed those when buying shares. Many countries have restricted their sale because retail investors can underestimate the risks and incur outsize losses. Choucair and his associates were a paradoxical bunch. They relied on each other for tip-offs but were suspicious that others were spying on them. Fiyaz accused his brokers of telling people about his positions in the market, according to four of the traders, none of whom were witnesses in the case. Some accused him of scoping out their trading positions. Discretion was paramount, and that included using untraceable communications, Choucair testified. Choucair soon had four handsets with unregistered SIM cards for the traders he was talking to. Fiyaz insisted he keep a line dedicated to him, Choucair said in court. Every few months, the traders replaced their SIM cards, and, often, their devices. Fiyaz’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the specifics of Choucair’s testimony but said the jury that convicted Choucair clearly found his attempt to blame Fiyaz untruthful.In 2011, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission froze assets of companies belonging to Fiyaz and another trader, saying the firms were suspected of making millions of dollars with the help of inside information to trade on Lonza Group AG’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Arch Chemicals Inc., which Fiyaz benefited from. Authorities dropped the case the next year because of a lack of evidence, and Fiyaz wasn’t accused of insider trading. Investigators lamented that the other trader had harmed the probe by discarding a BlackBerry that SEC lawyers believed contained text messages about his activity, according to U.S. court filings.In Choucair’s case, the Financial Conduct Authority, which led the probe, was convinced it had found his insider. Choucair met Abdel-Malek through their mothers. Choucair’s had asked Abdel-Malek’s to make curtains for the tall windows in her son's apartment. They hit it off and introduced the two children to each other. Abdel-Malek, the oldest of three daughters of religious Coptic Christians from Egypt, was kept on a tight leash, even when she got a position at UBS in London in 2007. By early 2013, Abdel-Malek was a relatively experienced compliance officer at a newly restructured division of the bank. She could look at any deal in which UBS was involved. She had little contact with Choucair for years. But that spring they reconnected, and he invited her and a friend to Tramp to celebrate his birthday, she testified in court. He spent 10,000 pounds that night on champagne, vodka and club sandwiches, it came out in court, and the party lasted until 3 a.m. Their friendship developed, though both said the relationship wasn’t romantic. Later that spring, he bought her a BlackBerry identical to her work model with a disposable SIM card.Prosecutors had company database records showing Abdel-Malek was trawling for deals. She testified that she did this to improve her deals literacy, something her managers had asked her to do. Over the next year, prosecutors said, there were about 30 deals she kept coming back to, telling Choucair when something was imminent, though the pair were only charged in connection with five of them. When prosecutors presented a motive to the jury, they said the glamour of going to Tramp was enough. Meanwhile, the wider group of traders kept nailing stock picks before news of pending mergers broke. Fiyaz and Kuperfis made a combined 55 million euros ($62 million) trading ahead of the announcement of General Electric Co.’s 2014 deal to acquire most of Alstom SA, court records and people familiar with the matter said. Fiyaz’s spokeswoman said she was unwilling to comment on his trading earnings but denied any impropriety.Over time, Fiyaz acquired a mansion on the outskirts of Paris, the Polo Club of St. Tropez and a yacht named Ecstasea with two helicopter landing pads that once belonged to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. While it’s unknown how much Fiyaz paid for the yacht, the previous owner bought it for 100 million euros in 2009, according to a U.K. court document. In 2016, Fiyaz hosted a party aboard Ecstasea for the benefit of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, his spokeswoman said. She declined on privacy grounds to say how much he paid for the yacht.But the trading network was heading for trouble. Even before the GE-Alstom deal, a friend of another member of the group, a deals lawyer, was getting divorced. It got nasty, and the lawyer’s former brother-in-law wrote a letter to French investigators saying he’d overheard him exchanging tips with a trader, according to people familiar with the information. Investigators had already dedicated resources to cracking down on insider trading, spurred in part by the French government’s anger that information about the GE-Alstom deal was leaked to the press. The regulators built up phone records connecting the group, the people familiar with the matter said. They secured wiretaps, including for the burner phone of a hair salon owner at one of Paris’s most exclusive hotels, whom they suspected of being a go-between, according to French investigative documents. The trail led to French ski resorts, the Cayman Islands, Geneva and eventually to the garden of London’s Four Seasons Hotel.A transcript of the recording made at the Four Seasons and shown to the jury at Choucair’s trial revealed he was talking to someone on the phone about a deal for a U.S. energy company. Choucair testified that the person was Jeffrey McCracken, at the time head of deals coverage at Bloomberg News.Choucair said he often spoke to reporters, sometimes at the behest of other traders, in the hope they would confirm his tips and publish an article that would cause the share price to spike. That day, Choucair testified in the second trial, Fiyaz had come to London to discuss the energy deal. McCracken, who left Bloomberg in 2017 to join CNBC and hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, declined to comment.Bloomberg reporters regularly receive tips from people active in the market and were first to report on several deals mentioned in this article. The news organization’s policy is not to publish any information without confirming with people who have direct knowledge of the matter. The policy also prohibits telling sources when a story will be published.Choucair seemed to know about the investigation before his arrest. In November 2014, he called Kuperfis to warn him. There’s a “big f--king investigation,” he blurted out in a conversation recorded by French investigators and played at Choucair’s trial. Within weeks, Kuperfis and two others were raided in France and Geneva. Kuperfis has been charged with insider trading in France in connection with his trading ahead of chemical producer Air Liquide SA’s $10 billion takeover of Airgas Inc., but he has challenged the legality of the wiretaps, and the case hasn’t come to trial. His lawyer said he couldn’t comment on the case other than to say the charges are unfounded. Choucair’s lawyers said in court that his client knew about the probe because he was told by Fiyaz, who, the lawyer recounted, had claimed he had gotten the information from a National Crime Agency interpreter, according to the judge's summary of the allegations, which the judge ruled should not be shared with the jury. Before his arrest, but after learning of the investigation, Choucair had written a letter that he hid under a rug in his apartment and that was discovered by investigators, according to the judge’s summary. In it, the summary said, he described what Fiyaz had allegedly told him about his NCA sources. The NCA said in December 2018 that it was investigating the matter. Fiyaz’s spokeswoman said he was not on notice of being the subject of any investigation. The NCA, which wouldn’t comment, doesn’t always put suspects on notice. The trial judge described the Choucair letter as “self-serving.”Choucair had his apartment swept for bugs, one person familiar with the matter said, though none were found. He called the FCA, his lawyer said in court. Then, at 6:30 a.m. one morning in September 2015, there was a knock on the door. About a dozen NCA officers had come to arrest him for insider trading. “I knew you were coming,” Choucair said, according to an account his lawyer gave in court. Across the street, they searched his mother’s house. A few miles away, Abdel-Malek’s sister woke her in her bedroom on the top floor of their family home. Two NCA officers were there to arrest her. They found a printout of price-sensitive information in a Chanel handbag and, according to people with knowledge of the matter, a new 30,000-pound Rolex, worth more than a quarter of her annual salary, along with a receipt. The jury wasn’t told about the watch.A few months after his release, Choucair was called back to the police station. Two FCA investigators sat opposite him in a small featureless room. They kept asking him about Fiyaz, Kuperfis and others, Choucair’s lawyer said in court. Choucair kept quiet.During the first trial last fall, Abdel-Malek’s white-haired father sat in the gallery with clenched teeth, clutching a wooden cross and family photographs. Prosecutors couldn’t point to any payments she received, and his lawyer told the jury that Fiyaz and other traders were just as likely a source of information for Choucair as Abdel-Malek. After all, they had bet far more heavily on the very same trades, and Choucair had been in frequent contact with them beforehand. In December, a few days before the end of the first trial, Choucair returned to Tramp. He was playing guitar with his band White Collar. The room was dark, and Choucair, wearing a hoodie and Converse sneakers, lingered in the background, barely moving to the music. The other four band members, wearing leather, tattoos and eye-liner, filled the tiny stage. Then Choucair stepped forward to sing Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” By the time the group was on to Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” the electric bass player was pulling his shirt off and climbing onto the drum kit below a chandelier. One band member grabbed the microphone and egged the crowd on. “This might be our last gig,” he said, without explaining that the man who was bankrolling the group might go to jail. It wasn’t Choucair’s last gig. The jury was unable to come to a verdict. At the second trial this year, Fiyaz involved himself more in the proceedings. At times, he had as many as five lawyers in the courtroom. One was a defense counsel who told the judge that Choucair had falsely accused Fiyaz of wrongdoing. “These are very serious allegations which are made against my client,” the lawyer said. “These are allegations which he denies. He’s never been arrested or charged in relation to any of these matters. The FCA has never cautioned him or even invited him in in relation to any of these matters. He is a man of previous good character.” Then just before Choucair was cross-examined, the FCA told the jury it had received information that Fiyaz, via an intermediary, had an insider at Citigroup Inc., who it was alleged may have been in a position to provide him with information about two of the trades in the indictment. The agency said it didn’t have time to investigate if any confidential information had been passed to Fiyaz and there was no evidence that he had received any such information. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported additional details about the alleged intermediary. A Citigroup spokeswoman declined to comment. Fiyaz “vehemently denies” that he traded on inside information obtained from Citigroup or any other financial institution, his spokeswoman said.This time the Fiyaz-was-my-tipster defense didn’t work. Choucair and Abdel-Malek were both convicted on all five counts and sentenced to three years in prison. Both plan to appeal.Fiyaz wasn’t in court during the eight-week trial, or for the verdict. Traders and lawyers weren’t sure where he was. One said Argentina. Another said he’d been seen at an Alpine ski chalet. In May, Fiyaz’s name appeared on the roster of a polo team contesting the Sun Trophy at his club in France, which once paraded scantily clad models and white Bentleys in front of guests. (Fiyaz’s spokeswoman said he wasn’t involved in the day-to-day operations of the club and doesn’t condone the objectification of women.) But on an uncharacteristically rainy Sunday, there was no sign of Fiyaz on or off the polo pitch tucked away in a forest about 20 minutes west of St. Tropez by car. In the members’ section, a dozen spectators sitting in wicker armchairs, sheltered by awnings, braved the bad weather to watch Fiyaz’s team take a 5-2 drubbing. When asked after the match why Fiyaz had been replaced by another player, a worker at the club said he had been ordered not to talk. The reason, his spokeswoman said a few weeks later, was that it happened to fall during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Fiyaz was fasting.— With assistance by Gordana Filipovic and Alan Katz (Updates to add comments from Fiyaz’s spokeswoman in the 4th, 7th, 14th and 27th paragraphs; Tramp manager testimony at Choucair trial in 4th paragraph; and FCA statements introduced at trial in 34th paragraph.)To contact the authors of this story: Franz Wild in London at email@example.comAaron Kirchfeld in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgGaspard Sebag in Paris at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robert Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alan KatzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Yves Perrier, the chief executive officer of Amundi SA, has said for several years that his aim is to make Asia a second domestic market for his firm. In 2019, the business started to deliver on that promise — which could pave the way for Perrier, who’s spent the past decade building Amundi into Europe’s biggest fund manager, to depart on a high.Amundi, which oversees more than 1.6 trillion euros ($1.8 trillion), doubled its Asian business last year to 300 billion euros, figures released on Wednesday show, with the region contributing almost a fifth of the firm’s assets under management. And while the Paris-based firm still depends on its domestic market for 54% of its assets, that share is down from more than 60% in early 2017.Big wins in India, where two new pension fund mandates contributed 74 billion euros of inflows, helped Amundi swell its total assets under management by 16% last year.But it’s China that offers the greatest potential. Amundi already has a 33% stake in a joint venture with Agricultural Bank of China in fund management that has almost 68 billion euros of assets. The French firm reckons that the total Chinese market, worth 7 trillion euros, is growing at an annual rate of between 10% and 15%.In December, Amundi became the first foreign firm authorized to take majority control of a joint venture in wealth management, after Chinese regulators loosened the rules last year. It’s teaming up with Bank of China, the country’s fourth-largest bank with 500 million retail customers and 11,000 branches. That gives Amundi a fantastic platform to market its investment products, which cover the gamut including active, passive and alternative strategies, to China’s growing middle class.But there’s an oddly valedictory feel to Wednesday’s results presentation, with several references to Amundi’s performance since 2010, the year Perrier formed the company by merging the asset management businesses of Credit Agricole SA and Societe Generale SA. I couldn’t find any similar long-term references in last year’s results submission.Perrier, who is 66, has consistently dodged questions about a possible successor, although he did say in December 2018 that he’d like the next boss of his firm to be a woman. With Amundi making good on its stated ambition to be “the European leader with global ambitions,” he’d be well within his rights to decide 2020 is the year to ride off into the sunset.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. employers ramped up hiring in January and wage gains rebounded, providing fresh evidence of a durable jobs market that backs the Federal Reserve’s decision to stop cutting interest rates and hands President Donald Trump an early election-year boost.Payrolls increased by 225,000 after an upwardly revised 147,000 gain in December, according to a Labor Department data Friday that topped all estimates of economists. The jobless rate edged up to 3.6%, still near a half-century low, while average hourly earnings climbed 3.1% from a year earlier.The dollar maintained gains, yields on the 10-year Treasury were lower and U.S. stocks declined from a record high as investors remained focused on the potential economic fallout from the coronavirus that has now claimed more than 600 lives.Annual revisions to historical data took some shine off one of Trump’s main bragging points, cutting the 2018 job gain to 2.31 million from 2.68 million. The 2017 and 2019 gains were about 2.1 million, meaning each year under Trump -- while still strong -- has been slightly slower than the 2.35 million rise in the final year of the Obama administration.Click here for Bloomberg’s TOPLive blog on the jobs report.Despite the revisions, the report shows the economy has retained strength, which Trump has heralded as a key tenet of his re-election campaign and this week in his State of the Union address. The solid hiring defies expectations for a step down to a slower pace of job growth as businesses delay investment, and exceeded the 175,000 average monthly gain for 2019.The pace also supports Fed policy makers’ view of the labor market as strong, and is more than sufficient to keep up with population growth. At the same time, Boeing Co.’s halt on production of the troubled 737 Max airplane and fears of the coronavirus spreading are likely to weigh on the U.S. economy in coming months.Steady NumberAverage hourly earnings rose 0.2% from the prior month, slightly less than estimated but an acceleration from the December reading.Payroll gains were broad-based and topped the median estimate for 165,000. Education and health services employment added 72,000, while transportation and warehousing rose by the most in a year.“This is a steady-as-she-goes number,” Societe Generale U.S. Rates Strategy Head Subadra Rajappa said on Bloomberg Television. “Broadly speaking, this doesn’t really change the outlook on employment.”Weather ImpactThe unexpected job strength also reflects robust gains in weather-sensitive sectors including construction, which climbed by 44,000 for the strongest growth in a year in an unseasonably warm month.Weekly hours worked held at 34.3 hours for a third month, matching the lowest level for most of the past decade. Economists look to hours worked for early signs of labor market softening as companies often cut hours before laying off workers.In a positive sign, the participation rate, or share of working-age people in the labor force, increased to the highest since 2013. For prime-age Americans, age 25 to 54, the rate climbed to an 11-year high.Other HighlightsThe drop in payrolls for manufacturers was steeper than estimated, driven by a decrease in payrolls for motor vehicles and parts workers.Private employment, or hiring at companies, climbed by 206,000, topping estimates. Government payrolls climbed by 19,000 for the best gain since August.The U-6, or the underemployment rate, climbed to 6.9% from 6.7%. This measure includes part-time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and those who aren’t actively looking, therefore offering a more comprehensive view of the health of the labor market.(Updates markets in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Kristy Scheuble, Sophie Caronello, Ana Monteiro, Max Reyes, Alister Bull and Vince Golle.To contact the reporter on this story: Reade Pickert in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Scott Lanman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeff KearnsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Societe Generale joined on Thursday a growing list of European banks cutting or missing key financial targets as they struggle to grow on the back of negative interest rates and volatile trading volumes. Frederic Oudea, SocGen's chief executive since 2009, is trying to lift the bank's profitability and solvency by cutting jobs, costs and businesses. SocGen expects overall profitability to improve in 2020, but there was little chance of hitting a key target of 9%-10% return on tangible equity (ROTE) it had previously set.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Societe Generale SA pledged to boost shareholder returns and shifted to a new cash dividend policy after it warned investors to expect muted revenue growth and signaling it’s set to miss a key profitability target.The Paris-based lender -- which is cutting jobs and costs and exiting some businesses -- expects to boost earnings per share and may buy back stock as part of a commitment to pay out half of underlying net income in cash to shareholders in 2020, according to a statement on Thursday. SocGen is seeking to keep shareholders onside after posting a 2019 return on tangible equity target well below its goal for this year as it undertakes a large restructuring.Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea, the longest-serving leader of a top European bank, has focused SocGen on its traditional strength in equities and related derivatives after exiting or refocusing fixed-income activities. While he can point to continued progress in boosting the CET1 ratio, a key metric of financial strength, and cutting back some businesses faster than expected, he still faces multiple challenges including negative rates and volatile trading.SocGen cut its 2020 return on tangible equity target to between 9% and 10% a year ago, joining peers in downgrading goals in a period of low growth. The bank said its forecasting now only an “improvement” on the 6.2% ROTE in 2019 this year and that its target for this year is now one for the medium term. Overall, fourth quarter revenue was above estimates and SocGen expects to complete 500 million euros of cost savings this year.SocGen shares rose as much 1.6% in Paris and traded 1.5% higher as of 9:13 a.m. local time.After whiplashing markets hurt earnings in the final months of 2018, Oudea embarked on SocGen’s biggest restructuring in years, cutting 1,600 jobs, slashing costs and paring risk after abandoning some mid-term targets for growth and profitability. The lender has sought to dispel concerns over whether it will have to tap markets for more funds, increasing its buffers for the past three quarters.Equities trading revenue, a traditional strength of the firm, was about 9% higher in the fourth quarter at 637 million euros thanks to “solid performance” in equities derivatives. While that was well below closest rival BNP Paribas, it was better than UBS Group AG and some top Wall Street firms, where equities performance varied widely. Fixed income revenue gained 27% even after SocGen exited some activities.The world’s top securities firms rode a surge in demand for government bonds and products for hedging interest rate risk while many stumbled in the business of trading stocks. To cement its leadership in equity derivatives, SocGen acquired the exchange-traded products and market-making operations of Germany’s Commerzbank AG in 2018.Eight of SocGen’s U.S. and European competitors saw their debt trading revenue rise 57% on average in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. Despite the gains in trading, European banks face challenges from negative rates in their bread-and-butter banking business. BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest bank, dropped a profitability goal on Wednesday and introduced a lower 10% return on tangible equity target for 2020.SocGen achieved its 2020 target for its common equity tier one ratio of 12% ahead of time last quarter. The bank had been working with McKinsey & Co. to find ways to bolster its CET1 ratio, a person familiar with the matter said in May.(Adds shares in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
European shares rose to a record high on Thursday, helped by China's plan to cut tariffs on some U.S. goods and a swathe of strong earnings. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose as much as 0.7% to a record high of 426.700. China said on Thursday it plans to halve tariffs on some U.S. goods, which could help improve negotiating conditions for a second phase of a trade deal after the signing of a Phase 1 agreement between the two countries earlier this year.
Societe Generale, one of the largest European financial services groups, reports 2019 full year results. CEO Frédéric Oudéa comments on the Group's results.
RESULTS AT DECEMBER 31ST 2019 Press releaseParis, February 6th 2020 Q4 19 PERFORMANCE: STRONG GROWTH IN REVENUES AND UNDERLYING GROUP NET INCOME Revenues up +4.8%.
Sage Group PLC said Wednesday that trading in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was strong as it benefited from revenue growth and backed its guidance for the full financial year.