Archive for the ‘ Europe ’ Category

Investors must brace themselves for six months of ‘Greek-led volatility’

Investors are being warned to expect “Greek-led volatility” for six months, by a leading global analyst at one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

Tom Elliott, International Investment Strategist at deVere Group, which has $10bn under advice from 80,000 clients, makes his observations following yesterday’s elections. Anti-austerity party Syriza has emerged as the victor and has agreed to form a government with the rightwing anti-bailout Independent Greeks.

Mr Elliott comments: “Investors can expect Greek-led market volatility for at least six months until a Syriza-led government is better understood.

“The Euro will weaken – perhaps to parity with the dollar – over the next six months as investors seek ‘safe havens’ as other populist parties in the Eurozone are likely to rise in the opinion polls and echo Syriza with their demands to end austerity.

“The sliding Euro will further boost exporters who got a leg-up from last week’s shock and awe quantitative easing package unveiled by the ECB.

“Indeed, one of the ironies of the Euro crisis is that the more that Greece looks likely to cause problems for the single currency, the more Germany and the core economies benefit from resulting Euro weakness.”

He adds: “Despite Europe’s main share markets rising – after initial falls – and the Euro recovering somewhat today, the announcement that Prime Minister-elect Alexis Tsipras’s main coalition partner is the centre-right Greek Independents will generate more uncertainty, leading to more market turbulence. This is largely because the move will hinder Syriza’s negotiations with the Troika and, I suspect, hinder reform.

“I’d give it a 30 per cent chance that Tspiras is the new Lula da Silva, the leftwing modernizer of Brazil, with investors actually supporting the government after a rocky start; 40 per cent that it turns into a problem-ducking coalition government that doesn’t address long term structural problems but investors stick with it; and a 30 per cent chance that the coalition initiates some sort of socialist revolution.”

Mr Elliott concludes: “It is early days and the story is just beginning. However, what history teaches us is that what is happening in Greece politically will have far-reaching effects on the capital markets and will impact investor returns.

“The changing political landscape in Greece, and across Europe, is presenting numerous risks and opportunities for investors globally. As such, the shifting dynamics must be monitored carefully to be able to benefit from these opportunities and to mitigate the avoidable risks.


Countries with highest and lowest life expectancies for people born in 2013 charted

Countries with highest and lowest life expectancies for people born in 2013 charted

If you want to have on average the longest life expectancy in the world then Monaco is the place for a child born in 2013 . The Lowest is Chad has the lowest life expectancy –

Below is the average across the world .




Date of Information




2013 est.




2013 est.




2013 est.




2013 est.


San Marino


2013 est.




2013 est.




2013 est.




2013 est.


Hong Kong


2013 est.




2013 est.


Oil, gold hit multi-month peak

Oil, gold hit multi-month peak.

The prices of oil and gold have been pushed to multi-month highs over concerns that the US will lead a military strike against the Syrian government.

Brent crude prices advanced 2.4% to a six-month high of $117.14 a barrel, extending Tuesday’s 3.3% surge – the biggest one-day percentage gain in nearly 10 months.

Gold climbed 0.8% to a more than three-month high after also gaining 0.8% on Tuesday.

But while the prices of oil and gold rose to their highest in several months, Asian equities fell to a seven-week low. An acute ‘risk-off’ mode also boosted the appeal of the Japanese yen, which held near a one-week high against the dollar and euro after having posted its biggest rally in more than two months.

Tokyo’s Nikkei share average sagged as much as 2.6% to a two-month low, while the yen was largely steady at 97.120 to the dollar and 129.90 to the euro after climbing more than 1% overnight.

US and European stocks were also impacted overnight, suffering their worst day since June. Investor nervousness was reflected in a nearly 12 percent jump on the CBOE volatility index, Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge, to a two-month high.



Mercer has released its annual rankings of 214 cities based on their cost of living for expatriates. Relying on surveys that compare over 200 items in each city, it is the world’s most comprehensive report of its kind. It helps multinational companies and governments set compensation for their expatriate employees.


1 Luanda, Angola
2 Moscow, Russia
3 Tokyo, Japan
4 N’Djamena, Chad
5 Singapore, Singapore
6 Hong Kong, Hong Kong
7 Geneva, Switzerland
8 Zurich, Switzerland
9 Bern, Switzerland
9 Sydney, Australia

You Tube video on rankings


Eurozone recession could end this quarter

Eurozone recession could end this quarter.

Analysts are hopeful that the eurozone’s recession could end in the third quarter, after official data showed that the region’s businesses had returned to growth for the first time in 18 months.

The Markit eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded growth of 50.5 in July, up from an initial estimate of 50.4. Anything above the 50 mark signals growth. The sentiment survey of thousands of purchasing managers is widely seen as a reliable gauge of economic expansion.

The 17-nation bloc’s services sector rose to 49.8, up from an initial estimate of 49.6, while manufacturing surprised with a strong 50.3-point performance, pushing the combined measure into positive territory.

Job losses were the weakest in 16 months, as rates of decline eased in France, Italy and Spain, while Germany saw a modest return to job creation.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said that the news confirmed a welcome return to growth for the eurozone economy at the start of the third quarter, raising hopes that the region could claw its way out of its longest-running recession.

For Europe, the strong figures offer a glimmer of hope that the six consecutive quarters of economic contraction may finally be ending.


Who’s richer Germany / Greece /Spain /Cyprus ? The answer would surprise you

A great article in the UK Telegraph talking about the wealth in Euro largest economy .
Everyone during the financial crisis thought Germany should bank role the Euro , should they ?

ECB survey median net household wealth :
#just over €50,000 in Germany
#Greece the figure was just over €100,000
#Spain €180,000
#Cyprus over €260,000

GDP per head, then of course Germany comes out well ahead of Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Italy. But in fact Germany is only just above the eurozone average.

Have a read of the article it will surprise you .

Tony Evans

The Germans are walking tall in the eurozone, but just how rich are they?


On the meter: Taking a taxi in Greece and Japan

Great video on taking a taxi in both city’s .

BBC On the meter: Taking a taxi in Greece and Japan


Court declares Berlusconi a tax fraud

Court declares Berlusconi a tax fraud.

Humiliated former Premier Silvio Berlusconi raged at an Italian court this morning after it that declared him a tax fraud – and is now facing community service or house arrest after judges upheld jail term.

After years of tax scandals, the law seems to have finally caught up with Silvio Berlusconi after 12 judges in Italy’s Supreme Court convicted the billionaire mogul for hiding millions of Euros from his media empire in overseas slush funds.

Until today, Berlusconi had managed to dodge dozens of convictions on charges including bribery and tax fraud. Oftentimes, he managed to free himself thanks to changes in the law that he himself introduced as premier.

The 76-year-old will now face some form of house arrest or the humility of having to perform community service, probably for a year. Unfortunately for Berlusconi, the three-time premier will die with a criminal record.

Interestingly, Mara Carfagna, the former topless model who rose rapidly to become one of Berlusconi’s ministers, said the conviction showed that ‘there was a small part of the judiciary engaged in a war against Berlusconi’.

She also said that the verdict would not cause the government to collapse.

In a nine-minute video message, Mr Berlusconi said that “in exchange for the work I’ve done for nearly 20 years for my country… I get as my reward accusations and a sentence based on nothing that even takes away my personal freedom and my political rights”.


S&P cuts Italy’s credit rating, outlook stays negative

Could this be putting pressure on the Italy finance ? I believe this could start another Euro crisis?

My blog on -Could Italy be next for EU bailout ? Strike 2 in new credit crunch .

S&P cuts Italy's credit rating, outlook stays negative.

Standard & Poor’s announced yesterday that it lowered Italy’s credit rating to BBB, only two levels above junk, on the back of expectations of weakening economic prospects and the nation’s impaired financial system.

In a statement late yesterday, S&P analysts said that even with unprecedented easing by the European Central Bank, real interest rates for non-financial companies in Italy exceeded the level before the financial crisis.

S&P said, “The rating action reflects our view of a further worsening of Italy’s economic prospects coming on top of a decade of real growth averaging minus 0.04 percent. The low growth stems in large part from rigidities in Italy’s labor and product markets”.

Moreover, the austerity measures had continued to deepen the Italy’s economic slump, even if they briefly enabled Italy to reduce its deficit to within European Union limits.

The Italian economy is headed for its eighth quarter of contraction and joblessness, the highest since at least 1977.

However, Economist Roberto Perli assured that, “This is still two steps away from junk, so that’s reassuring…I can see some short-term volatility but not a lot more than that


US-EU trade talks set to open amid tensions

US-EU trade talks set to open amid tensions.

Tensions over spying and protected industries will be the backdrop of talks aimed at creating the world’s largest free trade zone between the European Union and the US.

The US has caused friction with its allies due to the snooping carried out by the National Security Agency.

The US and the EU officially agreed to open talks at the Group of Eight conference last month. Their aim is to remove trade and investment barriers between the two sides.

There are already comparatively few direct tariffs on goods and services, but there are other obstacles to remove such as regulatory and safety standards, inspection procedures, and preferences for domestic business.

If these hurdles are eliminated, the costs for companies doing transatlantic business could be significantly reduced.

European negotiators will be pushing for US states, cities and federal departments to abandon preferences for American contractors, while Washington will be looking for the EU to open up its market to US biotechnology firms wanting to sell products like genetically-modified foods, something which remains controversial in Europe.

Head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said that the negotiations would not always be easy but they would be worth it.

Last year, trade in goods between the United States and the EU was worth some €500bn euros, with another €280bn euros in services and trillions in investment flows.


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