Dixon: EU-Turkey deal is historic, if it sticks

By Hugo Dixon
November 30, 2015

The EU has dangled the prospect that Turkey can join the bloc, offered to liberalise visas and promised the government a chunk of cash in return for Ankara agreeing to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. The snag is that not all of the pact looks deliverable.

Air Liquide’s bid for Airgas leaves value vacuum

November 18, 2015

The French gas company’s $13.4 billion acquisition melds two complementary businesses – the larger Air Liquide supplies mainly big customers; its U.S. rival serves smaller outfits. Yet unless the buyer can superheat the synergies, the deal will leave its shareholders worse off.

EasyJet’s brio bodes ill for Lufthansa, Air France

November 17, 2015

On the back of an 18 pct jump in pre-tax profit in 2015, the UK budget carrier is ordering more planes to step up growth and expand into new routes. The confidence is merited. High-cost legacy carriers are too bogged down by labour unrest to fight more nimble low-cost rivals.

Luxury overexpansion pads against country risk

November 17, 2015

Labels like Gucci and Hermes tend to suffer after incidents like the Paris shootings because they rely on confidence and tourism. But years of runaway growth may leave luxury better positioned than before. Companies are now less exposed to any single region.

France can afford budget-busting security spend

November 17, 2015

Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the deficit is bound to miss EU targets as security spending rises after the Paris attacks. Brussels is unlikely to kick up a fuss over this exceptional overspending. Nor will investors, who are used to serial French fiscal slippage.

As Europe’s risk rises, so must corporate costs

November 16, 2015

The financial implications flowing from the Paris atrocities are of a second or third order. Still, lower volumes, and increased security and energy costs, will squeeze margins. Good companies and responsible investors will accept these as a necessary cost of doing business.

Dixon: Syrian peace process offers hope post-Paris

By Hugo Dixon
November 16, 2015

After the attacks, outside powers called for a ceasefire followed by a political transition. A big obstacle is that Russia and America don’t agree on what should happen to Assad. But it’s the best chance to end the war, crush Islamic State and solve the refugee crisis.

Paris attacks can both unify and cleave Europe

November 14, 2015

Deadly assaults across the French capital have sparked the sort of international solidarity which could help Europe surmount recent acrimony over issues such as migration. But the fears they generate may shape debates about security and cultural integration in ways that divide.

Amundi’s so-so listing sums up Europe’s IPO market

November 12, 2015

Shares in the Credit Agricole-owned asset manager opened just above the issue price, at the lower end of its original range. Anything less would have been a failure for the 15 banks on the deal. The valuation reflects concerns about the business – and new stocks in general.

Airbus success hides growing flagship problem

October 30, 2015

Europe’s aerospace group is getting many things right, as a 12 pct third-quarter growth in operating profit shows. But demand for its ageing long-distance A380 model has peaked. The flagship jet is overdue a $2 bln or so upgrade. Airbus can afford it, but is losing crucial time.