Investment strategy correspondent, London
Ingrid's Feed
Jun 26, 2013

Draghi says ECB policy exit distant, ready to act

PARIS (Reuters) – An exit from the European Central Bank’s exceptional monetary policy measures remains distant, ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated on Wednesday, soothing unnerved markets after the U.S. Federal Reserve laid out a plan to reel in stimulus.

Speaking to committees in the French lower house of parliament, Draghi said there were still downside risks to growth in the euro zone economy and the ECB was ready to take fresh action if needed.

Jun 25, 2013

Markets upended because Fed has “no clue” how it will end bond buying-IMF

PARIS, June 25 (Reuters) – Markets have overreacted to the
U.S. Federal Reserve’s plans to stop buying bonds but part of
the problem is a lack of clarity over how it will be done, the
International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

“The Fed has no clue what will happen when it starts selling
assets,” IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard told a meeting of
the Institute of International Finance in Paris. “So it cannot
make any commitments in term of quantities.”

Jun 21, 2013

EU tells France to reform pensions, rein in spending

LUXEMBOURG, June 21 (Reuters) – European Union finance
ministers told France on Friday to revamp its pension system by
year-end and cut labour costs in return for getting longer to
shrink its budget deficit to within EU limits.

The ministers backed the European Commission’s detailed
recommendations on how France should proceed with those reforms,
despite Paris’s instance that Brussels cannot “dictate” its
policies.

Jun 21, 2013

EU to decide who pays when banks fail

LUXEMBOURG, June 21 (Reuters) – The European Union sought on
Friday to forge rules to force losses on large savers when banks
fail, a divisive reform that will shape how the euro zone deals
with its sickly lenders.

Finance ministers in Luxembourg are trying to resolve one of
the most difficult questions posed by Europe’s banking crisis -
how to shut failed banks without sowing panic or burdening
taxpayers.

Jun 21, 2013

Euro bailout fund conditions complicate efforts to separate bad banks and sovereigns

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers on Thursday agreed on how its bailout fund can invest in troubled banks, but imposed so many conditions that they may not completely succeed in their goal of separating problem banks from their indebted home countries.

The 500 billion-euro bailout fund was originally set up to help struggling governments and was later expanded to include banks in an effort to restore confidence in the financial markets, ravaged by three years of debt and financial crisis.

Jun 14, 2013

French should pay into pensions for longer, panel says

PARIS (Reuters) – The French should pay contributions for longer to get a full pension and well-off pensioners should pay more taxes, a much-awaited advisory report to President Francois Hollande’s government said on Friday.

Pension reform, a controversial issue for decades in France, will be closely watched by its euro zone partners, which expect changes in the generous but costly system in return for giving Paris more time to bring its public finances back in line.

Jun 14, 2013

French panel urges longer pension contributions

PARIS (Reuters) – The French should pay contributions for longer to get a full pension and well-off pensioners should get fewer tax rebates, a much-awaited advisory report to President Francois Hollande’s government said on Friday.

The study – which the government has said is of consultative value – proposes only a fractional increase in employers contributions after the European Commission and IMF both recommended that employers should not see their costs rise.

Jun 10, 2013

French unions threaten protests over pension reform

PARIS (Reuters) – French labour unions stepped up the pressure on President Francois Hollande with threats of demonstrations over his pension reform plans on Monday, days before a panel tasked with advising his government is due to unveil proposals.

Hollande has told the French they must expect to work longer but instead of pushing for an outright raising of the statutory retirement age from 62 has suggested only that the contributions period needed for a full pension may have to be extended.

Jun 6, 2013

French jobless rate hits 14-year high, government target in doubt

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s unemployment rate hit a 14-year high in the first quarter of 2013, casting fresh doubt on President Francois Hollande’s goal of reversing the rising jobless trend by year-end.

The jobless rate of 10.8 percent, published by the INSEE statistics agency on Thursday, was the highest on record since the first quarter of 1999.

Jun 4, 2013

IMF tells France to step up reforms, rein in spending

PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) – France must lower labour costs,
open up regulated professions, deepen its labour and business
reforms and cease tax hikes to get back to growth and bolster
competitiveness, the IMF said on Tuesday.

A day after slashing its growth forecast for Germany, the
International Monetary Fund said that France was set to contract
slightly more than its current forecast and that unemployment
would keep rising in spite of the government’s promise to
reverse the jobless trend by year-end.