Leigh's Feed
Apr 3, 2015

Germanwings co-pilot increased speed as jet went down

PARIS (Reuters) – The co-pilot of a Germanwings jet that crashed in the French Alps increased the airplane’s speed before it crashed killing all 150 people on board, according to French investigators.

France’s BEA crash investigation agency said on Friday it was still reconstructing the flight, but the chilling new detail from a second ‘black box’ data recorder appeared to corroborate prosecutors’ suggestions that the co-pilot acted deliberately.

Feb 25, 2015

AXA shares highest since 2008 after insurer raises dividend

PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Europe’s second-biggest insurer
AXA posted a 12 percent rise in 2014 net profit thanks
to lower costs and raised its dividend, sending its shares to
their highest since the start of the financial crisis.

Despite low interest rates pressuring insurers’ investment
revenues, analysts saw room for the company to raise its
dividend further in the future.

Feb 23, 2015

Moscovici raises threat of French budget sanctions but eyes deal

PARIS (Reuters) – The EU’s top economics official raised the threat of sanctions against France over its budget slippages on Monday but made clear that he would prefer to reach a deal that would grant Paris yet another reprieve in exchange for reform pledges.

The European Commission is due to say this week whether it considers that France’s efforts to reform its economy and cut its deficit are sufficient, despite repeated failures to meet fiscal goals.

Feb 20, 2015

ECB’s Draghi wants to buy bonds, but who will sell?

LONDON (Reuters) – At the height of the euro zone debt crisis in 2012, ECB President Mario Draghi’s problem was how to convince investors to hold on to European bonds. Now he faces a struggle to make them sell.

Weeks before the European Central Bank begins a program to buy about 1 trillion euros of euro zone government bonds, banks, pension funds and insurers across the continent are hoarding them for regulatory or accounting reasons.

Feb 5, 2015

BNP Paribas sees tax, regulation pressures piling up

PARIS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – BNP Paribas expects
rising taxes and new regulations to reduce 2016 earnings by 500
million euros ($571 million), France’s biggest bank said on
Thursday, sending its shares down 4 percent.

The bank faces increased costs for foreign banks in the U.S.
and a mounting bill related to Europe’s new banking union. It
expects banking-sector specific taxes to top 900 million euros
next year and said the impact of costs should ease thereafter.

Feb 2, 2015

Urge to merge grips French mutual insurers as price war breaks out

PARIS, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Tight health budgets, regulatory
revolutions and the threat of Google have unleashed a surge of
competition among France’s mutual insurers, triggering a wave of
mergers in the usually staid corner of the financial sector.

Malakoff Mederic and La Mutuelle Generale were the latest
not-for-profit mutuals to ink a tie-up creating a combined group
this month with annual revenues of 4.6 billion euros ($5.2

Jan 19, 2015

SocGen picks former ECB executive board member as chairman

PARIS, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Societe Generale is to
split its top job into two with the appointment of former
European Central Bank executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi
as chairman, while Frederic Oudea will remain chief executive.

Societe Generale was the only big French bank not to have
separated the two roles and was expected to do this to comply
with European Union regulations and recommendations from French
employee associations.

Jan 17, 2015

France’s Hollande defends freedom of speech after anti-Hebdo clashes abroad

PARIS, Jan 17 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
said on Saturday that anti-Charlie Hebdo protesters in other
countries do not understand France’s attachment to freedom of

He was speaking a day after the satirical weekly’s
publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad sparked violent
clashes, including deaths, in some Muslim countries.

Jan 17, 2015

French municipal borrowers collateral victims of Swiss franc surge

PARIS (Reuters) – French municipal borrowers are seeing the cost of billions of euros in Swiss franc-linked debt spiral dangerously higher, forcing the state to consider lending them a helping hand.

Up to the 2008-09 financial crisis, many municipalities and local governments took out long-term loans linked to foreign currencies, offering low interest rates in the initial years and floating rates afterwards.

Jan 13, 2015

Charlie Hebdo to publish Mohammad cartoon on front page

PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Charlie Hebdo will publish a front
page showing a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad holding a sign
saying “Je suis Charlie” in its first edition since Islamist
gunmen attacked the satirical newspaper.

With demand surging for the edition due on Wednesday, the
weekly planned to print up to 3 million copies, dwarfing its
usual run of 60,000, after newsagents reported that large
numbers of customers around the country were placing orders.