Helsinki2018: How the markets will open on Monday?

 

helsinki2018-logoThe big question in the financial markets will be the market reactions on Monday. What have we heard so far? The first thing is that trade wars are real at the moment and the markets are waiting for more information from the meeting in Helsinki on Monday. Will the US president Donald Trump or Russian president Vladimir Putin say something regarding the trade wars, economics or sanctions? Last week the markets closed mixed globally.

The trade wars are affecting primarily auto, steel and aluminum industries globally. So far the auto industries have developed very differently. For example the Swedish car manufacturer´s Volvo stock price  (VOLVB) has increased by nearly 2 % annually, but for example the luxury car manufactuer Ferrari (Ferrari) by over 50 % in New York, On the other hand Tesla´s  (TSLA) stock price has declined by over 2,5 % and the German company Daimler´s  (DAI) by over 6 % and Volkswagen´s (VOW) with 0,5 % during the same period.

The autoindustry is important to the EU, while the German auto production is about 20 % of the global passanger car production. The turnover is about 404 billion euros according to the German Trade & Invest. And the industry sector is having otherwise very good future outlook with energy efficient cars, growth estimates are nearly 30 procent annually by 2020.

In the US, the autoindustry has seen signs of declining sales during the summer time – General Motors and Ford  have been reporting. The city of Detroit is facing lay offs.

Last year totally 17 million passanger cars were built in the EU and EU was the second largest producer of passanger cars. The US production declined by 11,5 percent and the production totalled 8 million cars.  China maintained its leading position among global passanger car producers – totally 29 percent of all cars were produced  in China according to ACEA.

So, one can understand that Tesla decided to build a new car plant in China.  The company announced last week that they will open a plant in Shanghai delivering 500 000 vehicles a year. The project time for the plant is about five years, but the size of the investment was not published.

The autoindustry is having big changes and for example the OEM production is also one part of it. So far, the EU has been the place for premium cars, but for how long? Also the UK Brexit-talks will have their own impact on the autoindustry development,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Finance

Helsinki2018: How about the investments?

helsinki2018-logo

The tradewars between the US, China and the EU are escalating in all frontiers. The world economies are already suffering of the lack of confidence and stability. It really needs a crystal ball to see behind the unexpected and C-level executives are trying to navigate in the day-to-day  ever changing economic environment. It is clear that the tradewars  and sanctions will be one of the top questions in the #Helsinki2018 meeting with presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

The world economy is mixed up. The discussion in the NATO meeting in Brussels this week also showed the power of the US. The defence budget of 2 procent of the NATO-country´s GDP is one of the questions but also the questions of next investments and taxes. Which country will be the next growth country to invite international investments and money? And what will happen to institutions, are they ready to renew their way to operate and engage? It seems clear that Nato in not the only one, there might also be the UN and for example IMF and World Bank in the financial markets.

It is no wonder that the space will be the next generation growth area. At the moment there are no internationally and generally accepted laws and rules how to proceed with the new technology and investments. It offers taxfree for everybody who could have the access to ride to the moon. And that is why it is important for countries to have as much co-operation and network as possible in order to be along in the process. Like for Finland, which is a small, but quite innovative country, to be part of the technology development.

The number two is also important for the European Central Bank (ECB). This is the inflation target of the EU area. The bank´s monetary policy says that the main target for the central bank is to keep price stability and the inflation below, but close the 2 % over the medium term. This is the mechanism how the EU area will have growth and jobs, but also how to keep the value of euro.

One can say that this is also the same what president Donald Trump is doing with “corporate America and America first”. And so far it seems working – the earnings of listed companies have risen by 22 % compared to year ago and investments are up 19 procent. The relaxation of banking rules and corporate taxes have fueled the economy.

The new inflation numbers from the US show the trend – inflation is on rise and it has strengthen the dollar.  The figure 2,9 % is a clear sign for the Federal Reserve to rise the interest rates- it is estimated that there will be at least two increases this year.

The euro has fallen to 1,17 dollars. And naturally the ECB is worried about the overall economic situation in the Eurozone. Tradewars and sanctions are not helping the economic growth and rising inflation on the other hand will increase the pressures to rise the interest rates.

It seems clear that old rules are not working any more. In order to avoid the global economic and financial crisis, action, co-operation and readyness is needed from cabinets. Maybe we see something about this on Monday in #Helsinki2018?

Päivi Härkönen

 

Business Finance

Volkswagen Passat Hybrid – economical driving

Volkswagen Passat GTE Hybrid offers good performance.  The electric range of about 50 km and the range of 1000 km with petrol shows how family travelling with electric car is possible, even with long distances.

The car is also embedded with different solutions that help the driver to focus on road safety issues. So called Front Assistant is a system which alarms you if there is an pedestrian on the road and brakes automatically if needed. The Park Assistant helps you with parking in the city environments.

The infortainment system in the car is very clear and all the possible connectivity functions as well. On the other hand, the voice navigation could have different voice options, but the navigation itself and its operations are easy to use.

One of the useful functions is also the e-Manager, which enables you to set charging  beforehand. For example you can leave the car ready to be charged, but the e-Manager takes control how much earlier  the car has to be charged in order to get it ready in time. During the winter mornings this would enable smooth travelling with enough power and range.

It is also possible to integrate the infortainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications, but this has to be done with USB cabels. For example with BMW this integration is wireless.

The combined consumption in Volkswagen Passat Hybrid is about 1,7 litres per 100 km according to the company information. And the CO2 is 38 g per kilometer. The charging time range is from 3-4 hours with the litium-ioni batteries. The car uses electric about 13,4 kwh per each 100 kilometer.

In short, one can say that driving with Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in-hybrid is  economical. It offers also enough space for goods and even small cargo. It is a combination of classic style with modern technology.

 

 

 

 

Travel

Bulgari luxury watch to celebrate 100 anniversary

 

Diva Finissima Minute Repeater from luxury watchmaker Bulgari is for the ones and only. This fine artistic jewellery watch is having limited edition of ten pieces globally, with the price of 187.000 dollars. It has been designed to celebrate the company´s 100 years anniversary.

The watch is a combination of Italian jewellery design and Swiss high-quality watchmaking. This is also the world´s thinnest minute repeater movement for ladies.  The Japanese style of design (Urushi lacquer) in the dial shows fine gold dust as the reminder of beautifull craftmanship.

This watch is having 42-hour power reserve and water-resistant to 30 meters. The strap is black alligator leather by an 18kt rose gold folding clasp with diamonds.

 

Lifestyle

Volvo XC60 Hybrid – new style and power

Volvo (VOLVB) has reinvented itself. This is the feeling when driving with new Volvo XC60 hybrid (T8 Twin Engine). The company is pure safety company with modern technology and the pleasure of driving.

And the car itself? The new Volvo XC60 is having very nordic interior and exterior design: simple, classic and functional. But also modern with high quality. The car is made to please the visual and functional driving with easy access to manual driving but also keeping in mind that the various tech assistant services will help you to enjoy your driving. Safe and sound.

This dual motor (petrol and electric) is having low CO2 levels, 49 according to the company information. And the consumption with high-way drive (with petrol) is about 7 litres per 100 km, but the combined consumpion is about as low as 2,1 litres according to the company. The petrol tank is big enough and the average electric driving range is about 50 km.

According to the company information, the battery charging time with 6 A would be about 7 hours and with 16 A about 3 hours. In order to make the hybrid work, one should have a charging station.

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The tech innovation services include for example the service to help the driver to avoid the collision with the other car coming from the opposite direction. This automated system is active between 60-140 km / hour speed.

The Volvo XC60 consists of 5 different categories of steel. The max high -strenght steel is the red  and orange ones in the above picture. It is not surprise that the company says that they have the vision that no one gets bad insured in a new Volvo by 2020. In the front of the car, Volvo uses also aluminium as the body material.

Focus on environmental issues as well

Volvo is also known for its long history related to environmental issues. This June the company announced that they will increase the use of recycled materials in the car production in order to help to prevent the world oceans from the plastic problem.

  • From 2025, at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material, the company said.

The company also urged auto industry suppliers to work more closely with car makers to develop next generation components that are as sustainable as possible, especially with regards to containing more recycled plastics.

The new Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 is easy to park with for example 11,4 meters turning circle. So, no need to worry about how to get it right at the first time or if you need to make an U-turn. In the interior design the panorama roof is excellent choice when having summer temperatures. The acceleration is good enough with 5,5 seconds ( 0-100 km/h) and top speed as well 230 km/h.

See also the video of Volvo Safety and Pulizer Prize Winner photographer Barbara Davidson:

Volvo XC60 and photo arts & safety

Lifestyle Travel

Xiaomi planning over 6 billion dollars IPO

Xiaomi, the Chinese smart-phone maker,  is planning to raise 48 billion HK dollars ( 6,12 billion US dollars) in the IPO in HongKong, the company said on Saturday. It would be the biggest Chinese tech IPO since Alibaba in 2014.

Mi MIX in white_01_preview

The Company will offer about 2,18 bilion shares priced between 17 and 22 HK dollars. The offering is starting next Monday and ending at Thursday. Trading of the shares is expected to start on July the 9th.

According to the founder, chairman and CEO Lei Jun the company´s revenue has exceeded 100 billion yuan (15,3 billion US dollars). The company was founded seven years ago. Xiaomi will be investing in global expansion and internet ecosystem.

Xiaomi is an internet company with smartphones and smart hardware integrated with its IoT platform.

Business Tech

Hublot CEO: Double digit growth this year – Chinese consumers ranking 1st

Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe says that he expects the company to grow double digit, that is about 10-11 %, this year, well above the average luxury watch industry. Speaking to ComteamPUB+ he says that this year also the Chinese consumers will be the first big customer segment for this Swiss Luxury Watchmaker.

– This year will be very unique for Hublot. Our growth estimate is double digit that is 10-11 %, which is well above the 5-6 % average growth rate in the luxury watch industry this year. This year is also the first year for Chinese consumers to be ranked the number one. Our biggest growth is coming from the Greater China area, he says to ComteamPUB+.

Hublot, part of the LVMH Group (MC:FP),  is having 8 different brand stores in China and totally 18  in Greater China and the company is planning to open new stores globally so that the total stores would be around 100 in the next couple of years. This week the new opening is in Genf, Switzerland and in June they will open a new brand store in London, in the Old Bond Street.

-We want that our customers can experience the Hublot brand when they are travelling. So this is also important that the store locations are fitting our targets. We also want to demonstrate our strong brand, he explains.

Digital transformation in the focus

Digital transformation is in the focus of luxury watch industry nowadays. Companies are building different customer experiences in the internet with storytelling and strong social media channels. For example Hublot is having 2,9 million Instagram followers and in Facebook they are having 4,1 million followers.

-Digital transformation is shaping our industry. For example Hublot is having now 50 % of its advertising costs in digital channels compared to other media channels. And we are planning to build our own e-commerce platform in the couple of years. We want Hublot digital boutiques to offer a new Brand experience to our worldwide customers, he adds.

This e-commerce has been very difficult with the luxury watch industry because of the pricing and brand value. For example another Swiss luxury watch company, Richemont, has decided to buy back their luxury watches from external dealers. This has caused the company 200 million euros profit fall according to the Financial Times.

Mr Guadalupe sees the market differently and says that Hublot would not have to do the same thing than Richemond.

-We know our customers and we track the watches we sell. Hublot has no stock while our production is in line with the demand, he explains.

Hublot´s annual production is about 50.000 units, price range from 6000 – 50.000 euros each and the production site is in Nyon, Switzerland. The average price is 20 000 euros according to the company.

The first smartwatch, Hublot Big Bang Referee

During the BaselWorld2018 Hublot also launched its first smartwatch, operating with Android. This luxury smartwatch is part of the company partnerships with FIFA World Cup now in June in Russia.

-We are thrilled with the feedback from this watch, Hublot Big Bang Referee FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. This is really the first smartwatch for us and it is also seen as the first marketing tool for our FIFA partnership. We have invited about 1000 stakeholders in our FIFA events and we are looking forward for this big event, Mr Guadalupe comments.

The luxury smartwatch industry is very diversified. Apple Watch is the market dominant, but other luxury watchmakers like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Tag Heuer are also in the markets with their smartwatches. In the LVMH Group, the development of the smartwatches, is being taken care of the internal development unit.This is also the way the Group can have efficient R&D expenditures. 

It is estimated that the global smartwatch sales would exceed 141 million units this year, while the estimates for the last year were 75 million units. In 2016 the sales were 38 million units.

Hublot was the first luxury brand to invest in football and has partnered with football for over 10 years and the company has different brand ambassadors like Pele, Usain Bolt, Dwyane Wade, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Lang Lang.

The company has worked with the luxury car manufacturer Ferrari for many years and according to Mr Guadalupe some kind of connected smartwatch with Ferrari might be one option in the future.. The autonomous, connected cars can have also new innovations for smartwatches.

-When we work with smartwatches, it is good to remember that it is totally different market compared to mechanical watches, which is our core business. But working with wearables we want to show the innovative, unique and piece of art work in our products, he says.

The launched Hublot Big Bang Referee smartwatch enable users to take part in the FIFA game by sending them notifications and live score updates.The company says they have produced 2000 units of this watch so far.

Hublot and sustainability

As part of the LVMH Group, Hublot has also developed tools to track for example the raw materials in the luxury watches. Sustainability is becoming more common and part of the luxury watch industry processes more.

-We use different raw materials like gold, diamonds and titanium in our products. Sustainability means for us that we track the sourcing of the materials as good as possible and want to expand that analysing and recycling also in the future, he explains.

Quality, passion and details

But what does the CEO do at home?

-I am a football fan and therefore it is a pleasure for me to work in collaboration with FIFA. This is a third World Cup for me. And when I am at home, I like to cook. Gastronomy is my hobby as well  You know: it is like watch making: quality, passion and details, he says.

© Päivi Härkönen, ComteamPUB+

Lifestyle Tech