Highlights of the year 2018 – Brexit, trade talks and green finance

The year 2018 was a year of Brexit, electric cars and trade talks. It included special moments in the financial markets and in the company side. Green Bonds and Green Finance were getting more attention in the markets and trade talks and Brexit were the topics during the year 2018 along. Climate Change and low carbon landed also in the agenda of central banks.

Investors were also asking what is the role of the City as a global financial hub. Should it have its own rules in spite of the Brexit? In the financial hub competition, Frankfurt and Paris were the European cities to get more new financial offices as financial companies were moving some operations to the EU side.

The UK Parliament is expected to vote of the Brexit during Janury 2019 after very intensive debate about the deal during the year.

Climate Change has become part of the everyday life in the financial markets and for example one of the biggest insurance companies in the US, Berskhire Hathaway informed in February 2018, that it has got 3 billion dollars losses of the natural catastrophies, the hurricances in the US. Several central banks, including the European Central Bank and some Asian ones, have also agreed about the co-operation in the climate issues and how to monitor the impact on the markets.

In the tech-side augmented reality and ioT were the themes for the year. Apple, Amazon, Google, Tesla, Intel  and Samsung  were one of the tech-companies to deliver new services related to the new technology. On the other side of the topic, Facebook was dealing with the privacy issues globally. New tech- companies listed in the markets were for example Spotify and Xiaomi.

Year 2018 was a year of electric cars in many countries. The e-cars breakthrough with charging issues was one of the tech topics as well. Telsa founder Elon Musk was the leading industry sector figure as he estimated that Tesla would make one million cars by 2020 in February 2018.

Also the German automakers announced new investments and concept cars. For example the BMW Group launched an autonomous driving campus in Munich in March 2018.

Year 2018 was also a year for luxury goods and services. The Basel World 2018 -fair announced its good selling and for example the CEO of Hublot, Ricardo Guadalupe,  told ComteamPUB+ that the company expects double digit growth for the year and that the Chinese customers will be the leading segment.

In the debt markets the US Uber and Netflix issued their junk bonds to investors. Uber, the ride-sharing company, is said to plan an IPO for the year 2019 according to the secret filings to the SEC.

One of the biggest infrastructure projects ever, the China Silk Road, is getting more attention from the green investors side, while the organization made its first announcement of the green principles for the project co-operation and operators. The ancient Silk Road is expected to rise the GDP growth by 4 % or 240 billion dollars in the countries invlolved according to Credit Suisse analysis.

The aim of the Roman time Silk Road is to connect the western Europe with the eastern coast of China and to renew the infrasturcture in between. This means also that the 10 world largest container ports are located along the route.

Trade talks between different countries have continued lively during the year. US and China have been in the headlines, but also the EU with its agreement with Japan.  The political situation and rising volatility in the financial markets tell the direction for the next year. Geopolitical easing is needed.

Päivi Härkönen, co-founder, ComteamPUB+



Business Finance Lifestyle

Credit Suisse CEO Thiam urges sustainable investing

One of the leading banking groups in the world, Credit Suisse (CSGN) is turning more to Sustainable Investing and Green Banking. The Groups´s CEO Tidjane Thiam  was the keynote speaker in the “Geneva Summit on Sustainable Finance” -event on Tuesday in Switzerland. He said that the banking group is in the process to focus more on longterm, sustainable and strategic economy than short-term capital gains.

Mr Thiam also emphasized the importance of technology in the digital transformation. The bank has for example announced co-operations with different tech companies in order to make the bank´s internal systems more stable, sound and secure to foster more long-term orientation and risk management.

– We are also looking for different kind of PPP-projects, where public and private companies can join for different kind of partnerships in our business areas, he said.

Credit Suisse announced this week also new restructuring actions, which means that the Group will focus more on its core business areas and increase cost savings from the Global Markets – activities.


Business Finance

European Investment Bank to increase its Climate Awareness Bond to 3 billion euros

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU Bank , has increased the  Climate Awareness Bond by  400 million euros last week.  The tap reinforces the benchmark character of the issue, which, now at  3 billion euros, continues to be the largest Green Bond outstanding in any currency. The increase carries a coupon of 1.375% and was priced in line with the existing EIB Coop curve at MS-30. It constitutes EIB’s first issue ever priced at negative rates.

The transaction came on the same day as EIB’s Annual Press Conference in Brussels, where President Hoyer announced the key results achieved in 2014. Last year, the EIB dedicated over  19 billion euros, or 25% of its total lending activity, to climate action. Joint Bookrunners for the transaction were Crédit Agricole CIB, Credit Suisse, Nomura and Standard Chartered.  EIB is rated Aaa/AAA/AAA by Moody’s , Standard and Poor’s  and Fitch.

Eila Kreivi, Director, Head of Capital Markets, EIB, said: “Today’s issue underlines the strong lending activity of the EIB in favour of climate action, and reinforces our support for the sustainable development of the Green Bond market. At a size of 3 billion euros, CAB 2019 has attained benchmark status in its own right, highlighting the popularity of this bond.”

Massimo Antonelli, Director SSA DCM, Credit Suisse, said: “With today’s EUR 400m increase of the CAB Nov-19, the European Investment Bank was able to reinforce its commitment to lending activities in support of climate action, in line with its policy. The EUR 3bn CAB Nov-19 is now the largest outstanding Green Bond in any currency and with this transaction the European Investment Bank was able to achieve for the first time a negative re-offer yield.”

Timo Zwez, Head of Sovereigns, Supranationals and Agencies Europe, Standard Chartered, said: “With another record year in green bond issuance behind us EIB continues to lead this segment in 2015 once more with this EUR 400m tap. Not only is this bond offering EIB a fantastic funding opportunity with pricing at a negative yield but also they manage to increase the issue size to a liquid size of EUR 3bn. For SCB this is another great Green Bond Issuance highlighting our commitment to Climate Awareness Bonds (CAB) of EIB as well as the Green Bond Principles and the Climate Bonds Initiative.”