Dec 31 2009

United States: a pleasant surprise on the registered unemployed

Tag: economics, news, publications, special, technologyadmin @ 9:46 pm

The number of new listings weekly unemployment has never been this low since mid-2008 the United States. During the week ended December 26, 432,000 cases were filed, against 452,000 the previous week, according to figures released Thursday in Washington.

This new statistic goes against the expectations of analysts. The consensus of economists polled by Reuters had expected an upward effect on new registrations to 460,000.

The downward trend observed since the spring is thus confirmed, after two weeks of increases observed in early December.

Dec 24 2009

Sanofi-Aventis continues acquisitions

Tag: Uncategorized, money, opinions, special, top newsadmin @ 11:47 am

Fight against the invasion of generics has become the creed of Sanofi-Aventis. The pharmaceutical group multiplies acquisitions for several months to cope with the loss of patents on some of its drugs by 2014. Latest news dated from Voices? A stake of 19.9% in the Danish biotech company Zealand Pharma for 100 million euros. The interest of the maneuver is to get his hands on the ZP10, a treatment against diabetes and obesity currently in phase three clinical trials, the last before the placing on the market. It also aims to strengthen an existing partnership with the company valued at between 400 and 500 million euros. In exchange, the news caused investors to react moderately. The title takes Sanofi 1.68% to 56.33 euros.

The ZP10, is baptized by AVE0010 Sanofi, should be launched on the market in 2012.Sanofi wants to be the successor of Lantus insulin his star, who in 2008 has already generated 2.4 billion euros in sales and has raised a number of sales of laboratory medicine in the first nine months of 2009. The pharmaceutical group is already preparing the loss of patent for this drug in Europe and the United States in 2014. So in addition to the ZP10, Sanofi is testing a new version of Lantus. If it successfully passes the test, he could receive a patent until 2025.

Being on all fronts

Since the beginning of the year, Sanofi is trying every means to expand its portfolio. In addition to equity from Zealand Pharma, the group also focuses its activity in atrial fibrillation, a heart disorder.

On Monday, Sanofi announced the acquisition of Chattem, a leading drug sold without prescription in the United States, for 1.9 billion dollars.An operation that should allow him to become the No. 5 global counter medications. A segment very promising since it generated 86.6 billion dollars worldwide in 2008 with 20 billion in the United States. On this market alone, it was the fifth acquisition made by Sanofi-Aventis between 2008 and 2009, after the Australian Symbion, the Argentine Gramon, the French specialist food supplements and beauty products Kernpharm the Netherlands last month.

Other operations were performed in the generic (Medley, Kendrick, Zentiva), ophthalmology (Fovea), vaccine (Shantha) or in animal health with the purchase for 2.8 billion euros of the 50 % of its U.S. partner in the Merck Merial Veterinary Laboratory. Recently, market rumors evoked recovery of German Ratiopharm fourth generic manufacturer in the world, boosted as the stock market.

In total, Chris Viehbacher, head of Sanofi-Aventis since December 2008, launched 31 acquisitions and partnerships in 2009. And the movement should continue in 2010.


"There is a gap between image and reality of our group"

Dec 21 2009

Macao, ten years after the handover

Tag: economic, features, international, publications, specialadmin @ 12:51 pm

Beijing celebrates this anniversary fanfare since late November. An exhibition devoted to the achievements of Macao since the handover was opened December 11 in Beijing by Chinese President Hu Jintao. "Macau has grown tremendously during the last decade," he told the Chinese press. Development supported by the central government of China, he said.

Macau and China signed in 2003 a trade agreement (the CSIO), strengthened several times since. This agreement facilitates the access of goods and services macanas to mainland China. The trade has more than tripled between 1999 and 2008, reaching $ 2.91 billion last year.According to a report released December 16 by the Ministry of Commerce of China, mainland China was the third largest investor in Macao in late September, after the United States and the European Union, a non-financial direct investment of 623 million dollars.

Jubilation in the city of Macau, just after the handover ceremony. Photo credits: AFP

Dec 17 2009

Benetton install the McDonald's at the Louvre

Tag: economy, life, online, people, worldadmin @ 7:11 am

In the Benetton family, is the financier. Chairman of Edizione Holding, Gilberto Benetton, 68, was on Wednesday in Paris. He inaugurated at the Carrousel du Louvre, the world's Restaurants. This space managed by the subsidiary Autogrill house a McDonald's already controversial. For Le Figaro, Gilberto Benetton details the strategy of the family in its various activities.

LE FIGARO .- Why invest in the Carrousel du Louvre with an area of restoration of 2 000 m??

Gilberto BENETTON .- Le Carrousel du Louvre, nine million visitors and two million meals a year. For a group like ours, we felt it important to be there. We present in France since 1994, our largest market outside Italy, with 84 rest stops. Our fleet also teaches in seventeen stations, two major airports and hotels.We work in association with partners like French Brioche Doree and Buffalo Grill, with whom we will open soon a service area on the motorway between Marseille and Nice.

At the Carrousel du Louvre, the opening of a McDonald's restaurant has troubled the French …

We propose a range of cuisines from around the world. Among the brands represented, we can find the Spanish Mira, Meltem the Mediterranean, the Moroccan Salam, the Asian Self, Beaudevin for France and for Segafredo Italian coffee. What makes the success of our formula is to offer a wide range of services with a predominance of local products. This is a great innovation.We are already present in the world in more than fifty museums, archaeological sites and palaces of prestige as Pompeii, Versailles and the Palacio Real in Madrid or the Empire State Building in New York.

What are your development projects?

This is no time to expand in Europe, but the consolidation. That means reducing our costs, cut out the superfluous, lower our prices. In France, we are the second group of restaurants on motorways. New opportunities will arise. We will participate in bids to manage new areas on the motorways and the TGV station.

Your group is already very diverse. What activities will experience the highest growth?

Management infrastructure, be it highways or airports, is the most promising.Edizione, holding family owns 79% of Sintonia, large umbrella company infrastructure. We are ready to get up to 51%, to make way for new shareholders while retaining control. Latin America and Southeast Asia are the growth prospects strongest. Sintonia has one billion euros of liquidity. In Italy, we presented a draft of expansion of Rome airports to increase capacity from 33 to 70 million passengers per year. By the end of 2010, the new Alitalia, since its takeover by Air France-KLM will have its own terminal.

Do you regret certain investments?

Our only mistake was coming in 2001 in Telecom Italia, a 24.5% at worst as wrong when the telecommunications business was at its zenith. We have not managed directly participation.We decided today to leave. In the textile industry (Benetton Group, which owns 67% Edizione), we faced the crisis with equanimity. Turnover declined this year by about 4%, especially in the United States and Eastern Europe. The Western Europe remains substantial. Each one million more passengers is 1 000 jobs.

And Autogrill?

Autogrill will continue its development in France and Germany. In fifteen years it has grown from a turnover of 700 million euros to 5.8 billion business. It is unparalleled in the world. This seems an easy job, but it's far from true. The proof: the competitors are not legion. For ten years we have taken control of the U.S. HMSHost, the Frantour Restoration of specialist duty-free Aldeasa makes us the world leader in the specialty, Alpha Group and WDF.There would be many other channels to acquire, but not yet. We must consolidate and improve the quality of our services. From this perspective, the opening of the Carrousel du Louvre is a test and a step forward.

Dec 14 2009

Cadbury rejects new offer from Kraft Foods

Tag: economic, economics, events, online, specialadmin @ 12:40 pm

He had said in November he confirmed Monday. The British confectioner Cadbury rejects bid officially launched by the giant U.S. Food Kraft Foods. In a paper stock, the confectioner highlights the objectives of long-term growth above expectations to show the low supply of Kraft.

Cadbury expects organic growth of 5 to 7% per year instead of 4 to 6%. The profit margin would rise between 16 and 18% by 2013 instead of a margin of about 15% in 2011. He waits finally growth of dividend per share "double digit" from 2010. All of which explains why Cadbury's assets are worth more than 10 billion pounds (about 11 billion euros) proposed by Kraft Foods.

"Kraft Cadbury tries to buy at a discount, to provide some growth in its business model attractive to non-conglomerate low growth, irritated Roger Carr, the chairman of candy in the document.

Hershey, Nestle and Ferrero instantly

The rejection of the offer Kfrat opens an avenue to other agri-food specialists. According to CEO Todd Stitzer British group, "third parties" have actually indicated their interest but he refuses to name them yet.

The U.S. chocolate maker Hershey is in a strong position. Last month, Todd Stitzer had clearly said he would prefer a merger with the latter rather than Kraft because Hershey is already a partner of Cadbury in the United States. The Italian group Ferrero and Swiss giant Nestle are also in the race.

Dec 10 2009

Dubai falters, but his "King" is silent

Tag: business, events, international, online, top newsadmin @ 11:36 am

It took six days to break his silence. And yet the world was waiting he speaks. The Awards were panicking. The warning is part late November, when Dubai announced that its conglomerate Dubai World, is struggling to repay 59 billion in debt. As negotiations with creditors ahead delicate, Sheikh Mohammed has given an appointment on 1 December, journalists at the entrance of Dubai Media City, the neighborhood where settled CNN, AFP and al-chain Jazeera. Under the sun, disdasha white sunglasses and beard neatly trimmed, he stopped two minutes before the cameras. In fact interview, he let out a pithy phrase: "Dubai's economy is strong." He also regretted "the lack of international investors" before philosophizing on "Fruit Trees always attacked by those who throw stones.The allusion, acerbic, was aimed at Western media he despises. Then he climbed into his 4 ? 4 white. Scholarships and fell again.

"His Highness is very determined"

This attitude, princely or haughty as the interpretation is actually not worth that friends at HRH. "He laughs at the criticism even if they hurt his pride," says one of its brokers. At age 60, Sheik Mo has shown the other Gulf monarchies it is not just the oil life. So Abu Dhabi prides itself on culture and joined the Louvre. The Sultanate of Oman has made ecology by building on its magnificent scenery. As for Qatar, it develops its universities.

Sheikh Mo himself, runs Dubai like a business. If an order, it must be executed finger on the seam of his trousers."His Highness is very determined, confided the CEO of Emirates airline, Sheikh Ahmed, the magazine Vanity Fair in 2006. To follow, he must recharge his batteries at 100% and give everything. "This has enabled the micro-state to jump two centuries, between 1990 and 2009. But when crunch time, he must reassure communicate, the man is rare.

Born in 1949, Muhammad is the heir of the Maktoum dynasty. Bedouin who have settled in Dubai in 1833. In this small port that saw trade and smuggling, child's little prince is so spartan. Running water, phone, electricity, roads do not exist. At nightfall, on the creek, we lit the oil lamp. "We played ball on the dirt floor, we did not travel and we had no government," Sheikh Ahmed confided to Le Figaro in 2003. Mohammed was 9 years old when his father, Sheikh Rashid, seized power.The oil discovered offshore in 1966 freed the royal family of the dependence of ancient Arab traders, Iranian and Indian.

Visionary Sheikh Rashid began the first stage of modernization of Dubai. In three decades, he transformed the inlet in a regional logistics and industry. In 1966, Mohammed was sent to Cambridge to learn English. In 1971, the British left the Arabian Peninsula. Abu Dhabi, which owns the majority of oil resources, and Dubai, plus the best location, create, with five mini-states, the federation of United Arab Emirates. At age 21, instead of continuing studies, Mohammed is powered defense minister. Despite the turmoil in the region, his country is developing slowly but surely.

The privacy of Sheikh Mo is as secret as eventful.Horseman, he created a stable of thoroughbreds Godolphin, who became the great rival that of the Aga Khan. Each fall, he is one of the best customers at Deauville. In winter, the horses are in the sun in Dubai. In April, they leave by plane for Europe. Except this year as the Godolphin stable has been accused of doping. Sheikh Mo also owns the largest yacht in the world. He publishes his poems on the Internet. Married several times, he would have 19 children – eight girls and eleven son – now aged between 2 and 27 years. His biography on his official site does not mention them. But many of those princes and princesses have a page on Facebook. Like all young surfers today, they have taken hundreds of photos for free access.In a few clicks, one discovers the Sheikh's private life: the inside of his jet, his palaces, his children, their holidays in Europe, stretching their albino tiger on leather couches, their hawks. In the family album, just missing the wives and mothers.

Cape Town Tourism

On October 7, 1990, the life of Mohammed switches. His father, Sheikh Rashid, died after a long illness. The eldest son, Maktoum, ascends the throne. Mohammed became crown prince. But it will always be regarded as the true boss of Dubai, well before the death of his brother in January 2006. Surrounded by bodyguards brilliant ?miratiens commoners, he began the second stage of the transformation of Dubai. Cap on tourism, shopping, services and finance.With hundreds of thousands of workers forced laborers to thank you, he built skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels, including the famous Burj al-Arab, a 7 star hotel. Ski, giant aquariums, artificial islands, tallest tower in the world: everything must be extraordinary. Within a radius of 10 000 kilometers, Dubai is the only place where there are any consumer product, where women have no constraints imposed on Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Mo, whose appearances are rare except in the photo on the property, has no ambition in international politics, but it pushes the girls to pursue careers and encourages entrepreneurs. "We are 1.5 billion Arabs which 50% are under 25 years. If we can save them by giving them meaningful employment, we will avoid to be extremists. "Strange speech, but little understood.Only the expansion of Dubai forced march draws attention. Speculators took power. And miscellaneous multiply: turning the car ram into a jewelry, demonstrations of "slave laborers" settling of accounts between the Russian mafia, rape of a young French … Sheikh Mo has also suffered heavily from the anti – Arab Congress in Washington opposed his bid for U.S. ports. According to Forbes, the fortune of the master of Dubai has shrunk from 28 to 16 billion dollars between 2008 and 2009.

All eyes are now turning to his son, Hamdan, 27 years. Nicknamed "CP" for Crown Prince, the military trained at Sandhurst in Britain has it in hand, the soul of a communicator. Familiar with Facebook, he put his videos on YouTube.The latest shows his impressive collection of cars, hundreds of cars, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Porsche … Another clip presents declaiming, for five long minutes, a speech in Arabic on a thoroughbred in the desert or caressing lioness on a beach. His poems are "coo" of thousands of young women. Nice kid, he is Prince William of the Middle East.

Meanwhile, his father is negotiating with international bankers from whom he borrowed too. Next Monday, Sheikh Moh will have repaid a portion of its debt. One thing is certain: the economic model he developed for Dubai showed its flaws and shortcomings. His son did he understand? Does he realize that he must invent a new one?


"The Awards of the emirate still in the red

"Dubai turns back to the Roaring Twenties

Dec 07 2009

Free to new court

Tag: business, publications, resources, top news, worldadmin @ 8:16 pm

When prey is, UFC Que Choisir not let go. Just weeks after a complaint filed against the provider of Internet access (ISP) Free to improper billing of the hotline, the association of consumer advocacy attack again for collective redress "many and various unfair and unlawful" .

The UFC has assigned the Free interim High Court of Paris as part of an accelerated procedure. A decision motivated by complaints from several consumers who feel cheated by the rules of subscription and advertising provider. As the class action (editor's note: class actions in the courts) are impossible in France, is in his own name as the association claims 535,000 euros in damages.If Free is considered in the light of competition law, this amount could rise to 96 million, or 10% of the turnover of the company.


Among the problems raised by clients and accepted by UFC, several relate to the conditions of sale. It is alleged the ISP to pre-check the option "Service Plus" in the subscription forms online so that this option costs EUR 9.99 per month. Worse, this addition does not appear in the sum total of the subscription rises to 39.98 euros per month and not 29.99 as stated. UFC has also criticized Free to impose a payment by debit to its subscribers. If they refuse, they are forced to pay a deposit of 400 euros to pay 4 euros per month extra.

And if the customer decides to cancel his subscription, it will take a period of one month instead of 10 days imposed by the Chatel Act. In addition, he must pay 96 euros less than 3 euros a month old. A change of address or request new equipment redo the note up to 96 euros automatically. "These practices are harmful. Free communicates on a price ceiling that is actually a floor price. Customers are direct victims, "indignant Catalina Chatellier, a lawyer specializing in new technologies at UFC Que Choisir.

Moreover, the association called for an end to the advertising campaign suggesting that provider with Free, the customer has all-inclusive. UFC said that in the ? 29.99 that it cost to subscribe, like all other ISPs, calls to mobiles and special numbers are not included. Advertising can be misinterpreted.Similarly, the joint venture on so-called exclusive services actually are not as fast-Fi or parental control software.

"Most ISPs have policies effective sales and marketing as they come to pass in a few seconds a message of clarity and simplicity to consumers who actually is not," said Master Yann Lorang, Attorney at Law, Jakubowicz Mallet-Guy and Associates. "Today the drafting of terms of business of selling has become an art in that it must juggle the provisions protecting consumers while preserving the relationship of trust – and thus the imperative of return – between the operator and its customers, "said the lawyer.

Asked about the issue, Free declined to give his version."We do not comment on subpoenas in general and that it no longer," said a terse email from the Communications Department Iliad, the parent of Free.


Free is not his first assignment in the courts. Already in 2006, UFC Que Choisir had complained to protest the excessive taxation of calls to the hotline. In 2007, the ISP was forced to appeal a court decision sentencing him to repay three customers and remitted to the association 20 000 in damages for the same problem.

Last October, UFC Que Choisir was again to report a complaint hotline maintained an unfair price by 34 cents the minutes despite complaints. In November, the legal troubles continue with a historic decision of the Court of Cassation.This gave reason to a customer who complained Free to pay its entire supply Triplay (Internet, telephony and television) as he received no television. The court noted that the supplier is under an obligation of result when the services it offers. A decision should set a precedent.

Criticized for its lack of goodwill in the implementation of court decisions, Free found himself back on the wall. UFC Que Choisir hopes this time change its behavior. "They have everything to gain by giving a better image of themselves," says Catalina Chatellier.

More broadly, the decision to be taken following the hearing on March 9 should have a wider scope in the world of ISP. "Only the actions of this kind, not the individual claims mediators, can alter these contracts to more equality and fairness," said the lawyer Yann Lorang.

For Free, which should be awarded the fourth license at the end of the year, the new ads come in any involuntary case to a very bad time.

Dec 01 2009

Deficit: Paris and Berlin want to be good students

Tag: business, features, life, online, opinionsadmin @ 4:31 pm

Friendly atmosphere in Berlin between Christine Lagarde and his German counterpart Finance, Wolfgang Sch?uble, who met Monday for a preparatory meeting at the Brussels summit. Certainly, the French minister still can not correctly pronounce the name of his neighbor, but for the rest, they gave the image of a pair perfectly consistent.

"It is for us to strengthen the Franco-German base and we consult on the question of the stability pact. We have also given our views on oversight of the financial system, "said the minister, Wolfgang Sch?uble before takes the floor:" I'll just translate what Ms Lagarde said earlier, "joked the former Minister of Interior of the previous government Merkel.

On the merits, the ministers argued over several issues.They first agreed to establish a "common agenda" on a range of topics (G20 finance …). They then discussed access to bank credit for SMEs. If both countries have said that there was no reason to fear a "credit crunch", they agreed to "proposals" together. To this end, France and Germany will "exchange of experts".

Public finances have also been at the heart of discussions on Monday. The replacement of the Social Democrat Peer Steinbrueck, highly appreciated by Christine Lagarde, told the good news: the country's deficit this year would be 10 billion less than expected.For Axel Weber, Bundesbank president and also present at the meeting with his French counterpart, Christian Noyer, it "could allow Germany to return in 2012 in the nails of the European stability pact."

"Semantic shift"

The France is also changing its official position on the thorny issue of public finances. There are a few more days, Prime Minister Fran?ois Fillon and 2014 set the deadline back to a deficit below 3% of GDP, with an "effort to reduce more than 1% per year. On Monday, Christine Lagarde said she supported the goal of reducing the French deficit to 3% by 2013. One year before the date officially adopted by Paris so far."If the situation is bad, we can not achieve this goal, was still eager to clarify the French Minister.

It may be a "semantic shift" – dixit Bercy – compared to what was the prime minister, but the political signal sent to our European partners and the Commission is far from negligible. Last week, the Brussels executive had asked to return to France from 2013's deficit in the nails of the Stability Pact. She considered him already granted an extension from its requirements of spring, because of "the deteriorating economic situation."

Finally, the question of the Presidency of the Eurogroup, "we will discuss in the coming weeks," said Christine Lagarde.