American Finance Has Left Europe In the Dust. The Tables Aren’t Turning.
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,599,192 (-0.51%)       Melbourne $986,501 (-0.24%)       Brisbane $938,846 (+0.04%)       Adelaide $864,470 (+0.79%)       Perth $822,991 (-0.13%)       Hobart $755,620 (-0.26%)       Darwin $665,693 (-0.13%)       Canberra $994,740 (+0.67%)       National $1,027,820 (-0.13%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $746,448 (+0.19%)       Melbourne $495,247 (+0.53%)       Brisbane $534,081 (+1.16%)       Adelaide $409,697 (-2.19%)       Perth $437,258 (+0.97%)       Hobart $531,961 (+0.68%)       Darwin $367,399 (0%)       Canberra $499,766 (0%)       National $525,746 (+0.31%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,586 (+169)       Melbourne 15,093 (+456)       Brisbane 7,795 (+246)       Adelaide 2,488 (+77)       Perth 6,274 (+65)       Hobart 1,315 (+13)       Darwin 255 (+4)       Canberra 1,037 (+17)       National 44,843 (+1,047)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,675 (+47)       Melbourne 7,961 (+171)       Brisbane 1,636 (+24)       Adelaide 462 (+20)       Perth 1,749 (+2)       Hobart 206 (+4)       Darwin 384 (+2)       Canberra 914 (+19)       National 21,987 (+289)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $770 (-$10)       Melbourne $590 (-$5)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $595 (-$5)       Perth $650 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $700 ($0)       National $654 (-$3)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $730 (+$10)       Melbourne $580 ($0)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $470 ($0)       Perth $600 ($0)       Hobart $460 (-$10)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $560 (-$5)       National $583 (+$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,253 (-65)       Melbourne 5,429 (+1)       Brisbane 3,933 (-4)       Adelaide 1,178 (+17)       Perth 1,685 ($0)       Hobart 393 (+25)       Darwin 144 (+6)       Canberra 575 (-22)       National 18,590 (-42)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,894 (-176)       Melbourne 4,572 (-79)       Brisbane 1,991 (+1)       Adelaide 377 (+6)       Perth 590 (+3)       Hobart 152 (+6)       Darwin 266 (+10)       Canberra 525 (+8)       National 15,367 (-221)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.50% (↓)       Melbourne 3.11% (↓)       Brisbane 3.43% (↓)       Adelaide 3.58% (↓)     Perth 4.11% (↑)      Hobart 3.78% (↑)      Darwin 5.47% (↑)        Canberra 3.66% (↓)       National 3.31% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.09% (↑)        Melbourne 6.09% (↓)       Brisbane 6.04% (↓)     Adelaide 5.97% (↑)        Perth 7.14% (↓)       Hobart 4.50% (↓)       Darwin 7.78% (↓)       Canberra 5.83% (↓)       National 5.76% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)        National 0.9% (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 28.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.7 (↓)       Brisbane 31.0 (↓)       Adelaide 25.4 (↓)       Perth 34.0 (↓)       Hobart 34.8 (↓)       Darwin 35.1 (↓)       Canberra 28.5 (↓)       National 31.0 (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 25.8 (↓)       Melbourne 30.2 (↓)       Brisbane 27.6 (↓)       Adelaide 21.8 (↓)       Perth 37.8 (↓)       Hobart 25.2 (↓)       Darwin 24.8 (↓)       Canberra 41.1 (↓)       National 29.3 (↓)           
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American Finance Has Left Europe In the Dust. The Tables Aren’t Turning.

Restoring the competitiveness of European banks and asset managers can’t be achieved by tweaking regulations

By JON SINDREU
Fri, Jan 12, 2024 8:50amGrey Clock 3 min

After a decade and a half of seeing the U.S. economy pull ahead thanks to its outsize technology sector, European politicians are desperate to fight back in emerging industries such as green energy. One challenge they face is that America also keeps pulling ahead in the business of financing the investments required.

On Thursday, Luxembourg for Finance—a public-private partnership that seeks to promote the financial industry in the low-tax city state—published a report detailing the different ways in which European banks and asset managers might regain an edge relative to U.S. and Asian peers.

This is part of an effort by officials across the European Union to give firms a break. “Old economy” industries such as car manufacturing face rising competition from China and higher energy costs since Russia invaded Ukraine. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act also has drawn investment across the Atlantic. Last year, the European Commission tasked former Italian prime ministers Mario Draghi and Enrico Letta with drafting a report on European competitiveness.

Luxembourg for Finance Chief Executive Nicolas Mackel echoes a common refrain: “Europe can take the lead in financial services when we eliminate fragmentation.” His report points out that the return on equity of European banks has bounced back in recent years. But it also showcases the gulf that has opened up relative to U.S. financial firms.

European lenders’ return on equity is now around 8%, compared with 12% across the Atlantic and 10% in Asia, in part as a result of stricter regulations following the 2008 banking crisis. Most European banks trade below book value on the stock market, having returned a negative 14% to investors since the April 2009 trough. Large American banks trade above book value and have gained 113%.

In services particularly exposed to international competition, American banks dominate in Europe too: In 2023, they took the top five positions for mergers and acquisitions deals, Dealogic data shows, with France’s BNP Paribas coming in sixth, and the top six spots for issuing equity.

And this isn’t just about banks. In 2007, top European and U.S. asset managers roughly split the global market between them. By 2022, European fund managers had just 22% of total assets under supervision, with only France’s Amundi playing in the big leagues. This reflects their failure to jump on the train of low-fee passive investment as effectively as U.S. giants such as Vanguard and BlackRock. Ironically, the latter’s dominance in exchange-traded funds resulted from its acquisition of iShares from Britain’s Barclays in 2009.

European officials are taking some useful steps. They admitted in 2022 that a directive aimed at harmonising securities markets, known as Mifid 2, has done more harm than good, and have agreed to amend it. New EU-wide savings products give pensioners greater choice, and might help address the lack of sophistication that characterises European individual investors relative to Americans used to managing 401(k)s. Stringent constraints on what asset managers can offer are being relaxed, and the rules governing sustainable finance—where Europe has an edge—are being clarified.

Meanwhile, the fallout from last year’s Silicon Valley Bank debacle will bring U.S. regulation closer to Europe’s.

Such rule changes might narrow the gap, as investors have recognised: The stock-market discount at which European lenders trade compared with American ones has shrunk over the past three years. But it is hard to see the tables fundamentally turning. In the digital era, economies of scale are even more powerful. The European Union comprises many countries with different languages, whose firms and investors have local financial relationships and strong home biases. The obstacles to eliminating fragmentation are huge.

If Europe can’t compete with America’s private financial muscle, it is doubly problematic that its efforts to mobilize industrial investment through the public sector have been meek compared with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act. Promoting more sustainability-minded funds isn’t an adequate fix.



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Companies Say Push to Decarbonise Comes From Their Own Boards

Call to cut corporate carbon footprints is loudest from inside organizations, outweighing demand from customers and regulators, survey finds

By YUSUF KHAN
Sun, Mar 3, 2024 2 min

The pressure on companies to cut their carbon footprint is coming more from within the organisations themselves than from customers and regulators, according to a new report.

Three-quarters of business leaders from across the Group of 20 nations said the push to invest in renewable energy is being driven mainly by their own corporate boards, with 77% of U.S. business leaders saying the pressure was extreme or significant, according to a new survey conducted by law firm Ashurst.

The corporate call to decarbonise is intensifying, Ashurst said, with 30% of business leaders saying the pressure from their own boards was extreme, up from 25% in 2022.

“We’re seeing that the energy transition is an area that is firmly embedded in the thinking of investors, corporates, governments and others, so there is a real emphasis on setting and acting on these plans now,” said Michael Burns, global co-head of energy at Ashurst. “That said, the pace of transition and the stage of the journey very much depends from business to business.”

The shift in sentiment comes as companies ramp up investment in renewable spending to meet their net-zero goals. Ashurst found that 71% of the more than 2,000 respondents to its survey had committed to a net-zero target, while 26% of respondents said their targets were under development.

Ashurst also found that solar was the most popular method to decarbonise, with 72% of respondents currently investing in or committed to investing in the clean energy technology. The law firm also found that companies tended to be the most active when it comes to renewable investments, with 52% of the respondents falling into this category. The average turnover of those companies was $15.1 billion.

Meanwhile, 81% of energy-sector respondents to the survey said they see investment in renewables as essential to the organisation’s strategic growth.

Burns said the 2030 timeline to reach net zero was very important to the companies it surveyed. “We are increasingly seeing corporate and other stakeholders actively setting and embracing trajectories to achieve net zero. However, greater clarity and transparency on the standards for measuring and managing these net-zero commitments is needed to ensure consistency in approach and, importantly, outcome,” he said.

Legal battles over climate change and renewable investing are also likely to rise, with 68% of respondents saying they expect to see an increase in legal disputes over the next five years, while only 16% anticipate a decrease, the report said.

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