— Analysis

  1. Business and economy

    Europe's locomotive is no more, German economy only pulling itself

    by Marco Fortis

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    While Trump’s decisions on the economy and immigration, and the legal controversies surrounding Brexit, have drawn widespread attention, the problem underlying a consistently low European growth has moved decidedly to the back burner. Recent data on German GDP in 2016 (+1.9% from 2015) was applauded by analysts with surprising satisfaction and without a hint of criticism. They find it reassuring that the GDP of Europe is ...

  2. Business and economy

    The importance of well-being indicators alongside simple GDP figures

    by Fabrizio Galimberti

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    During a conference on the future of Europe organized by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASVIS), Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan did not spare criticism for current EU policies. If Europe, “which has often been at the forefront of equality and inclusion” does not “make a symbol of inclusive growth,” “it will always be seen as the problem instead of the solution,” Padoan said. The ...

  3. Business and economy

    Milan prosecutors looking at "dark spots" in Vivendi's Mediaset stake building

    by Fabio Pavesi

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Was it really a lightning attempt to gain control, a fast blitz that in just three sessions, between December 12-14, allowed French media group Vivendi to go from 3% to 20% of Italian broadcaster Mediaset’s share capital? Or was it a move prepared over the long term, months before, with the help of huge investments in derivatives capable of depressing the shares, and the support of foreign brokers? The latter is what ...

  4. Business and economy

    Exports skyrocketed in January, reassuring for the outlook of Italian economy

    by Luca Orlando

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Things have gone well for almost all of Europe; raving about Italy’s January exports would be a tad over the top. But the more-than-13-point surge in exports of ‘Made in Italy’ products (better than Germany and France’s performance) has at least partially reassured the outlook for the entire Italian economy. With domestic demand still at weak levels, reduced growth in consumption, and investments that have yet ...

  5. Business and economy

    How Milan Malpensa airport survived Alitalia's de-hubbing betting on long haul and cargo flights

    by Marco Morino

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Malpensa’s traffic rose 5.1% in the first two months of 2017, double the national average. The risk of bankruptcy is behind it and the prospects for one of Milan’s two airports (the other being Linate) seem promising. In an usual situation for the airline industry, Malpensa hosts many intercontinental flights with no hub carrier. “For this area of the country, it’s vital to focus on intercontinental flights at ...

  6. Business and economy

    Realism and the strength needed for the job ahead

    by Guido Gentili

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Il Sole 24 Ore is living through the most difficult period in its history. It is necessary to acknowledge this realistically and together, with all the energy and determination possible, look to the future. I am honored to be able to serve Il Sole 24 Ore and grateful to the publisher for the confidence it has shown in me. I am fully committed to continue the forward progress of an entity that is a unique and successful piece of Italy’s cultural and ...

  7. Business and economy

    Manufacturers are starting to borrow again

    by Luca Orlando

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    More investment, fewer bad loans. The Bank of Italy's January data shows a gradual improvement in the manufacturing sector, where the amount of risky credit is starting to show a significant reduction. Gross bad loans for manufacturing (non-financial companies or family businesses) stood at €32.8 billion: €741 million less than in December of 2016. Compared with January of the previous year, they fell by ...

  8. European view

    Inflation and rates: Draghi's two challenges

    by Alessandro Merli

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    The European Central Bank is not a political institution. Or at least that's what they say in Frankfurt. But the institution has never had to deal as much with politics before as it has ...

  9. Business and economy

    PSA-Opel deal shifts Fiat Chrysler Automobile's merger hopes to US

    by Andrea Malan

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Seeing General Motors (GM) Chief Executive Mary Barra's handshake with Peugeot (PSA) boss Carlos Tavares will not have pleased Fiat-Chrysler's (FCA) Sergio Marchionne. The past twelve years in which Marchionne has managed Fiat and then FCA has been scattered with relations with GM and Peugeot, from the complicated divorce from GM in 2005 to the negotiations for the purchase of Opel in 2009 to talks to get closer to the French ...

  10. Business and economy

    Italy's non-existent bank rescue strategy

    by Luigi Zingales

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Fifteen months have gone since the “rescue” of the four regional banks and almost one year since the creation of the government mandates and privately funded bank rescue fund Atlante . After all this time, we can conclude that the strategy adopted by the government of postponing the resolution of banks' problems and pretending they are not so serious (a strategy also known as “extend and pretend”) is not working. Deferment has cost Italy ...

  11. Business and economy

    Manufacturing companies regaining efficiency and solidity but the service sector is falling behind

    by Stefano Manzocchi

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Italian industry is on the battlefield while the service sector is falling behind: this is the main message of a report from national statistics office ISTAT on competitiveness in productive sectors, presented yesterday. Reaching its fifth edition, the study paints a picture of the structure of economic segments in a unique moment, at the end of the double dip recession of 2008-2013 and in the first year of recovery (2014) and illustrates how ...

  12. Business and economy

    Inflation picks up again in February due to a surge in vegetable and fresh fruit prices

    by Roberto Iotti

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Inflation continued to grow in Italy throughout February, dispelling the threat of deflation that characterized the end of 2016. According to preliminary estimates published by ISTAT yesterday, in February “the national consumer price index for the entire population, including tobacco, showed a 0.3% increase in comparison with the month before, and 1.5% in comparison with February 2016 (it was +1% in ...

  13. Business and economy

    The challenges Milan can not allow itself to lose

    by Lello Naso

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s visit to Milan yesterday had strong symbolic value. It was a sign of the country’s ongoing commitment to complete Milan’s journey to becoming a European city, a journey that has been underway for a while, independent of successive governments and city mayors. What is clear from looking at Gabriele Albertini’s city council onward is that the city has found a well-defined identity. Milan ...

  14. Business and economy

    Risks remain of a two speed economy

    by Vincenzo Chierchia

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    The threat of deflation seems to have already disappeared. Prices are slowly recovering, as the ECB (which had brought out the “big guns” with quantitative easing) had initially hoped for, but there remain other complex problems to solve. At the top of the list would be for the government to enact expansionary work and investment policies, support and stimuli for businesses and families. With projects aimed at tax ...

  15. Business and economy

    Politics loses its bearings just as the economic picture improves

    by Alberto Orioli

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    The state of Italian politics, currently dominated by the contortions within the Democratic Party (PD) in the throes of a split where the return to a proportional system is fuelling ambitions of splinter groups, is shining an anxiety-inducing light on the overall picture of an Italy (apparently) without bearings. This is particularly serious in a moment when the economy is sending new positive signals. Italy's problems are well ...

  16. Business and economy

    Italy's eight years of foot dragging on deregulation

    by Carmine Fotina

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    The protest by taxi drivers has driven home the extenuating circumstances of liberalization Italian-style: promises, stressed and then (almost always) deflated. Eight years after a measure requiring an annual law for competition, and seven years after the first reports sent by the Antitrust to the government and Parliament, it's a good time now ahead of the latest decree to take stock of the situation. And it's not exactly ...

  17. Business and economy

    Speed up public investments to spur growth, OECD says

    by Dino Pesole

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Growth, spurred by active public investment, is now a priority. The OECD's report on Italy focuses first and foremost on the absolute urgency of pushing hard to strengthen aggregate demand. The number it's basing that advice on is well known, which doesn't make it any less alarming: from the start of the crisis, which caused a dramatic contraction in GDP—in part because of restrictive budget policies—public investment fell ...

  18. Business and economy

    The 0.2% budget fix is hardly the real emergency to be solved

    by Guido Gentili

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    There are at least two parts in the report by the European Commission that confirmed Italy's growth forecasts (the lowest in Europe, including Greece) which may sound harsh to Rome, where former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has started a complex review of the ruling Democratic Party. The first paragraph reads: “Political uncertainty and the banking sector's slow adjustment pose downside risks to the growth outlook.” The ...

  19. Business and economy

    The Third Society: a rising wave of the "excluded"

    by Luca Ricolfi

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Until about a decade ago, actually until the explosion of the long crisis that we are still mired in, one could describe Italian society generally as “two societies,” a term attributed to Alberto Asor Rosa (who coined it in distant 1977). On one hand, the vast world of the ‘guaranteed,' made up of public-sector employees or private employees protected by workplace laws and unions. On the other, the society of ...

  20. Business and economy

    Frassati hiking trails and Don Bruno's hearty laughter

    by Roberto Napoletano

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Antonello Sica sent me as a gift, from Avellino, a copy of the monumental book he edited with Dante Colli, published by Club Alpino Italiano: L’Italia dei Sentieri Frassati, “The Frassati Trails of Italy.” As I leafed through it, I found myself ‘hiking’ those trails from the environs of Salerno – Sala Consilina – to the mountain peaks of Alto Adige, breathing the purest air throughout; cool ...

  21. Business and economy

    Inflation rises in January the most since September 2013 thanks to the winter freeze

    by Luca Orlando

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    First it was production prices, now it's consumer prices. A few days ago the increase showed up in Europe's numbers, now they are showing up in Italy. Inflation could be the main change in 2017's economic scenario, an increase in prices involving the entire continent and that now sees companies being more able to pass hikes in costs along to consumers. In January, consumer prices in Italy grew by 0.2%, in comparison ...

  22. Business and economy

    Time for the banking system to focus on return to adequate profitability

    by Alessandro Graziani

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    The road to gradually reducing non-performing loans is traced and must be followed. But banks must return soon to adequate profitability levels to remunerate old and new shareholders. There's need for a new industrial direction. Speaking from the Assiom Forex conference in Modena, Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco called on Italian banks, especially the weaker ones, to implement a deep industrial restructuring focused on ...

  23. Business and economy

    Generali shareholders starting to get out their calculators

    by Laura Galvagni and Marigia Mangano

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    There is a valuation above which any eventual takeover offer by Intesa Sanpaolo for Assicurazioni Generali would not make economic sense. But there is a valuation that many shareholders may like, especially funds, small investors, and some long-term shareholders. After a four-day rally, Generali shares lost steam yesterday. In eight days, the stock has gained 12% at €15.4. The price is slightly above the average ...

  24. Business and economy

    Intesa eyeing share swap for Generali, underpinned by a strong business plan

    by Laura Galvagni

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    The merger between Intesa Sanpaolo and Assicurazioni Generali is an ambitious plan. It translates on paper an idea that many may like: creating from two national champions a giant with €60 billion of market capitalization and roots in credit, insurance, private banking, and asset management. This model in the past showed some cracks. One example is the failed merger plan between Allianz-Dresdner. But today, after learning from ...

  25. Business and economy

    As times change, the relationship between companies and banks needs to be newly forged

    by Paolo Bricco

    IT
    24 Exclusive content for IT24

    Once upon a time, there were Enrico Cuccia and Raffaele Mattioli. Cuccia’s Mediobanca supported Italian companies in their domestic growth. Mattioli’s Banca Commerciale Italiana (Comit) explored together with partner companies international markets when borders applied to all, people and goods, and investing in the United States or Iran required high diplomacy and sophisticated geo-economic analyses. Since then, much has ...