CIM Bank's latest news - September 2017

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KIM JONG UN celebrated in Washington by the military industrial complex as top big salesman of American weapons.

Japan is spending 48.2 billion usd more for US arms in 2018, South Korea increased the military budget 2017 to 206 billion usd.

President Trump tweeted “I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States”.

In United States the main programs of president Trump on domestic and foreign policy are quite stopped and his initial staff of businessmen is replaced by generals; we can suppose that generals are not good for economy and of course not good for peace.

Anyhow the global economy is going well and there is the ground for this to continue.

The Federal Reserve probably will not increase again interest rates this year, or maybe one hike at the end of the year, but they will try to reduce the Fed balance sheet selling bond assets. This is a very dedicated and hard task to avoid negative impact on treasury market.

European Central Bank will try to announce the reduction of the quantitative easing without causing any panic on bonds of heavy indebted Countries.

In Europe, nothing will move before that the new German government is in place after the election of 24 September.

Enjoy the good momentum!

  30.06.2017 11.09.2017 change
EURO - USDollar 1.1426 1.2007 5.08%
EURO ECB rate -0.40% -0.40% unchanged
USD FED rate 1.25% 1.25% unchanged
S&P 500 2423.41 2461.43 1.57%
Eurostoxx 50 3441.88 3447.69 0.17%
Oil - Brent 47.92 54.09 12.88%
10 yrs German yield 0.47% 0.33% -0.14%
10 yrs USA yield 2.30% 2.09% -0.21%
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Off to the beach !!

In the first half of 2017, the following data tells us that for the market everything is going well.

  31/Dec/2016 22/June/2017 % change
EURO - USDollar 1.0517 1.115 6.02%
EURO ECB rate -0.40% -0.40% unchanged
USD FED rate 0.75% 1.25% 2 rate increase
S&P 500 2238.83 2439.15 8.95%
Eurostoxx 50 3290.52 3556.34 8.08%
Oil - Brent 56.82 45.6 -19.75%

For the second part of the year there are some interesting challenges:

  • The US tax reduction
  • The new economic policy of President Macron in France more business friendly
  • The irrelevant influence of Brexit on European economy and probably also on Great Britain's economy
  • The reduction of 20 percent of oil price is good for the global economy

The increased of dollar interest rates two times this year by 25 bps seems enough until the tax reduction will not be implemented.

We do not expect in the next months any changes in the policy of European Central Bank.

In Europe, the banking sector is recovering after the recent bank restructuring in Spain and Italy.

Enjoy the good momentum!

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Europe will taste French President Macron

France has elected Mr Macron as president, one extremely clever and skilled young man.

Now it will be very important to see the result of June parliament elections to see whether president Macron will reach a stable majority. If he doesn’t get to a parliament majority he will have to make political agreements with other parties to realize his ambitious social and economical policies.

President Macron is a convinced European but he wants to modify this too bureaucratic European Union into something answering the needs of the citizens. He "will work to recreate the link between Europe and its peoples, between Europe and citizens." In this work of rebuilding the European Union he will receive the support from many Countries especially from Italy.

France and Europe are taking very important and delicate steps and they really need this French president with visionary leadership. As he said in his election victory speech, France and Europe have a “common fate”.

Since the beginning of the year equity markets have performed well, S&P 500 is up 7% while European Eurostoxx almost 11%.

US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged during last meeting in May, after raising rates in December and March. However, another rate hike is expected and partially priced by the market for the June meeting.
USD 3M Libor rates fixes at 1.18%, the maximum since 2009.

Euro interest rates continue to remain negative. During European Central Bank conference on April 27th Draghi said that “the risks surrounding the euro area growth have become less pronounced” but confirmed that “the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower level for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases”.

Even if inflation is increasing, in Germany now is above 2%, the high debt of Italy, Eurozone third economy, is preventing European Central Bank from increasing rate and for further reducing government bond purchases. An increase in Italian yields would create issues in servicing and refinancing the debt.

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The comedy of misunderstandings

As expected the US Dollar continues to be strong versus the EURO, and now also President Trump complains about it.

The problem of a strong US Dollar exists, but for the moment is without solution because the Federal Reserve is preparing to increase interest rates while the European Central Bank is not.

On February 5 German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble confirmed Donald Trump's charge that the Euro is “far too low” for Germany, but said he is unable to do anything about it and instead blamed Mario Draghi. “The euro exchange rate is, strictly speaking, too low for the German economy’s competitive position. When ECB chief Mario Draghi embarked on the expansive monetary policy, I told him he would drive up Germany’s export surplus... I promised then not to publicly criticise this policy course. But then I don’t want to be criticized for the consequences of this policy.”

Then German Chancellor Angela Merkel also admitted that the euro is “too low" for Germany, but once again made clear that Berlin had no power to address this "problem" because monetary policy was set by the independent European Central Bank.

To complicate the situation of the Euro is the forthcoming presidential election in France and the fact that Italy is not able to manage the debt neither its government policy.

In the United States, the high level of the stock market is justified by the “huge” increase of economic activities and by the expectation of a “tremendous” reduction of taxation.

We continue to advise to invest in good quality USD dollar bonds 1 year to 4 years maturity and in equity funds invested in mid-cap USA and global.

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CIM Bank wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

2017 a predictable year

We know almost everything about 2017.

In 2017 the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates by 0.25% for two, three or four times, but it will definitely increase.

In USA many political experts are waiting for the economic policy of Mr. Trump, they are the same that have not seen his victory coming.
Mr. Trump will do at least 80% of what he promised because he is a skilled businessman and he is assembling a dream team of top professionals to rule the Country.
The market understood this and S&P is at an all time high.

The US dollar is strong and will continue to be strong.

End of April will see elections in France, September elections in Germany and in Italy sometime in 2017. Of course we do not know the results but we know that there is willingness to change.

The strength of the USD and the very low interest rates in Euro will benefit the biggest industrial economies as Germany, Italy, France and Netherlands; above all Germany.

In world trade, the USA will defend the American workers affirming a more equitable condition of production and more fair trade agreements.

In Middle East and in North Africa the peace and the order will return with the collaboration among USA, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Egypt.

At the same time Countries who support the terrorists will suffer until they change their attitude.

We think that every Country will find a way to improve. Brazil and Mexico can suffer not because of international factors but because of their inability to control corruption and crime.

Oil price will stay stable or continue this slow uptrend because the world economy is slowly recovering, oil consumption is gradually increasing, and oil production is slowly decreasing.

Our best, easy and safe advice: invest in USD bonds 1 year to 4 years maturity.

Our skilled advice: invest in European-German, United States and Russian midcap equity fund.

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Autumn

TRUMP WON

The victory of Trump is the victory of PEACE, of investment in infrastructure, of equitable trade and of low and middle class. It is the loss of the ARM’S lobby, of China unfair trade and of every integralist.

The economic program of Trump is “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none, and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”


The foreign policy will be “we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.”

With this economic policy, interest rates in USD will start to increase. A more expansionary fiscal policy will give the opportunity to the Federal Reserve to reduce its incredible expansionary monetary policy.

For the next months we view a volatile market. The possibility that equity market will be weak will depend on the forecast of higher rates.

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Autumn

AUTUMN IS COMING
TO THE MARKETS

How long does it take for monetary policy to have an impact on the real economy?

The government bond purchases made by the European Central Bank began 19 months ago in March 2015; the purchase of corporate bonds began 4 months ago in June 2016; the ECB deposit rate was taken negative to -0.10% for the first time in June 2014, 28 months ago, and now even at a lower level to -0.40%.

The time lag between the implementation of monetary policy and the impact on the real economy is between 1 and 2 years, but for the moment there are no visible effects, although the ECB said that with no action the economy would be now weaker.

At this level, “capital” is not attracted to be invested in Euro and is moving to US dollar and other currencies.

For this reason the Euro is becoming slowly weaker against the US Dollar and its economy is taking advantage through exports, an advantage benefiting especially to Germany.

Because the world economy is slowly recovering, oil consumption is gradually increasing, and oil production is slowly decreasing we believe that the price of oil is on a slow uptrend.

The US market is at the top ever and whatever candidate will win market will correct. The level of correction depends on who will win and how will win.

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Negative Interest Rates

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Negative interest rates

rates

It seems illogical to buy bonds at prices guaranteed to lose money but this is the reality today.

Savers in Euro, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Swedish and Danish Krona are observing their assets decreasing.

To protect the value of their assets people invest in currencies at positive rates, firstly the US dollar, in gold and in financial and real assets.
Policy makers are following the “melting” money theory, a money that reduces in value with time, to stimulate entrepreneurs to invest and people to consume instead of saving.

The first beneficiaries are nations with high debt levels as Italy and Japan. The lower borrowing costs take pressure off government finances. Italian and Spanish 10-year bonds, for example, are trading at yields around 1.25 percent, compared with more than 7 percent in 2012.

The reason for very low negative rates in Switzerland is different: the central bank is trying everything to cap the Swiss franc possible appreciation.

An alternative to negative rates, alias monetary expansion, would have been fiscal policy via lower taxation. This would have stimulated the economy too but many Countries are already in high debt and deficit.

Back in July 2012, the Danish central bank lowered the deposit rates into negative territory.
The European Central Bank became the first major monetary institution to venture below zero in 2014.
In 2015, also Sweden and Switzerland brought rates into negative territory.
The Bank of Japan adopted it in early 2016.
Even if these policies are in place since a while, real economy is still not observing a full recovery. It is true that central bankers can claim that without them the situation would have been worst.

In case of positive scenario, after some years of negative rates the mature economies of Europe and Japan can recover and start to growth again.

However, in a global market economy, we are worried that negative rates and the “melting” money principle to be effective need to be applied everywhere.

In a global world, the mature economies after experiencing the relocation of jobs are at risk of observing also the “relocation of capital”.

The last defense are the reduction of globalization and introduction of tariffs to protect their economies. The first signals are already here: the Brexit vote and the increased popularity of Trump economic proposal.

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Draghi

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The UK voted 51.9% to leave the European Union.

History restarts to move!

England returns in the center of world but maybe in the next year it will lose Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Apart some nationalism disappointment it will be even better for England that can be more concentrated in its future of international business and of big commercial center like Hong Kong plus Singapore.

All the people living on Atlantic coast can recognize that Singapore and Hong Kong are too far to be really useful.
All these events will take more than one year, probably two or three, so we will have all the time to invest in pound and in the English markets.

Regarding the remaining 27 countries of European Union, it will start also a very interesting time.

The centralization and burocratization of Europe, that recalled Soviet Union, is over.
If Europe wants to survive, it has to become much more flexible and has to return more power to the different States.

The US dollar is one more time the safe haven for investors, but of course, for only summer months and in November there will be USA presidential election.

Interest stay low, prices of oil and raw materials stay generally low.

Tail

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Draghi

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The first one is the very well known BREXIT following the result of the referendum to be held on 23 June to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. We can’t add anything more on what all the news says so we just wait and see the result.

The second one is less spectacular and unknown to most people. On June 21, the German Constitutional Court will rule on the possibility for the Bundesbank to participate in the ECB outright monetary transactions program. The OMT is a bond-buying program that Draghi and the European Central Bank developed in 2012 as a response to the European debt crisis.

The OMT was never used until now. The fact the German court will vote against OMT will not block the European quantitate easing but it will create strong doubt on famous statement of Draghi “to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro” and it will limit the ECB’s unlimited commitment to purchase bonds issued by countries in crisis.

This judgement is a big question mark and of course the polls are not available.

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Draghi

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The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is the kingdom of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

Now everybody understands what means "we will not hesitate to act" said by Draghi last February.

The European Central Bank is doing the maximum to support the real economy and to protect financial markets from any possible shock like the consequences of a possible Brexit, the critics of the ECB by German politicians and bankers, Italian banks problems and Spanish and Greek government instabilities.

ECB president reiterated his desire that European States make structural reforms and said that "With rare exceptions, monetary policy has been the only policy in the last 4 years to support growth."

He added that even if countries feel threatened by the tensions, Euro area looks certainly attractive.

Regarding the issue on Non-Performing Loans of Italian Banks, Draghi said that Italy’s bank-rescue fund orchestrated by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government is “a small step in the right direction.”

Enjoying the Draghi protection the financial market in Europe are a safe place where to invest.

In the United States, 27th April FED meeting left rates unchanged and monetary policy remains accommodative.

This is a positive condition for American financial markets that are facing a reduction in corporate earnings.

In Emerging markets, China data show the economy stabilized while Brazil is still experiencing difficulties.

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S&P 500 (R1)            2095.15
EUROSTOXX 50 (R2) 3091.38

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On February 15th European Central Bank President Mario Draghi began talking up the eurozone’s banks during the statement at the European Parliament, many of which have seen their shares slump on worries they have too many bad loans and will not be able to make enough money due to lower growth and lower interest-rates.

The ECB head said: “There is a subset of banks with elevated levels of non-performing loans (NPLs). However, these NPLs were identified during the stress tests of banks, using for the first time a common definition, and have since been adequately provisioned for. Therefore, we are in a good position to bring down NPLs in an orderly manner over the next few years.” He also said that the ECB was "ready to do its part" to strengthen the wider Eurozone economy: "We will not hesitate to act."

On March 10th, during the ECB meeting the governor of European Central bank has introduced important measures.

  • 1. Draghi announced a 10 bps cut to the deposit rate pushing it to - 0.40% and a 5 bps rate cut to the refinance rate pushing it to 0.00% and a 5 bps rate cut also to the marginal lending rate from 0.30% to 0.25%.
  • 2. Draghi announced a boost of QE by €20bn from €60bn to €80 billion per month.
  • 3. Draghi surprised markets announcing that they would also for the first time include investment grade euro-denominated bonds issued by non-bank corporations along the list of assets that are eligible for regular purchases.
  • 4. Draghi for stabilizing the banking sector creates “a new series of four targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO II), each with a maturity of four years starting in June 2016. Borrowing conditions in these operations can be as low as the interest rate on the deposit facility”. That means that banks can now borrow at negative rate of minus 0.40% for 4 years directly from ECB if they provide long-term loans to corporates.

Draghi acted as a powerful dragon introducing this package of measures and we think that these measures are really exceptional and appropriate.

At the beginning, the financial markets seem not satisfied of his decision but we believe that today measures in the medium-term will push the European economy to grow and banks to become stronger and profitable.

On March 17th, there will be the Swiss National Bank meeting and we think that they have to follow some measures of ECB. Probably they will increase the negative interest rate from minus 0.75% to minus 1% and introduce some other measures as ECB.

On March 16th there will be also the Fed meeting and in this environment they will probably delay the interest rate increase.

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This year begins with a loss for Oil of 22%, Oil and Gas Exploration companies 16%, Chinese Stocks Exchange 23%, and this was a foreseeable scenario.

Now something different is happening. In the first 40 days of 2016, Deutsche Bank lost -42%, Commerzbank -35%, BNP -28%, Credit Agricole -28%, Santander -26%, Intesa SanPaolo -29%, Unicredit -44%.

On January 1st 2016, a new bail-in system went into effect for all European Banks. Under this new scheme, EU Governments cannot help the banks, not only the small but also the too-big to fail. Not only the capital, the subordinated debt but also senior and deposits over 100,000 eur can be affected by the bankruptcy of the bank.

At the same time the rules request the banks to increase the reserve for bad credits and the struggling economy increase the number of problematic loans.

As a matter of fact these rules are pushing the banks into problems.

It is more than clear that banks need to increase capital or to issue more subordinated debt, but how can they find someone who invests in this sector with the perspective to lose all his capital and with a public opinion that will enjoy these terrible bankers going into in bankruptcy.

Thanks God the president of European Central Bank knows something about banking system and we hope that his intervention will stop this crazy game.

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The fall of oil price below $30 per barrel and the decline of other commodity prices has put pressure on sovereign wealth funds to sell their reserves and to the banking system who provided credit to oil related industry.

All this has led to a bad start of the year in financial markets.

The USA Standard & Poor’s 500 and the other major stocks indexes are down 10 percent.

Chinese equity markets are down around 20 percent.

The ECB president Draghi in the conference of January 21st said that eurozone rates would "stay at present or lower levels for an extended period" and that "we have the power, willingness and determination to act. There are no limits how far we are willing to deploy our policy instruments".

The president of Federal Reserve Janet Yellen will be not less dovish than Draghi considering that just before the USD rate hike in December she warned that if the "outlook worsened, the fed might weight negative rates" adding that "negative rates could help encourage banks to lend."

Rebus sic stantibus, to invest in the market could be an opportunity particularly in mining and oil companies where we observed the worst performances.

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USA S&P 500 1868.99

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Rio Tinto 1697.00
Anglo American 241.35

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Our team wishes you all the best for next year

Last month the International Monetary Fund released their World Economic Outlook. It expects the world to expand in 2016 by 3.6 percent up from this year’s estimated 3.1 percent growth. It is marginally slower than the growth rates of 3.3 percent and 3.4 percent seen in 2013 and 2014.

2016 will begin with a well-defined and anticipated pattern of monetary policy. The Federal Reserve affirmed its plan to increase rates by 0.25% for 4 times during the year to reach a level of 1.25%, the market is pricing less than 4 increases and we see a level around 1% for the end of the year. The European Central Bank plans to keep its interest rate negative and to continue with quantitative easing until March 2017.

In this environment, we forecast a stronger US Dollar to reach eventually parity against Euro. The weakness of oil and other commodities can create credit problems to countries and corporates alike.

Major issues and risks:

  • find one majority that can govern in Spain
  • contrast inside the European Union
  • Brexit
  • Middle East and North Africa conflicts

We think that all these major events can also create a potential buying opportunities.
Many wishes and good luck for a great and rich 2016.

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CIM Banque is increasing its IT Department and is opennig a new office space.

Our bank, which uses the core banking system Apsys from the SunGard group, has developed its proprietary e-banking system and website.

The Great Divergence

On the international financial markets, there is an increasing divergence between the monetary policy of the USA Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. On one side the FED is expected to raise the fed fund rate the next December. This will be the first increase in ten years.

On the other side on November 20th Mister Draghi said: "the risk had increased that the ECB would miss that target if we decide (on Dec. 3) that the current trajectory of our policy is not sufficient to achieve our objective, we will do what we must to raise inflation as quickly as possible".

That means that ECB will strengthen its expansionary monetary policy. The currency market is pricing this because the Us Dollar is appreciating, step by step, in its value versus the Euro.

Fed chief Janet Yellen says ‘gradual pace of tightening’ expected to follow first rate hike.

Therefore we think that the rates market is correctly pricing the level of US dollar bonds hence prices should not suffer the next interest rate increase.

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Interest rates differencial on two years between Germany and US.

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Something to worry about

The market was concerned for a paltry 0.25% rate hike of the Federal Reserve and for another Greek election, but in our opinion, the critical point will be the forthcoming Spanish election in Catalonia.

If the separatists win the majority, they will want to establish the new state of Catalonia increasing the total number of EU member states. Spain has already said that if Catalonia becomes an independent state they will not be accepted in EU, and separatist party answered that if they will not be accepted they will not honor their percentage of Spanish debt.

Will Mr. Draghi be very happy? …

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China has to grow anyhow

On Tuesday, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) surprised markets devaluing the yuan by 1.9 percent, the biggest one-day loss since the creation of the united Chinese currency system in January 1994.

This move increases the risks of a new front in a currency war that stretches from the Euro zone to Japan as every nations look to boost their economies.

The euro and the yen tumbled around 20 percent against the US dollar in the past 12 months. More than 20 central banks have loosened monetary policy this year to spur growth and fight deflation. Versus the US dollar the Russian Ruble has lost 44 percent, Brazilian Real 35 percent and Indian Rupiah almost 5 percent.

The consequence of these devaluations against the Us Dollar is that American economy is starting to suffer. At year-end 2014 the Fed was forecasting nominal GDP growth to accelerate to 4.1% this year. In six months, the Fed has been forced to massively lower its forecast of nominal growth to 2.6%.

China maintained a de facto peg forcing the yuan to be a strong currency.
The result is that the economy is not growing as fast as China needs. A report on Saturday showed Chinese exports shrank 8.3 percent in July, compared with a Bloomberg survey’s median estimate of a 1.5 percent.
Chinese authorities built into the market an expectation that they were keeping the currency stable and promoting a greater global use of the yuan. Then all of a sudden, they devalued. Because they devaluate today, markets will continue to look for similar conditions in the future. If exports will continue to fall, markets will expect more depreciation.

Our view is that in a weak global economy, it will take a lot more than a 1.9 percent devaluation to increase Chinese exports. This raises the chances of a future new yuan devaluation that could likely force other central banks to continue to proceed with competitive devaluations.
The debt of Chinese Government should not be an issue for now given the high level of reserve they own in foreign currency.

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Depreciation of EUR, Yuan, and Real vs Us Dollar from 06/17/2014

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Economic view

In the last ten days in Greece happened one important event: citizens refuse the EU austerity policy through the referendum.

If Greece keeps Euro, defaults, or introduces a new currency in our view it is not very relevant for financial markets.

What it is important is the next spanish election in 2015, Podemos can repeat the success of the Greek Syriza while the actual government of Spain has already lost focus introducing new laws which limit seriously the freedom of expression and assembly.

Nowadays the work of Draghi to provide liquidity and low rates to the Eurozone has become more difficult.

The Chinese economy is slowing down and commodity prices are decreasing.

With the current situation all over the world, if the Federal Reserve will increase the interest rates next autumn the US dollar would become stronger.

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iShares® Asset Management

Ageliki Petropoulou presents you the asset management performance done in the first half of 2015 with Blackrock iShares®.

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Aleksandra Arbanas from June is the new President of Board of Directors of Primorska Banka, part of CIM Bank’s group.

She looks very nice, young and she speaks with a charming tone but do not do mistake she is a tough manager with a great successful experience as manager director of Credit Division of Croatian Development Bank.

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Economic view

US Fed still views a fragile economy and this means a slow path for rate increases. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said: “We will evaluate incoming conditions and move in the manner that we regard as appropriate.”

European interest rate since mid-April move up sharply driven by a combination of a better macro and inflation outlook, the ECB Quantitative Easing modality of implantation, and lately Mr Draghi’s statement “one lesson is that we should get used to periods of higher volatility”.
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Finally, one day there will be a resolution between Greece and its creditors. That day the uncertainty, that market hates, will end; the no-default will be almost a no-event while the default could open more negative outcome.

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The World Bank and IMF downgraded its outlook for global economic growth this year due to a slowdown in emerging markets and softer output in the U.S. The institution said that it now expects the world economy to grow by 2.8%, instead of 3% it estimated in January.

European Union extended Russia sanctions until January 2016. This unintentionally will continue to strengthen the internal economy and to boost the commercial relations with the major economies China and India.

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Fiumanka Race 2015

Primorska Banka, CIM Banque Group, won the first premium in the Fiumanka Race in Rijeka for the second consecutive year.
Also this year, the smart Commodore Josip Protega led with intelligence the team of Zagorska navy to the victory.

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Congratulation to Primorska crew for the first place

Primorska team won the first place for the third consecutive year.

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