In Brief – N.24 – November 1, 2015

The Chinese GDP growth slowed to 6.9% year on year (YOY) in Q3 2015, its lowest quarterly performance since the financial crisis in 2009. Industrial production that’s down 5.7% YOY confirms a sharp slowdown in the Chinese economy.

Iran seeks oil prices at $70 to $80 per barrel according to Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. “OPEC should decide to manage the market by reducing the level of production,” Zanganeh said as Iran stands ready to increase its oil production by 500,000 bpd once economic sanctions are lifted.

French bank Crédit Agricole will pay US authorities $800 million in order to end law enforcement investigations into embargo violations with Iran and Sudan.

The ECB’s QE is “well calibrated, it’s already bearing fruits,” ECB governing council member Christian Noyer, who is also Bank of France Governor, said. “I think we’re stepping hard enough on the accelerator. The machine is reacting well. For me, the tuning is right,” he added.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad made his first foreign trip since the war broke out in Syria in 2011, met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin whose latest decisions, Al-Assad said, prevented a full-out extension of terrorism.

Ferrari made its IPO on the NYSE at $52 per share. If prospects are good for the luxury carmaker, its world famous red color could look someday like a warning sign that the 7-year-old stock markets rally was ending.

Antero Resources, a producer of oil & natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, has selected Veolia, to design, build and operate an ultra-modern $275 million treatment complex in Appalachia, to treat and recycle 9,500 m3 a day of flowback and produced water.

The European Commission unveiled concrete steps for a fairer and deeper EMU and called time on selective tax advantages of Fiat and Starbucks in Luxembourg and Netherlands respectively.

“On October 28, 2015, we’re giving fans exactly what they want”, that is YouTube Red, a new membership designed to provide the user all of YouTube without ads, while also letting the user save videos to watch offline on phone or tablet and play videos in the background, all for $9.99 a month.

“The exchange of traditional currencies for units of the ‘bitcoin’ virtual currency and vice versa, performed in return for payment of a sum equal to the difference between, on the one hand, the price paid by the operator to purchase the currency and, on the other hand, the price at which he sells that currency to his clients, are transactions exempt from VAT,” the ECJ ruled.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in a letter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani noted that the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – Iran Nuclear Deal – requires the full lifting of sanctions on Iran.

The QE is “proceeding smoothly and continue to have a favorable impact on the cost and availability of credit for firms and household,” ECB President Mario Draghi explained at a press conference on October 22, 2015.

US home re-sales rose more than expected in September 2015 to the second highest monthly sales pace since February 2007, suggesting the housing market continues to show strength compared to the rest of the economy.

After General Motors (GM) reported net income of $1.4 billion for Q3 2015, GM announced it is nearly doubling its workforce at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly by adding a second shift and more than 1,200 hourly and salaried jobs.

“There is a forecast that oil price is going to increase. My colleague, the minister of energy, has indicated several times that they look at $80 as an ideal price for oil as we go on in the next phase,” said the UAE Economy Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri.

According to the Financial Times, the European Union (EU) officials suspected as soon as February 2013 that diesel engines performance was being “adjusted” by automakers like Volkswagen.

New US single-family home sales fell to near a one-year low in September 2015 after two straight months of gains, but a jump in prices suggested that housing remained on solid ground.

No more golf nor greed, the Communist Party of China (CPC) holds its 5th plenum and drafts its next five-year plan. On the menu: upturn in economic growth, a bit of reform and considering adhesion to the TPP.

House Republican leaders introduced legislation just before midnight on October 26, 2015, finalizing a two-year budget agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House.

President Alassane Ouattara has been re-elected in Ivory Coast with 83.66% of the votes in the first round. “This vote will undoubtedly allow (…) to definitely turn the page on the crisis our country has gone through,” Ouattara said the day before the vote.

CIA Director John Brennan said Russia seeks a political solution to the conflict in Syria that first preserves its interests, meaning it doesn’t necessarily include President Bashar Al-Assad into it.

As 700,000 migrants have entered Europe through the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 so far, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees Antono Guterres thinks “it is absolutely vital that the European Union (EU) remains a continent of asylum.”

A complete ban on roaming charges for using mobile phones abroad in the EU will take effect in June 2017 and clear rules on the right to internet access will become law.

« According to plans, the unjust sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be lifted by the end of 2015, » said President Hassan Rouhani.

Eutelsat Communications (ETL) unveiled the next step in its broadband strategy for Africa with the order from Thales Alenia Space of a new-generation High Throughput Satellite offering unprecedented operational flexibility.

The World Bank’s Doing Business report found more than 60% of world’s economies improved their business rules in past year.

Economic activity has weakened markedly in sub-Saharan Africa, and the strong growth momentum of recent years has dissipated in quite a few countries, the IMF said in its regional outlook.

US real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.5%in the Q3 2015, according to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the Q2 2015, real GDP increased 3.9%.

House Republicans have elected Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as their candidate for Speaker of the House. “Let’s be frank: The House is broken. We are not solving problems. We are adding to them,” Ryan said.

The Chinese Communist Party (CPC) leadership ended its decades-old “one child” policy, announcing that all married couples would be allowed to have 2 children.

Russian president Vladimir Putin met with ex-president of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy. The two politicians discussed Russian-French relations, current pan-European problems, and the situation in the world in general.

The EU Council has suspended for 4 months the asset freeze and travel ban applying to 170 individuals and the asset freeze applying to 3 entities in Belarus, in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations.

Banks, insurance companies and pension funds in the largest euro area economies are primarily exposed domestically, according to the ECB Report on Financial Structures.

Bank stress-testing should go beyond individual bank solvency in future and include the impact on the wider economy and the broader financial markets, said ECB Vice-President Vitor Constâncio in a speech at the London School of Economics (LSE).