the flight of companies from the United Kingdom earned them 170 billion

The pandemic hasn’t stopped businesses and workers fearful of the potential negative effects of Brexit from fleeing the UK. And while Boris Johnson’s government tries to run for cover, Emmanuel Macron’s France is one of the countries that are earning the most from the British choice to leave the EU. This is what emerges from the data released by the governor of the Bank of France, Francois Villeroy from Galhau. The banker noted that “about 2,500 jobs have already been transferred” to Paris, while “about fifty British entities have authorized the transfer of at least € 170 billion of assets to France at the end of 2020” , or in the same period in which the representatives of London and Brussels were still busy at the negotiating table to strike the coveted agreement, which was concluded only on 24 December last. A race against time marked by the specter of the ‘no-deal’, a catastrophic eventuality that has caused banks, insurance companies and other companies to flee.

Paris thanks

“We had actively prepared for this, and today the continuity of financial activities is fortunately assured,” said the governor, who then specified that other transfers are planned for the new year. “Brexit requires us to develop our European financial autonomy in a more structured way,” said Villeroy de Galhau. The banker hopes for the birth of “a real ‘financial union'” which “should allow us to better mobilize the European savings surplus – almost 220 billion euros – for the benefit of investments”, the real sore point of the Old Continent, as he the Commissioner for Economy often pointed out Paolo Gentiloni.

Fears and hopes

It is not known whether it is thanks to Brexit or other factors, but the French financial system has shown a certain “resilience” despite the annus horribilis 2020, in part – explains the number one of the Bank of France – because banking institutions and insurance companies had entered into crisis with a solid financial situation. Also with regard to 2021, the governor said he was confident. But “even if today there are no worries about the financial solidity of banks and insurance companies, we should remain vigilant. The uncertainties remain high ”, concluded the French banker, who meanwhile admitted the benefits caused by Brexit.

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In Tunisia, the restitution of ill-gotten goods has stalled

Ten years after the revolution, the booty is very thin. While the Ben Ali clan – a hundred close to the former president – had taken over the lucrative sectors of the economy, and diverted to their profit 21% of the profits of the private sector according to the World Bank, Tunisians no ‘have hardly recovered anything from this windfall.

The equivalent of 46 million euros is still kept in Swiss bank accounts, which Switzerland is preparing to lift the freeze on January 19, the prosecution recently reported. In ten years, the Confederation has returned only 4.2 million euros. “A bitter failure. And time is playing against Tunisia ”, sighs Chawki Tabib, former president of the Tunisian anti-corruption body.

→ READ. Tunisia struggles to recover assets looted by the Ben Ali clan

The Gulf countries, for their part, “Refused any cooperation and did not respond to requests from judicial or diplomatic authorities”, notes this specialist. “And the success is hardly better with the European countries which were nevertheless eager to return the goods. “ Apart from 26 million euros from a bank account in Lebanon of Leila Trabelsi, wife of the president, a villa in Canada, two planes and two yachts returned by France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain, fortunes abroad have remained there.

“Western states are demanding final enforceable judgments, but judgments in absentia for all those who have fled are never final for Tunisia”, explains Chawki Tabib. In addition, most of the legal proceedings are still ongoing. “The people concerned no longer hesitate to take legal action against the decision to confiscate their property”, adds an expert on foreclosed companies.

Between judicial justice and transitional justice, a game of massacre

For Sihem Bensedrine, who chaired the Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) until the end of its work at the end of 2018, “The political will has been lacking”. The management of looted assets has suffered from political crises and the waltz of governments – nine in ten years, not counting the cabinet reshuffle of January 16.

Four organizations had to manage them and did not cooperate. Between judicial justice and transitional justice – the arbitrations with the authors of economic crimes entrusted to the IVD -, it was at best hesitation, at worst a game of massacre. “685 complaints were lodged with the IVD by the head of state litigation in 2015, but in 2016, the minister of state domains opposed the signing of acts for arbitration, the head of litigation has even appealed for the annulment of arbitrations ”, Sihem Bensedrine reports.

Only eight arbitrations were successful for a value of 226 million euros. According to her, figures of the old regime are striving to compromise the restitution process: “The head is fallen, but the octopus of the old regime continues to be influential. “

Unsaleable indebted companies

Even the wealth concentrated in the companies created by the Ben Ali clan, source of much hope, turns into a mirage. “Companies created from scratch to take advantage of an abnormal rent situation were not worth much after the revolution. Others have been with an unbearable level of debt ”, explains the expert of the seized companies.

Companies or participations, whose owners are still uncertain, remain unsaleable. Calls for tenders were not successful because of the cumbersome process, political tensions and the weak absorption capacity of the Tunisian market. In total, the disposals managed by the state holding company Al Karama brought in 606 million euros. Even the five palaces of Sidi Bou Saïd, Hammamet or Sousse of the former presidential family have not found takers.

President Kaïs Saïed aims to relaunch this case plagued by looted assets with a new commission created within the presidency and a reconciliation bill. “The money collected from the businessmen of the old regime, in exchange for an amnesty, would be dedicated to the development of disadvantaged regions, explique Chawki Tabib. But I’m afraid that prospect is overestimated. “

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The end of the asset freeze

January 19, the freezing of the assets of former President Ben Ali and his relatives expires in Switzerland, under the maximum period of ten years provided for by federal law. This excludes property sequestered in the context of ongoing criminal proceedings against eleven people.

The European Council must decide, in the days to come, on the one-year extension of the sequestration of the property of 47 Tunisians. Twenty-three of them appear on the French register of asset freezes.

The freezing of Marouane Mabrouk’s assets, ex-son-in-law of Ben Ali, was lifted in 2019 in Switzerland and in the European Union, at the request of the former Tunisian head of government Youssef Chahed. This decision concerning the powerful businessman, who was in particular a majority shareholder of Orange Tunisia, was highly contested.

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American Airlines launches health passport for international travelers to the United States

José González Bell – jgonzalez@larepublica.com.co

American Airlines became the first American airline to introduce an easy way to provide negative COVID test results and other comprehensive documents required for international travel to the United States.

The VeriFLY app, a mobile health passport that helps customers understand and verify their travel requirements, will be available starting Saturday, January 23 for travel from all international destinations.

American makes this application available to passengers as a measure to support the decision made by the United States government that all passengers over the age of two traveling to the country, from anywhere in the world, must present the result negative in the test.

Travelers can now use VeriFLY to streamline travel to the United States from multiple countries, including Jamaica, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

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Banks begin to tighten credit

  • The entities tightened the criteria for granting and the conditions of the loans in the fourth quarter

  • Requests for financing from companies and families also fell slightly

  • The evolution in the euro zone as a whole is similar to that of Spain

  • The restriction is due to poor economic prospects and the foreseeable increase in non-performing loans

The Spanish banks applied a “slight contraction” to their offer of credit to companies and families in the fourth quarter of last year, with a certain hardening both of the award criteria as of the terms of new loans, except mortgages. So they have confessed to Bank of Spain in the latest edition of their periodic survey on the evolution of credit, in which they also affirmed to have verified a small decrease in the demand.

The report of the supervisory body attributes the tightening to the “increase in perceived risks by financial institutions, linked to deterioration in prospects, both about the economic situation general as about the creditworthiness of borrowers and specific sectors. “In other words, banks predict that the brutal 2020 recession caused by the pandemic and the insufficient recovery expected for 2021 will increase defaults, so they grant fewer loans to protect themselves from this increase in debt. delinquency.

The business credit line endorsed by the state through the Official Credit Institute (ICO) It caused an increase in credit in the middle of last year, as companies were forced to cover their pressing liquidity needs in the face of the income stoppage caused by the lockdown. Since then, however, financing to the private sector has been falling and more and more voices warn that what companies need now are refinancing of your loans and capital injections, not new credits.

Forecasts for the first quarter

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The ten large entities surveyed foresee keep turning off the tap east credit first term with a new “slight tightening” in the criteria for granting loans to companies, although loans to households do not project “significant variations”. On the demand side, they expect that both companies and mortgages will continue to fall, but that those for consumer loans will continue.

It is not an exclusively Spanish phenomenon. According to data from Banco Central European (ECB), the set of euro zone banks they hardened credit between October and December of last year, except for consumer credit to families. Likewise, demand fell except for mortgages, which registered a “slight” rise. For this quarter, the community entities expect a “prolongation of the contraction of the supply in all modalities”.

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Delayed justice exposes El Salvador to a $ 49 million international lawsuit | News from El Salvador

The British multinational company HSBC denounces an “excessively unusual and unreasonable delay” by the Constitutional Chamber to resolve a judicial process initiated in 2009.

The delay of a judicial response by the Constitutional Chamber in a judicial case could expose the country to an international claim before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of no less than $ 49 million.

The British multinational bank HSBC, in its Latin American Holding (HLAH), through its legal representatives, sent on December 17, 2020 a letter addressed to the President of the Republic, the Attorney General of the Republic and the President of the Court Supreme Court in which they notify about a “controversy” that arises from a judicial process with the Salvadoran company Ingeniero José Antonio Salaverría y Compañía (IJASAL) in which the bank affirms that they have found “unusual and unreasonable delays” on the part of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice.

In the notification, the bank reminds the authorities that in 1999 the country signed an Agreement for the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, abbreviated with the acronym APPRI UK-El Salvador.

READ ALSO: Constitutional Chamber reiterates to Bukele that it cannot shut down the country’s economy

“El Salvador explicitly assumed the international obligation to accord a fair and equitable treatment in its territory to investors from the United Kingdom, including the obligation to protect them against all arbitrary and discriminatory treatment,” the document states.

“The conduct of certain courts in El Salvador in this matter, including its highest judicial authority, constitutes a denial of justice to HLAH and constitutes an inequitable, unfair, arbitrary and discriminatory treatment by El Salvador. The violation of these international obligations means that El Salvador will have to compensate HLAH with public funds for the losses caused as a result of its conduct, ”the document states.

In the letter, the Bank notifies the authorities about this controversy and advises them that if it is not resolved within a period of three months from the date of issuance of the letter, the bank will initiate a process before the International Center for Settlement of Differences Regarding Investments (ICSID) “without further notice”.

“HLAH hopes that the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court will soon resolve the appeal that is pending before it related to the controversy in such a way that it is not necessary to resort to ICSID. If the controversy is not resolved satisfactorily, HLAH will initiate the corresponding arbitration ”, he warns.

The case

According to a chronological summary made by the bank, HSBC entered into a loan contract in July 2007 with the company Ingeniero José Antonio Salaverría y Compañía, of Variable Capital. The loan was for $ 2.1 million.

In June and October 2008 HSBC El Salvador sued IJASAL to collect the outstanding debt.

But later IJASAL sued HSBC claiming that the judicial procedure was in violation of a new agreement. With this he requested that HSBC be ordered to pay the sum of $ 22.7 million in damages and prejudices.

The process reached the Civil Chamber, which ruled in favor of IJASAL, ordering the payment of $ 49.3 million.

According to the summary of its complaint, in the process followed in the First Commercial Court, HSBC did not have the right to participate in the acquittal of positions.

The bank points out that in view of the violations of its fundamental rights, it filed an appeal for protection before the Constitutional Chamber to request that the resolution of the Civil Chamber be reversed.

“The Chamber takes between four and eight months to decide on the admissibility of these remedies,” states the legal firm that, however, the Chamber already has a 17-month delay without ruling on the admissibility of the amparo.

And on the other hand, the execution process has proceeded very quickly. “The First Commercial Court, responsible for the execution, issued a seizure act in just two months,” he says.

The Constitutional Chamber has not yet reported whether it has already admitted the process that the international financial entity claims has been stopped.

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These stocks benefit from Joe Biden’s election

Wall Street in New York City

Wall Street sign on the New York Stock Exchange: The new President Joe Biden could also have lasting consequences on the stock exchange. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / File Photo

(Photo: Reuters)

Frankfurt, New York Joe Biden doesn’t want to waste any time. At the end of last week, he already presented details of a new, extensive stimulus package, which he wants to adopt as soon as possible. “A crisis full of human suffering is unfolding before our eyes. We have to act, now, ”urged Biden at a press conference.

For two weeks it has been clear that Biden’s Democrats will have a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. After the Senate runoff election in the US state of Georgia, the party has a wafer-thin lead in the chamber that was previously led by the Republicans.

The so-called “blue wave”, on which investors speculated even before the presidential election, can now start rolling. What does this mean for US stocks after the election? These industries and companies could particularly benefit from Biden and the Democrats:

1. Health

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Price of the dollar January 18

Mexico City /

When starting operations the price of dollar Today Monday it is up to 20.33 pesos in banks. Meanwhile, the interbank exchange rate stands at 19.85 pesos per dollar, with a loss of 0.43 percent.

Citibanamex sells the dollar at 20.33 pesos, while BBVA Mexico does it at 20.13, Banorte at 20.00, Santander at 19.81 and Azteca Bank at 19.00 units.

The peso was depreciating against a strong dollar prior to taking possession of Joe Biden as president of U.S this week and amid growing cases of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the covid-19 disease, even as the Chinese economy recovered faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

How is the exchange rate going?

Base Bank explained in a report that the peso starts the session with a depreciation like other currencies, due to the greater caution among market participants due to the following factors:

First. Joe Biden’s administration will start in two days, so there are doubts that Congress can quickly pass the stimulus package proposed last week, as it requires the full support of Democrats in the Senate.

“It is normal to observe caution in the days prior to a change of government, so the depreciation of the peso at the beginning of the week does not necessarily indicate the beginning of an upward trend in the exchange rate,” he says.

Second. The covid-19 pandemic continues to represent a threat to the global economic recovery, so the optimism of the financial markets in previous weeks was based on the availability and initial distribution of vaccines and, therefore, on the expectation that they will allow for the pandemic to end. Coronavirus cases worldwide exceeded 95 million, the United States continues to be the country with the highest number of registered infections, followed by India, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom.

Dollar in real time

He euro It is sold at the window for a maximum of 24.46 pesos and is bought at 23.95 pesos. For its part, pound sterling It is offered at 27.25 pesos and is acquired at 26.90 pesos.

The Bank of Mexico (Banxico) registered the previous session an exchange rate of 19.78 pesos per dollar.

With information from Reuters

MRA

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Banks and Artificial Intelligence: Trillion-Billion Opportunities with Risk

Artificial intelligence

Banks learn more about their customers with AI.

(Foto: Moment/Getty Images)

Frankfurt Having an honest face could become even more important for bank customers in the future. Last fall, the Chinese financial technology company OneConnect won an award from the renowned trade journal “The Asian Banker” for its new software for automated credit decisions. The subsidiary of the insurance giant Ping An also uses the analysis of the smallest facial movements via smartphone cameras to find out whether a customer is creditworthy or not.

Micro Expression Analysis is the name of this technique in Anglo-Saxon technical jargon, and it is one of the most promising possible uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial sector. The expectations of AI in the industry are enormous: The consultants at McKinsey predict that the global banks can achieve up to a trillion dollars in additional added value through the use of artificial intelligence.

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Dollar price January 15

Mexico City /

When starting operations the price of dollar Today Friday it is up to 20.30 pesos in banks. Meanwhile, the interbank exchange rate stands at 19.83 pesos per dollar, with a loss of 0.65 percent.

Citibanamex sells the dollar at 20.30 pesos, while BBVA Mexico does it on 20.09, Banorte at 20.00, Santander at 19.83 and Azteca Bank in 19.66 units.

He weight fell due to stricter lockdowns in European nations and a rebound in cases of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19 in China, which moderated the optimism generated after the presentation of an economic stimulus plan by the president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

How is the exchange rate going?

Base Bank explained in a report that the dollar strengthens before a moderate return in the perception of risk to global financial markets, since the optimism associated with the fiscal stimuli that the new administration of Joe Biden plans to promote in the United States has already been discounted in previous days. United.

“During the week, the dollar has shown a lateral behavior and shows little change, advancing only 0.21 percent,” he said.

Yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his support plan to boost economic recovery. The stimulus package is $ 1.9 trillion and includes direct payments of $ 1,400, an extension to unemployment benefits, support for local governments, among others. It also proposes to increase the federal minimum wage to $ 15 per hour, from the current 7.25.

“The pandemic also continues to advance at an accelerated rate. Global deaths from coronavirus have already reached two million and the country with the highest number of registered deaths is the United States, followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. This continues to represent a risk for the global economic recovery ”, he considered.

Dollar in real time

He euro se sells at the window for a maximum of 24.53 pesos and is bought at 223.96 pesos. For its part, pound sterling It is offered at 27.25 pesos and is acquired at 26.93 pesos.

The Bank of Mexico (Banxico) registered the previous session an exchange rate of 19.77 pesos per dollar.

With information from Reuters

MRA

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