Véran defends the private meeting platforms selected by the State

Doctolib, Maiia and Keldoc have been selected by the state for the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

The Minister of Health Olivier Véran defended on Tuesday the designation of private platforms for making medical appointments online “solid“And”french»For vaccination of the general public. Doctolib, Maiia and Keldoc had indicated on Monday that they had been selected by the state for the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

«We should have built everything in the public sector from scratch even though we have French players?“Asked the minister, arguing that Doctolib was widely used in Germany”in terms of vaccination».

«We have very solid French companies that work very well, that are able to provide all the services and that would be ‘dirty because it’s private’», He added during his hearing by the Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. “This is not at all, at all, my vision of France, of the entrepreneurial spirit, of our ability to rely on all skills».

«It is quite classic and consistent to also rely on the expertise of the private sectorHe said, this time referring to recourse to the private consultancy firm McKinsey and Company.

SEE ALSO – Despite fierce criticism, Olivier Véran “takes his hat off” to “the great French administration”

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“Chinese Google” partners with Geely for the car of the future

Chinese internet giant Baidu said on Monday that it was teaming up with Volvo Cars’ parent company Geely to produce driverless electric cars in China in the world’s largest market.

Like their American counterparts, the main Chinese tech players have launched autonomous vehicle projects in recent years, in a context of strong technological rivalry between Beijing and Washington. Among them: Baidu (owner of China’s most popular search engine), DiDi Chuxing (passenger vehicles with driver, the “Chinese Uber”) Or the online retail giant Alibaba via the start-up AutoX.

China at the forefront

In a statement released on Monday, Baidu announced that it had sealed a strategic partnership with his compatriot Geely. The two groups will create a joint venture to produce autonomous electric vehicles. Baidu will provide the technologies for driverless driving, while Geely will provide expertise in the design and production of the vehicles. No timetable has been specified.

Baidu has had Apollo since 2017, a platform of specific technologies for autonomous driving. And the internet giant launched a test at the end of last year of driverless taxis in several cities in China, including Beijing. Geely, which acquired Volvo’s automotive arm in 2010, is one of China’s leading vehicle manufacturers.

China is at the forefront in the race for the car of the future, thanks to an ultra-connected population and an incentive policy from Beijing. Manufacturers are competing to take advantage of this outlet, with their classic vehicles, but also with specific technologies and even interiors.

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Regulated gas tariff increases by 6%

The last resort tariff (TUR) for natural gas will rise by an average of 5.97% from 1 January 2021, compared to the tariff in force since October. Specifically, for an average TUR 1 customer, with consumption less than or equal to 5,000 kWh per year (hot water and cooking) will mean an increase of 4.6% in their bill, while for a TUR 2 customer, with consumption between 5,000 and 50,000 kWh per year (hot water and heating), the increase will be 6.3%, according to sources in the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

This increase is due to the significant rise in the cost of raw materials (+ 21.7%) in international markets compared to the previous update. This increase occurs after the previous revision, last October, the TUR, a rate that can be accepted by any consumer connected to low pressure natural gas networks whose annual consumption is less than 50,000 kWh, recorded a drop of 4.9%. Just over 1.5 million users are welcome in the natural gas last resort tariff.

However, despite this increase, for the average consumer of each rate, the annual bill with the new TUR 1 and TUR 2 is a year-on-year decrease, compared to January 2020, of 2.3% and 5.2%, respectively. The value of the TUR for the first quarter of 2021 has been published by a resolution of the Directorate General of Energy Policy and Mines in the Official State Gazette (BOE) yesterday.

The natural gas TUR is reviewed quarterly on the 1st of January, April, July and October of each year, producing its update whenever the cost of the raw material included in this tariff experiences an upward or upward variation. reduction of more than 2% with respect to the cost of the raw material of the tariff in force or in any case when new tolls or fees enter into force.

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The ‘Tobin Tax’ will tax operations with 56 Spanish listed companies

The Tax Agency has made public the list of companies with a market capitalization of more than one billion euros as of December 16 and that, therefore, will see their operations taxed by the Tax on Financial Transactions -popularly known as’ Tobin’- rate which will be applied as of January 2021. Specifically, the settlement of the new tax will begin on February 22 of next year in relation to the month of January. Thereafter, it will be carried out on a monthly basis and around the 20th of each month.

The number of companies whose share acquisition operations will be taxed at 0.2% will be 56, that is, slightly less than half of the slightly more than 130 companies listed on the Spanish Continuous Market.

The company with the highest capitalization is Inditex, with a value of 82,778 million euros, followed by Iberdrola, with more than 71,500 million. It is followed by the two large banks, Santander and BBVA, with a capital of 46,455 and 27,000 million euros, respectively.

The purchases of Amadeus, Cellnex, Endesa and Aena shares, which as of the middle of this month had a capitalization of more than 20,000 million euros, will also be subject to tax. And with close to that figure there are also Siemens Gamesa, Naturgy or Telefónica. Above the 10,000 million euros of capitalization there are also Ferrovial, EDP Renovaveis, the two versions of the Grifols, CaixaBank or Repsol securities.

Among the companies that are at the limit of those billion are Faes Farma, with around 1,050 million, as well as Unicaja, which capitalizes 1,120 million euros.

According to the norm, during the period between the date the tax comes into effect – next January 16 – and until the following December 31, the companies subject to the tax would be those whose market capitalization value one month before was higher than one billion euros. From now on, the list of the companies over which the tax will govern will be comprised of those that, as of December 1 of the year prior to the acquisition, have a capitalization of more than those same billion euros.

Those responsible for facing this tax will be financial intermediaries, although the sector fears that the costs will be passed on to final investors.

The Government plans to collect around 850 million euros next year with the Financial Transaction Tax.

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The settlement of the ‘Tobin tax’ will start in February and that of the ‘Google tax’ will start in April

The Minister of Finance María Jesús Montero.

The Minister of Finance María Jesús Montero.
EP

The settlement of the new tax on financial transactions, known as ‘Tobin tax’, will start on February 22, 2021 and it will take place on a monthly basis around the 20th of each month, according to the taxpayer’s calendar for 2021 published by the Tax Agency and collected by Europa Press.

In this way, on February 22, the tax corresponding to January will be settled and so on every month of the year until the end of the year, since its settlement will be monthly.

In turn, the liquidation of the new tax on certain digital services, known as ‘Google rate’, will start next April 30 on the period corresponding to the first quarter of the year, since the payment of this tax will be quarterly. The second quarter will be settled on August 2 and the third quarter, on November 2, which means that for the fourth quarter we will have to wait for the first months of 2022.

Both taxes, which They will come into force on January 1, 2021, will contribute to the public coffers, according to government estimates, about 1,800 million euros.

Specifically, with the ‘Tobin tax’ the Government plans to raise 850 million euros annually, by taxing with 0.2% the operations of acquisition of shares issued in Spain of listed companies whose market capitalization is greater than 1,000 million euros. The purchase of shares of SMEs and unlisted companies will not be taxed.

For its part, the ‘Google Rate’ will tax those companies with total annual income of at least 750 million euros and with revenues in Spain of more than 3 million euros, targeting online advertising services, online intermediation services and the sale of data generated from information provided by the user during their activity or the sale of metadata.

Although the Treasury had planned an initial collection of about 1,200 million euros (before the pandemic), it later lowered it to 968 million.

Regarding the ‘Google rate’, the Government assures that the norm will have “transitory character” until a global or European regulation is approved within the framework of the OECD or the G20, something that has not been achieved so far.

In addition, the processing of this new tax has occurred amid threats from the United States to Spain, France, the United Kingdom and Italy about retaliation with new tariffs on these digital taxes, even setting tariffs on France, which suspended the application of the tribute for the sake of negotiating an international figure, but one that has already announced that it is going to reimpose in the absence of an agreement.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, recently assured that no effort is spared to reach an agreement on the ‘Google’ rate within the framework of the OECD or the G20, but clarified that if an international agreement is not reached this year, the EU will approve its own proposal in early 2021.

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Brexit negotiations worry the French industry

Despite this tense context, French demand for fish and shellfish is “there” for the end of year celebrations.

Post-Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom are to continue on Monday after a weekend focused on the thorny issue of fisheries, which blocks any prospect of an agreement, only eleven days before the final rupture . Interviewed on BFM Business on Monday, the director general of the National Committee for Maritime Fisheries and Marine Farming (CNPMEM), Hubert Carré, declared that “bad deal would be as catastrophic as a no deal». «We are fighting for the sustainability of French fishing. We are very worried“, he added.

The negotiations focus on how to share the roughly 650 million euros of products caught each year by the EU in British waters and the length of the adjustment period for European fishermen. For the British, fishery products in European waters represent around 110 million euros. Brussels would propose to give up about 20% of the 650 million after a transition period of seven years, London claiming 60% over a period of 3 years, according to European sources. Beyond this transition, the EU wants to be able to tax certain British products, in particular those from fishing, to compensate for any loss for its fishermen.

ALSO LISTEN – “Brexit: soon the end of fish and chips?”

Sunday was marked by a new meeting between the British negotiator David Frost and his European counterpart Michel Barnier. “We respect the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. And we expect the sameOf the British, then pointed out the Frenchman in a tweet, referring to acrucial moment of negotiations».

Despite this tense context, the industry is doing better than expected, according to Hubert Carré. “We were very worried (concerning the request, editor’s note). Obviously, the French wanted to have fun. They are there despite the closure of restaurants». «For six months, fish prices are 20-30% lower than last year“, he added.

A trade deal must be struck before the UK – which officially left the EU on January 31 – leaves the European single market and customs union on December 31 at 11 p.m. GMT. Otherwise, trade between the EU and London will be carried out according to the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), synonymous with customs duties and quotas, with serious consequences for economies already shaken by the pandemic. .

TO SEE ALSO – Brexit: are we moving towards a “no deal”?

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The Government will reissue debt in dollars this week at the astronomical rate of 16%

This Tuesday the Ministry of Economy will hold a new dollar bond sale governed by foreign law. It will issue in total, under the modality of exchange of papers, titles for a nominal value of $ 750 million and investors will be able to pay them with debt papers in pesos that they have in their possession. It is the second tender of this type to be held after the debt swap. The first was in early November. Economy wants to deliver the dollar bonds to funds that are wanting to get dollars in the “cash with liquidation” market. Offering those bonds would be a way to decompress that market and keep the exchange rate gap at bay.

The interesting thing about this tender is that the Government will deliver to private investors papers such as global bonds 2030 and 2035, which are already traded on the secondary market at a price 39 and 35 dollars respectively per 100 of face value.

Given the expiration dates and the market price, they are papers that this Friday showed an implicit return for the buyer of 16.09% per year for the 2030 bond and 14.64% for the 2035 bond. They are rates very similar to those observed in the first tender.

Rates are calculated every day at the close of the trading round, and are published, for example, in the daily report prepared by the Argentine Institute of Capital Market (IAMC).

The placement of last month and the one that will be made this Tuesday occur at the same time that the rest of the world issues debt at the lowest rate in history. European debt yields 0% or less, Peru days ago placed a 100-year bond at a rate of 3.75% and Brazil it placed three bonds at 5, 10 and 30 years at an average rate of 3%. Here, as you can see, they are paid astronomical rates, more than double, even, than the famous 7% rate that former President Macri paid on average, denounced as unsustainable by Guzmán himself.

Strikingly, and against the generalized opinion of the market, even of referents openly related to the ruling party, For Minister Martín Guzmán, the interest rate validated by Economía is much lower to which everyone in the markets calculates.

Days ago, before a specific query made by the senator Esteban Bullrich (PRO), Guzmán replied. “This is not an operation in which the State issues bonds in dollars and in return obtains dollars. It is an exchange, through which the Government receives bonds in pesos and delivers bonds in dollars.

The core of the official argument is this. Guzmán said: “As it is an exchange, when that debt is issued you have to auction with titles in pesos. What we obtained is that the implicit rate is in no case 17%. Two bonds were awarded, for the AL30 the rate was 5.63% because they did not buy at the official exchange rate, but investors paid a value close to the 150 pesos per dollar on average. In the case of AL35, the rate was 7.18%”. The official reasoning is that since twice the pesos were received at the official exchange rate, the bonds were sold at twice the market value.

In the market they say that those rates of between 5 and 7% – already very high in a world that tends to rates close to zero- it has nothing to do with reality.

The Economist Guido Lorenzo, from the consulting firm LCG, thus dismantled the official argument:

– Argentina is exchanging debt in pesos for debt in dollars in order to reduce pressure on the exchange gap. Questionable, but it is what he is doing and the Minister says it openly.

– For this, it exchanges bonds and bills in pesos and delivers securities in dollars local legislation. The mechanism to establish the exchange relationship is by tender, that is, it is ‘bid’ to exit.

– As investors / creditors want to leave Argentina, they give pesos per dollar in the free dollar relationship. Therefore, in the exchange of the AL30, for example, they paid $ 5,805 to obtain an AL30 sheet that was worth in dollars at that time US$ 36.95 (implicit exchange rate $ 157).

– As can be seen, the government issues new debt that is worth US $ 36.95 in the market and for which it will have to pay US $ 100 plus interest over the next 10 years. That rate is a little over 17% per year. Guzmán gets into debt at that rate.

– Why does Guzmán say that it is 5.6% for that exchange? Take the $ 5,805 divide them by the official exchange rate ($ 79.35) and builds a fictitious price of US $ 73.16 ($ 5,805 / $ 79.35). So the logic of the Minister is: they paid me the bond at US $ 73.16.

Argentina will have to pay interest and principal over the next 10 years for US $ 100 plus interest and “today they paid me US $ 73.16, a return of 5.63%,” says Guzmán. A lie. You have no reason to think that they paid the bond at US $ 73.16, it is an invention, an entelechy.

– Only the Minister ‘values’ it like that. To show the level of ridiculousness of the number. Imagine if the Treasury goes out to buy debt to reduce debt. Would that title pay for US $ 73.16 when it is worth US $ 37? Doing so would be pretty clumsy.

– It is not done because there are no two prices for the same assetIt is worth US $ 37, not US $ 73. Meanwhile, bonds continue to be distributed to foreign investors at the true (market) price of almost US $ 37, compromising debt sustainability.

– Even assuming the cheating number of the Minister, is borrowing at a rate between 5% and 8% now sustainable? The one that ends up doing business with the gap is the State itself.

This critical reading of the official account was restrained by none other than the financier Javier Timerman –brother of former Chancellor Héctor Timerman- who has a long track record on Wall Street. This is how Timerman responded to the economist related to the Government Sergio Chouza, who defended Guzmán’s position: “Sergio, I support this Government but the reality is one. The bonds have a single value and it is the same for the market and for the Government. If I buy the bond it yields 17% and if I issue it, that’s what I pay. If you show me the opposite, take the Nobel Prize ”.

Harder was the former Secretary of the Treasury Pablo Guidotti. “The Argentine Minister of Economy openly addresses Congress stating that he has issued debt in dollars at a rate of 7% when he issued debt at an annual rate of 17%. If the authorities lie in this way, how will credibility be restored?

At the same time, Daniel Artana, along the same lines as Timerman, pointed out: “If the government could issue debt at 7% as it says, it would have to issue more and rescue bonds that trade at parities below 40% of their face value. The same product with two different prices does not work. “

Everything seems to indicate that the Government has a story to talk about the debt placed by other administrations, and a different one to talk about its own loans. In that game, anything seems debatable.

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rural elected representatives denounce the abandonment of “universal service”

More than 200 elected officials alert the government to the dysfunctions of fixed telephony in rural areas.

Telephone operators, foremost among which Orange, must allow access to the service “universal“Fixed telephony, claim more than 200 rural elected officials, denouncing that”basic services such as simple access to a fixed line (be) not guaranteed».

«The law provides that access to fixed telephony must be provided to every citizen. In 2017, the State signed a three-year agreement with the operator Orange to ensure its effectiveness (…) The reality behind these indicators is quite different: rural territories, representing + few lines +, are neglected, abandoned», Write the signatories of this forum published in the Journal du Dimanche.

These elected officials, including the LREM deputy of Drôme Célia de Lavergne, criticize the lack of maintenance of the network, the fact that “opening a line takes more than six months and repairing weeks ” while the operator is “Supposed to intervene within 48 hours».

«While we, elected officials, fight for the dynamism and attractiveness of our campaigns, we note that basic services such as simple access to a landline are not guaranteed.», They write. “If these copper lines are to be replaced by fiber, we will not be able to do without them for at least another ten years. Until then we are cruelly addicted to it», Add these rural elected representatives.

In its 2025 strategic plan, the Orange group provides that the network “copper“For fixed telephony will be completely replaced by a fiber optic network in 2030. An agreement signed between the State and Orange in 2017 and which has expired must give way to a new”which provides access to broadband internet in addition to fixed telephony».

But for that, it will take a “unprecedented and immediate effort by the operator“, and a “vigilant, reinforced and territorialized control of public authorities ”, according to the signatories. The future convention will therefore have to provide for a more precise verification than at present, “its monitoring indicators must be sub-departmental and reflect the reality of the rural world ”, they advocate.

Orange believes for its part that it continues to invest “significantly for its copper network ”, with 500 million euros annually devoted to its maintenance, and evokes the impact of bad weather and post-containment public works to explain an increase in damage, as well as the difficulties of intervention linked to health constraints.

«Orange launched an action plan several months ago to improve the quality of the universal service, in particular an increase in the line maintenance budget, up 20% between 2017 and 2020, and recruitment (direct and indirect) of 550 experts“, Said a spokesperson on Sunday, noting that”the quality of service has improved ” and that “the formal notice procedure is also closed”.

To see also – The Telecom Authority is concerned about the practices of operators in the fiber (02/04/2020)

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France is in debt like never before, but at negative rates

Because of the crisis, the State still intends to raise 260 billion euros in 2021 in the medium and long term.

Like nothing ever happened. At the heart of the turmoil of 2020, Agence France Trésor (AFT), the management of Bercy responsible for raising sovereign debt on the markets, has come to terms with its financing program. However, the said program has, over the course of the budgetary readjustments, been turned upside down. In the initial finance law for 2020, the State planned to raise 205 billion in medium and long-term debt and to issue 10 billion in securities of less than one year. Four amending budgets later, the amounts had been revised upwards to rise to 260 billion and 53 billion respectively. Or a total explosion of… 45%!

Not only has AFT managed to raise this debt smoothly, but never have investors demanded such low remuneration. The average cost of issues in 2020, all maturities combined, amounts to -0.30%, “A historical record”, said Anthony Requin, AFT boss. In November, the last month listed, the cost had

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France is in debt like never before, but at negative rates

Because of the crisis, the State still intends to raise 260 billion euros in 2021 in the medium and long term.

Like nothing ever happened. At the heart of the turmoil of 2020, Agence France Trésor (AFT), the management of Bercy responsible for raising sovereign debt on the markets, has come to terms with its financing program. However, the said program has, over the course of the budgetary readjustments, been turned upside down. In the initial finance law for 2020, the State planned to raise 205 billion in medium and long-term debt and had set itself an increasing ceiling of 10 billion euros over one year for issues of securities of less than a year. Four amending budgets later, the amounts had been revised upwards to rise to 260 billion and 53 billion respectively. Or a total explosion of… 45%!

Not only has AFT managed to raise this debt smoothly, but never have investors demanded such low remuneration. The average cost of issues in 2020, all maturities combined, amounts to -0.30%, “A historical record”, noted Anthony Requin,

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