Football: European football on the line as Monaco approach “decisive” final match

AS Monaco in training

AS Monaco’s destiny is no longer in their own hands, but the club still believe in securing European football for next season heading into the final game of the Ligue 1 campaign.

Les Monégasques’ dip in form has been untimely and hugely consequential. Following back-to-back defeats, the latter against a direct rival in Stade Rennais, have seen Monaco drop to sixth, and going into the final game, against FC Toulouse on Saturday, they will be relying on other teams to do them favours.

A backdoor route into Europe?

Monaco must better the result of either Rennes or Lille OSC on Saturday. Both are facing sides towards the bottom of the table, and will fancy their chances of getting a result. However, should neither side slip up, or should Monaco fail to capitalise on any mistakes from their rivals, their could yet be a lifeline for Philippe Clement’s side.

Toulouse are part of a multi-club project, and despite winning the Coupe de France, which earned them a place in next season’s Europa League, they may not be allowed to compete in European competition. This is due to having the same owner as another side that already qualified for European competition, AC Milan. UEFA rules prohibit two teams with the same owner from participating in a European competition, where the two sides could hypothetically play each other. Should Toulouse be prohibited from competing, the sixth place in Ligue 1, currently occupied by Monaco, could potentially come a European-qualifying position.

No European football would constitute failure, admits Clement

However, as always, Clement is focused on the controllable, and converting the dressing room’s “frustration” into something more positive, but to do so, the Belgian coach has adopted a frank approach behind the scenes.” We can’t just be positive. We have to say things as they are, especially in the dressing room,” he said in Thursday’s press conference. 

Should Monaco not secure European football, which is a genuine possibility, Clement admits it would be a failure both collectively, and on a personal level. Asked if it would be the biggest failure of his career, the former Club Brugge coach responded: “Yes, clearly. But it would be a collective failure. But I have belief. That’s my mindset…Now is the key moment, the decisive match.”

Photo of Philippe Clement by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

For this “decisive match,” at the Stade Louis II on Saturday, Clement could be without key player Aleksandr Golovin, who is suffering from an adductor injury and was therefore absent from training on Thursday. Ismaïl Jakobs was also absent as he has been dropped and sanctioned for disciplinary reasons. The Senegalese international won’t be part of the matchday squad to face Toulouse.

Ahead of what is expected to be a lively summer off the pitch at Monaco, a European qualification would certainly help both financially and within a sporting context, allowing them to attract bigger names to Le Rocher. However, whether they reach that objective or not, is not in their hands, and they head into the final gameweek needing substantial favours from two of the most inconsistent teams in the league.


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Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

SBM doubles operating profit in 12 months to reach €72 million

Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) has achieved its most profitable year to date, pulling in almost €670 million in turnover during the last financial year and achieving a record €72 million in profit.

It was with obvious pride that new SBM Président Délégué Stéphane Valeri delivered the figures for the financial year ending 31st March to local press on Thursday 1st June, whilst acknowledging that the results obtained from 10 out of the past 12 months were under the direction of former Deputy Chairman Jean-Luc Biamonti.

In the hall of One-Monte Carlo, the new head of Monaco’s largest company revealed that SBM’s annual turnover was €136.5 million higher in the last financial year thanks to an uptick in all sectors of activity.

Making up the €667 million in turnover was €215.4 in gaming revenue – a rise of around 7% on the previous year thanks largely to an increase in table games.

The rental sector, which includes the rental of stores and offices as well as the hotel residences of Monte-Carlo Bay, Balmoral, Villas du Sporting and One Monte-Carlo, pulled in €124.8 for SBM, compared to €117.6 in the 2021/2022 financial year.

“This increase is mainly due to the gradual letting of the last spaces at One Monte-Carlo as well as the contractual application of inflation,” said Valeri.

A booming hotel and hospitality sector

But it was the hotel sector that really boosted SBM coffers with €325.1 million in revenue – up more than €111 million from the previous year’s €213.3 million.

The record profits are obviously on the back of two years of Covid-induced restrictions, and marks a return to normal for SBM, which owns Monaco’s most famous establishments including the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and the Hôtel Hermitage.

“We operated under normal conditions at all of our establishments and we had a particularly favourable summer season,” explained Valeri. “It was great to see the return of the international clientele and the phenomenon of ‘Revenge Travel’: the post-Covid desire to enjoy life more, to compensate for the various limitations that people have suffered during the health crisis.”

SBM’s operating profit was therefore €72.2 million in the year 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023, more than double the previous year’s figure of €35.4 million.

International expansion ahead

Meanwhile, the sale of the SBM Group’s entire 47.3% stake in Betclic Everest Group for €829.2 million, through its subsidiary Monte-Carlo SBM International in June 2022 resulted in the exceptional consolidated net profit of €896.2 million for the 2022/2023 financial year.

“One of our priorities is to look for sources of growth in the development of our Group,” said Valeri of the future of SBM. “These reserves that we now have in our international subsidiary will allow us to acquire a certain number of establishments – hotels, restaurants and casinos – abroad.”

Valeri also revealed that SBM is on track to achieve another exceptional financial year, with extremely positive results already in April and May 2023.



Stéphane Valeri at the helm of SBM: “Our future will live up to our brilliant past”


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Photo by Monaco Life

Edmund Shing to kick off new MEB conferences in English

The Monaco Economic Board (MEB) is hosting the first in a series of English-speaking conferences by eminent anglophone speakers, with Edmund Shing, Chief Investment Officer of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, who will give a talk onAdapting to the New Rules of the Global Economy’.

The talk will follow the idea that the global economy has broken with the last 40 years of disinflation/deflation, falling/zero interest rates, the peace dividend and easy money. In this new era, scarcity of resources is the key.

Edmund Shing has over 25 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.

Since 2015, he has held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology. He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst and has authored the book ‘The Idle Investor’ published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing three simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

Edmund is responsible for piloting BNP Paribas investment strategy.

The talk will be held in the Meeting Room of the Yacht Club de Monaco on Monday 5th June from 5.45pm. It will be followed by a networking cocktail.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu, Unsplash



62 years of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival

monte-carlo television festival

The Monte-Carlo Television Festival came about when TV was still in its infancy, but the forward-thinking Prince Rainier III had a vision of what this medium could offer and how it would grow to inform and entertain the world.  

The year was 1960, the dawn of a new decade and, as we know in retrospect, also a new era. Television was only just finding its way into households and though content was limited, as was reach, Prince Rainier III saw it as the future.

By early 1961, his concept was coming together and later that year, the first ever Monte-Carlo Television Festival sprang to life.  


Monaco was already well-known as a glamourous place. The Prince’s marriage to screen star Grace Kelly had brought a fashionable and famous coterie to the Principality, and its long history as a wintering spot for the rich was expanding beyond a single season.  

The inaugural Monte-Carlo Television Festival saw stars of the age out in full force to support the event. The nights were dazzling affairs and the gala event was broadcast by Eurovision live on Télé Monte-Carlo to people in Belgium and Spain, and later in France and Switzerland.  

Maria Callas, Jane Fonda, Gene Kelly, Roberto Rossellini, Claudia Cardinale, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and Jean Seberg were amongst the attendees, and the legendary Marlene Dietrich even sang.  

monte-carlo television festival 1961
Prince Rainier III could see the potential of TV even in its earliest days. Image via the Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Yul Brenner was honoured at that year’s ceremony, as was Sir Laurence Olivier, who won a prize for his performance in the television film The Moon and The Sixpence.  


By 1964, the Festival had become a sensation. The event introduced simultaneous translation, showed the future with TV programmes in colour and displayed technical feats of France’s SECAM system, allowing for live broadcasts from Paris.  

The Festival quickly became a can’t-miss for the fast-growing television world and a total of 65 programmes were in the running in 1966. It was then that the event was opened up to the public, allowing viewers to vote for their favourites, which culminated in the Special Audience Award. It was also the first year that colour programming competed alongside black and white. 


By the 1970s, television was firmly established as a focal point for family home life, social debate and as a primary source of entertainment. Racial equality, nature-related matters and feminist ideals were being played out on the small screen and this was reflected in the Festival’s offerings.  

This decade was also when the Festival added an international audio-visual symposium to the roster, open to those on the technical side of TV as well as researchers and public and private organisations.  

In the 1980s, with the advent of cable television and a sharp rise in programming, the Festival created a marketplace, attracting distributors, producers and top executives to buy and sell to bigger audiences.

In 1989, Prince Albert II took over the Presidency of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival and brought with him a new and fresh approach.  

The following decades saw a series of developments within the industry, with technology and changing attitudes at the forefront, and the Festival has kept up with the times. From championing new channels and bold screenwriting to trends in reality television and streaming, it has remained not just relevant, but regarded.  

This year marks the 62nd Monte-Carlo Television Festival and, from 16th to 20th June, participants can expect all the glamour of the early days with distinctly modern touches. Panel discussions, signing sessions, conferences, screenings and world premieres are open to the public, making the event inclusive and accessible. Additionally, it will be streamed and covered on social media as well as having its own dedicated app.  

Time has marched on since 1961, but the Monte-Carlo Television Festival has definitely marched along with it.


Read more:

Monte-Carlo Television Festival: more than a red carpet event


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Blitz marks 10th edition milestone

Blitz, the hugely popular manga produced in Monaco, has reached a milestone with volume 10 set to hit the market on 8th June and an Italian version on the way. 

Just three years after the launch of the first edition of Blitz in 2020, Shibuya Productions is boasting the release of the 10th edition in the series this June.

The book is clearly making its mark in the manga landscape, fitting in the DNA of the current Shônen whose main features are the length – mid-long series from 20 to 40 volumes, the rhythm of the publication, the friendship and the development of all the characters.

“This 10th volume can be considered as the end of the first narrative arc of the series,” says Monaco-based Shibuya Productions. “Our heroes have reached the end of their initiating trip. Over the course of the volumes, they have grown, matured, and developed skills that they will be able to put into practice on a larger scale by confronting the world. Will they be able to qualify for the finals of the Monaco Chess Grand Prix, the great chess tournament organised at the Monte-Carlo Casino by the legend Garry Kasparov?”

To celebrate the release of volume 10, Shibuya Productions CEO Cédric Biscay will meet the public for a conference and signing session at the Le Dojo bookshop in Nice on 3rd June, a signing session at FNAC in Monaco on 10th June, a conference and signing session at Geek Unchained convention in Mulhouse on 17thJune, and a round-table debate and signing session at FNAC Bercy in Paris on 24th June.

Volume 10 of Blitz has also been selected again for the FNAC national event Japan Mania.

Meanwhile, the rights for an Italian adaptation have just been signed between Shibuya Productions and Piretti Editore, the publisher of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in Italy. Blitz will be available on the Italian market from 2nd July, with the release of a volume every two months to catch up with the French publication.

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History: Prince Rainier’s reign in numbers

As the centenary celebrations of Prince Rainier’s birth kicks off, Monaco Life takes a look at some of the many accomplishments he achieved during his reign.  

Prince Rainer III’s time at the helm of Monaco was exceptional by many standards. The “Builder Prince” stood out for having the longest personal reign of any Monegasque Prince, lasting 56 years (1949-2005), but this was the least of his achievements.  

Prince Rainier can be credited with moving the Principality into the future with a series of far-reaching social and governmental ideas, quite literally growing the country through land reclamation, the establishment of a stronger economic base and the creation of events that have stood the test of time. 


One of his most note-worthy in a list of note-worthy successes was the creation of a new constitution in 1962, lessening his own power and that of future sovereigns. He also oversaw the abolishment of the death penalty 19 years before Monaco’s closest neighbour of France, saying that it “hindered the administrative and political life of the country”.  

The constitution was again revised in 2002. Interestingly, by word count, it is the shortest and most concise working constitution in the world.  

He also forged new diplomatic relations with France through the Convention of 1963 and a treaty in 2002, and created better stability for his nation by having Monaco internationally recognised by the United Nations in 1992 and the Council of Europe in 2004.  

In his time, he signed 16,726 sovereign ordinances, a significant number by any standard.  


Under Prince Rainier, the Principality grew by 31 hectares through land reclamation projects, the largest of which was the development of Fontvieille, which added 21 hectares alone. The other 10 now form the Larvotto beach area. 

He also was responsible for taking the train line underground, which saved precious above-ground space. These projects were undertaken in 1964 and again in 1999. 


The Prince can also be credited with bringing fun and beauty to the nation, having founded the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo in 1974 and the Monte-Carlo Television Festival in 1961, amongst other events.  

He created the Princess Grace Rose Garden as a tribute to his wife, the Zoological Acclimatisation Centre for Animals in 1954, was an avid sailor who believed in environmental protections, and was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1949 to 1950.  

Additionally, he founded the Museum of Stamps and Coins and had a vast collection of rare and classic cars that are now open to the public for viewing.   

Read more:

Prince Rainier III: A series of major events set to commemorate the centenary of the Builder Prince’s birth


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Photo credit: Palais Princier de Monaco Archives