Business & Finance
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With Halloween approaching, hopefully markets won’t be spooked by this week’s batch of macro data (and by the ghost of a no-deal Brexit).
Needless to say, Brexit is the key event to look out for. Although it remains hard to call the final outcome, we believe that the chances of a resolution have now increased after PM Johnson obtained Parliamentary support for his Brexit bill. Meanwhile, given the protracted uncertainty, we wouldn’t be surprised to see gloomy manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) out of the UK.
In the US, all eyes will be on the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) policy meeting on 30th October, with the central bank expected to deliver a 25 basis point rate cut on the back of slowing global growth. Although the Fed is unlikely to start a full easing cycle, as trade tensions seem to be receding, much will depend on the latest domestic quarterly growth number. The advance in third-quarter (Q3) gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to edge down to 1.5% on an annualised basis from 2% in Q2, given recently deteriorating US leading indicators.
While the struggles of the corporate sector are known, we would be cautious to write off the consumer too quickly and instead wait to see next week’s employment numbers. Consensus points to a slight moderation in the unemployment rate, but this should be offset by a modest pick-up in wage growth.
In the eurozone, the quarterly GDP reporting season continues. The area is likely to avoid a recession in the three months to September, although growth should remain subdued at 0.2% quarter on quarter. With the manufacturing sector stuck in contraction territory and weaker imports suggesting softer domestic consumption, markets remain on the look-out for signs of improving macro data. Much-needed relief could come from the labour market, should September’s unemployment rate remain unchanged at 7.4%, the lowest level since 2008.
Meanwhile in China, the economy is likely to continue in “soft-landing” mode, following the weakest GDP growth rate in 26 years seen in Q3. Although premiers Trump and Xi are expected to seal their “phase 1” trade deal next month, tariffs remain in place and a definitive resolution is still far from done. So, we wouldn’t be surprised to see continued weakness in October’s manufacturing PMI, although the temporary trade truce should release some downward pressure from the manufacturing sector.
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Celebrity hair stylist, product creator, and salon owner Larry King has opened his very first international salon at the Hôtel de Paris, where “London-cool meets French chic”.
The Strategic Council for Attractiveness has been reinstated, spurred by the appointment of Frédéric Genta as Secretary General, with a goal of enticing new investment to the Principality.
MonacoTech has announced that one of the companies they support, Yachtneeds, has just raised €1.25 million in funding, allowing for a major expansion of the business starting this summer.
Monacair is one of three regional helicopter companies to have its services taken over by US group Blade Air Mobility, which has begun operations with a seven-minute Nice to Monaco transfer for this week’s GP.
The sixth edition of the European Art Fair Monaco (EAF) takes place at the Grimaldi Forum from July 20-24, under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II.
Although the name EAF Monaco is new this year, the art fair was formed in 2011 as an economic interest group under the name GIE Point Art Monaco (PAM). This followed the Monaco Antique Biennial, which ran from 1974 to 2005.
EAF Monaco is the collective initiative of four prominent Monegasque galleries that make up the organising committee, and, additionally, exhibit at the four day art expo: Adriano Ribolzi Art Gallery, Maison d’Art, A. Pallesi Art Gallery and M.F. Toninelli Art Modern. This year’s edition includes the appointment of director Mr Renaud Siegmann, an historian and art critic for over twenty years, who will help the fine art fair “promote the best of what humanity has created in the world of art, era notwithstanding”.
Thirty-one international exhibitors, as selective as prestigious, will be on hand representing ancient or modern art, drawings or paintings, sculptures or jewellery, including the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Montres DeWitt, known for its cutting edge innovation – the independent company was founded in 2003 by Jérôme de Witt, a descendant of Emperor Napoleon and the great-grandson of King Léopold II of Belgium – one of their watches contains Napoleon Bonaparte’s hair.
DeWitt made headlines this year when it launched “a self-winding mechanical timepiece” without hands, the Academia Mathematical Concept Watch No. 4.
According to its technical chart, the timepiece is fitted with a 42.5 mm round case in 18-carat rose gold and comprises 384 pieces, operating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and featuring a screwed balance and a 48-hour power reserve. Astonishingly, although the scattered numerals indicating hours and minutes seem random, they do tell the correct time.
Another big draw this year is the exceptional Italian jeweller, Pierandrea Sabbadini, co-owner of the family business in Milan, known for its bejewelled bees (and more recently, ostriches), combining precious stones with new materials, like titanium, aluminium, ceramic, steel and rubber.
On the art side, Giovanni Sarti moved his self-named gallery from London to Paris in 1996. “We’re entering a new era of collecting,” the Paris dealer Sarti told the New York Times in 2014 . “When people come into my gallery they look at the name and they ask the price. They don’t really look at the painting.” With a reputation as one of the most renowned experts in early Italian paintings, furniture and objets d’art, from the 13th to 18th centuries, G. Sarti Gallery specialises in 13th- to 15th-century Italian pictures, and are the only dealers qualified by the Conseil National des Experts Spécialisés (C.N.E.S.) in this field.
One of the world’s leading Old Masters galleries, Robilant + Voena, have galleries in London, Milan and St. Moritz, Switzerland. Mr Robilant, who will attend with Mr Voena, commented about the changing art world. “People don’t go to galleries any more, and they don’t buy old masters,” he told the New York Times. “They’re not part of the overall mood of today’s taste.”
One of the highlights at EAF Monaco 2016, and an indicator of the show’s wide-reaching reputation within the art world, is the Yufuku Gallery from Japan. The Economist observed that the pieces selected by / exhibited by the gallery owner Wahei Aoyama “demonstrate the ways in which Japan’s contemporary artists are shaking off those foreign distinctions again, and pushing the boundaries of what their traditional media and techniques can do”. By Nancy Heslin
EAF Monaco runs from July 20-24, 3pm to 9pm (10pm on Thursday). Joint tickets with the Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture exhibition are €16. Book tickets online at eafmonaco.com.