CAS Publications
Press Corner
    The drop in oil prices has focused observers’ attention on commodity markets. True, the size of the drop (30-40% YTD) was unexpected. It is chiefly attributable to a supply side issue, where Saudi Arabia sees a glut, rather than to weaker demand.
    France will hold Departmental elections on 22 and 29 March which could cause turbulence because of a likely strong performance of the National Front (although that party is not expected to capture more than three out of 101 departments), Any stress the French markets suffer around these dates are likely to present buying opportunities in the light of the country's relatively well-oiled political machine.
    We still view equities positively for next year, but we expect measured progress accompanied by greater volatility. The latter will stem notably from concerns surrounding the approach of the Fed’s key rate increase. The expected increase in share prices will be driven by earnings growth, which will in turn get a boost from lower commodity prices, that of oil foremost among them.
    Low oil prices might be anopportunity for GCC economies to reinvent themselves
    For financial markets, it is the monetary policies of the biggest countries that matter most. As we have seen, those policies remain accommodative overall. As a result, investors have been forced to seek out returns. This has benefited the bond market virtually across the board in 2014 through early December, although to varying degrees depending on the segment.
    While the potential returns are attractive, there are challenges and pitfalls to overcome.
    La sécurité de l’information dans les banques est soumise à des attentes toujours plus fortes des clients, des autorités de réglementation et des directions. Un défi de taille à relever pour les responsables sécurité face à l’évolution des menaces internes et externes.
    Five years after the great recession, there are now grounds to ask whether 2014-15 will mark the end of the adjustment period and, as a result, a return to the growth rates seen at the start of the century. For at least two reasons, we think the answer is “no”. First, there is still excess debt to work through, and second, the world’s “normal” pace of growth is now probably lower.
    The reduced liquidity typical of markets late last year combined with concerns surrounding the steep and entirely unanticipated drop in the price of oil, has caused a shake-up of markets in the second half of December. This has not prevented us from updating our target allocation, obviously, although it does make things a bit more complicated for the analysts of Crédit Agricole Private Banking.
    L'abandon de l'arrimage du franc à l'euro a créé une certaine inquiétude et il est beaucoup question de récession. Ce n'est pas l'opinion de Paul Wetterwald et de Marie Owens, chefs économistes de Crédit Agricole Private Banking basé en Suisse, qui n'envisagent pas un scénario récessionniste pour la Suisse à contrario de certaines prévisions.
    Viewing economic trends through the lens of monetary policy shows a growing divergence between countries. To date in 2014, 11 central banks have raised their key interest rates (notably India, Brazil and Russia), while 18 have cut them (notably the ECB).
    We have had the great pleasure of meeting recently with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as well as with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). In addition, we had numerous encounters with economists, lawyers, and other professionals from many countries in Asia and the Middle East. Here, we share our interpretation of their views for which we take full and sole responsibility.
    Following a year in which we adopted the “Balanced” approach (with some success, we are pleased to note), meaning that we did not abandon bonds and equities entirely despite their performance in 2013, the time has come to give you our strategic vision for 2015.
    In the wake of the SNB decision to abandon the peg against the euro and let the exchange rate float freely, an exaggerated pessimism regarding the Swiss economy has taken hold. Markets tend to over-focus on bilateral exchange rates when trade is obviously global.
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