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International investors ‘blown away’ by Macron’s vision for France

French president Emmanuel Macron hosted a dinner at the Elysée for the heads of some of the world's largest investment funds and he appears to have made an impression.

International investors 'blown away' by Macron's vision for France
Photo: AFP
Macron's latest move in his drive to change the image of France abroad saw him invite around 25 international financiers to dinner at the Elysée Palace on Wednesday.
 
The president reminded them of his efforts so far to open up France's labour market, which includes having pushed through a series of pro-business reforms, Reuters news agency reported.
 
And his guests were reportedly very impressed by what they heard, at least that's according to Macron's camp.
 
“The feedback we had was that investors were rather blown away by the president's vision,' an advisor to Macron, who asked not to be named told Reuters.
 
“These are international investors who manage hundreds of billions, who travel around the world and are used to being cajoled. But we pulled off a beautiful event,” the president's advisor said.
 
The president's presentation which included his vision of how he will reform France ended with a “lively Q&A session”.
 
'The UK now a risk'
 
A spokeswoman for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager confirmed that the president had helped to create a feelgood factor among guests.
 
“Yesterday’s session was beneficial to the investors present and reinforced the view that the opportunities in France are the strongest they have been in two decades,” she told Reuters.
 
And the president's adviser said several managers were convinced that now is the right time to invest in France, especially with neighbours Britain suffering the uncertainty of Brexit.
 
“Investors told us that France was rather underweight historically in their asset portfolios and that, with a UK which is now a risk area with Brexit, they’ll reinvest in France,” the adviser said.
 
This week saw more good news for Macron as the latest figures revealed the unemployment rate had dropped by 1.8 percent.
 
French business confidence has surged since Macron's election in May and French consumer confidence has also hit a 10-year high.
 

BUSINESS

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

French authorities on Wednesday slapped a €90,000-per-day fine on e-commerce giant Amazon until it removes abusive clauses in its contracts with businesses using its platform to sell their goods.

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

The anti-fraud Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) service said the online sales giant’s contracts with third-party sellers who use its Amazon.fr website contain “unbalanced” clauses.

“The company Amazon Services Europe did not comply completely with an injunction it was served and it is now subject to a fine of €90,000 per day of delay” in applying the changes, the DGCCRF said in a statement.

It also urged the platform to conform with European rules on equity and transparency for firms using online platforms.

Amazon said the order would harm consumers.

“The changes imposed by the DGCCRF will stop us from effectively protecting consumers and permit bad actors to set excessive prices or spam our clients with commercial offers,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.

“We will comply with the DGCCRF’s decision but we absolutely do not understand it and we are challenging it in court,” responded the e-commerce giant in a statement.

Amazon said the clauses that the DGCCRF has ordered removed had, for example “prevented the appearance of exorbitant prices for mask and hydroalcoholic gel during the pandemic”.

In 2019, Amazon was fined €4 million for “manifestly unbalanced” contract clauses with third-party sellers on its site in a case brought by the DGCCRF.

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