Investor relations blog

Out of darkness cometh light

"Out of darkness cometh light" this sounds quite biblical but this is actually the ‘motto’ of the city of Wolverhampton (UK), home of the Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, a professional football club active in the English Football club League Championship, the division below the Premier League. Why the reference? Back in July 2016, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC became one of the assets in the diversified portfolio of Fosun that last week notified Ageas that its shareholding stands at 3.01% joining the ranks of other shareholders that have a stake above the 3% statutory threshold. Norges also notified Ageas last week that its shareholding now stands at 3.25% (information on Ageas' shareholders structure).

On the European economic and political front, what captured most of the market’s attention was the outcome of the elections in Germany. Angela Merkel (CDU/CSU) secured a fourth term as German chancellor however the result was less impressive than expected and the radical populist rightwing AfD entered parliament as the third-largest party. Although equity markets did not really react to this outcome, there were some movements on the FX markets with the EUR/$ rate down to approximately $1.18, the lowest level in a month.

According to Viraj Patel, strategist at ING, the ‘outcome of the election risks slowing down any Merkel-Macron attempts for further eurozone integration and the strong result of the populist AfD party will probably change the way investors view the eurozone’, that up to the outcome of the German elections was considered as a political haven resulting in a strong EUR. However, the return of the so called ‘populist voter’ in a European election is a gentle reminder that political risks haven’t disappeared for the EUR. In the meantime, Angela Merkel will have to overcome political differences in order to create a so-called ‘Jamaica Coalition’ a reference to the parties' respective colours: black (CDU/CSU), yellow (FDP) and green (GREENS).

Last trading week the Ageas share increased by 1.4% to EUR 39.76 while the Eurostoxx 50 gained 1.5%.