The good news: we calculate positive equity value. The bad news: just barely and that’s the top end of our valuation range!
Caesars is once again trying to go public after a failed attempt to sell investors a bag of coal in late 2010. The story is definitely better but we struggle to get to positive equity value. Our valuation range per share is -$7 to +$3. Why the big range? Why not? There are so many deltas, discount rates, and projects on the come. Our point estimate is -$2 so use that if you’re uncomfortable with the big range. The takeaway is that we can’t get to $8-10 per share.
Their pitch this time around is somewhat similar (but a little more developed) than the last go around, with a few exceptions:
- They have a public comp in what IGT paid (or massively overpaid) for Double Down and would like investors to give their Playtika business comparable value at $500MM
- Online poker in the US is looking like more of a reality with timing and scope still unclear, though. We think it’s fair to assume IF online poker gets legalized at the federal level, then we could have a $1BN EBITDA pie a few years out where CZR gets 20%.
- Their Ohio casino JVs (Horseshoe Cleveland, Horseshoe Cincinnati) are going to open in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and they have an option of getting slots at Thistledown but that’s further away
- Vegas is better; regionals are still ‘stable’; Atlantic City is still bad
- Maryland has a good chance of happening
- Massachusetts could happen but it would just be a management contract so we’re not sure that moves the needle
- Pennsylvania is dead and no mention of Texas
What hasn’t changed?
- Maybe it’s no longer a bag of coal, but it’s not much better than a bag of lemons
- There is still a lot of deferred maintenance capex
- Leverage is about 12x 2011 and unlikely to go down by much in the foreseeable future
- That CZR is selling you a recovery story in early February with no year-end financial disclosure
- The small size of the deal
What about the term loan amend and extend?
- CZR is trying to extend up to $4BN on its B1-B3 Term Loan due in 2015 to 2018
- In exchange for the extension, CZR will pay an incremental 150bps on the extended piece which would cost $60MM if they get the full $4BN extension
- For those lenders who opt to extend, 25% of their debt would be paid down with proceeds from a Senior Secured bond offering which would likely price around 8.5% and cost another incremental $30MM of interest if the full $4BN extension happens
- We don’t think that most lenders will opt to extend since CZR is still burning cash and that would move them to the back of bus behind other lenders
Our point estimate for valuation is -$2 per share. Yes, that’s negative equity value. We tried very hard but cannot get above $3 per share at the high end. Here is the calculation:
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Conclusion: The potential for another implementation of The Bernank Tax upon Asian economies clouds the region’s fundamental outlook while market prices continue to price in a consensus disregarding of this risk.
Virtual Portfolio Positions in Asia: Long Chinese equities (CAF); Short Japanese equities (EWJ); Short Indian equities (INP).
All % moves week-over-week unless otherwise specified.
- Median: +1.2%
- High: Taiwan +6.1%
- Low: Australia -0.7%
- Callout: Asian equity markets are up +8% YTD on a median basis
- FX (vs. USD):
- Median: +0.6%
- High: New Zealand dollar +1.4%
- Low: Hong Kong dollar flat
- Callout: India’s rupee is up +8.9% YTD vs. a regional median increase of +2.7%
- S/T SOVEREIGN DEBT (2YR YIELD):
- High: Hong Kong +3bps
- Low: Indonesia -16bps
- Callout: Philippines is the only Asian country to see 2yr sovereign yields rise YTD (+43bps)
- L/T SOVEREIGN DEBT (10YR YIELD):
- High: Vietnam +29bps
- Low: Indonesia -22bps
- Callout: Indonesia -75bps YTD
- SOVEREIGN YIELD SPREADS (10s-2s):
- High: Vietnam +31bps
- Low: India -19bps
- Callout: Philippines -63bps YTD
- 5YR CDS:
- Median: -1%
- High: China, Korea, Thailand all flat wk/wk
- Low: Indonesia -6.9%
- Callout: Japan +9.8% over the past three months vs. a regional median tightening of -13.6%
- 1YR O/S INTEREST RATE SWAPS:
- Median: -0.1%
- High: Vietnam +25bps/+2%
- Low: Indonesia -45bps/-8.2%
- Callout: China +19bps/+6.6% YTD vs. a regional median widening of +2.4%
- O/N INTERBANK RATES:
- Median: flat wk/wk
- High: Vietnam +53bps/+4.4%
- Low: India -75bps/-7.9%
- Callout: China -48bps/-14.2% YTD vs. a regional median decline of -0.9%
- CORRELATION RISK: Both Asian equities and Asian currencies are developing very high positive correlations to the CRB Foodstuffs Index on a 3wk basis: MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index = 98% correlated; the JPM Asia Dollar Index = 97% correlated. At a point, however, rising food prices will start to impact Asian inflation readings and slow inflows as monetary easing is taken off of the table.
Full price and performance tables can be found at the conclusion of this note.
CHARTS OF THE WEEK
The JAN PMI data out of Asia was rock solid, as indicated by the chart below:
Looking to FEB and beyond, the fundamental outlook for Asian growth data is less clear than some of the YTD moves across Asian equities/FX would have you believe. Particularly, the quantitative setup for the U.S. Dollar Index is as uncertain as the outlook for future U.S. monetary and fiscal policy. Obama or Romney/Gingrich? Heli-Ben or Bernanke-in-a-box?
Regardless of outcome(s), the market price of the U.S. Dollar remains the #1 leading indicator for Asian growth, inflation, and policy on both an absolute and expectations basis. Given, we think the current setup warrants appropriate hedging across Asian asset classes.
Get the U.S. Dollar right, and you’ll tend to get a lot of other things right – like global energy prices and Asia’s growth/inflation/policy dynamics:
Growth – Generally speaking, JAN was a solid month for Asian economic growth data:
- China: The official Federation of Logistics and Purchasing Manufacturing PMI ticked up in JAN to 50.5 vs. 50.3 prior. The unofficial HSBC reading ticked up to 48.8 vs. 48.7 prior.
- China: The official Federation of Logistics and Purchasing Services PMI ticked down in JAN to 52.9 vs. 56 prior. The unofficial HSBC reading held flat at 52.5.
- China: The peak rate of deterioration in Chinese economic growth appears to be in the rear-view mirror for the intermediate term, supporting China’s USD-denominated corporate bond market, which posted the best gain throughout Asia in JAN (+5.1%), per JPMorgan credit indexes. Spreads have narrowed as well, with AAA/sovereign spreads compressing -10bps this week.
- Hong Kong: Real GDP growth slowed in 4Q11 to +3% YoY vs. 4.3% prior. Retail Sales came in flat in DEC at +23.4% YoY.
- Japan: Manufacturing PMI ticked up in JAN to 50.7 vs. 50.2 prior. DEC Industrial Production growth essentially flat on a YoY basis (-4.1% vs. -4.2%) and accelerated on a MOM basis (+4% vs. -2.7%). Overall Household Spending growth accelerated to +0.5% YoY vs. -3.2% prior. Small Business Confidence nudged up slightly to 45.7 vs. 45.6 prior.
- Japan: Japanese employment continues to go in the wrong direction, though a declining working population limits upside on the headline unemployment rate, which backed up +10bps to 4.6% in DEC. From a micro perspective, Japanese manufacturers are hurting with persistent yen strength, as the USD/JPY at current levels dramatically impairs profitability. NEC Corp., Nippon Sheet Glass, Sumco are all planning layoffs in the order of 1,000-10,000 jobs in 2012; Sony, Sharp, Hitachi, and Panasonic are likely planning cuts in multiples of those numbers after each recently revised down their annual loss forecasts for FY12.
- India: Both Manufacturing and Services PMI readings saw forceful upticks in JAN; the former to 57.5 from 54.2 prior and the latter to 58 from 54.2 prior. Further, Indian Export growth accelerated in DEC to +6.7% YoY vs. +3.9% prior. A sign that the Indian economy is growing perhaps too quickly relative to the central bank’s intermediate-term outlook for inflation, Indian banks borrowed 1.3T rupees on average per day from the RBI in JAN, up from 1.16T in DEC. This systematic overextension of liquidity may resurface in the form of hotter inflation data in the coming months.
- S. Korea: Real GDP growth slowed in 4Q11 to +3.4% YoY vs. +3.5% prior; on a QoQ basis, growth also slowed: +0.4% vs. +0.8% prior. DEC Industrial Production growth slowed to +2.8% YoY vs. +5.8% prior and DEC Service Industry Output growth slowed as well: +1.6% YoY vs. +2.7% prior. Looking to the JAN data, Export growth slowed to -6.6% YoY vs. +10.8% prior and Manufacturing PMI ticked up to 49.2 vs. 46.4.
- Singapore: Manufacturing PMI ticked down in JAN to 48.7 vs. 49.5 prior – a stealth leading indicator that FEB’s Asian growth data is unlikely to be as rosy as JAN’s.
- Indonesia: Export growth slowed in DEC to +2.2% YoY vs. +10.2% prior, while Consumer Confidence ticked down slightly in JAN to 91 vs. 91.6 prior.
- Thailand: Export growth accelerated in DEC to -2.1% YoY vs. -13.1% prior, while Thailand’s Business Sentiment Index ticked up in DEC to 48.5 vs. 39 as the country continues recovering from dramatic flooding in 2H11.
- Australia: JAN’s NAB Business Sentiment Survey came in slightly better on the margin, with “Confidence” ticking up to 3 from 2 and “Conditions” holding flat at 1. Private Sector Credit growth slowed in DEC to +3.5% YoY vs. +3.6% prior, with growth in Mortgages (an indicator of housing demand) slowing to another all-time low growth rate of +5.4% YoY from +5.6% prior. Australia’s Manufacturing and Services PMI readings both ticked up in JAN: the former to 51.6 vs. 50.2 prior; the latter to 51.9 vs. 49 prior.
- Australia: Aussie DEC/4Q11 housing market data came in fairly putrid: Home Price growth slowed in 4Q to -4.8% YoY vs. -3.4% prior – completing the largest calendar year drop since 2002; New Home Sales growth slowed in DEC to -4.9% MoM vs. +4.4% prior; Building Approvals slowed in DEC to -24.5 YoY vs. -17.5% prior. Australia’s weak housing market and bleak L/T outlook for demand remains a TAIL-duration headwind for the Australian dollar from an interest rate perspective. Cash rate futures are pricing in a 62% change Stevens lowers the country’s benchmark interest rate by -25bps on FEB 7 to 4%.
- Australia: Australia’s Trade Surplus rose to record A$19.3B in 2011 aided by coal and iron ore shipments and Asian demand (accounting for over 2/3rdsof Aussie exports).
- Taiwan: Real GDP growth slowed in 4Q11 to +1.9% YoY vs. +3.4% prior, which is the slowest rate of growth since 3Q09. On the bright side, the country’s Manufacturing PMI reading ticked up in JAN to 48.9 vs. 47.1.
- Philippines: Real GDP growth came in slightly faster in 4Q11: +3.7% YoY vs. +3.6% prior.
Inflation – Headline inflation generally continued on its trend down across the region, giving Asian policymakers additional scope to reduce interest rates. Uncertainty surrounding the magnitude of The Bernank Tax will likely keep them in the box for now:
- India: India’s power generation industry has delayed $36B worth of investments in capacity in the YTD, raising the risk of continued energy shortages, which ultimately translate into higher costs of production that eventually trickle into consumer prices.
- S. Korea: CPI slowed in JAN to +3.4% YoY vs. +4.2% prior and Core CPI slowed to +3.2% YoY vs. +3.6% prior. Both readings give the central bank scope to consider easing monetary policy.
- Indonesia: CPI slowed in JAN to +3.7% YoY vs. +3.8% prior and Core CPI came in flat at +4.3% YoY.
- Thailand: CPI slowed in JAN to +3.4% YoY vs. +3.5% prior and Core CPI accelerated to +2.8% YoY vs. +2.7% prior.
Policy – China continues to make headlines on this front:
- China: The China Business News reported that the China Securities Regulator may “substantially” increase quotas for the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors program – potentially more than doubling the current QFII quota of $30B. If true, this is yet another step Chinese regulators have taken in recent weeks to steward capital into its equity markets.
- China: Premier Jiabao reiterated what he’d been saying for months – his gov’t will maintain curbs on its property market with the intent of bringing prices down to a reasonable level and that economic policy will be “fine-tuned” to support growth. This is consistent with our recent attempts to temper expectations surrounding China easing monetary policy to a meaningful degree – particularly in the face of a Bernank Tax hike!
- China: The State Council will establish a CNY15 billion ($2.4B) fund to support small companies. In addition, preferential tax treatments for small companies will be extended through 2015 alongside Chinese banks being forced to increase their risk tolerance of bad loans to such businesses. While small in aggregate dollars, this latest batch of “fine tuning” is supportive of Chinese employment and economic growth at the margin and shows Chinese policymakers are will do their best to continue supporting the real economy while taking some of the air out of the property market.
- China: The PBOC hasn’t sold three-month bills in five weeks – doing all that it can to support liquidity and credit expansion without materially easing.
- Hong Kong: Financial Secretary John Tsang, equipped with a budget surplus equivalent to 5% of GDP, is using his bloated coffers to help stimulate growth by increasing tax exemption wage levels by +11.1% to HK$120k. Tsang, who is forecasting growth of +1-3% in 2012 (down from +5% in 2011), also stated that he’s prepared to boost the government’s capital expenditures again, after a record HK$58B allocation in 2011.
- Hong Kong: Speaking in Davos, the aforementioned Tsang said that he’s “never been more scared about the global economic outlook”. When it comes to leading global growth, no countries do it more consistently than Singapore and Hong Kong. As such, we think it’s wise to allocate a fair degree of merit to his forecasts relative to those of other global policymakers.
- Japan: Finance Minister Jan Azumi told reporters this week that his department “stands ready to act decisively against excessive and speculative currency moves if needed”, suggesting to us that the BoJ is preparing to intervene in the FX market after ¥14.3T in yen sales last year – the third-highest total on record after attempted debasements in 2003 and 2004. The BoJ’s balance sheet is expanding as well, with growth accelerating to +15% YoY in JAN vs. +13.5% prior. We continue to expect the BoJ’s balance sheet to expand to unprecedented levels in 2012 amid heightened sovereign debt issuance.
- India: Despite elevated rates of Inflation and fairly decent economic growth, the Indian gov’t continues to make headlines with its inability to tighten fiscal policy. The budget deficit has already eclipsed 92.3% of the full-year target only three-quarters into FY12 – more than double the 44.9% rate through the third quarter of FY11. On the revenue front, India has collected only 63.1% of the full-year target through the third quarter of FY12 – well down from 85.6% through the corresponding period in FY11. Per the JAN 24 minutes, “credible fiscal consolidation”, or the lack thereof, remains one of the key roadblocks keeping the RBI from materially easing monetary policy, alongside sustainable declines in inflation.
- India: Speculation around monetary easing was supportive of a net +$3B in international equity inflows and another +$3.2B in international inflows into India’s debt markets, the both of which helped propel the rupee to a +7.2% gain in JAN – the largest monthly gain on record.
- S. Korea: After planned CNY-denominated debt purchases in 1H12, the Bank of Korea is considering the purchase of “several hundred million” dollars worth of Chinese equities in 2H12, as part of their systematic diversification of $306B in FX reserves.
- Taiwan: Recently reelected president Ma Ying-jeou named Sean Chen as his premier, an indirect signal that buoying Taiwanese economic growth is atop his policy initiatives during his next four-year term given Chen’s former role as head of the nation’s securities regulator.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Key economic data releases and policy announcements:
- THIS WEEKEND:
- Indonesia: 4Q Real GDP; JAN Consumer Confidence
- Australia: TD Securities Unofficial CPI; Retail Sales
- Australia: JAN Construction PMI
- New Zealand: 4Q Wages
- Taiwan: JAN CPI; JAN WPI
- Philippines: JAN CPI
- Japan: DEC Current Account Balance
- Taiwan: JAN Trade Data
- China: JAN CPI; JAN PPI
- Japan: JAN Economy Watchers Survey; DEC Machine Orders
- S. Korea: Monetary Policy Decision
- New Zealand: 4Q Employment Data
- Malaysia: DEC Trade Data; DEC Industrial Production
- Japan: JAN Consumer Confidence; JAN PPI
- Indonesia: Monetary Policy Decision
- Philippines: DEC Trade Data
- China: JAN Trade Data
- India: DEC Industrial Production
Positions in Europe: Short EUR/USD (FXE)
Asset Class Performance:
- Equities: European indices were up across the board for a third straight week, with a strong outperformance from Eastern Europe week-over-week. Top performers: Denmark 7.7%; Russia (RTSI) 5.4%; Ukraine 5.1%; Romania 5.0%; and the Czech Republic 4.3%. Bottom performers: Cyprus -2.1%; Slovakia -2.0%.
- FX: The EUR/USD -0.6% week-over-week. Divergences: PLN/EUR +1.3%, HUF/EUR +0.9%, CZK/EUR +0.7%
- Fixed Income: 10YR sovereign yields broadly decreased w/w, with Portugal leading the charge, down -57bps to 14.3%.
***Ach Ja… So where have we really gone in the last week? We saw another strong week-over-week performance across the region’s equity markets, had another week of indecision on Greek PSI, and saw headline risk rule capital market daily performance—not unlike many days in the last two years. Portuguese risk appeared front and center early in the week (see why in last week’s Monitor), pushing yields on the 10YR up to as high as 17.4% on Monday after which the yield moderated -300bps. There’s increased “hope” in the LTRO, include the second 36M allotment to be issued on February 29th, and bullish sentiment around the fiscal compact that is to be signed on March 1-2 (more below). We think the market may be overly bullish on both events.
While the LTRO will provide needed liquidity, we’ve yet to see data indicating lending upticks (much is still being parked overnight with the ECB), and banks still have a long way to go to write down assets and raise capital into the July 1st deadline. To the fiscal compact we maintain that countries will not give up their sovereignty to Brussels (or Berlin), which will leave the underfunded EFSF + ESM facilities vulnerable. We saw evidence of the sovereignty issue early in the week with Germany floating the idea of establishing a budget overseer to have strict control and veto power over Greece’s fiscal policy decisions going forward (tantamount to the fiscal compact) in return for bailout funds. Greece’s Finance Minister Venizelos adamantly rejected this plan and warned that “anyone who puts a nation before the dilemma of economic assistance or national dignity ignores some key historical lessons.”
We’d expect fits of optimism follow by selling pressures across equity markets, not unlike our outlook for the EUR/USD that may be range bound until we see any material policy moves to initiate an inflection. The ECB’s SMP bond purchasing program remains an important indicator. Surprisingly there was very little buying last week (€63MM) despite very positive bond auctions across key peripheral countries. We saw a similar trend of successful auctions this week, which will make Monday’s data critical. Could the SMP in fact be stepping back? Are banks picking up the slack? We’re not convinced on either front.
Data this week showed an uptick in Services and Manufacturing PMIs across most countries, with Ireland showing a negative divergence. While Eurozone inflation has come in, unemployment remains sticky at 10.4% [of course considerably higher across the periphery and for the youth (between to 20-50%)], and fiscal consolidation is taking its toll on confidence, spending, and more broadly economic output. We expect the BOE to increase asset purchases (between 50-75B GBP) to mitigate some of the blow the economy has taken when it meets on Thursday. Conversely, data out of Germany continue to be positive, which has helped propel the DAX to 14.7% year-to-date and yields on its 10YR around 1.83%.
- A Greece government official said that talks with the troika are basically completed but a few sticking points remain centered around wages, supplementary pensions and the recapitalization of banks. There was talk that a PSI deal was close and the latest terms being floated call for a 72% haircut, 3.6% coupon + GDP warrant, and no ECB participation. Nothing is official yet, but a statement is expected for Monday.
- Spain gives banks an extra year to recognize losses if they agree to merge with other lenders. (lenders have ~ €175 billion of troubled real-estate assets.)
- 1 year to make €50 billion of provisions against real-estate assets.
- If they agree by the end of May to merge, they get a further 12 months to take the charges and can tap the state’s bank-bailout facility for funds.
- The government will make banks increase the ratio of provisions set aside for land to 80 percent from 31 percent, de Guindos said. For unfinished developments, the provisioning level will rise to 65% from 27% and to 35% for assets including finished developments and houses.
Key European Data:
Eurozone CPI Estimate 2.7% JAN Y/Y vs 2.7% DEC
Eurozone Unemployment Rate 10.4% DEC vs 10.4% NOV
Eurozone PPI 4.3% DEC Y/Y (exp. 4.3%) vs 5.4% NOV [-0.2% DEC M/M vs 0.2%]
Eurozone Retail Sales -1.6% DEC Y/Y (exp. -1.3%) vs -1.5% NOV [-0.4% DEC M/M (exp. 0.3%) vs -0.4%]
Manufacturing PMI (JAN vs DEC):
France 48.5 vs 48.9
Germany 51 vs 48.4
Eurozone 48.8 vs 46.9
UK 52.1 vs 49.7 (exp. 50)
Italy 46.8 vs 44.3 (exp. 45.3)
Denmark 54.3 vs 59.4
Russia 50.8 vs 51.6
Ireland 48.3 vs 48.6
Sweden 51.4 vs 48.9 (exp. 49.5)
Hungary 49.8 vs 48.6
Poland 52.2 vs 48.8
Turkey 51.7 vs 52.0
Norway 54.9 vs 46.6 (exp. 48)
Spain 45.1 vs 43.7
Czech Republic 48.8 vs 49.2
Switzerland 47.3 vs 49.1 (exp. 51.2)
PMI Services (JAN vs DEC):
Eurozone 50.4 JAN F (exp. 50.5) vs 48.8 DEC
Germany 53.7 JAN F (exp. 54.5) vs 52.4 DEC
France 52.3 JAN F (exp. 51.7) vs 50.3 DEC
UK 56 (exp. 53.3) vs 54
Italy 44.8 JAN (exp. 45.4) vs 44.5 DEC
Russia 56.5 vs 53.8
Ireland 48.3 vs 48.4
Spain 46.1 vs 42.1
Eurozone Composite 50.4 JAN F (exp. 50.4) vs 48.3 DEC
Eurozone Business Climate Indicator -0.21 JAN (exp. -0.25) vs -0.32 DEC
Eurozone Consumer Confidence -20.7 JAN FINAL (exp. -20.6) vs -21.3 DEC
Eurozone Economic Confidence 93.4 JAN (exp. 93.8) vs 92.8 DEC
Eurozone Industrial Confidence -7.2 JAN (exp. -6.8) vs -7.2 DEC
Eurozone Services Confidence -0.6 JAN (exp. -1.6) vs -2.6 DEC
Germany Unemployment Rate 6.7% JAN (exp. 6.8%) vs 6.8% DEC
Germany Unemployment Chg -34K JAN (steepest decline since Mar 2011 to 2.85 million) vs -25K DEC
Spain Q4 GDP 0.3% Y/Y vs 0.8% in Q3 [ -0.3% Q/Q (exp. -0.3%) vs 0.0% in Q3]
Italy Business Confidence 92.1 JAN vs 92.5 DEC
(2/2) Romania Interest Rate CUT 25bps to 5.50%
(2/2) Czech Repo Rate UNCH at 0.75%
(2/3) Russia Overnight Deposit Rate UNCH at 4.00%
Russia Overnight Auction-Based Repo UNCH at 5.25%
Russia Refinancing Rate UNCH at 8.00%
CDS Risk Monitor:
On a w/w basis, CDS was largely down across European sovereigns, with Portugal leading the charge, down -87bps to 1,333bps. Ireland saw the next largest drop at -40bps to 583bps (see charts below).
Keith shorted the EUR/USD via the eft FXE on 1/19 in the Hedgeye Virtual Portfolio with the price bumping up against our immediate term TRADE resistance level of $1.29. This is a position we’re monitoring closely given the extreme headline risk moving the pair.
Below we’ve copied the main points issued from Monday’s EU Summit concerning the fiscal compact. The full issue can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/79957011/Fiscal-Compact-Treaty
First: we agreed and endorsed the fiscal compact, a treaty on stability and convergence in
the Economic and Monetary Union. The 17 euro leaders will sign it at our next meeting in
March (1-2), together with the non-euro area leaders of countries willing to join. The Treaty is
all about more responsibility and better surveillance. Every country that signs it commits to
bringing in a "debt brake" or "golden rule" into its own legislation, and will do so at
constitutional or equivalent level. New voting rules and an automatic correction
mechanism will enforce compliance more effectively. 25 Member States will sign it, that is
all except the UK and the Czech Republic. The treaty will enter into force once 12 euro
countries have ratified it.
Secondly: we endorsed the agreement between the 17 on the Treaty for the European
Stability Mechanism. We call on Finance Ministers to sign it at the next Eurogroup
Meeting (Feb 29th?), so that it can take effect from July 2012. The early entry into force of this
permanent firewall will prevent contagion in the euro area and further restore confidence.
Thirdly: as agreed in December, we will reassess the adequacy of resources under the
EFSF and ESM rescue funds in March. -- And since our next summit is on the 1st of
March, this is actually less than 5 weeks from now!
Fourth and last element: concerning Greece, we welcome the progress made in the
negotiations with the private sector. We call on the Greek authorities and the troika to
agree on the steps to put the current programme back on track. We urge Finance Ministers
to take all necessary actions to implement the private sector involvement agreement and to
adopt the new programme by the end of the week, well in time for the launching of the
'PSI' by mid-February.
Final point: Although it was not formally on the agenda today, we also briefly touched
upon foreign relations. I have issued a separate press statement on this, so let me just
mention the three topics we discussed. We endorsed the restrictive measures against Iran,
including an oil embargo, as decided by the Foreign Ministers last week. We expressed our
outrage at the atrocities and repression committed by the Syrian regime, and urged the
members of the UN Security Council to take long overdue steps to bring an end to the
The European Week Ahead:
Sunday: Jan. UK Lloyds Employment Confidence
Monday: Feb. Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence; Dec. Germany Factory Orders; Jan. UK BRS Sales Like-For-Like and New Car Registrations; Jan. Russia Consumer Prices and Core Inflation
Tuesday: Jan. Germany Wholesale Price Index (Feb 7-12); Dec. Germany Industrial Production; Jan. UK BRC Shop Price Index; Dec. France and Russia Trade Balance
Wednesday: Dec. Germany Current Account, Trade Balance, Exports, and Imports; Jan. France Business Sentiment and Budget Balance; Iceland Interest Rate Announcement
Thursday: Eurozone Policy Meeting and Interest Rates Announcement; UK Interest Rates Announcement and Asset Purchase Target; Jan. UK GDP Estimate; Dec. UK Industrial and Manufacturing Production, Trade Balance; France Survey of Industrial Investments; Jan. Russia Budget Balance (Feb 9-13); Nov. Greece Unemployment Rate
Friday: Jan. Germany Consumer Price Index – Final; Jan. UK PPI Input and Output; Dec. France Current Account, Manufacturing and Industrial Production; Dec. Italy Industrial Production
Extended Calendar Call-Outs:
16 February: Allegedly the “new” PSI deadline
29 February: 2nd 36-Month LTRO Allotment
25-26 February: G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Mexico City. Decision on IMF loan of €500B expected
20 March: Greece’s €14.5 Billion Bond Redemption Due
30 June: Deadline for EU Banks to meet €106 Billion capital target/the 9% Tier 1 capital ratio
1 July: ESM to come into force
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