Among acquisitions, elections and one of the biggest events in the automotive calendar, here’s what this week’s developments have meant for the markets - and how you can monitor industry changes at home and abroad with the Plimsoll Analysis.
AXA in $15 billion takeover of XL Group
The French insurance company AXA agreed to buy Bermuda-based XL Group on Monday, in its biggest acquisition since 2006.
Amid suggestions that shareholders had concerns about the implications of the takeover and what it means for the group’s positioning in the sector, share prices fell by close to 10 per cent.
The move is one of a number of significant deals by French companies in recent months, in line with President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business outlook.
Mediaset shares falter following Italian election result
Shares in the Berlusconi-owned media giant Mediaset dipped by 5 per cent on Monday after the Italian elections saw the centre-right coalition fare worse than expected in the polls. Ex Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia achieved just under 14% of the vote.
It’s not the first time Mediaset has hit the headlines recently, following legal disputes with French company Vivendi over an ill-fated pay-TV deal last year.
Automotive Industry News from the Geneva Motor Show
Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl announced that the company would stop selling new models of diesel cars in Europe by the end of this year. In a boost for the UK market, the company revealed that their new Auris will be manufactured in Britain.
Meanwhile Renault showcased models of its “robotaxi” concept; a driverless electric car for up to six passengers which has been named the EZ-GO. The company plans to work with Japanese partners Nissan and Mitsubishi on the new service with a view to launching as early as 2022.
Finally, this year many brands chose not to use models – or so-called “booth babes” – to promote their latest designs, with many opting instead for car specialists of both genders. The changes are partly fuelled by increasing pressure brought by the #metoo movement, but also reflect changes in demographics as female car ownership has “surged” in recent years.
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