Mediobanca SpA and Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl led a rally in Italian banks as Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.7 percent to 309.89 this past week, after declining 0.6 percent in the previous five days. The gauge has still climbed 11 percent in 2013 as the euro area emerged from a recession and central banks maintained stimulus measures to support the global economy. The U.S. shutdown is a comment on the dysfunctional ways of U.S. politics, Andrew Parry, who oversees about 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) at Hermes Sourcecap Ltd. in London , said in a phone interview. We came out of the summer months too optimistic about Europe, so some pause for breath was needed. We saw the profit warning from Nokian Renkaat and the numbers from Unilever. I think well continue to get more profit warnings going into the earnings season. The U.S. government began a partial shutdown on Oct.
Opinion: Europe must be open to refugees fleeing persecution
By Mark Thompson @MarkThompsonCNN October 3, 2013: 8:27 AM ET Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has stuck to the task of painful economic reforms. LONDON (CNNMoney) Investors are scouring Europe for ways to make money from its tentative recovery, and one U.S. firm thinks it has found the answer — buy Greek government bonds. Japonica Partners said it believed Greek debt was “massively undervalued” and should be rated several notches above the junk status assigned by the big credit rating agencies. Greece has been shut out of international bond markets since 2010, when its government borrowing spiraled out of control. It has been rescued twice by the European Union and International Monetary Fund and was forced to restructure its debt in March 2012, imposing losses of more than 100 billion euros on private bondholders. Related: Europe’s recovery is weak, warns ECB But hedge funds — such as Dan Loeb’s Third Point — and other niche investors who bought into Greek debt since the restructuring have made a killing. Yields on Greek 10-year debt in the secondary market have plunged from around 44% in March 2012 to 9%. Japonica’s statement was greeted with derision by some investors Thursday, but the firm that made its name restructuring bankrupt Allegheny International in the early 1990s believes it has spotted an opportunity others may have missed. It claims to have become one of the larger, if not the largest, holder of Greek government bonds, and has hired a former senior executive from Norway’s oil fund — one of the world’s biggest investors — to help manage the portfolio. Related: Investors embrace European stocks “Greece is one of history’s most extraordinary sovereign rejuvenations hidden in plain sight by pervasive systemic misperceptions,” Japonica said, adding it expected yields should break below 5% in 2014. It’s a bold prediction but Japonica may have a point. Greece’s headline economic data and social crisis remain as depressing as ever, and it may yet need another 10 billion euros in support. Still, the government is on track to deliver a primary budget surplus — stripping out the cost of servicing its massive debt this year — and hopes to return to the bond market in the first half of 2014. And the first green shoots of growth may be emerging.
Greek bonds: Europe’s hidden gem?
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Somalia and Eritrea’s human rights abuses are well documented. Sexual violence and torture are commonplace. For refugees, staying at home — or ‘going back to where they came from’ — is not an option. Difficult though it may be for us to comprehend, for refugees, paying smugglers and boarding these boats is a rational decision. The problem is compounded by the lack of safe, legal routes into Europe. The Refugee Convention — a legal framework which defines who refugees are, their rights and the legal obligations of countries — recognizes that people fleeing for their lives may have to resort to illegal entry. This drives refugees to take even greater risks to escape. European countries have a legal obligation to provide protection under the Refugee Convention but during the last decade the continent’s borders have become heavily securitized, with millions of pounds invested in Frontex, the agency established by the EU to strengthen Europe’s borders and protect the continent against unwanted illegal migrants. These measures should not apply to individuals escaping war and persecution — the theoretical beneficiaries of legally sanctioned protection and compassion — but refugees are often forced to resort to the same irregular channels to leave their country of origin and travel towards safety. Europe’s formidable migration control apparatus does not sufficiently differentiate between individuals who may be in need of international protection and other migrants. In the absence of safe, legal ways to reach European territories, refugees are forced into dangerous and abusive situations, and often obliged to embrace the perils of life-threatening journeys and the unscrupulous services of smugglers. Boarding an overcrowded boat bound for Italy would possibly have been the last stage in a long and dangerous journey for many of those on that voyage.