Sanofi’s home market France may be its biggest handicap
EDF rose 2.2 percent to 25.05 euros by the close in Paris. The impact of a lifespan extension would be positive on recurring earnings potential of EDF and would trigger a further deleveraging of the company, Boujard said in a note. Extending to 51 years would add 5 euros a share to the company, he said. The valuation would increase by 13.8 euros a share with an extension to 50 years, Martin Young, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets , said in a report last month, though that effect would be lowered by benefit sharing with the state or customers. Increasing Renewables The nuclear activity of EDF through amortizations that are already over long periods will provide sums that could be used by the state as shareholder, Minister Martin said. Funds may help boost French energy efficiency and renewables, he said. The Commission de Regulation de lEnergie regulator said in a study in June that extending amortization would have large and lasting consequences for electricity production costs as well as a one-time financial advantage for the utility. Amortization was pushed to 40 years from 30 years in 2003. An extension to 50 years would allow EDF to cut provisions, the regulator said. It may also curb state-set tariff increases. While EDF is seeking to operate its French reactors for 60 years, the regulatory system doesnt allow for the government to simply extend the operating lives.
Is France turning racist?
Meanwhile, another euroskeptic party, Alternative for Germany, just missed out on a place in the Bundestag in last month’s general election. It came from nowhere to fall just short of the threshold of 5 percent the national vote needed to enter Parliament. But is the rise in the vote of these once-fringe groups the result of immigration, or of skepticism about Europe, or is it simply a protest vote against hard times and economic stagnation? Most likely, it is a combination of the three, combined with distrust of conventional politicians. Whatever the components of their appeal, it makes it difficult to dismiss these parties as “extreme right” or racist or even neo-Nazi. It is more complex than that. Austria’s Freedom Party is drawing mass support from working-class, blue-collar voters, University of Vienna political scientist Sylvia Kritzinger says, “Because of the policies they put forward, like immigration reform , anti-European integration, anti-corruption in the political system.” In France, the FN appears to be losing its pariah status and appealing to disillusioned socialist and conservative voters with promises to crack down on crime and illegal immigration and to leave the euro currency. Under its new leader, Marine Le Pen, a lawyer and mother of three, the FN’s image has both broadened and softened since the days when it was founded and led by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen , who was easily dismissed as an extremist for calling the Holocaust “a footnote of history.” In last year’s presidential election, when she won 17 percent of the vote, almost 1-in-5 women and nearly a quarter of those aged 18-25 voted for her. The real tide that is running is the steady erosion of the traditional two-party system of left and right that harks back to the days of Karl Marx when a party of capital faced a party of labor. That two-party system no longer reflects social reality, when the labor unions are weak and there is no longer a mass industrial working class. Moreover capital tends to mean pension funds rather than rich factory owners in top hats. The growth of new parties like the Greens and euroskeptics, or regional parties in Scotland and Catalonia, or single issue groups like the briefly popular Pirates in Germany, suggests that loyalties are weakening to the old two-party system. The new influence of the Tea Party among Republicans suggests that something similar seems to be developing in the United States. 2013 United Press International, Inc.
This sudden glut of goals gives the 44-year-old some selection dilemmas, not least going forward, as Les Bleus seek to secure themselves the best possible position going into the World Cup qualifying play-offs. Admittedly, France do find themselves at a disadvantage around the play-off seedings given that they were drawn in Group I, which only boasts five teams. The French Football Federation have indicated via President Noel Le Graet to RMC Radio ( ESPN FC ) that they will contest the decision over seedings. However, Deschamps side has failed to score in two of their seven qualification matches (against Spain and Georgia) since he took over from Laurent Blanc. They have also played in seven other friendly matches during that time, including five where they have failed to score a single goal. If it did not look so bleak in qualification terms, friendlies against the likes of Brazil, Uruguay and Japan have exposed the weaknesses of the current generation. Add that to playing two fewer qualification games in Group I than the rest of their likely play-off opponents and you can understand why France will almost certainly go into the draw unseeded. Scoring six goals against a weak Australia side may be morale boosting, but those goals need to be translated on to the competitive stage for it to indicate any real progress. Ahead of the clash with Finland, Deschamps has a number of considerations. David Rogers/Getty Images Firstly, Karim Benzema, as well as Olivier Giroud, found the net against the Socceroos. Although that is a big boost for the team, it is also what Deschamps has been desperate to see happen since Benzema embarked on a hideous run of 1,222 minutes without a single international strike. The French tactician came in for some fierce criticism at times for putting his faith in the Real Madrid man instead of Giroud. Fridays goal at the Parc des Princes may well feel like vindication in a way for Deschamps. There is a chance that, despite his two goals, the Arsenal man might have to make way for Benzema given that his coach has demonstrated that he considers the 25-year-old part of his strongest XI. Although it was a major boost to see Benzema find the net, Les Bleus first-half showing without him on the field suggested that they would be just as dangerous sticking with Giroud. David Rogers/Getty Images Benzema was not the only player to have answered his critics against Australia. Samir Nasris return to grace was completed by his first starting appearance for France since the ill-fated 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, as reported by ESPN FC . The Manchester City man made his international comeback earlier this year in the friendly against Belgium, as reported by ESPN FC . But he put in a strong performance when given the chance on Friday and could now usurp Mathieu Valbuena for the Finland clash. However, Valbuena has been a stalwart for Deschamps since the former Olympique de Marseille coach took over from Blanc.
How France Will Line Up Against Finland
“Sanofi is and will remain the biggest private investor in research in France,” a Sanofi spokeswoman said, noting that with 1.8 billion euros ($2.44 billion) last year, France accounted for 40 percent of the company’s R&D budget worldwide. But out of 12 drugs Sanofi expects to launch by 2015, only two come from in-house research, she said, highlighting the need to reorganise research in France to make it more productive. In the internal memo seen by Reuters, Sanofi said that while it spent more than its peers on research, it took the company on average 20 percent longer to develop a new drug. Between 2008 and 2011, Sanofi spent around 105 million euros for each new molecule entering clinical trials, compared to an industry average of about 35 million euros, the memo said. Sanofi R&D chief Elias Zerhouni put the case for radical change at an investor conference last month. “The pride of internal innovation has been the bane, in my view, of main-line pharma companies. I think this is sort of a mirage, a delusional thing,” Zerhouni said. “That kind of arrogance, I think, has to be chased away. No barriers. Go where the best science is.” Sanofi’s attempts to remedy this situation, however, are up against the French government’s efforts to protect jobs. Last year, when unions predicted Sanofi could scrap 2,500 jobs in the country, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said a company making profits by the billions could not behave like a company in trouble.