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In the news 2014

Citing a report by Strategy&, the Financial Times say ‘the outlook for global automotive demand has turned. Innovation is stalling, but this is not for lack of trying’. The study by Strategy& finds that six carmakers still rank among the top-20 research and development spenders globally, and rank second only to healthcare as an industry.
The EU’s energy commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete argues that smoothing regulatory disparities across the 28-member bloc, and not just laying billions of euros of pipes and pylons, is essential to make progress on a long-sought policy goal. The article cites research from Strategy& who estimate that Europe could save €40bn a year by 2030 if it integrates its energy networks.
The Financial Times cite research by Strategy& which says companies that spend billions of dollars on research and development could be wasting resources, because there is no significant link between R&D investments and financial performance. The article concludes that whether a company is a high R&D spender or just average compared with others in its sector makes no difference to how well it does. In 2011, spending was 10.3 percent higher than in 2010, and by 2012, growth had slipped to 9.7 percent. It has since fallen either further to 1.4 percent today.
The European Central Bank’s dissection of the books of the Eurozone’s biggest banks has found lenders overvalued their assets by €48bn. The examination of balance sheets worth €22tn, known as the Asset Quality Review, found that 25 banks took the biggest hit. The Financial Times referred to calculations by Strategy& that demonstrated Italian banks were the clear laggards with nine members.
The EU’s 28 member states face many challenges if they are to revive Europe’s sluggish economy. One of the most important, and one receiving too little attention, is the need to co-ordinate energy policy. The Financial Times cites a report by Strategy& which says the EU could save €40bn a year by 2030 if it were to integrate its energy grids, highlighting the strategic weakness of a fragmented European energy market.

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