Alitalia’s Higher Loss Risks Deterring Air France Investment

France selling ships _ and maybe arms _ to Mozambique in unusual deal

in Paris, valuing the airline at 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) The Italian airline proposed investors boost funding by completing a subscription of 55 million euros through a bond convertible into stock. 14 to vote on the increase. Air France members on the Alitalia board opposed the plan, news agency Ansa reported, without saying where it got the information. An Air France spokesman declined to comment. Air France said Sept. 23 it would await more information from the Italian carriers board before committing to any move. Hiring Advisers The relatively small capital increase being sought suggests the move is only a short or mid-term solution, said Yan Derocle, an analyst at Oddo Securities in Paris. Air France has hired Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) and Mediobanca SpA (MB) as advisers to consider its options on Alitalia, Italy s Messaggero reported this week, without saying where it obtained the information. Alitalia in turn has hired Gruppo Banca Leonardo as seeks to end operating losses in 2014. While owning Alitalia would give Europes largest airline access to one of the regions biggest aviation markets and help feed trans-Atlantic routes, the need for capital comes as Air Frances domestic unit struggles to stem its own losses. The Paris-based carrier last week scrapped a target of reaching break-even at Air France as it sought to cut 2,800 more jobs. Italys Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Maurizio Lupi, met with his French counterpart yesterday to discuss the situation.

France to examine laws curbing Sunday shopping

Critics say the protections go too far, crimping modern lifestyles and putting France at a competitive disadvantage. A sporadic debate revived last week after a court, ruling on an unfair-competition lawsuit brought by a rival hardware vendor, ordered home improvement chains Leroy Merlin and Castorama to shut 14 Paris-area stores on Sundays. It threatened fines of 120,000 euros ($162,000) on each store that violated the rules. The stores got temporary waivers, but their employees were growling insisting that Sunday openings give them needed extra pay and suit customers who find it hard to shop during the work week bustle. “We want to work Sunday! Let us work!” said Gerard Fillon, spokesman for an association of employees whose name translates as Sunday’s Handymen, and a Leroy Merlin employee. At one store in Gennevilliers, some employees dressed in T-shirts with “Yes Week End” written on them. Ayrault commissioned a panel to report on the complex issue by late November. “The government notes that Sunday rest is an essential principle in terms of protecting workers and social cohesion” while recognizing that “the existence of Sunday work is a reality,” his office said in a noncommittal statement. The current debate stems from a 2009 move by then-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s center-right government that eased back curbs on Sunday store openings. The efforts faced political opposition and resulted in a mish-mash of legal waivers, special-zone exemptions and other loopholes. Most French consumers are used to the country’s Sunday rhythm: Shopping is restricted to tourist areas or owner-operated stores. Restaurants are exempt, but even supermarkets only open a half-day with some exceptions. France, the world’s most visited country, gets 7 percent of its gross domestic product from tourism. But France ranks only third in terms of tourist spending, and French tourism boosters say that is directly attributable to Sunday store closings.

30, 2013. French President Francois Hollande is vaunting a 200 million euro ship contract from Mozambique as a model for Frances industrial renewal, and as salvation for Cherbourgs ship-building industry. By Associated Press, CHERBOURG, France France is negotiating possible weapons sales to Mozambique in connection with an unusual, somewhat shrouded ship-building deal, a senior official from the African country said Monday. French authorities would not comment on the negotiations. The ship contract, worth at least a quarter of a billion dollars, is raising eyebrows in both countries. More business news More business news The government of Mozambique one of the worlds poorest countries and a major recipient of European aid isnt spelling out how much exactly is being spent on the 30 trawlers and patrol boats, or who is putting up the money. And the driving force behind the deal is a Lebanese billionaire with holdings across the Middle East and Africa who once faced investigation for his past financial dealings in France. Shaking hands and smiling, French President Francois Hollande and Mozambique President Armando Guebuza formally launched the ship-building project Monday at a struggling shipyard in Cherbourg, on Frances Atlantic coast. Shipbuilder Constructions mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) says the contract will provide two years of work for around 400 French employees. Mozambique officials say the ships will help fight illegal trafficking and piracy, and protect offshore oil and gas drilling platforms. The patrol ships will need naval guns and other military equipment, and so there are also negotiations under way about buying the needed weaponry from France, Mozambique Deputy Foreign Minister Henrique Banze said. Yes there will be weapons purchases, he told The Associated Press by telephone. Its important not only to have ships. There will also be a need to make sure that they are protected. He would not give details, but said the money for the ship deal came from a loan from another country, but I cant say which one. Hollandes office said the contract with CMN is just part of a larger global deal with the holding company Privinvest, owned by Lebanese magnate Iskandar Safa.