analysts including Sharon Bell and Matthieu Walterspiler said in a report this month. European investment funds bought almost 80 billion euros of equities in the past 12 months and inflows into Europe should continue, they said in a subsequent report. Expensive U.S. equities this year following the S&P 500 Indexs 20 percent surge are making Europe a natural place to look for growth, said Hans Olsen, chief investment officer for the Americas at Barclays Wealth , a unit of Barclays Plc. It is very risky to be overweight at these prices so you start to look somewhere else. The standout was Europe, Olsen said. Before today, member companies in the Euro Stoxx 50 Index were trading at about 13 times this years estimated earnings, compared with more than 19 for companies on the Nasdaq Stock Market and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, data compiled by Bloomberg show. U.S. Funds U.S. funds that invest in European equities attracted $13.1 billion in the six weeks through Sept. 18, Societe Generale SA and EPFR Global data show, even as investors withdrew $16.9 billion from funds buying U.S. stocks. This is the year of the European equities story, said Klaus Hessberger, co-head of equity capital markets for Europe at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London .
Europe’s hail storms hit insurers with $4.7 bln bill
Such as the “data tax” on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, about to be proposed by France for adoption by the European Union. Apparently, France would like to impose a data transmission tax on those companies — and only those companies — because they are the dominant platforms for Internet usage in Europe just as they are in the US, but they are “non-European,” that is, American. Their dominance therefore prevents European competitors from emerging from obscurity. (How taxing the most popular sites will make other sites more popular with consumers is not clear.) A French member of the European Parliament tells the Wall Street Journal that a data tax should be imposed because the European nations have become “just the puppets of financiers and multinationals.” Or, as Forbes puts it in a now-classic headline: “Gibbering Nonsense From France About Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.” The tax plan is just one piece of a proposal that would establish a new Internet regulatory agency within the European Union. In part, the agency would be empowered to impose other rules aimed at leveling the playing field for European competitors, such as forcing the American companies to enable portability among devices for digital purchases. French Technology Minister Fleur Pellerin told the Wall Street Journal that the absence of such regulations is effectively “blocking innovation from all of the other actors,” and making it difficult for European companies to emerge. The call for regulation gets real impetus from another issue that has entangled US technology companies in Europe: data privacy. The issue gained a great deal of heat after revelations of the US government’s continuing collection of private data on a massive scale, and with the cooperation of some of its biggest technology companies. The proposals are expected to be presented in late October at a summit of European leaders. At this point, the data transmission tax is the part of the proposal that seems least likely to succeed. For one thing, it’s not clear how such a usage-based tax could be imposed, though Pellerin told the Financial Times that her agency is looking at data transfer, traffic, and interconnection to work out how the big Internet companies make their money and, therefore, what part of their (free) services could be taxed. In addition, it appears that Great Britain will oppose the idea, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph, not least because the European Union does not currently have the power to levy taxes. The proposal appears to have the support of European telecoms, which have long resented the low tax rates enjoyed by American companies that are, after all, using the physical networks the telecoms built.
On August 6 a hail stone measuring 11.9 cm was recovered near Stuttgart, Germany, the largest ever to be preserved in Europe, Willis said. Dirk Spenner, managing director at Willis Re said the size of the insured loss reflects both the extreme size of the hail stones and the affluence of the areas affected. “The hail storms hit a number of affluent areas, and so the property that they damaged – such as cars and housing – was worth a considerable amount of money,” he said. @yahoofinance on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook Related Content Chart Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the “Enter symbol/company” at the bottom of this module. You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes. Search for share prices Terms Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE, and NYSEAmex when available. See also delay times for other exchanges . Quotes and other information supplied by independent providers identified on the Yahoo! Finance partner page . Quotes are updated automatically, but will be turned off after 25 minutes of inactivity. Quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes. All information provided “as is” for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice. Neither Yahoo! nor any of independent providers is liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein. By accessing the Yahoo!