LAFAYETTE WARNS OF LONG-HAUL RECOVERY

The French high-end department store chain Galeries Lafayette, which expects the pandemic to halve its revenue this year, fears foreign tourist flows may not be back to pre-crisis levels before 2024. Its chief executive Nicolas Houze has told BFM Business radio: “This year, our revenue will be cut in half. 2020 will be difficult, 2021 also. We should return to break-even in 2022.” SOURCE: The Guardian (UK)

WARNING ON LANISTAR

Gurhan Kiziloz, the bombastic entrepreneur and founder of the new fintech Lanistar, had been doing a lot right. He had secured a deal with Mastercard, raised £15m and won some nice press coverage. But the company seemingly failed to update the regulators about their plans, meaning the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning this week that they were unauthorised and could even be a scam. SOURCE: Sifted

SMALL FIRMS THE ENGINE OF EU ECONOMY

The future of small businesses is vital for the euro area. They constitute the backbone of the region’s economy, accounting for about half of employment. Companies employing less than 50 people account for 99% of all non-financial enterprises in Europe. One sector doing well is manufacturing, which helped to lead Europe’s economic recovery in recent months as services — particularly hotels and restaurants — faced setbacks. But, a survey by German industry body DIHK found that one in five engineering firms faces a liquidity squeeze. Nearly half were scaling back investment, unwilling to commit much-needed funds at a time of heightened uncertainty. SOURCE: Bloomberg

JAPANESE INVESTMENT IN EUROPEAN BATTERIES

Japan’s Panasonic has signed a partnership with two Norwegian firms to develop a “green battery” business targeting the European market, including for electric cars. Panasonic, energy firm Equinor, and industrial group Hydro, said they would work together “towards summer 2021 to assess the market for lithium-ion batteries in Europe and… the business case for a green battery business located in Norway”. SOURCE: Jakarta Post

PHOTO: Galeries Lafayette, Paris