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High labor costs, a lack of automation and insufficient investment in innovation have eroded French industrial competitiveness since the late 1990s, according to economists. France produces the same quality of products as Spain but at a labor cost that is 20 percent higher, said Patrick Artus, chief economist at French bank Natixis. He said French workers were only fractionally cheaper than German employees in terms of unit cost, but produced an inferior product. “I keep telling French politicians that we sell Renault cars with the wages of BMW workers,” Artus said.

France’s weak competitiveness underscores the conundrum Macron faces as he searches for a way to take the sting out of the “yellow vest” 3d boba fett cufflinks rebellion, The anti-Macron protesters, many of whom are low-income blue-collar workers, have railed since November against Macron’s reforms to liberalize the economy and create a better trained, more highly skilled and flexible labor force, There are signs the reforms are bearing fruit, The protesters, though, want more protection from foreign corporations, a higher minimum salary and more money in household coffers..

Macron has already bolstered pay for the lowest earners this year. More increases would only weaken French competitiveness, and productivity still needs to rise, economists say. “I don’t see how Macron will get out of this crisis,” Artus said. In Belfort’s town hall, framed photographs of Alstom’s factory adorn the office of the mayor, who is a member of the conservative opposition party Les Republicains. Meslot said Macron and the president’s socialist predecessor, Francois Hollande, had abandoned French industry, putting shareholder dividends over long-term strategy.

(Reuters) - The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the second largest U.S, pension fund said on 3d boba fett cufflinks Monday it made a $250 million investment with Impactive Capital, a new activist hedge fund that expects to start trading next month, CalSTRS, which invests $215 billion on behalf of the state’s educators, puts money into only a handful of hedge funds, typically favoring activists that engage with companies to help boost returns but often work behind the scenes, “Their compelling strategy aligns with our long-term investment horizon and our commitment to promoting good governance and sustainable business practices that enhance returns for our members,” CalSTRS’ Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman said about Impactive in a statement..

The investment will raise the profile of Impactive, founded last year by hedge fund veterans Lauren Taylor Wolfe and Christian Asmar, and may help the pair raise capital at a time when activist funds have struggled to attract money as returns sagged. Last year, the average activist hedge fund lost an average 11 percent, according to Hedge Fund Research data. Taylor Wolfe and Asmar worked together at Blue Harbour Group, another activist hedge fund backed by CalSTRS, and plan to focus on companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies in addition to pushing for better capital allocation and operations.

Traditionally activists prod companies to perform better by buying back shares or spinning off underperforming divisions but a recent growing focus on ESG, like having a diverse corporate board and taking steps to cut carbon emissions, has started to resonate with investors, Impactive’s Taylor Wolfe 3d boba fett cufflinks and Asmar stand out among activist hedge funds for being a woman and a Hispanic in an industry mostly run by white men, Many institutional investors are paying more attention to minority owned firms..

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish mobile game maker Supercell reported a 26 percent drop in 2018 core profit on Tuesday due to falling revenue for its ageing hit games Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. Supercell, founded in 2010 and valued in 2016 at around $10 billion, grew for years on the back of the success of its few hit games. Its biggest hit, Clash of Clans - the world’s fourth-largest game in 2018 - was launched in 2012. The Helsinki-based firm, majority owned by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 537 million euros ($605.15 million) from 729 million a year earlier.

Company revenue dropped 24 percent to 1.37 billion euros from 1.8 billion a year ago, Chief Executive Ilkka Paananen said the company had high hopes for its fifth game, Brawl Stars, which it launched globally mid-December, The game has topped the charts in more than 50 countries, including Japan and Korea, “Throughout history Asian markets have been difficult to conquer for Western game developers,” Paananen said, The bulk of its 2018 profit came from Supercell’s four games - Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Boom Beach and Hay Day - which have each generated more than $1 billion in revenue from in-game 3d boba fett cufflinks purchases since their launch..

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