Ahead of France’s national day on Saturday, Ian Ormiston, manager of the Old Mutual Europe (ex UK) Smaller Companies Fund at Old Mutual Global Investors, believes there are plenty of reasons for investors to be joyful.
“This year France has more reason to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14th with gusto than for quite some time. It is not just the national football team that has sailed serenely through the World Cup under Didier Deschamps. The revolution that started with the launch of President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! movement has proven to be more than just a gimmick to get him elected
“In stark contrast to a divided and uncertain Germany, Spain and Italy, Macron has helped to unify France. Those outside the country may balk at Macron’s photographic tableaux with US President Donald Trump and his faltering steps at further EU integration, but within France real reforms are continuing apace.
“By tackling public service unions like those that have had a stranglehold on the state-owned rail operator SNCF, the government has exceeded expectations. Other reforms have boosted business confidence which is something we hear again and again when we meet with French companies. This will hopefully generate more jobs and lift consumer confidence in a virtuous circle.
“So this Quatorze Juillet we have more reason than usual to say Vive la France!”