Fiat Chrysler’s Marchionne being treated in Zurich’s University Hospital

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne jokes with a tie next to chairman John Elkann during a media conference in Balocco, northern Italy, June 1, 2018. (File Photo: Reuters)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Fiat Chrysler’s Marchionne being treated in Zurich’s University Hospital

  • Fiat Chrysler named its Jeep division boss Mike Manley on Saturday to take over immediately from Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April

ZURICH: Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne was being treated in a Zurich hospital on Sunday with a serious illness after suffering complications following shoulder surgery.
A Fiat Chrysler spokesman confirmed Marchionne was in Zurich’s University Hospital, one of the country’s largest medical centers.
The spokesman did not give the 66-year-old Italian-Canadian executive’s condition and did not reveal in which of the hospital’s 43 divisions he was being treated.
Fiat Chrysler named its Jeep division boss Mike Manley on Saturday to take over immediately from Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April.
SGS, the Swiss logistics services company, also announced on Sunday that it had named a new acting chairman to take over for Marchionne, since his illness prevented him from fulfilling the role’s obligations.
SGS said in a statement it was “deeply saddened” by the news, as did Lausanne, Switzerland-based Philip Morris International, where Marchionne is also on the board.
Marchionne was credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy after taking the Italian carmaker’s wheel in 2004.
Ferrari named FCA Chairman and Agnelli family scion John Elkann as new chairman, while board member Louis Camilleri has been named chief executive.
Meanwhile, Italian media and politicians Sunday saluted Marchionne.
“Marchionne, the end of an era,” was Corriere della Serra’s headline over the weekend.
“This is terrible news,” said Marco Bentivoglio, general secretary of the CISL metalworkers’ union. “We have not seen eye-to-eye on certain things... but together we challenged little lazy Italy which prefers to close plants rather than roll up its sleeves.”
In his 14 years at the helm, Marchionne revamped Fiat, Italy’s premier private enterprise, from top to bottom, turning it into a sector giant, merging it in 2009 with US automaker Chrysler, then hiving off its industrial vehicles to create CNH Industrial in 2011 before a successful spinoff of luxury brand Ferrari in January 2016.
“Marchionne has been a great protagonist of economic life for the past 15 years... he has succeeded in giving Fiat a future when that seemed impossible. He created jobs, not unemployment. I take my hat off to him,” Matteo Renzi said.
Marchionne was close to Renzi for some years before keeping his distance later, though he did not go as far as taking up a suggestion by another former premier, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, to head up a conservative coalition in the March legislative elections.


Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth

Updated 18 April 2019
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Moody’s upgrades Egypt’s rating to B2, expects more economic growth

  • Moody’s believes Egypt’s large domestic funding base would support its resilience to refinancing shocks
  • The ratings agency expects energy price hikes as part of Egypt’s fuel subsidy reform

CAIRO: Rating agency Moody’s has upgraded Egypt’s sovereign rating, saying ongoing economic reforms will help improve its fiscal position and boost economic growth.
Moody’s upgraded the long-term foreign and local currency issuer ratings of Egypt to B2 from B3. The outlook was changed to stable from positive.
The decision was based on “Moody’s expectation that ongoing fiscal and economic reforms will support a gradual but steady improvement in Egypt’s fiscal metrics and raise real GDP growth,” the agency said in a statement late on Wednesday.
Moody’s also said it believed Egypt’s large domestic funding base would support its resilience to refinancing shocks despite the government’s very high borrowing needs and interest costs.
Moody’s said it expected a steady improvement of Egypt’s fiscal position, “albeit from very weak levels.”
Maintained primary budget surpluses combined with strong nominal GDP growth would help reduce the general government debt/GDP ratio to below 80 percent by the 2021 fiscal year from 92.6 percent in the 2018 fiscal year, it said.
Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July to June.
Moody’s also said it expected energy price hikes as part of Egypt’s fuel subsidy reform, which it believed would be completed in the 2019 fiscal year. This, along with the fiscal reforms implemented in the last few years, would allow the government to maintain the primary budget balance in surplus in the next few years, Moody’s said.
The upgraded rating was expected, but still good news for Egypt, said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage.
“It should help its case for new international bond issuances as we move forward,” he said.
Egypt is pushing ahead with tough economic reforms as part of a three-year $12 billion IMF loan deal signed in 2016.
The reforms, aimed at attracting investors who fled during the 2011 uprising, have included new taxes, deep cuts to energy subsidies and a currency devaluation. The reforms have helped the economy recover, but have also put the budgets of tens of millions of Egyptians under strain.