Research Market strategy
By Swissquote Analysts
Published on 07.02.2022
Morning news

Intesa Sanpaolo to Pay Shareholders $25B by 2025, Invest in Tech

Topic of the day

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA is betting that a digital push will help it reach higher earnings and profitability, and plans to return 22 billion euros ($25.16 billion) to shareholders between 2021 and 2025 as part of its new business plan. Italy’s largest bank by assets said Friday that it expects its net profit to grow to EUR6.5 billion in 2025. It posted a EUR4.19 billion net profit in 2021. Intesa will also aim for its return on tangible equity - a key metric of profitability - to go up to 13.9% in 2025 from 9.1% in 2021. The bank plans to invest EUR7.1 billion over the next four years. A large chunk of this will be spent on technology, including a new digital bank, which Intesa said would make it cheaper to service retail clients. It will make 4.600 new hires and reskill or redeploy around 8,000 employees, it said. Intesa said bolstering its technological capabilities would help it achieve EUR2 billion in cost savings over 2022-25 and a cost-to-income ratio of 46.4% in 2025. Intesa said it will also implement a “massive” derisking by dumping more non-performing loans over the coming years as it seeks to eventually become a “zero-NPL” bank. It plans to drive growth by doubling down on its wealth management, insurance and advisory proposition, it said.

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Swiss stocks

The SMI held up better than most other indices on Friday in Europe. The Index fell by 0.8 per cent to 12,140 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 18 price losers and two price winners. 36.3 (previously: 40.46) million shares were traded. The insurer sector was one of the biggest losers in Europe. The companies in the sector have large holdings of bonds in their portfolios, where valuations are currently expected to fall and will probably continue to do so in the coming weeks. Participants spoke of a real sell-off in bonds after the ECB's statements the day before. According to asset manager Thomas Altmann of QC Partners, the fear of further rising interest rates has investors in the bond market completely in its grip. Swiss Re shares lost 2.6 per cent, Swiss Life fell 1.0 per cent and Zurich Insurance closed 1.2 per cent lower. However, the losses were felt across all sectors. Roche shares fell 0.9 per cent, ABB lost 1.4 per cent, Logitech dropped 1.3 per cent and banking stocks UBS and CS Group were down 0.7 and 0.9 per cent respectively.

International markets


European equity indices ended lower on Friday, after a better-than-expected monthly jobs report from the US supported the Federal Reserve's (Fed) monetary tightening scenario. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1.4% to 462.2 points, with a 0.7% decline for the week as a whole. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 lost 0.8% and 0.9% respectively on Friday. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 fell by 1.8% and in London, the FTSE 100 gave up 0.2%. Sanofi SA said Friday that net profit rose in the fourth quarter, and that it expects its business earnings per share to grow this year. The French pharmaceutical company said that net profit came in at 1.13 billion euros ($1.29 billion) for the period, up from EUR1.07 billion for the same period last year. Sales came in at EUR9.99 billion, up from EUR9.38 billion, the company said. A consensus estimate provided by FactSet saw sales at EUR10.4 billion for the quarter. Business net income stood at EUR1.73 billion in the October-December period, up 13% from the previous year, Sanofi said. Vinci SA on Friday posted higher net profit for 2021 while revenue exceeded 2019 pre-pandemic levels, with the group expecting net income this year to be higher than in 2019. The French construction and infrastructure company said net profit rose to 2.60 billion euros ($2.97 billion) from EUR1.24 billion in 2020. Revenue climbed to EUR49.40 billion from EUR43.23 billion, marking an actual 14.3% increase and a 12.9% rise on a like-for-like basis.

United States

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose Friday, pushing major stock indexes to weekly gains, after a better-than-expected January jobs report showed the economy is still growing solidly. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite jumped by 219.19 points, or 1.6%, to finish at 14098.01, a day after the index posted its largest loss since September 2020. The S&P 500 climbed 23.09 points, or 0.5%, to end at 4500.53. Both were bolstered by a 14% jump in shares of, which surged after the e-commerce giant said profit nearly doubled in the holiday period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 21.42 points, or 0.1%, to end at 35089.74. The index of blue-chip stocks was down more than 300 points earlier in the day. Kohl’s Corp. rejected a $9 billion takeover offer by an activist group for being too low, but said it would review other expressions of interest in the department-store chain. The company also adopted a shareholder-rights plan, also known as a poison pill, that makes it difficult for an activist group to acquire more than 10% of the company. Kohl’s said the plan, which will be in effect for a year, will allow the board to conduct an orderly review of potential offers. “We have a high degree of confidence in Kohl’s transformational strategy, and we expect that its continued execution will result in significant value creation,” said Kohl’s Chairman Frank Sica. News Corp was the target of a hack that accessed emails and documents of journalists and other employees, an incursion the company’s cybersecurity consultant said was likely meant to gather intelligence to benefit China’s interests. The attack, discovered on Jan. 20, affected a number of publications and business units including The Wall Street Journal and its parent Dow Jones; the New York Post; the company’s U.K. news operation; and News Corp headquarters, according to an email the company sent to staff Friday.


The East Asian stock markets are mostly mixed at the start of the new week. One exception is Shanghai, where pent-up demand has built up over the holiday week, so that it is up by 2.0 per cent there. A similar picture had already emerged on Friday in Hong Kong, where the HSI is now slightly down by 0.1 per cent. The Nikkei index in Tokyo is down 0.8 per cent at 27,225 points.


The yield on the 10-year Treasury note pulled back to 1.906%, from 1.930% Friday. Treasury yields surged after the blowout U.S. jobs report raised investors' expectations that the Federal Reserve may soon start raising interest rates sharply.


UBS lowers Givaudan target to CHF 4,050 (4,580) – Neutral

UBS lowers Kone target to EUR 56 (58) – Neutral

UBS lowers target Hannover Re to EUR 191 (198) – Buy

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