Central Europe Is A Ready Market For U.s. Gas

Indian IT outsourcers want a bigger byte out of Europe

As representatives from both sides meet at the end of this week in Washington to discuss Greece’s need for extra cash and a lighter debt load, the clashes that have built up over the past three years are coming to a head. Antonio Borges in a 2011 photo. Bloomberg News “The divorce between Europe and the IMF is real,” Antonio Borges , a former European director at the IMF, said in an interview in June, just months before he died of cancer at the age of 63. “The fund is going back to its normal way of business. It is an institution used to being alone in calling the shots,” Mr. Borges said. Enlarge Image Mr. Borges arrived at the fund in November 2010, six months after the first Greek bailout was agreed. He left 12 months later citing ill healthbut said in the interview that the real reason was his marginalization over the design of the 73 billion (roughly $99 billion) Greek program. Brussels Beat The Other Big Brake on Euro-Zone Growth: Private-Sector Debt (8/15/13) The Washington-based IMF joined the European Commission and the European Central Bank as a “troika” of institutions in handling the Greek, and subsequently the Irish, Portuguese and Cypriot bailouts. It started well. When the IMF team arrived in Athens in April 2010, one European official there described it as “almost like the U.S. Marine Corps arriving in a war zone.” The fund and its expertise, he said, were “indispensable.” But it wasn’t long before tensions emerged. The fund, Mr. Borges said, pulled a template program from the shelf, failing to consider that Greece’s policy options were severely limited by its membership of the euro.

Why Ford’s Looking Better in Europe

U.S. companies seeking to export gas to countries that do not have free-trade agreements with the United States are subject to lengthy bureaucratic procedures. Almost two dozen export license applications are pending ; only a few have been granted in the past three years. This regulatory obstacle is the main bottleneck to increased U.S. gas trade with NATO members and Japan. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz pledged this summer to make decisions on additional export licenses by the end of the year. Meanwhile, several members of Congress, including Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Reps. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio), have taken the lead in recognizing this opportunity and advocate measures that would help to expedite liquefied natural gas exports to U.S. allies. We believe this creates a win-win situation. Congress, working with the administration, can help U.S. companies gain new business opportunities while also helping the United States and its allies diversify their energy sources.

Why Ford’s Looking Better in Europe October 10, 2013 | Comments (0) Ford’s Fiesta is the top-selling car in the UK so far in 2013, and one of Europe’s best-sellers nearly every year. Strong Fiesta sales have helped Ford gain market share in Europe over the last several months. Photo credit: Ford Motor Co. MostFord (NYSE: F ) shareholders know that — despite its turnaround in the U.S. — the company is still losing a ton of money in Europe. Ford lost over $1.7 billion in Europe last year alone, and at one point warned that it could lose as much as $2 billion in 2013. The problem: Steep recessions that have clobbered new-car sales. Last fall, Ford launched a turnaround effort, aiming to get Europe back to profitability by mid-decade despite the tough economic conditions. The last two quarters have seen more big losses from Ford’s European branch, but the good news is that they’ve been getting smaller. Now, there are some small signs that Europe’s economic storm may be easing slightly. In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at some of those signs, and at what they might mean for Ford’s sales — and profits — in Europe. The secrets that make Ford stock a great investment If someone asked you, “Why invest in Ford?” Could you truly answer them? To be honest, few investors could. That’s because most of the company’s secretsthe ones that make savvy market watchers richoften fly below the radar. If you want an edge on other Ford investors, be sure to check out “5 Secrets to Ford’s Future” from The Motley Fool.

NelsonHall, an outsourcing advisory firm, expects the four top Indian vendors and U.S. rival Cognizant Technology Solutions – which has three-quarters of its staff in India – to see overall business in Europe grow about 16 percent this year. It expects 12 percent growth in the United States. Europe accounts for roughly one-third of revenue for India’s $108 billion IT services industry, although Britain has long made up the bulk of that share. In continental Europe, Indian IT firms are making their deepest inroads in northern European countries where English is widely spoken. However, language barriers and tight labour rules mean Europe is yet to surpass even Britain as a revenue source for Indian IT firms, which are expected to rely on acquisitions to build up their offerings in big markets such as France and Germany. India is also not yet compliant with a European data privacy directive, which limits some of the work that can be moved to the country. “Europe has been a very conservative market compared with the U.S.,” said Sharat Kumar, head of delivery for Europe at No. 5 Indian player Tech Mahindra, whose European clients include food giant Nestle SA and aerospace firm EADS . “The customers are conservative in starting the initiative, but once they do, these are the customers that don’t just go back and forth or drop it, so what we’ve seen is that there is a lot more stability in the European customer,” he said. For European companies, many of them battered by a prolonged economic slowdown, Indian IT firms offer cost advantages to using local vendors or doing the work in-house. Global rivals such as IBM and Capgemini also have big operations in India that can take advantage of lower costs. Indian vendors are also taking on increasingly complex work. “To a certain extent, the skills shortage in continental Europe is driving the growth for offshore openness,” said Katharina Grimme, a principal consultant with outsourcing advisory Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) in Cologne, Germany. LOCAL CHALLENGES Indian IT’s progress in Europe comes at the expense of local vendors, which according to NelsonHall are seeing flat sales.