2022 Preliminary results: recurring net profit reached an all-time high driven by flexibility and operating efficiency
HighlightsResults at 31.12.2022
Banca Generali has no financial debts, since the bank has never recurred to loans, bonds or subordinated loans
In the first half of the year, the attention of financial operators was catalysed by the high level of inf lation and the consequent new monetary policy paradigm implemented by central banks. In order to contain the price hike that reached 8.6% in the United States and 8.5% in the Eurozone, central banks started raising interest rates.
The macroeconomic scenario was significantly impacted by the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine which, in addition to causing inevitable geopolitical tensions, impacted the continent’s economic and commercial dynamics, causing a sudden rise in commodity prices and the emergence of supply chain bottlenecks. In this context of high uncertainty and volatility, the main global stock markets recorded a yield decline of between fifteen and twenty percentage points in euros, depending on the region.
In the face of inflation levels that have not been reached globally since the eighties, the ECB’s Governing Council announced the end of the Asset Purchase Programme (APP) and approved a first 50 bps rate hike from the end of July. On the US front, the Fed raised interest rates by 150 bps over the period.
Following the interventions of the central banks, the ten-year US Treasury yield over the period reached about 3.5%, and then closed the period at approximately 3%, while the German ten-year yield reached 1.75% closing the six-month period at 1.37%. Yields on the short-term part of the main bond curves were also significantly impacted by the rate hike. The yield on two-year government bonds in the US and in Germany rose by around 220 bps and 126 bps, respectively.
The risk aversion observed in financial markets and the fear of a possible slowdown of growth from next year led to a widening of credit spreads. In particular, the spread on high-yield issues and euro area financial issues widened by 330 bps and 300 bps to reach 647 bps and 671 bps, respectively. The BTP-Bund spread reached a high at 240 bps and then closed the period at around 118 bps.
In this scenario, the Eurostoxx50 index fell about 20%, while the S&P500 declined by about 14% in euros. The scenario on the Asian front differed compared to the West. In particular, the Chinese government took action to promote expansionary economic policies, also supported by its central bank and, despite the strict closures put in place to counter the spread of Covid, the stock market closed the period recording about -4.70% in euros, outperforming the developed countries.
Since the start of the year, high inflation and rising interest rates impacted equity markets. In particular, some investors moved from the “growth” sector to the “value” sector, as “Growth” companies tend to be more penalised by the greater sensitivity of earnings growth to rising interest rates.
The energy and utilities sector performed well over the period globally, while the technology and consumer discretionary sectors underperformed. With regard to currency markets, the dollar appreciated by approximately 8% against the euro. In the reporting period, the euro/dollar exchange rate declined from 1.13 to 1.04. The euro depreciated mainly due to the increase in the cost of commodities denominated in dollars due to the energy crisis in Europe and the restrictive monetary policy already started by the Federal Reserve compared to the ECB’s scheduled start in July.
In the first half of the year, the general commodity index (BCOMTR Index) rose sharply, albeit offset by the reductions in June. The driving force behind the rise was the outbreak of the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine, which led to widespread fears about the availability of supply in important sectors of the commodity complex, such as energy, industrial metals and agriculture. In June, the fears of recession caused by the changed attitude of the central banks began to be felt, which caused a retracement of the energy sector of about 20% in respect of its highs. The energy sector, where Russia plays a leading role in the world in both oil and natural gas supply, was particularly positive.
The trends in industrial metals and precious metals were instead negative, as, after the increases in the first quarter, they were severely affected in the first case by the fears of recession, and in the second by the strong increases in US and European real rates; there was a moderate rise in agricultural raw materials, which, after the surge at the beginning of the year, also suffered a significant reversal of trends.
Business Outlook and Mega-trends
The second half of 2022 will continue to be impacted by the changed macro-economic context marked by geopolitical tensions culminated in the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, with the consequent deterioration in the economic environment and exacerbation of inflationary tensions. Therefore, after the trend of recovery and easing of pandemic-related measures at the end of last year had encouraged a certain acceleration in growth, recent months have seen tensions recorded in the macroeconomic context, particularly in terms of renewed inflationary pressures and the uncertainties linked to the persistence of the pandemic.
In this context, which is not without uncertainties for the country on the economic and social front, Banca Generali will continue not only to guarantee security and protection for savings in the second half of the year by supporting households in their planning and diversification choices, in order to make the most of the opportunities provided by market recovery compared to merely taking refuge in the liquidity solutions that have characterised savings overall, but also to assume social responsibility through a series of concrete initiatives including those related to the creation of new products to support Italy’s SMEs. In detail, Banca Generali reiterates its central focus on growth in any market context as a development driver in terms of size, revenue and stakeholders’ remuneration.
In light of the above, and consistently with the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan, in the second half of 2022, the Banking Group will continue to focus its attention on increasing the value of service bringing the Bank even closer to its Financial Advisor network and its clients and increasing its commitment towards sustainability themes, while constantly ensuring greater dedication to developing innovative model solutions. From a strategic and operating standpoint, after the success of its private banking positioning, Banca Generali confirms that it intends to open up to a wider client target group and further develop the customisation of its services through the advisor-technology combination.
In line with the pillars of the new 2022-2024 Strategic Plan, the main following measures will be taken in the second half of 2022:
- developing a range of targeted solutions that, building on the ecosystem of products, services and platforms already in place in the private segment, enables to better meet the needs of a wider client base — from Affluent clients to High-Net-Worth (HNW) individuals;
- introducing new service models that, in a context marked by financial advisor-centric models, allow to enhance Financial Advisors’ actions through a greater support by the Bank in managing the clients;
- implementing a new data-driven network management approach that, based on an estimate of the growth potential of clients, Financial Advisors and the local area, and on the identification of the main gaps, drives the coordinated action of the Bank, its Network Managers and Financial Advisors;
- innovating the Bank’s model by creating a data-driven, digital and open bank through the development of digital platforms to enhance customer experience, and building new partnerships in specific fields that allow the Bank to consolidate its position with respect to industry trends;
- consolidating its position in terms of sustainability, becoming a point of reference on ESG themes for all stakeholders. In particular, the Bank will be mainly committed to enhancing its value proposition based on SDGs through ongoing expansion of its ESG offering and Financial Advisors’ training, creating a work environment that promotes diversity and inclusion and work-life balance, actively contributing to climate protection and acting responsibly towards communities.