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You might forgive Emmanuel Macron for feeling a little bit cocky. Polls have given him a near 20-point lead against Marine Le Pen and investors reacted positively after he was hailed as the winner of last night’s TV debate. French, Italian and Spanish stocks surged after his performance, and the spread between French and German 10-year bond yields hit a three-month low. But it’s not over yet: Le Pen still has a chance at victory if enough voters don’t turn up to the polls. — Siraj Datoo
And you thought everybody had switched to craft beers. Unexpectedly strong first-quarter results from AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, Danish rival Carlsberg and Holland’s Heineken reflect a rebounding European beer market that lifted sales of traditional brands. Of course, the giants of the industry are also hawking boutique marques of their own to attract choosier drinkers.
An earthquake for private equity. The largest Nordic buyout fund, Sweden’s EQT, says it’s “shocked” by a court ruling that would force partners to treat investment income as ordinary salary. “This is the biggest landslide ever to hit the industry,” says managing partner Thomas von Koch, who hints that the firm could relocate if necessary to escape the tax change.
The shape of things to come. Local elections in the U.K. today will offer the first real test of how well Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party is performing ahead of the June 8 general election. It should help her that the economy turned in strong figures for April. One key question: Will pro-Remain Tories hold their noses and give May the expanded mandate she seeks to lead Britain out of the EU?
Ferrari’s just like Apple. At least that’s true when it comes to generating profit margins. While rivals struggle to hit double-digits, the rich are clamoring for powerful and pricey supercars like the $2.1 million (€1.9 billion) LaFerrari Aperta. Return on sales at Ferrari climbed to 29.5%; that compares with a 31.6% profit margin at Apple. Meanwhile BMW is pleading for patience as its investment in new models weighs on profits.
This billionaire wants to be Russia’s Jeff Bezos. A decade ago, Mikhail Gutseriev was a billionaire on the run, trying to avoid the fate of oil titan Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who flouted the power of Vladimir Putin and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Now Gutseriev, who hired Jennifer Lopez and Sting to perform at his son’s wedding last year, has amassed a fortune of almost $4.7 billion. This is his incredible riches-to-riches tale.
Why you should visit Easter Island now – in 17 stunning photos. Beautiful beaches, epic surfing, world-class diving, and a Rapanui people determined to preserve their Polynesian heritage – and let's not forget those mysterious stone statues. Here’s why visiting the island of Rapa Nui is well worth the long haul.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Siraj Datoo