Important Links

French Election: Round Two

3 May 2017PoliticsEconomicsEurope

The turnout was high for the first round of the French presidential election which saw Macron (23.5%) taking the lead ahead of Le Pen 22.1%, Fillon, 19.6%, Melenchon 19.3% and Hamon 7%.

The two contenders progressing into the second round have different views. Macron aims to restore French influence in Europe, adapt France to a globalized world, cut corporation tax, strengthen the relationship with Germany, and create a taskforce to fight terrorism. Le Pen is anti-EU, anti-Eurozone, anti-immigration, ultra-protectionist, and wants to reduce the retirement age to 60.

Uncertainty is likely to linger in the days leading up to round 2 of the election, and also after the winner is announced. There are a few key points to look out for:

French polls have proven to be reasonably robust and the polls leading to the second round vote on 7th May will be closely watched. The most recent poll showed Macron leading with 62% versus Le Pen at 38%. Expect the polls to narrow. While Macron has been immediately endorsed by Fillon, Hamon, and Juncker (President of the European Commission), Macron now needs to elaborate on his beliefs, and will be tested in the live debate with Le Pen on 3rd May. The two big variables could be how many of Melenchon's blue-collar supporters turn to Le Pen and which way the 6.2 million undecided voters cast their vote.

Beyond the election, whoever wins is likely to face big challenges in building a majority in the Legislative Elections (11th and 18th of June). As such, Le Pen may find it difficult to implement her extreme views. Likewise, the need to build coalitions to pass legislation could compromise Macron's proposed reforms.

The European Central Bank maintained its policy stance last week. A probable Macron win on 7th May is likely to keep it focused on the firming European economic data, and a gradual exit from its quantitative easing programme.

The French first round result lowers French and European political risk. Citi analysts believe that European assets might face less immediate downside risk and their relative attractiveness could increase slightly. Nevertheless some European political risk would remain, with elections in the UK, Germany, and probably Italy to navigate in the next ten months, as well as the Brexit negotiations intensifying

Our recent research

A Pandemic Pause Amidst the Recovery?

As individual States in the US emerge from the first-order effect of lockdowns, the result has been a uniform, major jump in economic activity, but an acceleration in the spread of the virus across half the country. Citi analysts expect financial market volatility to remain high. However, improving financial conditions, supportive macroeconomic policies, improving sentiment by consumers and business suggest that the new economic recovery could endure.

Find out more

Covid-19Asset AllocationEquities

Equity Strategies to Position for China's Aging Population

Population aging is often presented as a crisis for China. Instead, Citi analysts see immense opportunities amid the challenges.

Find out more

Asia PacEmerging MarketsEquities

Brexit negotiations in the limelight

The UK has 'left' the European Union, but with less than 200 days until the end of the one-year transition period, what happens next?

Watch a replay of our webinar where we discuss the likely path of the negotiations and the impact to the markets.

Find out more


Take the first steps to your wealth management planning with Citi

Speak to a Relationship Manager
0207 500 1992

Already with Citi? Contact your relationship manager or view product availability on Citi Online

Why choose Citi

A relationship - not just a bank account

A dedicated Relationship Manager giving you access to our internal team of product experts and all our benefits

Access to exclusive Citi products

A range of current and investment products available both on shore and offshore, in the currency of your choice
Multi-currency accounts
Investment products

Global services for a global lifestyle

Our team is here to support you getting started in UK or with International travel and relocation
Moving to and from the UK
Travelling overseas

Offshore investments

We offer a diverse range of banking and investment services, including for those who want access to offshore investments

Find out more

Just moved to the UK?

We can save you time money and hassle. If you are a foreign national in the UK, Citi's International Banking Service can help you manage your money, home and away.

Find out more

Investment products are not insured by any governmental agencies, are not bank deposits, and are neither obligations of, nor guaranteed by, Citigroup, or any of its affiliates, unless otherwise stated. Investment products are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of some or all of the principal amount invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results, investments can go down as well as up.

“Citi analysts” refers to investment professionals within Citi Research (“CR”), Citi Global Markets Inc. (“CGMI”) and voting members of the Citi Global Investment Committee. Citibank N.A. and its affiliates / subsidiaries provide no independent research or analysis in the substance or preparation of this document. The information on this page has been obtained from reports issued by CGMI. Such information is based on sources CGMI believes to be reliable. CGMI, however, does not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute CGMI’s judgment as of the date of this page and are subject to change without notice. This page is for general information purposes only and is not intended as a recommendation or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or currency. No part of this page may be reproduced in any manner without the written consent of Citibank N.A. Information on this page has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation, or needs of any particular investor. Any person considering an investment should consider the appropriateness of the investment having regard to their objectives, financial situation, or needs, and should seek independent advice on the suitability or otherwise of a particular investment. Citi Research (CR) is a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (the "Firm"), which does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this information. Investors should consider this information as only a single factor in making their investment decision.

Opinions expressed herein may differ from the opinions expressed by other businesses or affiliates of Citigroup, Inc., and are not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice, and are subject to change based on market and other conditions.