Citi dismisses Brexit threat
Citi has announced a £100m investment in its Canary Wharf offices in what has been described as “an emphatic vote of confidence in both London as a financial centre and in the future of office working”. David Livingstone, Citi's EMEA chief executive, said: "There are some background elements which never go away. London's time zone position between Asia and the Americas. The rule of law, as well as English law, which is a very important component to international commerce. But there's also the regulatory environment which remains a strong principles-based environment which we think, post-Brexit, will forge its own particular way which will be positive for the UK.” Livingstone went on to add that, “the thing you can't get away from is the talent - and it's the talent, which is home-grown, it's the talent that wants to come to work in London, and we only see that as being a continuing element of why London is such a fantastic place to build not just a major operation, but also our headquarters for the entire region."
Kensington set to be carved in two
Private equity-owned Kensington could be split in two as an auction sees Starling Bank compete against Barclays for the specialist mortgage lender’s platform while Pimco and M&G Investments are battling to buy the company's mortgage assets. Kensington specialises in mortgage lending to the self-employed, the over-55s and consumers with multiple incomes.
UK faces unintended consequences of post-Brexit financial regulation
The EU is to discard elements of Basel III rules to allow the bloc’s banks to lend more cheaply to corporates without credit ratings than UK banks can. Experts have called the EU move “unsound” and predicted UK regulators would follow global standards.
ECB warns European lenders on Russia sanctions risk
The European Central Bank has warned international banks with large Russian exposure, including Citi, Société Générale, Raiffeisen and UniCredit, to prepare for the imposition of international sanctions against Moscow if Russia invades Ukraine. One of the scenarios the ECB asked banks to consider was the consequences of a move to block Russian banks from accessing the Swift international payments system.
Santander launches buy now pay later product
Santander is to roll out a BNPL service in the Netherlands later this year called Zinia. The move will be the first step in a wider European expansion as it looks to snap up a share of the market from fintech firms like Klarna and Clearpay.
Global banks push back against Beijing’s new overseas listing rules
Beijing has been warned by the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association that an overhaul of the regime for listing Chinese businesses overseas may deter international banks from advising on IPOs.
JPMorgan fights nuns and activists over climate disclosure proposals
Four shareholder petitions related to climate change have been filed with the SEC against JPMorgan Chase, but the bank has come under fire for asking the regulator to reject the proposals.
Bank of America looks at relocating staff from Hong Kong to Singapore
Harsh pandemic control measures are forcing Bank of America to review its Hong Kong operation with the view to moving workers to Singapore.
SMMT forecasts UK car production recovery after "dismal" 2021
The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed that 859,575 cars came from UK factories last year, a 6.7% decline from 2020 and a 34% drop on pre-pandemic 2019. The SMMT lists the ongoing semiconductor shortage as the principal cause of the “dismal” performance. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said that while “the semiconductor issue is going to be tough in the first half of the year, it will ease and that should flow through to production output”.
Tesla reports record profit but warns of constraints on supply chain
Tesla reported on Wednesday that its revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 jumped 65% from the same period a year before to $17.7bn, well above forecasts of $16.6bn.
Boeing posts $4.2bn loss as Dreamliner woes continue
Boeing posted a $4.2bn net loss in the fourth quarter, down from a $132m loss in the previous quarter. Revenue came in at $14.79bn, missing analysts’ revenue expectations of $16.5bn. The company took a $3.5bn charge in the final three months of last year due to costs associated with its Dreamliner 787 programme. However, Boeing said its cash flow had turned positive - reaching $700m - for the first time since 2019.
FCA says ethnic diversity requirements are on their way
The Financial Conduct Authority will publish requirements within a year for financial services firms to boost ethnic diversity among employees. Targets are likely to be set, rather than quotas, and companies may well have to report pay gaps among ethnic groups. In the meantime, financial services minister John Glen urged financial firms to appoint a senior executive to be responsible for ethnic diversity and to set targets.
M&G snaps up stake in wealth manager Moneyfarm
M&G has taken a minority stake in digital wealth manager Moneyfarm after leading a £44.1m funding round. The investment firm said it will use Moneyfarm's technology and digital capabilities to offer customers trading, custody and portfolio modelling services on their mobile phones and online.
UBS targets US millennials with Wealthfront acquisition
UBS is to acquire robo-adviser Wealthfront for $1.4bn as the Swiss bank move to expand further into the US mass affluent market. Wealthfront has more than $27bn in assets under management.
US financial watchdog backs tougher rules for hedge fund disclosures
As part of efforts to make US markets more resilient, the Securities and Exchange Commission has voted for new standards that will force hedge funds to immediately report extreme losses or large investor withdrawals.
LEISURE & HOSPITALITY
US fund offers to refinance Corbin & King
American investment fund Knighthead Capital Management has offered to refinance £38m in loans owed to Minor International by restaurant group Corbin & King. The operator of The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Colbert had been forced into administration by Minor, its biggest shareholder and lender on Tuesday. Sky News points out that Minor has rejected previous refinancing offers from Knighthead and it is not yet clear whether administrators will seek to engage with the US-based fund.
Fever raise shows live events are making a comeback
Ticketing platform Fever has raised $227m (£168m) in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs, with Alignment Growth, Goodwater and Smash Capital participating. The firm is now worth a billion dollars, according to its CEO, and is on a clear path to an IPO. The success of the fundraising signals a comeback for the live events industry.
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT
Bill Ackman buys Netflix stake worth $1.1bn after stock sell-off
Pershing Square, the investment group owned by hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, has bought a $1.1bn stake in Netflix. The streaming service saw its stock drop 20% on Friday after it warned subscriber growth would slow substantially in the first three months of 2022. Shares are down 40% from an October peak of about $700.
Oaktree scuppers Evergrande restructuring plan by seizing ‘Versailles mansion’ plot
Oaktree Capital has seized a key asset of Evergrande’s in Hong Kong in a move that scuppers a plan to restructure the property developer’s $20bn of offshore debts.
Bolton Wanderers convert pandemic loan into shares
British taxpayers now own an 8% stake in Bolton Wanderers after a £5m pandemic loan to the League One football club was converted into shares. The club is among 108 companies that converted the emergency loans into shares rather than repay them, according to the latest update on the Future Fund support scheme from the British Business Bank.
Fed signals March interest rate rise to combat inflation
The US Federal Reserve has signalled that rates could begin rising in March as the central bank finally moves to curb soaring inflation. Fed chair Jerome Powell added that the bond-buying programme would be wound down too in early March. American households are being battered by cost hikes of 7%, the highest level since 1982. Meanwhile, oil prices have surged past $90 a barrel for the first time since 2014 amid the stand-off between Russia and NATO over Ukraine.
Nomura launches fund to help ‘greying’ companies find young executives
Nomura has launched a fund that will help connect young executives to companies without a successor to the CEO. Once the new leader is installed, the fund injects capital in return for a stake in the business.