- REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
1. The officially designated Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, “cheated” during the European Union referendum and may have flouted campaign spending rules, a whistleblower has claimed. The allegation centres around the organisation’s links to another smaller campaign group – BeLeave – which it helped fund.
2. Apple CEO Tim Cook has weighed in on the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that Facebook has been grappling with for the past two weeks. The Apple CEO said the situation is “dire” and that he believed regulation is necessary during a public speech in China on Saturday – without specifically mentioning Facebook by name, according to a Bloomberg report.
3. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took out full-page ads in several British and American newspapers to apologize for the Cambridge Analytica scandal that has roiled the company over the past two weeks. “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it,” says the ad, which ran in papers including The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.
4. The United States asked China in a letter last week to cut the tariff on US autos, buy more US-made semiconductors, and give US firms greater access to the Chinese financial sector, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources. Alarm over a possible trade war between the world’s two largest economies has chilled financial markets as investors foresee dire consequences should trade barriers go up due to President Donald Trump’s bid to cut the US deficit with China.
5. Fears of a full-blown trade war between the United States and China battered Asian shares again on Monday, keeping the safe haven yen near a 16-month peak as investors fretted over the fate of global growth. Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.12% at the time of writing (6.22 a.m. BST/1.22 a.m. ET), the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.48%, and China’s Shanghai Composite is down 1.49%.
6. The European Union holds “grave suspicions” about the dominance of internet giant Google and has not ruled out breaking it up, according to a warning by the EU’s antitrust chief Britain’s Telegraph reported on Sunday. European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager reckons the threat to split Google into smaller companies must be kept open, the newspaper said.
7. House of Fraser has discussed securing funds from Alteri, an investor focusing on struggling retailers. The department store chain met Alteri to consider how the lender could provide funds to help it through difficult conditions, the Times reports.
8. Startups that raised hundreds of millions of dollars last year issuing their own digital coins are being “intentionally non-transparent” with their investors, according to a new report. Analysis carried out by ICORating for Business Insider found that many projects are operating in an “opaque” manner, with investors left in the dark about how the project is progressing.
9. Santander is on track to launch an international money transfer app in partnership with fintech startup Ripple in the next few months, the bank’s UK CEO has confirmed. Nathan Bostock told the International Fintech conference in London: “This spring, if not one beats us to it, we will be the first large retail bank to carry out cross-border payments at scale with blockchain technology.”
10. Ride-hailing firm Uber has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, the firms said in a statement on Monday, marking the US company’s second retreat from an Asian market. As part of the transaction, Uber will take a stake of 27.5% in the Southeast Asian company, Grab said in a statement.