Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Commonwealth Bank of Australia scrapped its chief executive’s bonus amid allegations it broke money-laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules. Australia’s financial intelligence agency last week accused the bank of roughly 53,700 breaches, launching a civil court action that could see the country’s biggest lender fined several billion dollars.
2. Spain will call for a eurozone budget and finance minister to oversee it at an August 28 summit with France, Germany and Italy, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said. “We are going to continue to work to deepen economic and monetary union,” conservative Rajoy said after meeting King Felipe on Mallorca.
3. Netflix bought comic book publisher Millarworld, home to titles such as “Kick-Arse” and “Kingsman,” in its first ever acquisition. Millarworld, run by Scottish writer Mark Millar with his wife Lucy, will give Netflix a host of character franchises with which to develop films, TV series and children’s shows.
4. The Cuban government said the freeze on new licenses for some private-sector occupations would not last years, in an attempt to reassure citizens. Communist-run Cuba last week said it was suspending issuing licenses for popular activities like renting out rooms in homes while it took new measures to “perfect” the functioning of the nascent private sector and curb wrongdoing.
5. French President Emmanuel Macron will focus on the free movement of labour with a three-day mini tour of eastern EU states starting August 23. Macron will meet Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern and Czech and Slovak prime ministers Bohuslav Sobotka and Robert Fico in Salzburg on August 23 before heading to Bucharest and Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna.
6. French automaker Renault signed a long-awaited joint venture deal with Iran worth €660 million ($US779 million) to build up to 300,000 cars per year. The new deal puts Renault in partnership with Iran’s state Industrial Development and Renovation Organisation and private firm Parto Negin Naseh.
7. Tesla will raise about $US1.5 billion through its first-ever high-yield junk bond offering, as the US luxury electric car maker seeks fresh sources of cash to ramp up production of its new Model 3 sedan. The debt offering marks Tesla’s debut in the junk-bond market and the company will start road-shows on Monday, IFR reported, citing lead bankers on the deal.
8. Marriott will partner with China’s Alibaba Group to tap into the growing number of Chinese citizens who travel abroad. The world’s biggest hotel chain said the joint venture with Alibaba would allow Chinese travellers to book rooms at Marriott hotels via Alibaba’s travel service platform, Fliggy. The partnership will connect Marriott and Alibaba’s loyalty programs.
9. Top-performing fund managers at Fidelity, Janus Henderson, Hodges Capital and Baron say that small-cap companies are potentially undervalued, giving firms that have the capacity to conduct their own research an advantage over the long term. Overall, the number of companies in the small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 stocks that receive no formal attention from Wall Street research firms has jumped 30% over the last three years, according to a Reuters analysis.
10. Suicide and murder take 10 times as many lives as war does in the Middle East and nearby regions, creating a “lost generation,” particularly among men, researchers said. These violent acts accounted for 1.4 million deaths in 2015 in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which includes 22 nations such as Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia.