10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.

1. Italy’s Northern League would aim to pull Italy out of the European Union if Brussels refused to re-negotiate fiscal and immigration rules, its economics chief said. The eurosceptic League is the principal ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia in a center-right coalition that leads polls ahead of the March 4 vote.

2. UBS Group has appointed former Investcorp executive, Gabriel Aractingi, as head of its ultra-high net worth business in Saudi Arabia. Aractingi previously headed the Saudi business for Bahrain-based Investcorp , having joined the investment firm in 2016 from Morgan Stanley.

3. Pernod Ricard has not yet seen any impact from the legalization of cannabis in some parts of North America but is monitoring the situation closely, its chief executive said. Alexandre Ricard told reporters the company was looking for any impact the legalization of cannabis has on its brands but had seen none so far.

4. Blackstone said Jonathan Grey will take over from Tony James as president, setting him as successor to Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman. Grey, who was already widely recognised internally as heir apparent to Schwarzman, will become president and chief operating officer and James will stay on as executive vice chairman.

5. The European Commission will decide next month whether to take legal action against nine member states for breaching EU air pollution rules. EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella had told ministers from the nine nations, including the bloc’s biggest economies Germany, Britain and France, at a meeting last month that Brussels’ patience was running thin.

6. French advertising group Publicis has won a multi-year contract with Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand to become its global digital agency, hailing the award as one of its most important for years. “This was without a doubt the biggest pitch in the industry over the past 18 months, and one of the most significant wins for the group in many years,” said Publicis Chief Executive Arthur Sadoun in an internal memo.

7. German Social Democrat leader (SPD) Martin Schulz stepped down with immediate effect on Tuesday. He said the party’s committee had backed parliamentary floor leader Andrea Nahles as his successor.

8. A new German government will not change its policy regarding Britain’s looming departure from the European Union, an official said.The conservatives and center-left SPD have agreed they want to renew their 2013-2017 “grand coalition.”

9. Apple shareholders defeated two shareholder proposals. One asked the company to ease its rules for letting shareholders nominate directors to the board and the sought to get Apple to form a human rights commission.

10. Rupert Murdoch’s Sky has agreed to pay £3.58 billion for a three-year deal to show 128 English Premier League matches a season from 2019/20. Rival BT said it had agreed to pay £885 million to show 32 games a season for three years, after five of seven packages were auctioned on Tuesday.

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