10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

1. President Donald Trump will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and other world leaders when he attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.Trump will also host a small dinner for European business executives on Thursday night at the summit, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn told reporters at a briefing.

2. European Union finance ministers agreed to remove eight jurisdictions, including much-criticised Panama, from the bloc’s blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up. Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted “following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU concerns,” according to a statement from the ministers.

3. Venezuela’s “petro” cryptocurrency will initially be offered in a pre-sale in hard currency and other cryptocurrencies, the government said, and not initially available in the country’s collapsing bolivar currency.Leftist President Nicolas Maduro is hoping to capitalise on the success of cryptocurrencies by creating one for Venezuela as the bolivar plunges to all-time lows and the country struggles with hyperinflation.

4. RBS will leave its current London headquarters by the end of 2019 in a cost-cutting move.Many staff will transfer from the headquarters at 280 Bishopsgate in the City of London to another RBS building at 250 Bishopsgate.

5. The European Union is set to fine US chipmaker Qualcomm for taking advantage of its dominance when it paid Apple to use its chips exclusively in Apple mobile devices, The Financial Times reported. Europe’s antitrust watchdog is expected to say on Wednesday that Qualcomm hurt competition and innovation.

6. The European parliament began divvying-up British seats that will be left empty post-Brexit from 2019 with Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands scooping up most. Of the 73 seats held by Britain, 27 will be allocated to existing EU states.

7. The New York Stock Exchange said it didn’t need to “bend over backwards” to lure Saudi Aramco in what could be the world’s biggest IPO. Britain’s markets watchdog, hoping that hosting the huge float in London would boost the city’s status as a global financial hub as it prepares for Brexit, came under fire last year for appearing to be ready to bend its rules for Aramco.

8. The German anti-euro party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is set to chair parliament’s key budget committee if talks succeed to renew a “grand coalition” of conservatives and the Social Democrats.The AfD, which stormed into parliament for the first time in September, will become the largest opposition party in the lower house.

9. German carmakers Daimler and BMW are close to agreeing to combine their car-sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow. The merger talks are in the final stages and the combined company will be independently run, with BMW and Daimler as largest shareholders.

10. Bitflyer said it did not fear a regulatory clampdown would squeeze the market, and instead was targeting millions of new customers in Europe with a fresh expansion. The Japanese exchange, which matches buyers and sellers of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is launching a European exchange to seize on demand following a surge in activity last year.

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