Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. The chairman of a Chinese insurance group that sought a business deal with the family of US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law has stepped aside following a report that he was taken away by authorities. Officials from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission notified Anbang that Wu was “taken away” on Friday, but they did not explain why, according to Caijing, a Chinese magazine.
2. Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Brexit supporter Stephen Barclay as “City minister” to oversee a financial services sector facing upheaval as Britain prepares to leave the European Union. Barclay, whose formal title is economic secretary to the treasury, is likely to be responsible for financial services policy and the government’s relationship with firms such as banks, insurers and asset managers.
3. The EU will keep the door open for Britain to return, but only on worse terms than it currently has, European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said. A day after France and Germany both said Britain could reverse Brexit if it wanted, Verhofstadt said Britain’s budget rebates and opt outs from EU rules would disappear if it did so.
4. The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates, signalling that it believes the economy is healthy enough to withstand tighter financial conditions. It raised the target range of the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1% to 1.25%, a level it hadn’t reached since the financial crisis.
5. Poland may impose more regulations on ride-hailing giant Uber while softening the rules for granting taxi licences in an attempt to find a compromise after protests by taxi drivers. Last week, thousands of cabs blocked streets of Poland’s biggest cities demanding that the government react to “illegal activity” by some drivers, widely seen as a protest against Uber. Some Uber drivers have been targeted by vandals who poured excrement or acid on their cars.
6. EU antitrust regulators opened an investigation on into Nike, Comcast’s Universal Studios and Hello Kitty owner Sanrio to see if the companies are illegally blocking online sales in the bloc. The European Commission said the probe will focus on the three companies’ licensing and distribution practices related to their merchandise. The new cases follow an inquiry into e-commerce practices by thousands of companies in Europe.
7. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s younger brother and sister that they have lost confidence in the nation’s leader and fear “the use of the organs of the state against us.” “We are concerned that the system has few checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government. We feel big brother omnipresent,” Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang said in a joint news release and an accompanying six-page statement.
8. Thomson Reuters released a tool to will allow customers to plug its market data into systems that run on the digital ledger technology known as blockchain. The new tool, called BlockOne IQ, will allow Wall Street firms to use Thomson Reuters data on trading systems that run on Ethereum and Corda, two types of blockchain, the company said.
9. The German government is examining a request for loan guarantees from loss-making Air Berlin, the Economy Ministry said. “We are looking into this application for a guarantee along with the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin, adding that presenting a “sustainable concept for the future” was key to getting such a guarantee.
10. The UK will open divorce talks in Brussels next week with an offer to allow the three million European Union citizens living in Britain the same rights that they have now, the Financial Times reported. The newspaper said Britain wanted these rights to be available only to those EU nationals who were living in the country before March 29 this year, when the government triggered the start of the two-year process of leaving the EU.