Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Japan’s Nikkei share average slipped to its lowest level in nearly three weeks on Wednesday amid heightened tensions following North Korea’s ballistic missile launch. The Nikkei share average was down 0.7% at 19,899.69 after plumbing 19,888.90, its lowest since June 16.
2. Italian prosecutors have decided to take Morgan Stanley to court over allegations that the US bank caused €2.7 billion ($US3.1 billion) in losses to the state in relation to derivative transactions, a source told Reuters. The Corte dei Conti, which rules on abuses of public funds, is bringing the case against Morgan Stanley on behalf of Italy’s taxpayers.
3. Catalonia will declare independence “immediately” if a majority of the Spanish region’s voters opt for independence in a Scotland-style referendum called for October. “If the majority of votes are for creating a Catalan republic, obviously independence will have to be declared immediately,” said Gabriela Serra, a member of the separatist coalition that governs Catalonia.
4. The People’s Bank of China allowed foreign rating agencies to assess the credit risks of the country’s bonds, a move that could promote deeper risk assessment and pricing in the nation’s huge corporate debt market. Under the previous framework, global ratings agencies could only have minority stakes in joint-venture operations in the country and could not issue ratings on local bonds.
5. Uber played down an EU court opinion that some of its services could be illegal, saying that the case concerned only a ride-hailing app service in France which it no longer provides. An advocate general for the Court of Justice of the European Union said illegal transport activities like UberPOP may be criminal.
6. Chinese tech group LeEco is facing growing pressure from its creditors and business partners, with one bank wanting some of its assets frozen by a Shanghai court over late payments. The latest financial woes have surfaced days after its founder and CEO Jia Yueting said the conglomerate’s cash problems were “far worse than expected” and that billions of dollars in funds raised in recent months were not enough to help it ride out the crunch.
7. DZ Bank, Germany’s second-largest bank in terms of assets, said Tuesday that it had appointed co-chief executives to take over from January 2019. Uwe Froehlich, currently president of the National Association of German Cooperative Banks, and Cornelius Riese, DZ Bank chief financial officer, will assume the helm from CEO Wolfgang Kirsch, the bank said.
8. Legislation to begin transferring European Union law into British law will be introduced to parliament next week, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said. The spokesman said Brexit minister David Davis had given colleagues an update on the “Repeal Bill”, which will shift EU legislation into British law as part of the Brexit process, at a weekly meeting of May’s top team of ministers.
9. Volkswagen will start importing cars to Iran next month, returning to the resurgent Middle Eastern market after 17 years. The company has signed an agreement with Iran’s Mammut Khodro to import VW brand models Tiguan and Passat via eight dealerships, focusing on the greater Tehran area.
10. Britain’s so-called bad bank said it expects to sell the remainder of its Bradford & Bingley’s mortgage portfolio by March next year, as it seeks to recoup taxpayers’ money. UK Asset Resolution said it would sell Bradford & Bingley’s £15.65 billion mortgage portfolio in two or three tranches.