10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

1. The European Union’s system for granting market access to banks outside the bloc will not work for a financial centre the size of Britain after Brexit. Gerard Rameix, chairman of France’s AMF markets watchdog, said the “equivalence” regime must be adapted specifically for Britain.

2. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said there is “no reason” to withdraw the bank’s massive monetary stimulus. “While some improvements have been observed in economic and price developments, there is still a long way to go to achieve our price target,” Kuroda said.

3. Chinese telecom giant ZTE has pleaded guilty in a US court to violating US export controls by selling goods to Iran and North Korea over several years. The move is the final step in the case’s resolution which the US government announced March 7 in which it slapped $US1.2 billion in fines on the company, the largest criminal penalty in US history in an export control case.

4. A growing gap between rich and poor in Germany could sap social cohesion in Europe’s largest economy and most populous country, a government report warned. “If the differences between poor and rich are felt to be too big in a society, and wealth seems mostly to be acquired without rewarding work, then acceptance of the economic and social order can shrink,” the labour ministry study said.

5. Norway’s Statoil won six licences to explore for oil around offshore Britain. The tender in Britain, which received bids last year, attracted the lowest interest in 14 years, reflecting the drop in appetite for finding new oil in the North Sea due to high costs and weak oil prices.

6. PricewaterhouseCoopers settled a $US3 billion negligence lawsuit over the October 2011 collapse of MF Global. Terms were not disclosed, but the malpractice case was “settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties,” representatives said.

7. Royal Bank of Scotland will close more than 150 bank branches in Britain and cut hundreds of jobs. The Edinburgh-based lender said in a statement the closures were in response to changing customer behaviour.

8. A judge ordered Argentina’s former president Cristina Kirchner to stand trial on charges of financial mismanagement. It is the first of several cases against the combative 64-year-old leftist leader to go to trial.

9. A carry-on ban laptop ban by Washington and London will hit the profits of affected airlines, especially the lucrative business class segments of Gulf carriers, analysts said. In addition to the risk of losing passengers and suffering a nosedive in client satisfaction, the impacted airlines will also have to bear the costs of checking in and screening more luggage.

10. The 5-Star Movement, Italy’s most popular political party, said a referendum on the euro was not its top priority. Lower house deputy Luigi Di Maio, 30, who is expected to be 5-Star’s candidate for prime minister, said the euro referendum would take time to organise, and tackling poverty in Italy was more urgent.

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