Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Newly-inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a conservative prime minister on Monday. Edouard Philippe, 46, a lawmaker and mayor of port city Le Havre, is from the moderate wing of the main center-right The Republicans party and will be a counterweight to former Socialist MPs who have joined Macron’s cause.
2. Russia had nothing to do with a massive global cyberattack, President Vladimir Putin said, criticising the US intelligence community for creating the original software. Hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries have been hit by the ransomware attack, which has been described as the largest-ever of its kind.
3. Britain has declined to release details of talks held last year with luxury carmaker Bentley Motors about a new investment decision ahead of Brexit. The Volkswagen-owned firm, which built over 11,000 luxury vehicles at its central English plant last year, is due to make a decision connected to the production of future models at the start of 2018.
4. A vending machine opened in Singapore offering up luxury vehicles, including Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Used car seller Autobahn Motors opened a futuristic 15-story showroom in December, with vehicles on display in 60 slots, billing it as the “world’s largest luxury car vending machine.”
5. European Union and US officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss airline security, including a possible extension of a ban on passengers carrying laptops in aircraft cabins. The meeting was arranged during a phone call between U.S. Homeland Security Department Secretary John Kelly and EU ministers on Friday.
6. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, plans to invest $US2 billion in the United States, where its flagship Budweiser lager has suffered from declining volumes. The company, which recently bought nearest rival SABMiller for nearly $US100 billion, said it was launching one of the largest capital investment programmes in US brewing history, investing close to $US500 million this year and a total of $US2 billion through 2020.
7. A former co-head of Nomura’s commercial mortgage-backed securities desk was charged by a US regulator with fraud for lying to customers about bond prices in order to boost profit. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Kee Chan, a former Nomura managing director, “deliberately misled and lied to customers” on numerous occasions from 2010 to March 2012.
8. German discount supermarket chain Lidl is set to open its first set of US stores this summer, raising the stakes for American grocery chain operators who have been caught in an intense price war. Lidl said it planned to open its first 20 U.S. stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with 80 more to follow in the United States within the first year.
9. Theresa May’s Conservatives have slightly extended their large lead over the opposition Labour Party as the state-run health service takes over from Brexit as the nation’s top concern. The Conservatives were on 48%, up one point from a similar survey a week before, with Labour unchanged on 30%, the Survation poll found.
10. Credit ratings agency Moody’s Corp said it would buy Dutch financial information provider Bureau van Dijk for about $US3.3 billion, to extend its risk data and analytical businesses. Moody’s will fund the deal through a combination of offshore cash and new debt financing.
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