Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Norway’s $US945 billion wealth fund owns stakes in companies that are responsible for emitting 90 to 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, its CEO said. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has a mandate from the Norwegian parliament to address climate change, either by divesting or entering an active dialogue as an owner, with companies that produce “unacceptable” levels of greenhouse gases.
2. The EU will launch legal action against Italy on Wednesday for failing to police allegations of emissions-test cheating by Fiat Chrysler properly following the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal, Reuters said. EU officials have become increasingly frustrated with what they see as governments colluding with the powerful car industry.
3. US homebuilding unexpectedly fell in April amid a persistent decline in the construction of multi-family housing units and a modest rebound in single-family projects. Housing starts dropped 2.6 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, the Commerce Department said.
4. Manchester United raised its full-year revenue and profit forecast for 2016-17 as it prepares for the Europa League final next week. United said it expected to report full-year revenue between £560-£570 million, better than its previous forecast of between £530-£540 million.
5. Facebook has been fined €150,000 ($US166,000) by France’s data protection watchdog for failing to prevent its users’ data being accessed by advertisers. Watchdog CNIL said its fine was part of a wider European investigation also being carried out in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany into some of Facebook’s practices.
6. Spain’s Banco Popular said several groups had shown interest in a potential merger, one of several options it is considering as its new management struggles to clean up billions of euros in toxic assets. Popular’s chairman, Emilio Saracho, said the bank would consider a merger as the solution to coping with its €37 billion euros of non-performing real estate assets, the highest among Spanish banks.
7. Theresa May’s Conservatives have seen their large lead over the Labour opposition narrow slightly after details of Labour’s policy program were published last week, an opinion poll from Panelbase showed. Ahead of a national election on June 8, the market research firm also said voters were supportive of Labour’s plans to nationalize the railways and set up regional state power firms to compete with private utilities.
8. Citigroup launched a credit equivalent of Wall Street’s “fear gauge” that is intended to provide an accurate metric for risk aversion. Citi’s “credit VIX” mirrors the CBOE’s VIX methodology, using a weighted average of option prices on credit default swap indices across a range of strikes.
9. Germany’s decision to grant asylum to Turks accused of participating in last year’s failed coup has further heightened tension between the two NATO allies, Turkey’s prime minister said. German officials said last week that 414 Turkish citizens with diplomatic passports and other government work permits had requested asylum in Germany since the attempted putsch, which prompted Ankara to launch sweeping purges of the military, judiciary, civil service and others.
10. UK-based business software venture capital firm Notion Capital has increased funding for European business software start-ups by bringing in new investors from the United States and the Middle East. The venture firm said it has brought in additional international investors including Cisco Systems, the US endowments of Emory University and Texas A&M and an unnamed sovereign wealth fund from the Middle East.