Good morning! Here are the 10 things you need to know in markets on Thursday.
Barclays considered moving its investment-banking headquarters from London to New York but ultimately decided against it, according to a person familiar with the matter. The move would have punched a massive dent in the collective ego of the bank and The City as a whole, as Barclays is one of Britain’s best-known finance brand names.
Lloyds will today announce plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs across operations, including staff at its branch network, as part of broader cost cuts announced last year, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The cuts are part of a plan to cut about 9,000 jobs, close branches, and save £1 billion ($1.5 billion) by 2017, according to Bloomberg.
Banks are approaching an “Uber moment” that could see lenders make huge cuts to staff and branches as they fight to stay relevant and profitable in the face of technology, the former chief executive of Barclays says. The Telegraph reports that Antony Jenkins, who was ousted as chief executive in July, said in a speech: “The number of branches and people employed in the financial services sector may decline by as much as 50% over the next 10 years, and even in a less harsh scenario I predict they will decline by at least 20%.”
Asian markets are quiet as the US shuts down for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.49% at time of writing (6.25 a.m. GMT/5.25 a.m. ET), Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.16% higher, and China’s Shanghai Composite is down 0.30%.
Californian regulators on Wednesday demanded a recall of up to 16,000 additional Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche diesels as the Volkswagen emissions scandal widened. The notice from the California Air Resources Board came less than a week after state and federal regulators disclosed that Volkswagen Group automakers installed software to cheat emissions tests on more diesels than initially thought.
South Korea is also turning the screws on Volkswagen. South Korea on Thursday said its own testing showed that Volkswagen intentionally manipulated a diesel emissions device in vehicles with an older engine, and ordered the recall of 125,522 cars.
GlaxoSmithKline cut 40% of its sales reps in China and axed some units, after sales plunged during a bribery scandal that landed it with a record $490 million (£324 million) fine in 2014. The British drug firm is gambling on a new, cleaner image to reboot its performance and reputation with doctors and consumers, China head Herve Gisserot told Reuters during a wide-ranging interview at the group’s Shanghai headquarters.
Chinese insurers are expected to spend $73 billion (£48.2 billion) in acquiring overseas properties over the next five years as they speed up diversification, according to a research report published on Wednesday by real estate services firm DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield. The report says the recent volatility in equity markets worldwide would prompt mainland Chinese insurers to accelerate their real estate investment strategy, diversifying away from domestic holdings.
Arcadia Group, which owns the Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Evans, and Burton brands, posted a 6% rise in pre-tax profits to £214.3 million ($324 million) during the year to the end of August. The Telegraph reports that the group’s owner, Sir Philip Green, could be considering more acquisitions.
Shares in Australian law firm Slater & Gordon collapse by a huge 54% to A$0.89 in Sydney trading on Thursday, a day after plans to limit the number of personal injury claims in the UK were unveiled by chancellor George Osborne. The Financial Times reports that in his Autumn Statement Mr Osborne said he wanted to reform “the compensation culture around minor motor accident injuries,” something which would benefit the pockets of motorists.
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