10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

1. Snap came to London. The owner of popular messaging app Snapchat kicked off its first investor roadshow on Monday, looking to persuade London money managers to back its initial public offering despite concerns about its $US22 billion valuation.

2. VW is making amends for its diesel scandal in the UK. The German carmaker has fixed 470,000 cars out of 1.2 million units affected, the firm’s UK managing director said.

3. Saudi Arabia is favouring New York to list state oil giant Saudi Aramco. But it’s also considering London and Toronto for the prospect of floating the firm, the Wall Street Journal reported.

4. Lloyd’s of London appointed Bruce Carnegie-Brown as chairman. Carnegie-Brown, currently chairman of Moneysupermarket.com and vice chairman of Banco Santander, will take up the Lloyd’s role in June.

5. French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has gained some ground on her main election rivals. The Opinionway poll of voting intentions had Le Pen easily beating her four main rivals and winning the April 23 first round with a score of 27% to move through to the two-way runoff against either Macron or Fillon.

6. Greece’s finances are improving better than expected, the head the euro zone bailout fund said. Athens underlined this by making an expected €2 billion repayment to the fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

7. Britain remains on track to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. “We will complete by March 31 and trigger by March 31. When before then? I am not going to offer a view. I am confident we can meet that date,” Brexit minister David Davis said.

8. Sovereign wealth funds were skittish in 2016. They pulled $US37.8 billion from global stock and bond markets in 2016, data from research firm eVestment showed, although fourth quarter flows showed a slowdown in the rate of redemptions.

9. Citibank’s South African arm was fined 69.5 million rand ($US5 million) penalty for its role in a forex trading cartel. South Africa’s Competition Commission said it had found more than a dozen local and foreign banks colluded to coordinate trading in the South African and US currencies.

10. The headquarters of France’s National Front was raided in an expenses probe. The raid is the second in a year by investigators trying to determine whether the FN used European Parliament funds to pay for 20 assistants presented as parliamentary aides while continuing to work for the party elsewhere.

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