Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Yahoo and Verizon have agreed to cut their deal price by $US350 million following Yahoo’s disclosures of two data breaches. Yahoo will be responsible for half of the cash liabilities related to government investigations and third-party lawsuits.
2. Citigroup may choose Frankfurt as its European investment banking base as part of its Brexit contingency plans. The bank will be making a decision in the first half of this year, James Cowles, Citi’s EMEA CEO told a German newspaper.
3. UK law firm Norton Rose Fulbright will merge with New York-based Chadbourne & Parke. The new firm will have 4,000 lawyers with offices in 32 countries and use the Norton Rose Fulbright name.
4. Angela Merkel is leading the German polls. The Allensbach poll, published in newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Wednesday, showed Merkel’s conservative bloc on 33% – ahead of the SPD on 30.5%.
5. Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International is buying Popeyes for $US1.8 billion. “Popeyes is a powerful brand with a rich Louisiana heritage that resonates with guests around the world,” Restaurant Brands International CEO Daniel Schwartz said in a statement.
6. One of the Bank of England’s most senior policymakers said the central bank is unlikely to predict the next financial crisis. Monetary Policy Committee member Gertjan Vlieghe told MPs: “We are probably not going to forecast the next financial crisis, nor are we going to forecast the next recession. Models are just not that good.”
7. The UK won’t pay eastern EU states to support it during negotiations with Brussels. Brexit Minister David Davis said reports that money would be diverted from development projects in Africa and Asia to the Baltic states were “implausible.”
8. German automaker Daimler will open a plant near Moscow to manufacture Mercedes-Benz cars. It will be the first new investment by a major Western automaker since sanctions were imposed on Russia three years ago.
9. Italian magistrates froze millions of euros worth of assets belonging to a prominent Italian banker they believe used the Vatican bank for market manipulation. They sequestered €2.5 million euros ($US2.64 million) in buildings, stocks and land belonging to Giampietro Nattino, head of Banca Finnat Euramerica.
10. Asda said it had stemmed the pace of sales decline over the last three months. Of Britain’s big four grocers, which also include market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, Asda has been most exposed to the advance of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl.