Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
It’s the day of the ECB’s March decision on rates. The market is bracing for another round of interest rate cuts and monetary easing measures after Mario Draghi promised to pull out the stops to reach a 2% inflation target.
A pharmaceutical mega-merger is getting approved. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is expected to win EU antitrust approval for its $40.5 billion (£24.4 billion) bid for Allergan’s generics unit after agreeing to sell off some of its products to appease regulators.
China is becoming a nation of iron ore traders. The equivalent of 977 million tonnes were traded on the Dalian exchange on Wednesday — the highest daily turnover on record, exceeding the entire amount of physical iron ore imported by China over the past year.
Uber is expanding into Africa. US-based Uber plans to expand in Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana this year and will focus on convincing traditional taxi drivers to work for the ride-hailing service, Alon Lits, Uber’s general manager for sub-Saharan Africa, said.
Zika is rising. Brazil’s health ministry said the number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus has risen to 4,976 from 4,863 a week earlier.
Latvia is mourning the loss of the drug used by Maria Sharapova. Latvia expressed sadness over the banning of the drug that has cast a pall over the career of tennis star Maria Sharapova, describing it as “one of the most significant accomplishments” of the tiny nation’s scientists.
Societe Generale is slimming down. French bank Societe Generale said on Wednesday it would shed 550 jobs over five years as part of consolidation of its 20 French client treatment centres into 15 sites.
VW shares took a hit. Volkswagen shares fell as much as 4% on Wednesday, as an analyst warned the carmaker might need to make a big cut to its dividend to help pay for the growing number of regulatory and judicial probes over its emissions test cheating.
Saudi Arabia wants change in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is committed to a political solution to Yemen’s war under U.N.-backed peace efforts and sees as positive a call by a Houthi official for Iran to stay out of Yemen, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said.
Mugabe is forced to reform. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe agreed to major reforms including compensation for evicted white farmers and a big reduction in public sector wages as the government tries to woo back international lenders, the finance minister said.
The US is sending bombers to Asia. The U.S. says it has dispatched three B-2 stealth bombers on a training mission to the Asia-Pacific region amid growing tensions with North Korea.