Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Monday.
1. Treasury ministers were left in the dark about plans to alter UK listings rules in an effort to attract the potential £1 trillion-plus listing of Saudi Aramco to London amid intense competition to win the float, the Times reports. A Treasury official contacted the regulator to complain that the ministry had been “caught off guard” by related work.
2. HSBC faces a potential legal challenge from small businesses that have had their accounts frozen as the largest bank listed in the UK attempts to crack down on anti-money laundering, the Financial Times reports. Hundreds of small companies, ranging from financial services boutiques to a fruit importer, have been hit by the crackdown, according to two people close to the situation.
3. Waterstones could be up for sale as its Russian owner explores his options, the Times reports. Alexander Mamut, the bookstore chain’s billionaire owner has appointed NM Rothschild to advise on strategic options, including an outright sale or a refinancing of its debt.
4. Philip Hammond is stuck “between a rock and a hard place” as he prepares his first autumn Budget, facing the prospect of either abandoning his fiscal targets or ignoring growing demands for more public spending, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies cited in the FT. In a new report published on Monday, researchers at the think-tank set out the challenges for the chancellor as the outlook for the economy weakens.
5. London will hold back the £1bn promised by Theresa May to the Democratic Unionist party as it moves to impose a budget on Northern Ireland, with hopes fading for a deal to restore the region’s government. After months of fruitless talks at Stormont, near Belfast, a deepening schism over the Irish language has dimmed the prospect of a breakthrough in talks between the DUP and Sinn Féin.
6. HSBC Holdings PLC posted a five-fold rise in its pretax profit for the third quarter on Monday, as the bank expanded its market share in its key businesses in Asia, and helped by a lower comparative base in the year-ago quarter, Reuters reports.
7. Pay for British-based partners at accountancy firm EY has swelled to nearly £680,000 as the professional services industry enjoyed bumper revenues in spite of Brexit and political upheaval around the world, the Times reports. The 685 partners at EY received an average share from the firm of £677,000, up £15,000, or 2.3 per cent, on last year.
9. Japan’s Nikkei share average made little headway in choppy trade on Monday, with gains in suppliers to Apple Inc offset by selling in financials and caution ahead of major central bank meetings this week. The Nikkei ended flat at 22,011.67, after hitting a fresh 21-year high of 22,086.88 in early trade, while the broader Topix also ended little changed at 1,770.84.
10. Fintech startup Bud has signed a deal with HSBC and raised £1.5 million from Investec and Sabadell Bank. Its CEO says Bud is in talks with 42 other banks around the world about possible deals.
And finally … Business Insider is looking for nominations for the hottest young talents in British finance right now. If you, or anyone you know, is making waves in the City of London (or anywhere else in the UK) and is under 31, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch on social media, or email: [email protected]
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