FTSE Russell to Add Chinese Stocks; MSCI Becomes Chinese Stocks’ Best Friend

Sep 27, 2018

FTSE Russell to Add Chinese Stocks; MSCI Becomes Chinese Stocks’ Best Friend

Sep 27, 2018

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Yesterday, I sent out a solicitation letter for the Fearless Girl National Youth Leadership Training Fund for the Chicago Scouts as part of the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards. The goal is to send 100 Scouts who are girls to the National Youth Leadership Training week to turbocharge their leadership and Scouting training after joining Scouts BSA in February when girls are allowed to join.

Longtime friend of Scouting Kelly Loeffler suggested the name and seeded the fund with the initial donation. Likewise, Craig (OCC) and Elsa Donohue matched Kelly’s donation, as did Ed Tilly from the Cboe. Thus, we are off to a great start with a total of $15,000 raised. Additional online donations and promises for checks have been received, but not totaled yet.

Our goal is $25,000. I will give updates as donations come in.~JJL

Here is the official picture of all five CFTC Commissioners.~JJL

There has been plenty of colorful language surrounding geopolitical events of late. My new favorite might be this quote from the finance minister of the Philippines, who said that if the trade war kicks off a series of retaliatory measures, “then all of us are in deep kimchi and I mean all of us, including the U.S.”~SD

In Eurex CEO Thomas Book‘s remarks he noted that the 20-year-old exchange has revived the futurization of swaps, with up to 30 percent of the OTC swap market in the Euro Stoxx 50 derivatives migrating to its Total Return Futures in just one year.~JK

Deutsche Boerse’s new strategy under Theodor Weimer is called “Roadmap 2020.”~JK

Is your firm an enterprise subscriber to the John Lothian Newsletter. Firms with five or more subscribers get a reduced per reader cost, and they are eligible for one free Special Report to the readership of JLN. Recently we issued a Special Report on behalf of Interactive Brokers. Our policy is to not issue more than one Special Report per week, so first come first served on this offer.~JJL

Also, did you know that if you are a paid subscriber to JLN that you get editing rights to MarketsWiki? You will be given an account under your own name to edit the wiki, add pages or otherwise use the functionality to stay current. Pay for your subscription today, and then contact us for a MarketsWiki username and password. You can email JLN Managing Editor Sarah Rudolph at SarahRudolph@JohnLothian.com.~JJL


DTCC Partners With Symphony To Expand Exception Management Platform
DTCC Press Release
The agreement eases collaboration with a fully integrated chat functionality linked to transaction exceptions
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure provider for the global financial services industry, today announced it has signed an agreement with Symphony that significantly expands communication and collaboration capabilities within the DTCC Exception Manager (DXM) service.

****Who is the conductor? And who is first chair violin? ~SD


Oxford, Cambridge Top Global University Rankings; Long-dominant U.S. schools facing stiffer competition from overseas
Erica Snow – WSJ
The U.K.’s University of Oxford and University of Cambridge took the top two spots for a second time in a global university ranking, with long-dominant U.S. schools mostly stagnating against international competitors.

****Can we somehow blame Brexit?~SD


Voyager Partners With Leading Wallet, Self Custody Provider Ethos To Round Out Fully Integrated Crypto Trading Platform
Press Release
Voyager Digital Holdings Inc. (“Voyager”), a new and licensed crypto-asset broker, and Ethos.io PTE LTD (“Ethos”), a leading cryptocurrency services provider, today announced a strategic partnership to bring crypto-to-fiat and best execution trading to Ethos wallet users, while enhancing self-custody and wallet solutions on Voyager’s retail and institutional platforms.

****Voyager – a name befitting some space-age stuff.~SD


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top read story of the day on Wednesday was the follow-up coverage on the murder charges against Gary Kamen in the Daily Herald’s Bail set at $10 million for Deerfield man charged in wife’s slaying. Second went to the announcement CME Group Launches Free Tool to Help Market Users Gauge Futures Market Liquidity Across Time Zones. Third was Finextra’s M&A story, KRM22 buys Prime Analytics


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Lead Stories

FTSE Russell to Add Chinese Stocks to Its Indexes From 2019
Bloomberg News
Chinese A shares will comprise 5.5% of FTSE Emerging Index; Index compiler to include around 1,200 Chinese firms, CEO says
Chinese-listed stocks will soon be added to FTSE Russell’s global indexes, another step in the country’s efforts to internationalize its markets.

MSCI Has Become Chinese Stocks’ Best Friend; The index provider is proposing a sharp increase of Chinese stocks in its indexes. That is a big call.
Jacky Wong – WSJ
Passive investors are about to make a big stock pick, even though they are not the ones making the decision. Index compiler MSCI Inc. MSCI -0.07% has proposed increasing the weighting of mainland Chinese stocks in its indexes from next year. The jump would be pretty significant: Shares listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, so-called A-shares, would account for 3.4% of the widely followed MSCI Emerging Markets index in 2020, up from 0.7% now, if the proposal is implemented. FTSE Russell, another major index provider, is also widely expected to include A-shares in its indexes later this week, after three years of saying no.

Crypto’s Open Secret: Its Multibillion-Dollar Volume Is Suspect
Camila Russo and Benjamin Robertson – Bloomberg
BitForex rose from obscurity to No. 1 in trading in months; Individual investors may find cashing out harder than expected. Four months ago, BitForex was just one of many obscure exchanges offering users the ability to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

IG chief executive steps down as regulatory pressure mounts; Shares in trading platform drop after unexpected departure of Peter Hetherington
Hannah Murphy in London – FT
IG Group, Europe’s largest online trading platform, has announced that its chief executive Peter Hetherington will stand down “with immediate effect”.

IHS Markit scraps MarkitSERV sale after disagreement on value; IHS Markit’s chief executive said that it could not reach an agreement on the value of the post-trade derivatives processing business.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Data and analytics giant IHS Markit is no longer seeking a buyer for its post-trade derivatives processing unit, after failing to reach an agreement on the value of the business.

London-Shanghai Stock Link May Start December, China Media Says
Lucille Liu – Bloomberg
Report outlines for first time specific listing requirements;Huatai Securities plans to list in London with GDR sale
A system that will allow Chinese and U.K. companies to list in each other’s stock market could begin as early as Dec. 3, according to Chinese state-run media, a long-awaited step in the Asian nation’s move to open up its financial system.

U.S. judge sides with CFTC on virtual currency oversight
Michelle Price – Reuters
A federal judge said on Wednesday that virtual currencies meet the definition of a commodity and fall within the jurisdiction of the U.S. derivatives regulator, allowing the agency to pursue fraud allegations against My Big Coin Pay Inc.

NYSE backed Bakkt exchange completes first Bitcoin Futures contract; Investors who buy into Bitcoin Futures through the Bakkt platform will receive the delivery of one Bitcoin into their account
Olivier Acuna – Coin Rivet
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner of the New York Stock Exchange, has announced that its crypto platform Bakkt has completed the first delivery of Bitcoin Futures.
/jlne.ws/2DwXz lD

DTCC Looks For The Next Market Risk, Or Risks
Tom Groenfeldt – Forbes
The next market disruption probably won’t be a repeat of 2008 – that would be too easy and besides, the Dodd-Frank legislation has reduced some of the big risks that led to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Why Wall Street banks may still be too big to fail
Ben White – Politico
Giant Wall Street banks may still be too big to fail and get bailed out by the federal government in a future crisis, according to one of the principal architects of post-financial crisis reforms.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

BSE gets Sebi approval to launch futures contract in gold, silver
Economic Times
BSE will launch delivery based futures contract in gold (1 kg) and silver (30 kg).
New Delhi: BSE has received capital market regulator Sebi’s approval to launch delivery based futures contract in gold and silver.

Curiosity is the mother of innovation by Thomas Book; Eurex celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new organizational structure
The financial landscape is constantly changing: changing investment behavior, regulatory requirements, new technologies, the challenges of upcoming Brexit as well as the changing business models of our clients – the list goes on and on. This is great as it requires constant innovation. And since Eurex has been an innovation leader since 1998 these items were just an initial impulse. Back then, we were a strong team of curious people – and we are still today. We take an interest in seeing how the world evolves and how we can bring markets forward. We are convinced that there is a necessity to think about innovative ways to reshape and reorganize our business model. This requires fundamental change in thinking it requires looking at our work from a client’s perspective.

Redefining the Derivatives Market: Q&A with Cboe’s Chris Concannon
Russell Rhoads – Tabb
VIX volumes are slowly building again after falling in the wake of February’s volatility surge. The decline in volume is likely due to a decrease in the assets under management held by volatility-based ETPs, according to Cboe Global Markets President Chris Concannon. Recently, Concannon gave TABB Group director of derivatives research Russell Rhoads an exclusive interview centered on Cboe’s various business lines. The discussion touched on VIX, trading platform migration, retail participation in options, and even MiFID II.

End of Consultation on the proposed amendments to the Clearing Conditions regarding the topic “Renewal of the FCM Regulations”
As announced in Eurex Clearing circular 072/18, Eurex Clearing proposed to amend the Clearing Conditions of Eurex Clearing AG (Clearing Conditions) regarding the following topic:

Futures contracts and options contracts on shares; Futures contracts on the dividends of shares: Change of group ID, name and cash market ID of futures contracts and options contracts on Nordea Bank AB
Due to the merger of Nordea Bank AB (publ) (Nordea Sweden) into Nordea Holding Abp (Nordea Finland) and the re-domiciliation of the parent company from Sweden to Finland, the Management Board of Eurex Deutschland took the following decisions, effective 1 October 2018:

STOXX licenses EURO STOXX Multi Premia Index to Credit Suisse Asset Management (Schweiz) AG; Exploit stock risk premiums on a scientific basis
Deutsche Boerse Group
STOXX Ltd., which is responsible for the index business of Deutsche Boerse Group and a global provider of innovative and tradable index concepts, has licensed the EURO STOXX Multi Premia Index to Credit Suisse Asset Management as the basis for an index fund. The index integrates the multi-preme methodology based on scientific research developed by Finreon, a spin-off of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.


U.S. fintech startup Stripe valued at $20 billion in latest funding round
Arunima Banerjee and Heather Somerville – Reuters
Payments startup Stripe said on Wednesday it has raised $245 million in funding, better positioning the company to expand to new markets globally and attract bigger customers.
The new funding round values San Francisco-based Stripe, whose products make it easier for companies to accept online payments and bill customers, at $20.25 billion, a dramatic surge from its most recent $9.2 billion valuation in 2016.

Blockchain Technology Disrupting the Billion Dollar FinTech Industry in a Big Way
Two hot topics in finance and technology are Blockchain and Fintech, with each posing numerous opportunities for revenue generation as financial transactions become increasingly digital. According to FinTech global, there has already been north of $40 billion in the first half of 2018. Blockchain, a multi-billion dollar segment itself, is making waves in Fintech through its increasing presence as Fintech leaders leverage the technology to create more secure and efficient transactions.

Flow Traders deploys Corvil Intelligence Hub
Corvil today announced that Flow Traders, a leading global technology-enabled liquidity provider specialized in Exchange Traded Products (ETPs), has deployed Corvil’s Intelligence Hub to streamline compliance with Order to Transaction Ratio (OTR) requirements.

Stock Exchange of Thailand signs new seven-year deal with Cinnober
Cinnober via Finextra
Cinnober Financial Technology, a global independent provider of technology solutions for the finance industry, today announces that the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has signed a new license agreement with Cinnober for a term of seven years.


This Crypto Mining IPO Looks as Risky as Crypto Trading; Bitmain, the world’s largest cryptocurrency-mining equipment maker, has filed for an IPO in Hong Kong. Its business model looks just as open to volatility as cryptocurrencies.
Jacky Wong – WSJ
Participating in an initial coin offering is pretty risky, but buying into the initial public offering of a leading player in the crypto world could be stomach-churning too.

****More from the WSJ here. For Bloomberg’s take, go here.

LedgerX is ready to launch options for ether
Frank Chaparro – The Block
LedgerX, the cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, is ready to launch ether futures; The firm is waiting for the green light from regulators
Elsewhere, Cboe is telling market makers it is ready to launch ether futures
Traders may soon have a new way to bet on ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Chicago crypto trading shops are going on a hiring spree
Frank Chaparro – The Block
3 Chicago trading firms – Geneva Trading, DRW, and Akuna Capital – are looking to increase their crypto headcount; Still, some industry insiders are uncertain about the future of OTC desks in the volatile market.
Long before bulge bracket banks like Goldman Sachs made headlines about dipping their pinky toes into the crypto market, Chicago high-frequency traders were taking bitcoin orders in the millions of dollars and cashing in on mouth-watering arb trades.

Circle Joins Ranks of Stable Crypto Coins With Dollar Token
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Mobile payments company’s USD Coin pegged to the greenback; Gemini, Paxos issued their own tokens earlier this month
Circle Internet Financial Ltd. is joining the controversial world of stable coins.

Ex-UBS Bankers Raise Funding for a Swiss Cryptocurrency Bank
Nour Al Ali – Bloomberg
Seba raises $104 million from private, institutional investors; Company in talks with Swiss financial regulator since April
Seba Crypto AG, a Swiss financial services company run by ex-UBS Group AG bankers, said it raised money as it seeks to become one of the world’s first regulated banks to let consumers easily swap dollars and euros into cryptocurrency.

****FT here.

Wallet provider Blockchain has launched an OTC trading desk
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Blockchain, the wallet provider, has launched an OTC trading desk; It is a small part of the firm’s push to gain institutional business in the crypto market; It is being run by Vince Machi, a former trader at DRW.
Another cryptocurrency firm is breaking into the over-the-counter trading business. Blockchain, the European cryptocurrency wallet provider, has launched in recent weeks an OTC desk to execute large trades off of public exchanges such as a Coinbase or Kraken, according a person familiar with the firm’s business. The new desk is being run by former DRW fixed-income trader Vince Machi, according to a source.

Crypto and Cannabis Are the Perfect Post-Crisis Bubbles; Robo-traders and index funds may have taken over most of the stock market, but the psychology of bubbles is still strong.
Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
The economist John Maynard Keynes wrote: “The game of professional investment is intolerably boring and over-exacting to anyone who is entirely exempt from the gambling instinct; whilst he who has it must pay to this propensity the appropriate toll.”


U.S. gasoline prices at seasonal four-year high ahead of midterm elections
Stephanie Kelly – Reuters
U.S. gasoline prices are sitting at four-year seasonal highs headed into the November midterm elections, even as President Donald Trump has called repeatedly for OPEC to push prices lower.

An Economic Cold War Looms Between the U.S. and China; Some observers suspect that Washington’s ultimate goal is to permanently disentangle America’s economy from China’s
Greg Ip – WSJ
A decade ago, the growing mutual dependence of the U.S. and Chinese economies earned them the nickname “Chimerica.”

The Metal That Started Trump’s Trade War; The president’s aluminum tariff is bad for America – and great for Switzerland’s Glencore.
Matthew Philips, Doe Deaux – Bloomberg
Working at the Century Aluminum Co. smelter in Hawesville, Ky., can be like having a job in an oven. The interior temperature hovers around 140F, which isn’t necessarily hotter than, say, your typical steel mill. What’s especially hellish about an aluminum smelter is how close you have to stand to bubbling vats of molten, electrified metal.


CFTC Orders an Iowa Introducing Broker and Its Principals to Pay $11.9 Million in Restitution to Farmers and a $1.25 Million Civil Monetary Penalty for Fraud, Unauthorized Trading, and False Statements to the CME, Among Other Violations
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Kooima & Kaemingk Commodities, Inc. (K&K), Lauren Kaemingk (Kaemingk), and Bradley Kooima (Kooima), all of Iowa, for Kaemingk’s fraud, unauthorized trading, and making false or misleading statements to CME Group Inc. (CME), for a former employee’s fraud, unauthorized trading, and violation of CME position limits in live cattle futures contracts, and for K&K’s, Kaemingk’s, and Kooima’s supervision failures. The CFTC Order requires K&K, Kaemingk, and Kooima to pay $11,920,857.05 in restitution to their customers, which are almost entirely comprised of individual farmers and large-scale farming operations. The Order also requires K&K, Kaemingk, and Kooima to pay a civil monetary penalty of $1,250,000 and orders that they cease and desist from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, as charged.

SG Americas Securities Charged for Improper Handling of ADRs
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that SG Americas Securities LLC will pay more than $800,000 to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), predominantly by its predecessor entity.

CFTC Files Two Enforcement Actions Addressing Attempted Manipulation, Unauthorized Trading, and Fraud
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued two Orders today filing and simultaneously settling charges against various respondents for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission Regulations, including for attempted manipulation, fraud, and unauthorized trading, as set forth below and as more fully described in the related press releases for each Order.

Cancelled – CFTC Open Meeting on September 27, 2018
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Open Meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 27, 2018 has been cancelled. The matters under consideration were resolved through the Commission’s seriatim process.

CFTC Charges Brooklyn Resident Yehuda L. Belsky with Binary Options Fraud, Violating a Prior CFTC Order and Making False Statements to the CFTC; CFTC also Charges Belsky with Acting as an Unregistered Commodity Trading Advisor
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, charging Yehuda L. Belsky of Brooklyn, New York, and his firm Y Trading, LLC (Y Trading) with solicitation fraud in connection with binary options trading. The CFTC Complaint also charges Belsky with making false statements to the CFTC about his binary options trading and failing to register with the CFTC as a Commodity Trading Advisor, as required. According to the Complaint, Belsky solicited at least $1,258,000 from

LinkedIn’s Co-Founder Warns of Perils in Regulating Big Tech; Reid Hoffman talks about debating Trump with Peter Thiel and weighs the risks of increasing government oversight of the tech sector
Rolfe Winkler – WSJ
America’s big tech companies are facing some of their toughest political challenges as they flirt with or surpass trillion-dollar valuations. Before lawmakers try to rein them in, Reid Hoffman argues government officials better be careful what they wish for.

Asset managers still feeling Mifid II research squeeze
Nine months into the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, asset managers are still feeling the pinch around research.

Trading venues face increased scrutiny on “unsatisfactory” MiFID II data submissions; ESMA will publish performance indicators on data submitted by trading venues for the double volume caps and bond liquidity assessments under MiFID II.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
European trading venues are set to face increased scrutiny on the delivery of data for MiFID II requirements, after the EU regulator announced plans to publish timeliness and completeness indicators.

The Neutral Corner; Special Proceeding for Simplified Arbitration
Rule 12800 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes (Customer Code) and Rule 13800 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes (Industry Code) provide two options for administering cases with claims of $50,000 or less, excluding interest and expenses. The default option is a decision by a single arbitrator based on the parties’ pleadings. The second option is a full hearing with a single arbitrator.

FinCEN issues an Advisory on the FATF-identified jurisdictions with AML/CFT deficiencies
On September 21, 2018, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an Advisory announcing that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had updated its list of jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. NFA Member FCMs and IBs should review this Advisory to ensure that their AML programs have the most current information on FATF identified jurisdictions with AML/CFT deficiencies and revise their AML programs accordingly. A copy of the Advisory is available on FinCEN’s website.

Financial Conduct Authority publishes Decision Notice concerning Linear Investments Limited
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published a Decision Notice concerning Linear Investments Limited. Linear failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively to ensure potential instances of market abuse could be detected and reported. The failure occurred from 14 January 2013 to 9 August 2015. Linear has referred the issue of penalty to the Upper Tribunal.

Investing and Trading

Square Is the Next FANG, and Other Signs of Market Euphoria; Shares of payments company Square have nearly tripled this year and are starting to look untethered from reality
Aaron Back – WSJ
Square is a solid success story, but should it be valued on par with, or even at a premium to, some of the most successful companies of our time? The market and at least one analyst appear to think so.

Credit Suisse and JPMorgan vie to lead Lyft IPO; Ride hailing service looks to beat arch-rival Uber to public markets
Shannon Bond and Nicole Bullock – FT
Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are vying for the role of lead underwriter for Lyft’s initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter, as the US ride hailing app prepares to enter the public markets early next year ahead of arch-rival Uber.

Goldman Sachs Pours Cold Water on Talk of $100 a Barrel Oil
David Marino – Bloomberg
Another supply catalyst needed to push prices higher: analysts; Bank sees Brent crude back in $70-$80 range end-year
Oil at $100? Not so fast, says Goldman Sachs. The bank’s analysts said in a note Tuesday that “another supply catalyst beyond Iran would likely be needed for prices to meaningfully break to the upside.”

ESG has its quirks – just like the Titanic disaster; Wake-up call for investors in filtered environmental, social and governance strategies
Stuart Kirk – FT
After the Titanic sank in 1912, a new international regulation required ships to carry enough lifeboats to cater for everyone aboard in an emergency.

We’re From the International Maritime Organization, and We’re Here to Help You: The Perverse Economics of New Maritime Fuel Standards
Streetwise Professor
This Bloomberg piece from last month claims that the International Maritime Organization’s looming 2020 caps on sulfur emissions from ships “could lift crude prices by $4 a barrel when the measures come into effect in 2020.” Not so fast. It depends on what you mean by “crude.” According to the International Oil Handbook, there are 195 different streams of crude oil. Crucially, the sulfur content of these crudes varies from basically zero to 5.9 percent. There is no such thing the price of “crude,” in other words.

Trading costs add 50% to fund manager fees; New research into what large investors pay out suggests trading costs are ‘clearly material’
Mark Cobley – Financial News London
The cost of buying and selling shares and other securities adds an extra 50% to the base fees charged by fund managers, according to a new study that claims to be one of the most detailed ever completed on the subject.


JPMorgan Funnels Resources Into Helping Women Employees and Clients
McKenna Moore – Fortune
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is putting its money where its mouth is. The bank is hiring a full-time director and funneling resources into Women On the Move, a group within the company established in 2013 to promote women within the firm. The group will now also help female clients to succeed.

Goldman Sachs opens rival to UK high-street banks; Account will pay 1.5% at a time when intense competition is driving down profits
Stephen Morris and Nicholas Megaw – FT
Goldman Sachs is opening its UK consumer bank on Thursday with an offer of interest rates higher than many rivals, as the US investment banking giant seeks to poach customers from the dominant high street lenders.

TP ICAP unveils plans for new London HQ; TP ICAP will move its Tullett Prebon and ICAP Global Broking Business under one roof at 135 Bishopsgate, Broadgate.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Interdealer broker TP ICAP has confirmed plans to move its London headquarters to 135 Bishopsgate after signing a commercial lease with property developer British Land.

Danske Bank whistleblower was former Baltics trading head: Denmark’s Berlingske
Teis Jensen – Reuters
The internal whistleblower who helped reveal alleged money laundering at Danske Bank’s (DANSKE.CO) Estonian branch was Howard Wilkinson, a former head of its trading business in the Baltics, Danish newspaper Berlingske reported on Wednesday.


Saudi Arabia’s legal revamp offers hope for cautious investors
Andrew Torchia – Reuters
Saudi Arabia’s first comprehensive bankruptcy law went into effect last month, one of many reforms to the legal system that economists say may be more important in the long run than high-profile privatizations.

Italy’s government makes last-minute push on spending; Bonds volatile as coalition presses to include election pledges in budget targets
Miles Johnson and Kate Allen – Financial Times
Italy’s coalition government is making a last-minute push to ensure its expensive election promises are included in new spending targets that risk increasing the country’s budget deficit beyond the comfort level of Brussels and financial markets.


Macron Says He’d Welcome U.K. Back to EU If Voters Change Their Minds
Gregory Viscusi, John Micklethwait and Helene Fouquet – Bloomberg
‘History’ more important than luring London bankers to Paris; French president says unpopularity inevitable with reforms
French President Emmanuel Macron said he’d welcome Britain back should its voters decide in a second referendum to stay in the European Union.

EU grudgingly accepts no-deal Brexit would still include some deals
Gabriela Baczynska – Reuters
The European Union will wait until November before kicking off full-blown preparations for a possible collapse of Brexit talks, diplomats said, reluctantly accepting that such a scenario would still require some managing.
EU envoys of the 27 countries remaining in the bloc after Brexit discussed on Wednesday stepping up contingency planning should no agreement with Britain emerge on how to run the unprecedented process.

U.S. business asks PM May – how bad can Brexit get?
William James – Reuters
British Prime Minister Theresa May was reminded of how worried businesses are about Brexit on Wednesday when a rallying speech to executives in New York was met with a single stark question from the floor – just how bad can things get?
May assured her audience that Britain would flourish after Brexit and remain an attractive place to invest, seeking to ease concerns about the country’s future after it leaves the European Union next March.

EU executive says working for Brexit deal but also doing no-deal preparations
The European Commission continues to prepare for the possibility that Britain may leave the EU in March without a deal on their future relations but insisted on Thursday that it was working to conclude a treaty.

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