Moelis & Co secures Saudi Aramco IPO mandate, US conservatives against climate change and where are the women in French politics?

Instruction gives the bank the biggest equity advisory mandate in history

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New York boutique investment bank Moelis & Co has won the sole advisory mandate for the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, giving the bank the biggest equity advisory mandate in history.

Banks, advisory companies and consultancies have scrambled to work on the IPO since Saudi officials announced their plan a year ago to turn the state-owned oil group into the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. Deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who envisaged the IPO as part of a transformation plan for the country, believes the company could carry a $2tn valuation. Analysts say Aramco is “no ordinary IPO”, and there are outstanding issues on its shape, tax and listing location. (FT)

In the news

Conservatives against climate change A group of Republican grandees in the US has backed a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, with the revenues used for a payout to every American citizen. Making the conservative case for tackling the threat of climate change, the group said “it is incumbent upon the GOP to lead the way rather than look the other way”. (FT)

Fresh IMF-eurozone split over Greece Divisions over Greece’s €86bn bailout have deepened as Jeroen Dijsselbloem, one of Europe’s most senior policymakers, criticised the International Monetary Fund for being overly pessimistic about Greece’s economic prospects. The reasons behind the acrimony are laid out here. (FT)

Libya’s problematic strong man The EU has joined with Russia to urge the UN-backed government in Tripoli to give renegade general Khalifa Haftar a formal role as a way to unite the country. (Politico)

Theresa May avoids Brexit veto The British prime minister saw off a rebellion inside her Conservative party that could have seen the government forced to consult parliament on the final draft of any EU exit agreement. Some MPs said the government was still not offering a real choice on the Brexit deal. (FT, Guardian)

Trump travel ban’s day in court The halt on arrivals from seven majority-Muslim countries appears headed to the nation’s top court, regardless of how an appeals court rules on Tuesday. The case represents a direct test of presidential powers. (FT, WSJ)

It’s a big day for

Brexit The UK’s House of Commons will vote on the Article 50 bill to trigger the EU exit process. (FT)

Somalia The country’s lawmakers are voting to choose a new president. (Reuters)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s WeekAhead.

Food for thought

Where are the women? French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is trying to increase the number of female candidates in the country’s upcoming election, but women in the country of Simone de Beauvoir are reluctant to “lean in”. (FT)

Five Brexit challenges The FT’s Martin Wolf on Britain’s leap into the great unknown — and why UK trade may shrink by up to a quarter in services and goods. (FT)

The end of the research analyst? Research analysts have enjoyed rock-star status in the finance industry, but with the investment research business in crisis their role may be cut back. (FT)

Media under-reports threat of terror — to Muslims The Trump White House claims the media underplays the threat of Islamist terrorism. Jason Burke says Mr Trump is right, but not in the way he thinks, and the BBC goes through the list of dozens of attacks — from Paris to Melbourne to Algeria — that the White House claims media didn’t cover and provides links to stories about each of them. (Guardian, BBC)

Toyota’s Trump travails The Japanese carmaker has forecast a positive year ahead but if it succumbs to pressure from Donald Trump to increase production in the US, it could struggle to fulfil its pledge to make at least 3m cars in Japan each year. (NAR)

China’s rail plan for Africa The inauguration of a new train between Djibouti and Ethiopia is part of Beijing’s massive investment in Africa’s rail infrastructure. (NYT)

Video of the day

Post-Brexit trade in five charts The UK faces years of struggle to redesign its trade relationships following an exit from the EU single market. The FT’s Valentina Romei explains in five charts how trade might look. (FT)

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