Daily briefing: MUFG makes Brexit plans, Venezuela vote marred by violence and how to demand equal pay

Japan’s biggest bank plans to choose Amsterdam as new EU base for investment banking

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MUFG, Japan’s biggest bank, plans to choose Amsterdam as its new EU base for investment banking operations to manage the disruption of Brexit. Many of the world’s largest banks have decided they cannot afford to wait for the outcome of Brexit negotiations to become clear before implementing their plans as other European capitals vie to snap up London’s financial services companies.

Such a shift could involve hundreds of jobs moving to Amsterdam as MUFG seeks to maintain its passporting rights to sell investment banking services to the rest of Europe. The bank’s main Japanese rivals, including Nomura, Daiwa and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial have all said they plan to make Frankfurt the main base for their EU clients.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond has backed away from suggestions that the UK will be a deregulated, low-cost competitor to the EU after Brexit, telling a French newspaper that Britain plans to remain “recognisably European” after it leaves the EU.

The comments are the latest sign of ministers, including Mr Hammond, rowing back from the UK government’s earlier tough rhetoric on Britain’s future relationship with the rest of the EU. (FT)

Chancellor Philip Hammond told a French newspaper that Britain planned to remain 'recognisably European' after it left the EU © Reuters

In the news

Venezuela vote marred by violence
At least 10 people were killed and several police officers injured in a bomb attack as Venezuelans largely snubbed President Nicolás Maduro’s election for a new all-powerful political assembly.

Opposition leaders rejected the electoral commission’s turnout figure of 8.1m — 41.5 per cent of the electoral register — saying only about 2m had actually voted. Analysts estimated the turnout at 3m-4m.

Mr Maduro has promised the new assembly, which will have the power to dissolve the democratically elected Congress and rewrite the constitution, will bring peace after four months of protests. Many worry that it may spell the end of democracy in the country. (FT, Reuters, NYT)

Putin caps US personnel in Russia  
Vladimir Putin said the US state department would have to cut its staff in Russia by 755 people, saying the amount of US personnel in the country will be capped at 455 — the same as the number of Russians working in the US. It is the latest sign of souring relations between the two countries and comes days after the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to strengthen sanctions on Moscow in the wake of Russian interference in the US election in order to help elect Donald Trump. Mr Putin said in an interview with Vesti TV on Sunday that Moscow could consider additional measures against Washington in response to the new sanctions. Mr Trump has been much less tough on Russia than his fellow Republicans, with this issue among the many rifts emerging between his White House and the GOP. (FT, Reuters)

Pimco pulls in $50bn active cash
The firm has staged a “remarkable turnround” to become the world’s best-selling active mutual fund manager, after investors pulled hundreds of billions of dollars from the investment house following the departure of bond king Bill Gross in 2014. (FT)

HSBC turnround
Rising rates in Hong Kong position HSBC for ‘another great, substantial lift’, Stuart Gulliver, the bank’s chief executive, told the FT. He was “very happy” with Monday’s results, adding that the bank had benefited from “revenue growth in all three of our global businesses”. Its shares rose as much as 3.2 per cent in Hong Kong.

Apple axes apps used to bypass Chinese censors
The tech group has removed apps that enable users to circumvent China’s “Great Firewall” from the Chinese app store, in a move the programme makers have condemned as “censorship”. The Silicon Valley company has withdrawn “virtual private network” apps from its store in China, as it pulls all apps that do not comply with local law. VPNs allow users to access content banned by Chinese censors to control access to information online. (FT)

Trump lashes out at China after N Korea launch
Donald Trump said he would no longer allow China to “do nothing” on North Korea, which tested another intercontinental ballistic missile, tweeting out his frustration with Beijing as the US Air Force flew two bombers over the peninsula in a warning to Pyongyang. (FT)

The day ahead

Kelly takes up White House role
Donald Trump will welcome John Kelly as White House chief of staff today as he tries to bring order to his chaotic administration and secure some much-needed legislative wins. Read our DC correspondents’ profile of the president’s unlikely ally. (FT)

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

What we’re reading

Brexit’s great car parts race
The EU exit will damage competitiveness if UK carmakers cannot source more components at home. UK carmakers are reliant on components made in the EU, but Brexit means British vehicle exports could attract hefty tariffs if carmakers are unable to source parts from within the UK. (FT)

Tesla’s game changer
The company’s new Model 3 drives a reviewer to declare the age of electric cars has finally arrived. (Bloomberg)

All you need is love?
Ludovic Hunter-Tilney on the 50th anniversary of the TV debut of “All You Need is Love”, and whatever happened to the global pop song. (FT)

How one woman demanded — and won — equal pay
Margaret Heffernan was chief executive of a technology start-up in the 1990s when she was tipped off that she was paid 50 per cent of the salary received by her male peers. But it took weeks before she found a way to demand redress without potentially hurting the source of the information. (FT)

Big tobacco feels the heat The US regulator’s shot across the bows of the industry signals a potentially more permissive approach to those developing less harmful ways to take nicotine. (FT)

Maybe a $1,400 iPhone isn’t so crazy
Christopher Mims on the sky-high price point Apple is contemplating for its 10th anniversary edition of the smartphone — and why the economic fundamentals would justify it. Meanwhile, Wall Street is braced for delays to the launch of the next iPhone, as supply shortages and manufacturing problems threaten to push the smartphone’s release later than Apple’s usual September debut. (WSJ, FT)

Video of the day

The week ahead
Aimee Keane highlights some of the big stories the FT is watching in the week ahead, including the Bank of England's interest rate-setting announcement, Apple's earnings and the latest economic data out of Germany. (FT)


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