Barclays Bank is executing a Brexit contingency plan. Pictured: Barclays branch in Fleet Street London, July 2016. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Microsoft earnings, dangerous winter weather and Juncker on Brexit. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Thursday.
Barclays shifts assets to Dublin to keep EU passport
The British bank Barclays will move €190bn in assets from the UK to Ireland to protect its EU business. The judge who approved the plan stated: “Due to the continuing uncertainty over whether there might be a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the Barclays Group has determined that it cannot wait any longer to implement the scheme.” The assets of about 5,000 clients are involved. Barclays will roughly double the size of its staff in Dublin to 300. Reported by the BBC, Guardian and RTE.
Facebook users and earnings surge
Despite several privacy and fake news scandals, the number of people regularly using Facebook rose 9% to 2.32bn last year. Total fourth quarter revenue was up by 30% to $16.9bn. Facebook shares rose 11% in after-hours trading. Reported by the BBC, Financial Times and Reuters.
Facebook and Google disable monitoring apps
Facebook paid teens $20 a month in exchange for complete access to data on their phones, in violation of Apple policies, according to Techcrunch. Facebook shuttered the programme and Apple shut off access to all Facebook apps this week, said Bloomberg and the Financial Times. Google said it would shutter a similar app, reported Engadget, Reuters and Techcrunch.
Revenue rises at Microsoft, but not enough
Microsoft shares fell 4% in after-hours trading after it narrowly missed quarterly revenue expectations. The tech firm reported total revenue of $32.47bn, just below analyst estimates of $32.51bn. Revenue increased 12% compared to the quarter ending 31 December 2017, however sales of its desktop software were down. Reported by Bloomberg, CNBC and the Financial Times.
Fed shifts stance on interest rates
The US Federal Reserve changed course, saying it would hold off raising interest rates. The central bank cited slower than expected inflation and concerns about global economic growth. Six weeks ago, it had hinted at rate rises. Reported by the BBC, Financial Times and Reuters.
Juncker: risk of “disorderly Brexit”
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, and other EU leaders reiterated that the Brexit withdrawal agreement is not up for negotiation, reported DW, EUobserver and the Financial Times.
Polar vortex turns deadly
Severe winter weather is blamed for the deaths of at least 8 people in the US midwest, reported the BBC and Guardian. It also forced the closure of several automotive plants, said Reuters.
Utility seeks bankruptcy protection after deadly California wildfires
California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, filed for bankruptcy after facing allegations that its equipment caused devastating wildfires last year. The claims are still being investigated (and the company has already been cleared of causing a deadly 2017 blaze), but the bankruptcy filing pauses several lawsuits by fire victims and could reduce any potential payouts. Reported by the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle.