Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, arrives for a meeting with Xavier Bettel, his Luxembourg counterpart, in Luxembourg City, 16 September 2019. Photo: Delano
Turkey wants Syrian “safe zone”; US drugmaker files for bankruptcy; and oil prices jump higher. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.
Johnson meets Juncker and Bettel; met by protests
The British PM Boris Johnson’s visit to Luxembourg, to discuss Brexit, was capped by Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel holding a solo press conference after Johnson backed out of facing journalists. (Johnson’s team reportedly asked for the location to be moved further away from noisy protesters; Bettel’s team reportedly said it was too short notice.) A visibly irritated and blunt Bettel said there was nothing new on the table and put the onus on London to propose workable solutions. Earlier, Johnson had a working lunch with Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, where little was agreed except the need for more talks. Sources: BBC, Bloomberg, Channel 4 News, Delano, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian and Reuters. Read Delano’s editorial on Monday’s meetings.
Brexit prorogation case before UK Supreme Court
Britain’s top court will hear claims on Tuesday that Boris Johnson’s five week suspension of parliament was based on improper manoeuvres to avoid debate over Brexit. Sources: The Guardian, ITV News and Reuters.
Turkey wants Syrians to return to “safe zone”
The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said up to 3m Syrian refugees (out of 3.6m hosted by Turkey) could be relocated to a “safe zone” to be set up inside Syria. Sources: Associated Press, BBC and Reuters.
The price of oil jumped by roughly 15% on Monday, to $69 a barrel, following drone attacks on key Saudi Arabian production facilities. Analysts said that if there are further attacks or military escalation in the Gulf region, then prices could hit $75-$100 per barrel. Sources: BBC, CNBC and the Guardian.
Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy
The US drugmaker Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy after being hit with 2,600 lawsuits alleging that its Oxycontin painkiller fuelled a deadly opioid addiction epidemic (which the firm denies). Sources: BBC, Deutsche Welle and Reuters.
Fund regulation: Esma hits back over FCA Ucits comments
EU and UK financial regulators have (in a rare move) publicly aired differences over asset management rules. The comments concerned liquidity at Ucits funds, like the troubled one run by Neil Woodford. Source: Financial Times.
Iphone maker gets tax hearing at EU court
Apple will appeal against the European Commission’s order to pay €13bn in back taxes to Ireland before the EU General Court, in Kirchberg, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sources: Bloomberg, Financial Times and Reuters.
Tuesday 17 September, 8pm:Pub quiz in Bonnevoie. Wednesday 18 September, 6pm: The British Chamber of Commerce hosts a conference on cross-border insurance post-Brexit. Wednesday 18 September, 6pm-9:30pm: Hear about (and see) sustainable fashion at The Foundry. Wednesday 18 September, 6:30pm: The Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce conference on “The business of restaurants”. Thursday 19 September, 12noon: Deadline to win free passes to the Delano Live event on the retail wine business (to be held on Tuesday 24 September, 6:30pm).
Here are 5 finance & economy stories you may have missed
Setter Capital study: There were $42.1bn worth of deals in the private equity secondary market during the first six months of the year (up by a third over the same period in 2018), per the Financial Times. Preqin study: Nearly half of alternative fund investors have rejected a fund that did not meet ESG standards, per Citywire Selector. China: Beijing dropped its quotas on foreigners buying domestic stocks and bonds, per Reuters. Judgement: A fund selector told Citywire that a language barrier helped him look past personality and “sharpen his analytical skills”. Fund mysteries:Institutional Investor looked at the Silicon Valley AI-driven hedge fund that apparently does not really exist and found a possible explanation of what its founder is up to.
Return to sender
The US is likely to leave the Universal Postal Union, the UN body which coordinates international postal and parcel shipments, in October due to a dispute over how post offices are reimbursed for cross-border deliveries. Sources: Freightwaves and Logistics Management (from September 2019); BBC and Guardian (from October 2018).