Top Headlines

Russian Gang Suspected of Scam in ICE market – FT (subscription)

Intercontinental Exchange’s London futures market has been used as a front for Russian organised crime, according to police who have made two arrests for suspected money-laundering.

Bernie Sanders Wins West Virginia Democratic Primary – WSJ (subscription)

Bernie Sanders defeated front-runner Hillary Clinton in West Virginia on Tuesday, regaining momentum and leaving some of Mrs. Clinton’s backers uneasy that her path to the Democratic presidential nomination figures to be rocky to the end.

Queen Caught on Camera Calling Chinese Officials “Very Rude” – Reuters

Queen Elizabeth has been caught on camera saying Chinese officials were “very rude” to the British ambassador during a state visit to Britain by President Xi Jinping last year.

Impeachment proceedings against Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff: What’s up? – CNN

The mess that is Brazil’s political situation took a surprising twist when the new chief of the lower house of Congress said Monday that he wanted to strike down impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.


Miraculous Rise and Dramatic Acquittal of UK’s `Mad Punter’ – Bloomberg

Iraj Parvizi made his way through the London courtroom, an untucked white Ralph Lauren shirt covering his pronounced paunch. Dressed in sneakers and jeans, he looked out of place among the spectators in suits and barristers in black robes and wigs.

Regulatory News

Germany’s School for Central Bankers Draws Risk-Averse Crowd – WSJ

The Bundesbank has lost clout in Europe, but its castle training ground is going strong

More Currencies or Better Anchors? – Profit & Loss

Claudio Borio, head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) monetary and economic department, has tried to answer a perennial question in a speech in Zurich this morning. Does the world need more major currencies to counter the US dollar’s influence?

Company News

Toyota Sees First Profit Drop in Five Years on Yen Strength – Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp said annual net income will probably decline for the first time in five years, as currency swings that had spurred record profits now pose stiff headwinds.

Saxo Looks to Capitalise on Content – Profit & Loss

One of the fallouts from the so-called FX chatroom scandal is that many banks are now petrified of providing their clients with information. This may well get worse as new rules and regulations, such as the EU’s looming Market Abuse Regulation and of course MiFID II, come into force.

Italy’s Mediobanca Reports Rising Profits – fastFT (subscription)

Mediobanca, Italy’s leading investment bank, has reported a net profit of €121m up 58 per cent in the three months to the end of March, ahead of expectations, mainly due to better trading and lower loan loss provisions.

UniCredit Shares Tumble on Capital Concerns – fastFT (subscription)

Shares in UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank by assets, were down again in opening trade, taking its losses so far this year to 44 per cent, as the market digested its unexpectedly lower capital buffers in the first quarter.

Budweiser Renames its Beer ‘America’ – FT (subscription)

In a bid to capitalise on US election fever during the busiest season for beer sales, Budweiser will replace its name with ‘America’ on the front of its 12-oz cans and bottles from May 23 until the presidential vote in November.

Market Savvy

Most UK Listed Firms Hedging for Pound to Fall on Brexit – Reuters

Four-fifths of Britain’s major companies have taken steps to hedge against the risk that a vote to leave the European Union will knock more than 10 percent off the value of sterling, a poll of almost 800 of Britain’s top 1,000 companies showed on Wednesday.


Spain Boosts Euro Area’s Ultra-Long Trend With New 50-Year Bond – Bloomberg

Spain is becoming the latest euro-region sovereign to offer investors 50-year bonds this year, as countries take advantage of historically low interest rates with ultra-long debt sales.

Thailand Keeps Key Rate at 1.5% as Government Ramps Up Spending – Bloomberg

Thailand kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for an eighth consecutive meeting as it bet that rising government spending will spur an economic recovery.

China Moves to Contain Technology Bubble – FT (subscription)

China’s securities regulator is barring companies from selling new shares to fund investments in non-core businesses such as internet finance, online gaming and virtual reality, in a bid to head off a speculative bubble, according to local media.

Oil Dips on Record US Inventories; Canada Output to Improve Soon – Reuters

Oil prices dipped on Wednesday as Canadian oil sands production was expected to gradually ramp up following forced closures due to wildfires, and as record crude inventories especially in the United States put pressure on markets.