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February 12th – The BESA Times

Thirtieth Edition - Sunday, February 12th

Every week, a complete snapshot of what happened around the world in the past seven days


Notable Headlines

Moelis & Co, the boutique investment bank founded by Ken Moelis (formerly of UBS Investment) in 2007 secured the role of lead independent advisor on the planned IPO of Saudi Aramco, the largest oil producer in the world. With a valuation of almost $2tn, Saudi Aramco is the world's most valuable public company. The Kingdom seeks to list 5% of its shares with possible locations such as London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore being considered.

BNP Paribas said earlier this week that it would invest €3bn in digital and financial technology through 2020 as it seeks to transform its business. BNP Paribas has been hit in recent years by branch closures and cost cutting exercises in its investment banking division.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the former German foreign minister who was a vocal critic of Donald Trump during the U.S. election, is poised to become the country’s 12th postwar president. Steinmeier, 61, is set to succeed Joachim Gauck, 77, the one-time Protestant pastor and political dissident in communist East Germany who opted to stand down after serving a single five-year term.


What to remember of last week's news?

United States President Donald Trump signed two executive orders directing the review of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations and halting implementation of another federal rule that mandates financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients. Trumps’ campaign to upend Dodd-Frank, a 22,000-page document, could see the abolition of the ban on proprietary trading at Wall Street banks and on predatory lending. It also targets the “fiduciary rule” that, if it goes into effect, would require brokers to put their clients’ interest first — but also impede investor choice.

Russia’s central bank left key interest rates at 10%, with officials saying Russia is due to meet its inflation target of 4% by 2017. Russia's innovation Central Bank Governor, Elvira Nabiullina, announced a $1.9bn spending spree in the foreign exchange markets in a bid to prevent rising oil prices from strengthening the rouble. The government also announced a new rule that excess oil revenue is to be stored as foreign currency reserves rather than spending it in a bid to reduce Russia's deficit.


Understand in Pictures...

The Trump Administration and Republicans are seeking to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act. What exactly is the Dodd-Frank Act? Find out more here.


A Week in the Financial Markets


Our Homemade Article

by Vladislava Kolesnikova for BESA


What to expect for next week?

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will post the minutes of its 31st January 2017 meeting on 22 February 2017. The FOMC organizes 8 meetings in a year and reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. FOMC Minutes are released by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and are a clear guide to the future US interest rate policy.


Did you know?

On this day in 2002, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial at The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide and war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. Milosevic served as his own attorney for much of the prolonged trial, which ended without a verdict when the so-called “Butcher of the Balkans” was found dead at age 64 from an apparent heart attack in his prison cell on March 11, 2006.





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