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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 02 April 2019

Daily briefing - 02 April 2019

Reuters reports strong interest in the Network IPO, which will be the first 2019 international IPO in London. It's slated for 11 April, a day before the UK is due to leave the EU barring further developments. Dubai-based payments processor Network International has covered the books for the IPO, according to Reuters, after Mastercard's carefully timed $300 million pre-IPO investment, in an indication of strong investor demand for share deals. Mastercard has indicated too its ambitions for Africa, where Network has a growing base.

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A Gemalto card reader

Gemalto, the Netherlands-headquartered digital security business, is the world's leading manufacturer of SIM cards. Thales, based in France, is an aerospace and electronics manufacturer. Today Thales takes over Gemalto, which will have its own digital security division within the larger company. Major intelligence businesses such as BAE already offer cybersecurity and cyberwarfare monitoring, and Thales will compete. In a statement, Thales targets data analytics for banking and telecoms as one of its main new lines of business. "This combination creates a world-class leader with an unrivalled portfolio of digital identity and security solutions based on technologies such as biometry, data protection, and, more broadly, cybersecurity," said Thales in a statement. "Thales will thus provide a seamless response to customers, including critical infrastructure providers such as banks, telecom operators, government agencies, utilities and other industries as they step up to the challenges of identifying people and objects and keeping data secure."

The ECB is getting tired of all the moaning from European banks that blame their profitability problems on the central banks' negative interest rates. ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos said on Monday that the bank is looking at tiered interest rate payments to assuage some of the impact of negative rates, but he suggested that banks solve their problems closer to home. "The Spaniard added bankers should blame high costs, excessive competition and unpaid loans for the low earnings of their firms rather than the ECB's policies," says Reuters. "The low profitability of the banks clearly goes beyond the potential impact of negative interest rates. I think that the low profitability of banks in Europe has to do with structural factors."

Europe's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned yesterday that a no-deal Brexit is coming closer each day, a declaration closely followed by another loss in the House of Commons to move towards a coherent Brexit policy. While the UK parliament tries to fathom some path forward, the EU is determined not to be dragged into a Brexit rabbit hole that sees the EU awaiting British decisions as the world zips on by. "The world is fast outpacing Europe," he said. "Europe cannot remain obsessed by the past when the rest of the world is looking to the future. What we do not do for Europe, nobody will do in our place."

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