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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 19 March 2019

Daily briefing - 19 March 2019

Last week we observed how the Brexit process is uncovering significant differences between the legal systems of the UK and the EU. Reporters in Brussels were said to have cried out in surprise when the grandstanding Speaker of the Commons John Bercow announced on Sunday that Theresa May would not be allowed to bring forward her unchanged Brexit agreement for a third time. The announcement threw the Brexit process into even more chaos. Bercow cited a precedent from 1604. Some political insiders in the UK believe that Brexit is now effectively over. "The prime minister is now likely to have to go to Thursday's Brussels summit with a request for a long extension to article 50, which could mean the UK has to spend more than £100m on participating in European parliament elections," suggests the Guardian.

The mooted merger of Deutsche and Commerzbank is political more than economic and it's likely that Brexit is playing a part in this decision too. With official go-ahead for talks, there's nothing to stop the two giants from being meshed together. "The merged bank would have roughly 1.8 trillion euros in assets, such as loans and investments, and a market value of about 25 billion euros ($28 billion)," reports Reuters. "It would have one fifth of the German retail banking market. Together, Deutsche and Commerzbank employ 140,000 people worldwide. A merger would put tens of thousands of jobs at risk, according to unions. Proponents of a merger include the German government and U.S. investor Cerberus, which is a shareholder in both banks. Opponents include some other shareholders in Deutsche Bank and labour unions."

Worldpay, originally founded by English entrepreneur Nick Ogden, has grown into one of the world's biggest payments processors. It was acquired last year by Vantiv for $10 billion, but that deal was one-upped by Fiserv's acquisition of First Data in January for $39 billion. But Worldpay is back again, having been acquired by Florida-based FIS for a reported $43 billion. "Initial public offerings have been climbing along with mergers," writes Bloomberg. "Italy's Nexi SpA said Monday that it plans an IPO in Milan by the end of April, aiming to raise as much as 2.7 billion euros ($3.1 billion), according to people familiar with the plan," writes Bloomberg. "Adyen was one of the best-performing IPOs globally in 2018. Network International, a Middle Eastern payments processor, on March 14 announced its plan for a London IPO in the next four weeks."

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