November 20, 2017 / 12:23 PM / 24 days ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Zimbabwe leadership battles, Germany’s coalition conundrums and Brexit and the City - will Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in 2019 damage one of its most successful industries?

Zoo employee Vlada Zapolskaya walks past a figure of a dinosaur with Ralf, an 1,5-year-old red fox, during a training session which is a part of a programme of taming wild animals for research and interaction with visitors at the Royev Ruchey Zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

World

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he was “baffled” by President Robert Mugabe’s address to the nation on Sunday when the veteran leader defied widespread expectations that he would resign.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has agreed to stand down after 37 years in power, CNN reported on Monday, after he avoided any mention of resignation in a rambling national address on Sunday night.

ReutersTV: Zimbabwe’s Mugabe defies demands he quit

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday her efforts to form a three-way coalition government had failed, thrusting Germany into a political crisis and pushing Europe’s largest economy closer to a possible new election.

European markets jarred by German coalition collapse

An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior official from either country of long-rumoured secret dealings. 

UK

Will Britain's decision to leave the European Union in 2019 damage one of its most successful industries? The financial services sector potentially has a lot to lose from the end of unfettered access to the EU's post-Brexit market of 440 million people. Find out with our Brexit tracker what the data says on six key indicators.

Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, a pivotal figure in the political life of Ireland for almost 50 years, said on Saturday he will step down as party leader and complete a generational shift in the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

British Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond’s budget statement this week will include measures to encourage the development of driverless and electric cars, artificial intelligence and telecommunications.

Queen Elizabeth and husband Prince Philip mark their platinum wedding anniversary with a small family get-together on Monday, a far cry from the pomp and celebration which greeted their marriage 70 years ago.

 

A drone operated by staff of Hainan Power Grid Corporation emits flame to burn down trash from power lines, in Haikou, Hainan province, China November 16, 2017. Picture taken November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

A drone operated by staff of Hainan Power Grid Corporation emits flame to burn down trash from power lines, in Haikou, Hainan province, China November 16, 2017. Picture taken November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

Business

Internet giant Alibaba Group has said it would invest HK$22.4 billion ($2.87 billion) for a major stake in China’s top hypermart operator, Sun Art Retail Group , part of a wider push into offline retail.

BreakingViews: Alibaba deal guides grocers to checkout

A preliminary deal to sell 36 A380s to Emirates blew up in an Airbus hospitality chalet moments before the Gulf carrier was expected to shower $30 billion on the planemaker and its U.S. rival Boeing at the start of last week’s Dubai Airshow.

Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has submitted an offer to acquire the Weinstein Co, a spokeswoman for the U.S. film and TV studio said on Sunday. 

Oil eased, as traders were reluctant to take on big new positions ahead of an OPEC meeting next week, when the exporter group is expected to decide whether to continue output cuts aimed at propping up prices. 

Commentary

Few British budgets have mattered as much as the one that Philip Hammond will deliver to the House of Commons on Nov. 22, writes Paul Wallace. The chancellor of the exchequer must shore up Theresa May’s perilously shaky government ahead of a vital Brexit summit of European leaders in mid-December while also keeping a grip on the public finances. "But the gravest challenge he faces is economic: Britain’s persistent productivity blight," says Wallace. 

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