Skip to navigationSkip to content

Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Trade pact test, Kaisa’s failed deal, FIFA fallout, British identity, bee suits

  • Quartz
By Quartz

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

First, a brief note: Quartz Africa is launching on June 1, bringing you our signature style of business coverage from the continent with some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Sign up here to get an email when it goes live, and follow @qzafrica on Twitter.

What to watch for today

A US-EU trade pact faces a test.  The EU Parliament’s Committee on International Trade will vote on recommendations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Any decision will be closely parsed for clues on whether the EU will eventually sign up for the transatlantic deal.

The African Development Bank chooses its new president. Eight candidates are up for the job, and it’s a tight race. Under the outgoing president, Rwandan Donald Kaberuka, the bank became the continent’s main financial institution, instrumental in many development projects in Africa.

GameStop shows its cards. The world’s largest video game retailer is expected to report disappointing earnings, hurt by sluggish demand for the new Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles, and a changing market where mobile games are increasingly important. It is hoping to see some pick-up with the release of the new Mortal Kombat and Batman games.

G7 finance chiefs press on. Financial ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven economies are midway through a three-day meeting in Dresden, where they are discussing everything from financial regulation to the rising importance of the Chinese yuan. The US is expected to press European lenders to strike a deal with cash-strapped Greece.

Abercrombie & Fitch continues to tumble. The clothing company has been hurting for eight straight quarters, and is expected to report a fall in revenue once again. Customers have turned away from its logo-heavy apparel toward competitors. The company is also looking for a new CEO.

Other earnings: Avago Technologies, BanColombia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Flower Foods, Splunk.

While you were sleeping

A Chinese developer deal collapses. Sunac China Holdings canned its $1.2 billion takeover of Kaisa Group Holdings after the two sides failed to agree on terms for bondholders, who own $10.5 billion in Kaisa debt. Kaisa was the first Chinese company to default on overseas debt in April, and the deal collapse could signal more pain for China bond holders.

Japanese consumers bounced back. Retail sales in the world’s third-largest economy rose 5% in April after falling for three straight months, a sign consumer spending could support Japan’s slowly reviving economy. Meanwhile the Nikkei 225 Stock index surged for a 10th day in a row, its longest winning streak since 1988.

The US investigates China’s top corruption czar. Authorities probing JP Morgan over hiring relatives of Chinese officials have requested information about anti-corruption head Wang Qishan (paywall), in an investigation that could strain US-China relations.

More FIFA fallout. Bank of America, UBS, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, HSBC, and Julius Baer in Zurich were named in a US indictment over widespread corruption and bribery in soccer’s global governing body. US officials said that at least $151 million was funneled through “complex” money laundering schemes via Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, and Switzerland.

A 2012 runner-up is making another go at the White House. Rick Santorum, a conservative former senator who came in second place in the 2012 Republican primaries, announced his presidential bid at a cinderblock warehouse near his hometown in Pennsylvania.

Quartz obsession interlude

Shelly Banjo has proof that women are better investors from Betterment, a financial advisory firm. “Using data from its own customer base, the company found that female customers were more likely to stay the course and keep a long-term mindset than their male counterparts.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Follow the money. FIFA sponsors are not without blame in the corruption scandal.

The British empire retreats… As its power diminishes, a new identity is formed.

…and it should take its cup of tea along with it. The beverage is a relic of the country’s colonial past.

Russia has a patriarchy problem. And it took a Chechen wedding to reveal it.

Quit it with the “processed foods” hysteria. They’re not all evil—even a bag of spinach is technically “processed.”

Surprising discoveries

Herpes can help kill cancer. It’s a more targeted approach than chemotherapy.

We have a new ancestor. Scientists discovered a new human species.

Now you can look up the meanings of “emoji” and “WTF” in the dictionary. Merriam Webster added 1,700 new entries to its dictionary.

Facebook is the new tool for ambulance chasers. Law firms now use social media to find medical lawsuit plaintiffs.

Some people like to wear suits made of bees. A man in China beat the world record by covering himself in 1.1 million bees.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, long-lost ancestors, and spare tea mugs to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.