Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Malaysian finance minister Lim Guan Eng acquitted of corruption charges

He was acquitted on Monday by the Penang high court of corruption charges involving the purchase of a bungalow in Penang

The judge acquitted both Liam Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Khoon after prosecution asked for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal. This move came after Malaysia’s Attorney General’s chambers withdrew the charges.

Lim was arrested, along with Phang, by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2016. He was charged with two counts of abusing his position in approving a land deal, and in the purchase of a bungalow in Penang at below market price.

The MACC stated that it was “very surprised” by the decision to both free Lim and Phang. It stressed that it was the Attorney General’s Chambers’ decision, and not theirs—to withdraw the case.

Phang is the former owner of Lim’s Pinhorn Road bungalow, which the latter purchased for $ 679,000 in July 2015. Lim, who is also the secretary-general of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) had pleaded not guilty to both charges, calling them “politically motivated to crush (his) political career.”

Leaders from the Pakatan Harapan coalition had also condemned legal action against Lim.

Senior DAP leader Lim Kit Siang stated in 2016 that the move was part of concerted efforts “to destroy the opposition and defend” the political position of former prime minister Najib Razak, who was under fire over 1MDB money-laundering probes.

-GBO Correspondent

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