19  December – 23 December

19 December

The head of the International Monetary Fund has welcomed the Ukrainian government’s decision to nationalise its biggest bank, marking the intervention as an “important step” in securing financial stability in the war-ravaged economy.

Ireland has outlined the grounds for its appeal against the European Commission’s demand that it claw back €13bn of state aid from Apple, accusing Brussels of interfering with national sovereignty. The Irish finance ministry said the EU’s executive arm had misunderstood both Irish law and the relevant facts of the case, and also that the commission had exceeded its powers.

US industrial group Praxair and Germany’s Linde are set to announce preliminary terms of their $65bn merger as early as Wednesday in a deal that will create the world’s largest supplier of industrial gas, four people familiar with the talks said.

A US drugmaker has put a price tag of more than $800 on a pinworm treatment — 200 times more expensive than the equivalent medicine on British pharmacy shelves, in the latest example of “price gouging” in the world’s largest healthcare market.

20 December

The Bank of Japan has kept monetary policy steady at its final meeting for the year and remained upbeat about the economic outlook.

Nigeria was fortunate in the first half of this decade. Gross domestic product increased from $412bn in 2011 to $568bn in 2015 and GDP per capita more than doubled from about $1,500 to $3,100. This is made all the more impressive by the fact that the population increased by about 10 per cent in the same period.

Do not let your stock price go down. This plain admonition comes from a lawyer involved in longstanding litigation at Zynga, the once high-flying mobile game maker known for its viral hit, FarmVille.
Volkswagen Canada has agreed to pay up to C$2.1bn ($1.6bn) to buy back or fix more than 100,000 cars equipped with test-cheating software — making Canada the second most expensive country after the US for VW’s global diesel scandal.

21 December

Keep on keeping on. A measure of consumer confidence in the eurozone gained further momentum in December, jumping 1.1 points to its highest level since April 2015 at -5.1.

Yoghurt troubles continue to sour sales and profits at General Mills. The food giant saw its shares slide 3.5 per cent on Tuesday after it announced quarterly earnings that missed Wall Street’s estimates, as demand for its Yoplait yoghurt slumped.

Producer prices in the eurozone’s second largest economy remained in deflation in November but showed encouraging signs of an inflationary uptick on the back of rising energy costs.

Nike posted better-than-expected profits and sales thanks in part to strong overseas businesses in western Europe, China and emerging markets despite battling headwinds from a strong US dollar.

22 December

Pigging out. Import prices faced by German manufacturers have surged to their highest level since 2012, helped up by a bumper rise in pork prices, in another encouraging signs of growing inflationary momentum in Europe’s largest economy.

Consumer spending growth narrowly missed expectations in November as income gains unexpectedly stalled, highlighting the US economy’s still patchy nature.

Dong Energy, the world’s biggest operator of offshore wind farms, has raised its profit guidance after agreeing to sell half of a UK project to Australian investment bank Macquarie in a deal worth £1.6bn.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair face a combined bill of at least €16m after the European Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that they had benefited from illegal state aid.

23 December

German consumers are feeling upbeat heading into the new year, reporting rising income expectations, indicating a pick-up in economic growth in Europe’s largest economy.

The Swiss economy is likely to stick on its current trajectory, judging from the latest reading of the KOF economic barometer.

Unite, the UK’s biggest trade union, called off threatened Christmas strike action by its members for the second time this week, suspending a planned walkout by some British Airways cabin crew amid new proposals from management.

Vitol and its private equity partner Helios Investment Partners are to take full control of an African petrol station joint venture in a deal that values the business at $1.25bn*.