26  December – 30 December

26 December

HSBC is apparently getting close to identifying the chairman it wants as a replacement for Douglas Flint, who plans to retire in 2017. Is it possible that the lender will become a rarity among big global banks and choose a woman for the role?

Over the past year, technology and sharing economy start-ups have continued their disruption of traditional industries — from Uber and other ride hailers’ shake-up of the taxi market to Airbnb’s myriad alternatives to conventional hotel stays.

Look down to the very bottom on the Bloomberg list of estimates for US economic growth next year and you will find John Dunham. The Brooklyn-based economist stands alone in a survey that includes 89 of his peers in projecting a fall in American output next year.

Last week Dear Evan Hansen became the seventh new Broadway show of 2016 to pull in more than $1m at the box office in a single week, at the end of a year in which New York’s theatre takings have so far been roughly flat at $1.34bn.

27 December

President Mauricio Macri has appointed a fiscal hawk as treasury minister as part of his first major cabinet reshuffle in an effort to reinvigorate Argentina’s tepid economic growth.

Chinese technology group Tencent has bought a stake in a German-owned mapping company in an attempt to win market share from Baidu and Alibaba, as the three gear up to compete for driverless cars’ navigation systems.

Like festive shoppers scrambling for last-minute stocking fillers, two of Europe’s biggest oil groups spent the days before Christmas on a $6bn spending spree.

Royal Bank of Scotland is considering plans to restructure the maximum amount its chief executive Ross McEwan and other senior executives can earn under their long-term pay awards as well as forcing them to hold more shares in the part-nationalised lender.

28 December

Mexico’s government has announced the biggest increases in petrol prices in almost two decades in a move that risks a backlash against its efforts to liberalise the country’s energy market.

Like cats in popular folk wisdom, globalisation appears to have many lives. The integration of markets in goods, services and capital that accelerated in the 1990s with the fall of communism and the rise of China has been written off many times, notably during the global financial crisis. Yet it has survived.

Italy is planning to inject around €6.5bn into Monte dei Paschi di Siena, officials said on Tuesday, after the European Central Bank estimated that the country’s third-largest bank had a larger capital shortfall than was thought.

BP has made its biggest downstream acquisition since 2001, spending almost $1.3bn on 527 fuel stations in Australia, in the latest of a string of deals announced by the oil group before the end of the year.

29 December

Optimism among the UK’s largest businesses reached an 18-month high at the end of 2016, as concerns about the short-term effects of the Brexit vote and worries about the global economy receded.

Japan plans to duck new UN rules on accounting for public pension liabilities while recognising pension assets in a way that will obscure the size of its huge public debt.

On October 17, every employee at Dentsu — Japan’s biggest advertising agency and arguably the country’s most influential company — received the same, catastrophic-sounding message from the company’s president, Tadashi Ishii.

The London insurance market, the largest in the world, is predicting a surge in companies and individuals taking out policies against cyber attacks in 2017 after a 50 per cent rise this year.

30 December

The euro is on course to hit parity with the dollar for the first time in more than 14 years, helping the eurozone maintain its recovery by making exports more competitive, according to a Financial Times poll of economists.

In 2016, the economy became even more intertwined than usual with politics. British voters decided that a prolonged period of uncertainty over Brexit should follow the financial crisis of 2007-09 and weak recovery. But political upheavals were not restricted to the UK. This reality must shape any assessment of the economy in 2017.

US mortgage lenders are heading for the quietest year for refinancings since 2000 as rising interest rates are expected to turn some borrowers off the deals, hitting what has been an important source of revenue for the industry.

The chief executive of AstraZeneca has warned that protracted negotiations between drugmakers and the NHS are denying UK patients access to life-saving treatments, including the latest generation of cancer therapies already available in the US and other parts of Europe.