UK FIRMS MAY NEED EU OFFICES

Thousands of UK businesses may need to set up an EU presence if they want to export goods to European markets, according to trade consultants Blick Rothenberg. Both EU and UK law will require companies to “have a door to knock on” if there are any disputes over payment and compliance with customs changes that will treat the UK as if it were any other non-EU country after 1 January. SOURCE: BBC

EIB FUNDED TO HELP SMES

The EIB Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), has provided a mezzanine tranche guarantee of around €125 million to Commerzbank AG on an existing portfolio of loans to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs and mid-caps). The guarantee will release regulatory capital for Commerzbank and will enable it to provide new lending of up to €500 million to SMEs and mid-caps in Germany under favourable terms. SOURCE: European Commission

LAST MINUTE TRADE TALKS

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will speak to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday afternoon to take stock of the final formal round of Brexit trade talks and to “discuss next steps,” Downing Street said. The call will come after a meeting between the U.K.’s and EU’s chief negotiators, David Frost and Michel Barnier, in Brussels this morning, which will wrap up the ninth formal round of the future relationship negotiations. SOURCE: Politico

SWISS BUY 80 US AIRPLANES

The State Department approved the possible sales — for $14 billion — of 80 military aircraft to Switzerland this week. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued two separate press releases relating to the deals this week: one announcing a possible sale of 40 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft to Switzerland, and another announcing the possible sale of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft to the country. SOURCE: UPI

UK BROTHERS BUY ASDA
Two billionaire brothers from Blackburn have won the battle to buy Asda from Walmart of the US, in a deal valuing the supermarket chain at £6.8bn. A consortium of Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital will take a majority stake in Asda. It means the grocer will return to majority UK ownership for the first time in two decades. The Issa brothers own EG Group, which has more than 5,200 petrol stations across the UK and Europe. SOURCE: BBC

PHOTO: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft