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FirstFT: Harris Associates sells entire stake in Credit Suisse

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Our top story today is a scoop on one of Credit Suisse’s longest-standing supporters selling its entire stake in the scandal-hit Swiss bank. The chief investment officer of Harris Associates explains his decision — scroll down for more.

To split or not to split? EY partners will soon have to vote on whether to separate the Big Four firm’s audit and advisory businesses. The Financial Times breaks down the proposed plan in today’s Big Read.

Today I’m keeping tabs on:

  • Economic data: S&P Global releases construction purchasing manager’s indices for the EU, the UK, Germany, France and Italy. The EU also has retail sales figures for January.

  • Results: Shipping services provider Clarksons reports full-year results.

  • WTO meeting: The general council of the World Trade Organization convenes, with sanctions against Russia on the agenda.

Any thoughts on today’s FirstFT? Let us know at [email protected]

Today’s top news

1. EXCLUSIVE: Harris Associates has sold its entire stake in Credit Suisse after years of scandal and an exodus of clients at the Swiss lender. One of the bank’s longest-standing shareholders, Harris raised questions about “the future of the franchise”.

2. BP is not slowing its green transition to cash in on high oil prices, the boss of its US business insisted, despite the company announcing a scaling back of climate goals last month after record profits. Read our full interview with Dave Lawler, chair of BP America.

3. The ECB must do more to tackle “monster” inflation, said Christine Lagarde, warning that further interest rate rises from the European Central Bank are very likely. Here’s why she thinks it’s “too early to declare victory”.

  • Related: German banks will “unfairly” make €40bn this year by short-changing savers with low rates, says Europe’s largest retail deposit broker, Raisin.

4. EXCLUSIVE: The UK tax authority has prosecuted 80 per cent fewer tax evasion enablers in the past two years, despite pledging to pursue the lawyers, accountants and financial institutions that help clients carry out fraud. Why is HM Revenue & Customs not matching its tough rhetoric?

5. EXCLUSIVE: Beijing has told Hong Kong’s elite to give up their western passports if they want a seat in China’s rubber-stamp parliament. Here’s why it matters.

The Big Read

To split or not to split? That is the question facing EY’s partners when a plan to spin off the Big Four firm’s advisory arm from its audit business goes up for a vote. EY’s bosses believe partners understand the rationale for the deal, but falling company valuations have changed the landscape.

We’re also reading . . . 

Chart of the day

Borrowing costs have soared as central bankers fight to tackle inflation, and companies now find themselves disinclined to take on extra debt as they face the return of a once-familiar fear: ratings downgrades.

Take a break from the news

This week’s Lunch with the FT is with Miss Malaysia-turned-movie star Michelle Yeoh, who talks about what an Oscar would mean to Asian actors — and why she really, really wants to bring that statue home.

Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh © Ciaran Murphy

Additional contributions by Annie Jonas and Gordon Smith

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