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FirstFT: US regulators seek buyer for SVB

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Good morning.

We continued to learn more about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and its knock-on effects over the weekend. Below, we have the latest on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s auction to find a new buyer for the bank, after taking it over on Friday.

Meanwhile, the UK is preparing a dramatic intervention to keep tech businesses safe from the damage caused in the wake of SVB’s collapse. Get the latest news on SVB on FT.com.

Here’s what to keep tabs on today:

  • SVB latest: The bank will reopen for insured depositors under the newly formed Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara. Customers with more than $250,000 in accounts will learn if they can recover their funds.

  • Aukus defence pact: President Joe Biden meets British prime minister Rishi Sunak and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in California.

  • Economic data: India releases its February consumer price index inflation rate data today.

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Today’s top news

1. US regulators are seeking a buyer for Silicon Valley Bank, which was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Friday. Policies were being discussed to ensure depositors have access to their funds, despite dismissing the idea of a bailout. Read the full story.

2. UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt is preparing a cash lifeline for tech companies hit by Silicon Valley Bank collapse, with senior founders warning of “carnage” if they are unable to pay wages and bills in the coming week. Here’s what we know about plans for a dramatic intervention.

3. Saudi Aramco posts record $161bn profit on back of strong crude prices, increasing its quarterly payout to shareholders to almost $20bn as the largely state-owned oil company cashed in on a tumultuous year in energy markets.

4. Xi Jinping retains China’s central bank head Yi Gang in his post, a move analysts said would send a positive signal to markets as Beijing prepared to transfer some of the central bank’s regulatory functions to the state financial regulatory commission.

5. Tim Cook bets on Apple’s mixed-reality headset to secure his legacy. The headset will be Apple’s first new computing platform to have been developed entirely under Cook’s leadership, and is a next-generation hardware product that some inside the company believe might one day rival the iPhone.

News in depth

The rapid collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has stunned the venture capital and start-up community, but its fate had been sealed almost two years earlier © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In early March, 40 chief financial officers from various technology groups gathered in the Utah ski resort of Deer Valley for an annual “snow summit” hosted by Silicon Valley Bank, a crucial financial institution for start-ups. Barely a week later, several of the finance chiefs were exchanging frantic messages about whether they should continue to hold their cash in the bank. While its collapse happened quickly, problems at Silicon Valley Bank had been festering for years.

We’re also reading . . . 

  • Resolving the SVB implosion: The Fed should tolerate greater banking system concentration while seeking to contain moral hazard and avoiding lower rates, writes Queens’ College, Cambridge president Mohamed El-Erian.

  • Therapy at work: Linklaters, The Bank of England and JPMorgan Chase are all making virtual and on-site psychologists available, signalling to staff that managers are supportive of their teams. Here’s how it works (and why it helps).

  • MBA in the metaverse: The Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) has offered a tantalising prospect to people who want to learn but don’t like to leave the house: join ‘virtually, for a postgraduate course in the metaverse’.

Interested in applying for a Masters of Business Administration? Sign up for MBA 101 for free to learn everything you need to know about applying to business school — in just six weeks.

Chart of the day

China has emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic as a leading exporter of cars: at the end of 2019, the country was exporting about 600,000 cars a year. Three years later, it is exporting 2.6mn.

You are seeing a snapshot of an interactive graphic. This is most likely due to being offline or JavaScript being disabled in your browser.

Take a break from the news

Trieste, the coastal capital city of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in north-east Italy, is having a bit of a moment. More on the comeback kid of Europe.

Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo church seen from the Trieste Grand Canal © Camilla Glorioso

Additional contributions by Tee Zhuo and Darren Dodd

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