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Morning Briefing

Starling Bank, a new digital bank in the UK founded by former Allied Irish Bank CEO Anne Boden, has raised $70 million as it attempts to move into the UK banking market and compete with other digital banks like Atom Bank and Tandem Bank, reports the FT.

The money comes from Harald McPike, the founder of QuantRes, a Bahamas-based quantitative investment manager. "Starling Bank will provide people with the kind of innovative leaps in their financial lives that they have experienced in transportation and video streaming, so this is an investment opportunity I could not pass up," he said.

Also in the UK the FCA-driven insider trading case that has been years in the making will finally come to court today, according to the Financial Times. This suit alleges the largest amount of financial gain, £3 million, in an insider trading case since 2008.

The defendants are: Martyn Dodgson, Andrew Grant Harrison, Ben Anderson, Iraj Parvizi, and Andrew Hind.

In Brazil, inflation in 2015 surpassed 10 percent, well above its 6.5 percent goal, adding to concerns that Brazil's economic success in the past few years may not be an indicator of stability and success to come but merely a temporary trend.

Standard & Poor's downgraded Brazil's credit rating to junk last September, followed by Fitch in December. Brazil's central bank enjoys a large degree of autonomy and has raised interest rates to 14.25 per cent to try to tame inflation.

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China's credit binge is the real concern
Italian Reits look to test investors' property appetite with IPOs
Banco do Brasil, Bradesco in Citigroup venture talks
China's consumer inflation up just 1.6%
Saudi Aramco confirms share listing deliberations

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