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Goldman sets workforce diversity goals; Citi starts Frankfurt broker/dealer ops

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Goldman sets workforce diversity goals; Citi starts Frankfurt broker/dealer ops

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is ramping up its efforts to further diversify its workforce and has set targets for analysts and entry-level hires, according to an internal memo sent to employees. In the Americas, the investment bank is aiming to ensure that 50% of its analysts and entry-level associates are women, 11% are black professionals and 14% are Hispanic or Latino professionals. In the U.K., the company wants to ensure 9% of its analysts and entry-level workforce are black.

Citigroup Inc.'s broker/dealer in Frankfurt is up and running less than two weeks before the March 29 Brexit deadline, the Financial Times reports. Citi's German investment firm has started trading on the main European exchanges and has begun clearing on the Eurex exchange. The U.K. is yet to reach a withdrawal deal with the European Union, according to the report.

After JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency JPM Coin, at least two major banks in the U.S. have had initial discussions with International Business Machines Corp. about issuing a "stablecoin," a digital currency whose value is fixed to the U.S. dollar, Bloomberg News reports, citing Jesse Lund, IBM's vice president of blockchain. The digital currencies present a new "revenue opportunity for banks," he said.

JPMorgan Chase is testing neuroscience-based video games to help hire interns, Reuters reports, citing Matt Mitro, the bank's head of campus recruiting. JPMorgan is using technology from Pymetrics Inc., a New York-based startup that uses neuroscience and artificial intelligence to help companies attract, select and retain talent, according to the report.

In regulatory news, the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day policy meeting begins today. The Federal Reserve is expected to keep rates steady and provide details of its plan to stop cutting its balance sheet later this year. Analysts expect the balance sheet will end up somewhere above $3.5 trillion once the cuts are over.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: Macquarie Bank to shutter Seoul branch; State Bank of India to raise 200B rupees

Europe: Brexit vote blocked; France ups capital buffer for banks; Danske split rejected

Middle East & Africa: Bank Hapoalim Q4'18 profit down YOY; Tadawul debuts on emerging market indexes

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

M&A activity still struggling to pick up in early 2019: Merger activity slowed to a crawl at the end of 2018, and the beat has not picked up in 2019.

10 US banks are undercapitalized: The number of FDIC-designated "problem" banks has more than halved during the last two years, ending 2018 at 60 institutions.

De novo banks class of 2019 — Georgia-based Loyal Trust Bank files: Johns Creek, Ga.-based Loyal Trust Bank filed to form a new bank, marking the fifth de novo application of 2019 and the second application in Georgia this year.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, Hang Seng rose 0.19% to 29,466.28, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.08% to 21,566.85.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.42% to 7,329.76, and the Euronext 100 lifted 0.66% to 1,055.98.

On the macro front

The Redbook Index for retail sales and the factory orders report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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