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Iran cyber threat; the rise of 'disgrace' insurance; surgical robots wars


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Iran cyber threat; the rise of 'disgrace' insurance; surgical robots wars

In this edition of Weekly News Spotlight, we look at the threats to U.S. corporations should Iran decide to retaliate against the U.S. in cyberspace, and consider the medium-term impact on oil markets even after all-out war seems to have been avoided. We track the emergence of "disgrace" insurance as clients look to protect themselves against the potential for reputational damage incurred from association with tarnished celebrities. Elsewhere, the battle is on for dominance of the surgical robot market.

Iran in Focus

Iran may test US corporate cyber defenses as nation braces for retaliation

An Iranian cyberattack is seen as high on the list of possible threats from Tehran after the U.S. assassinated Iranian military chief Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 3. "The first and most likely target is data," said one cybersecurity researcher.

Direct confrontation between US, Iran returns risk premium to oil markets

Raymond James analysts called the U.S. airstrike on a top Iranian general "the most headline-grabbing geopolitical crisis vis-à-vis oil prices since the drone attack in Saudi Arabia in September 2019."

Deep Dives

In-depth features looking at the impact of major news developments in key industries.


Trump seen turning sights on EU in 2020 as next big trade fight looms

A number of unresolved trade issues could muddy relations with the United States' largest trading partner just when trade tensions with China seem to be easing.


2020 could bring another wave of regional bank MOEs

Investors and analysts said they expect more multibillion-dollar mergers of equals in the U.S. banking space as a tough operating environment and tech imperative push banks toward more scale.

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Rate-squeezed Q4 big bank earnings could be as good as it gets

Analysts forecast universal margin compression at large, publicly traded U.S. banks for the 2019 fourth quarter, and predict tough going from there.


Demand for 'disgrace' insurance sparked by #MeToo movement, CEO says

Janet Comenos, CEO of Spotted, transformed an old legacy insurance product into a new solution that gives protection to companies hiring celebrities who may engage in inappropriate and reputation-damaging behavior.

Energy and Utilities

Nuclear exit haunts Germany as country enters crucial period for climate action

The country is set to take its last reactor offline in 2022, completing a major shift in its energy sector that is supported by most of the population but also has strong implications for achieving emissions reductions.

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Citigroup, Jefferies dominated billion-dollar midstream M&A in 2019

Citigroup advised on six out of 16 announced transactions that are in S&P Global Market Intelligence's North American coverage universe and included adviser information, while private equity was the buyer in eight of those deals.


Wireless vehicle updates pose big cybersecurity risk for automakers, consumers

Hackers could steal consumers' data or cause gridlock and crashes by compromising a connected car.

Technology, media and telecommunications

US regulatory pressures to shape big tech's 2020 spending strategies

With big M&A likely off the table, some industry observers expect U.S. tech firms to use their cash to get ahead of looming regulatory penalties and also to bolster their respective businesses in growth areas such as 5G and cloud computing.


Battle bots: J&J, Medtronic challenge pioneer Intuitive in surgical robot market

The surgical robot market is expected to reach $275 billion by 2025, nearly tripling in size from 2018 as new systems from some of the biggest device-makers challenge Intuitive Surgical.

2019's novel drugs aim to change disease trajectories, often at a high price

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved 48 first-of-their-kind therapies in 2019, the second-highest number of new molecular entities cleared for the world's largest pharmaceutical market in the past two decades.

M&A Deals of the Week

ChoiceOne Financial Services to buy Community Shores Bank for up to $21.9M

Lilly to acquire Dermira for $1.1B in cash

Platinum Equity acquires Wesco Aircraft for $1.9B, combines Wesco with Pattonair

Takeaway shareholders approve Just Eat takeover

PVH to sell Speedo North America business to Pentland Group

The Big Number

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Weekly News Spotlight is a newsletter published every Monday that highlights exclusive industry-focused reporting, market news, and economic insights from the global newsroom here at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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