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FirstFT: EY break-up plan gives partners up to $8mn in shares

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EY’s plan to split its audit and advisory operations is set to hand partners shares worth up to $8mn each, according to individuals with knowledge of internal plans.

The Big Four firm is preparing to break up its global business as part of the biggest upheaval of the accounting sector in two decades. Under the plans, EY is aiming to take its fast-growing consulting business public, hiving it off from the group of accountants who audit clients such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Oracle.

The audit business would remain a network of partnerships after the break-up, while its advisory business would become a public company. According to the individuals, the firm is hoping to sell around 15 per cent of the consulting business for more than $10bn, leaving 70 per cent in the hands of its partners.

Partners joining the new consulting business are expected to receive shares worth between seven to nine times their annual remuneration, potentially reaching a value of $8mn.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of the day’s news — Emily

1. China IPO fundraising doubles US total to top global ranks Total fundraising from initial public offerings in China has hit almost $35bn this year, compared with just $16bn on Wall Street, according to data from Dealogic. During the city’s strict Covid lockdown Shanghai officials camped out at the city’s stock exchange to ensure a steady flow of deals.

2. Worries of EU fossil fuel ‘backsliding’ The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned EU member states not to backtrack on their long-term drive to cut fossil fuel use, as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands said they would fire up coal plants after Russia moved to limit gas supplies.

3. Israel faces fifth election in three years Prime minister Naftali Bennett and foreign minister Yair Lapid said that they had “exhausted options to stabilise” their coalition government. Bennett’s office said that Israel’s parliament would vote on dissolving itself next week, and that — as foreseen by the coalition agreement — Lapid would then become interim prime minister. Elections are likely to be held in October.

4. Thiam’s Spac in merger talks with Human Longevity Tidjane Thiam’s blank-cheque company is in advanced talks to merge with a Californian life sciences group founded by genomics pioneer Craig Venter, which offers clients a battery of expensive tests to try to prolong their lives.

5. Iron ore price surrenders gains for the year The price of iron ore, a key source of profit for some of the world’s biggest mining companies, has surrendered all of its gains for the year as investors become fearful about waning Chinese demand. Iron ore slumped 8 per cent on Monday to a six-month low of $111.35 a tonne, according to S&P Global Platts, following reports of steel mills in China cutting production.

The day ahead

Asean defence officials meet Cambodia’s defence minister General Tea Banh will host officials in Phnom Penh today for the 16th Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

Northern hemisphere summer solstice Today marks the longest day of the year and the first day of summer for those north of the equator.

UK rail strike Railway bosses are preparing to cancel thousands of trains across Britain during strike action that is expected to cripple services, as they warned that the dispute will cost the cash-strapped industry as much as £150mn.

What else we’re reading

Why China is not rising as a financial superpower China is breaking the mould, rising rapidly as an economic force but glacially as a financial power, writes Ruchir Sharma. No other economy has grown faster. Yet its stock market has been among the world’s weakest performers.

The deafening silence over Brexit’s economic fallout As the sixth anniversary of the UK vote to leave the EU approaches, economists are starting to quantify the damage caused by Britain’s creation of trade barriers with its biggest market, separating the “Brexit effect” from the damage caused by Covid-19. Their conclusion? The damage is not over yet.

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China denies building naval bases but fear of its military reach grows Over the past year, alarm bells have rung every few months in the US and among its allies over alleged Chinese plans for new military bases. But paradoxically, fears about the PLA acquiring a global footprint and China’s denials that it is building many bases may both be justified.

Hong Kongers lament passing of the Jumbo floating palace Last week residents flocked to take pictures as tugboats towed Hong Kong’s Jumbo floating restaurant out of the city after the restaurant’s marine licence expired. It represented, Lai told the FT, the loss of a piece of history from Hong Kong’s good old days.

How Disney lost Florida The goodwill the company had built among its LGBTQ employees has been stretched to breaking point following its botched response to a proposed Florida law, labelled “Don’t Say Gay” by its critics, to restrict discussion of sexual or gender identity in primary schools.


Check out FT science editor Clive Cookson’s five favourite books of the year so far. These works that include a self-help guide for people keen to sleep better, a concise history of the rise and fall of eugenics, a look at science’s biggest controversies and more.

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