The daily business briefing: June 22, 2016

UK leaders make final push before Brexit referendum, Janet Yellen says the Fed will raise rates cautiously, and more

The EU and UK flags
(Image credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

1. Britain prepares for historic Brexit referendum

On Thursday morning, Britons begin voting in a momentous referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union. The two sides of Britain's Brexit debate made a final push to rally supporters on Wednesday, with Prime Minister David Cameron urging people to vote to stay, as polls indicated a close vote. "Nobody knows what's going to happen," he said. During a bitter campaign, those wanting to stay have said leaving would spell financial disaster. Ex-London mayor Boris Johnson, a leader of the Leave campaign, said, "Thursday can be our country's independence day."


2. Yellen says Fed will raise rates cautiously due to uncertainty

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the U.S. central bank would move ahead "cautiously" with its plans to slowly raise interest rates depending on how the economy does in coming months. Yellen said there were "vulnerabilities" overseas, particularly the June 23 Brexit referendum, and "considerable uncertainty" in the U.S. economy. Following a terrible May jobs report, Fed policy makers said after their June meeting that they would not immediately raise rates, and they reduced the number of hikes forecast for the next two years.

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3. Tesla offers to buy SolarCity

Electric car maker Tesla said Tuesday that it had offered to buy solar panel manufacturer SolarCity in an all-stock deal worth as much as $2.8 billion. Elon Musk, the chairman and biggest shareholder of both companies, said the acquisition was a "no brainer" that would make Tesla "the world's only vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end clean energy products to our customers," from solar panels to home storage batteries and electric vehicles. Tesla shares dropped by more than 13 percent in extended trading Tuesday, while SolarCity shares gained as much as 23 percent.

Reuters The Wall Street Journal

4. Mitsubishi forecasts $1.4 billion loss

Mitsubishi Motors on Wednesday said it expected to lose $1.4 billion in the fiscal year ending next March following its recent admission that it inflated mileage data on some of its vehicles. It would be the company's first net loss in eight years. The Japanese car maker said it expected a big sales drop, including a 41 percent decline in Japan. Japan's government found that the company had exaggerated mileage in its eK minicar models, including some manufactured for Nissan, by as much as 16 percent.

The Associated Press The Wall Street Journal

5. Boeing seals $25 billion aircraft sale to Iran

Boeing on Tuesday announced that it had signed a deal to sell 100 airliners to Iran's state airline for $25 billion. Iran Air said the agreement involved the purchase of Boeing 737 and 777 aircraft. The deal marks a major step toward restoring economic ties between the U.S. and Iran following the lifting of sanctions against Tehran last year. Boeing said it was following "the lead of the U.S. government" and that "any and all contracts with Iran's airlines will be contingent upon U.S. government approval."

BBC News

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