Good morning.

Our top news story today is that JPMorgan Chase is planning an “unmatched” spending spree this year of $15.7bn on new initiatives that would include hiring, marketing and investment in technology. The planned spending is $2bn more than the bank spent last year.

“Our competitors have not and cannot invest at the levels that we do. And these investments represent significant future operating leverage for years to come,” said Marianne Lake, co-head of the bank’s consumer and community division. Her business unit is expected to spend $7.9bn on new investments, an increase of $800mn from 2022.

The bank’s announcement at its investor day on Monday is another sign of the increasing bifurcation between bigger US banks and smaller lenders that have come under pressure this year.

JPMorgan also lifted its outlook for net interest income by $3bn following the First Republic deal. NII is the difference between what banks pay on deposits and what they earn from loans and other assets.

Here’s what I’m watching today:

  • Russia-China business forum: Russia’s prime minister Mikhail Mishustin will head a high-profile delegation to the Russia-China Business Forum in Shanghai. The event is expected to underscore China’s growing support for President Vladimir Putin after western nations passed sweeping sanctions in response to the Ukraine war.

  • EU support for Ukraine: EU Foreign Affairs Council defence ministers will meet to discuss the bloc’s support for Ukraine. The ministers will also participate in an informal exchange with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg during a working lunch.

  • Economic data: S&P Global/CIPS will release its monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks the economic direction of the services and manufacturing sectors for Japan, France, Germany, US, Australia, UK and the eurozone.

Who will win the US-China tech war? Join FT and Nikkei Asia journalists for a subscriber-exclusive webinar on May 25 and put your questions to the panel.

Five more top stories

1. South Korea signals its chipmakers can fill the gap after China’s ban on US chipmaker Micron, saying it was up to Samsung and SK Hynix to decide whether to expand their businesses. Last month, the White House asked South Korea to urge its chipmakers to refrain from boosting sales to China if the sale of Micron products was restricted by Beijing.

2. Pro-Ukraine fighters ‘liberate’ village in Russia’s Belgorod region. A group of anti-Kremlin Russian fighters stormed the region bordering Ukraine on Monday. The Kremlin promised to “destroy” the group and videos shared by Belgorod residents showed attack helicopters flying over houses in the area. Kyiv denies direct involvement but says the fighters are seeking to create a “security zone” to protect Ukrainians.

3. Mizuho agrees $550mn deal for boutique investment bank Greenhill, betting that the struggling firm can help kick-start its US ambitions. Mizuho, one of Japan’s largest financial institutions, will pay $15 a share for Greenhill, more than double the stock’s closing price on Friday.

4. TikTok sues Montana over first US state ban. The company, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, filed a lawsuit arguing the state’s ban of the app over national security concerns violates first amendment rights and US rules around foreign and interstate commerce.

5. BBC accused of defaming Indian PM Narendra Modi in Delhi lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that the UK broadcaster’s recent documentary series “casts a slur on the reputation of the country” and makes false and defamatory suggestions about the Indian government. The backlash against BBC comes at a delicate time in relations between India and the UK.

The Big Read

© FT montage/Ian Bott/TSMC

A class of chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) is critical to the production of everything from smartphones to firefighters’ suits — but especially to microchips. However, these “forever chemicals” also have the potential for significant health and environmental impacts.

We’re also reading . . . 

Chart of the day

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Profits at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and a clutch of other western banks in China fell sharply last year, as Covid-19 lockdowns and geopolitical tensions thwarted hopes that their operations in the country might finally start to be lucrative. JPMorgan and UBS were the only banks whose profits rose among a group of seven western investment banks.

The lacklustre performance marks a reversal from 2021, a record year for investment banks globally, when six of the seven banks made a profit in their mainland operations after Beijing allowed them to start taking full ownership of the units for the first time following a trade deal with the US.

Take a break from the news

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

The one-time Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, offered stark assessments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US-China relations, and US president Joe Biden’s re-election prospects during an appearance at the FT Weekend Festival in Washington over the weekend.

Additional contributions by Gordon Smith and Tee Zhuo

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