JPMorgan Chase has made more than 30 acquisitions in 2021, putting America’s biggest bank by assets on track for its largest buying spree in years.

The acquisitions, mostly of smaller companies ranging from an online money manager in Britain to a Brazilian digital bank, are a sign of how JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon is turning to deals to expand the banking giant.

The bank has done 33 deals so far in 2021, according to data from Refinitiv, with nine deals alone in June. The purchase of OpenInvest, a platform that allows customers to customise a portfolio based on environmental, social and governance metrics, and a minority stake in the Brazilian digital bank C6 are the most recent.

Column chart of Number of deals showing JPMorgan acquisition spree looks set to eclipse previous years

“It’s a string of pearls approach where they buy smaller fintech firms to better advance the asset management business with lower cultural, operating and goodwill hurdles than come with a large acquisition,” said Mike Mayo, an analyst at Wells Fargo.

1. KKR steps up pursuit of UK companies The US private equity group with $367bn in assets is about to set up a new team of five dealmakers in London to focus on buying British companies, the head of its European buyouts business said in an interview with the Financial Times. Private equity groups have been in hot pursuit of UK companies this year, with supermarket group Wm Morrison the latest example.

2. Oil hits three-year high Oil prices rose to their highest level since 2018 after Opec and its allies abandoned a decision on increasing oil production as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE struggled to reach a compromise. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, rose to $77.09 a barrel after the meeting broke up without a deal. US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, hit $76.20 a barrel.

3. EU global tax deal wrangle Brussels is working to overcome resistance from three member states to last week’s international agreement to rewrite corporate tax rules, with Hungary and Estonia arguing that the proposal may even break EU law.

4. Didi probe heightens regulatory risks for Chinese IPOs in US The recent events surrounding Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing have thrown into doubt a multibillion-dollar pipeline of planned New York listings by Chinese companies. Didi’s shares, which have not traded since Friday, fell about 25 per cent in pre-market trading today.

5. US bond funds rake in more cash Net inflows into US bond funds are far outpacing those for comparable equity instruments this year, confounding expectations that inflation fears would erode the appeal of fixed-income holdings. Bond mutual funds and exchange traded funds have added $372bn as of June 23, compared with a gain of $160bn for equities, according to the Investment Company Institute.

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Economic data Economists expect the US services purchasing managers’ index for June to weaken; the Census Bureau is due to publish monthly motor vehicle sales data. (WSJ)

Cannes Film Festival The storied film festival kicks off after being cancelled in 2020 owing to the pandemic. Spike Lee will serve as head of the festival’s jury. (Guardian)

Jacob Zuma hearing As South Africa’s former president launches legal challenges to avoid imprisonment, his lawyers have asked a lower court to interdict the jail sentence, with a hearing set for today — indicating that he will not be arrested until tomorrow at the earliest.

Euro 2020 Italy take on Spain in the first semi-final of the European football championship. Spain will be led at Wembley by their captain Sergio “Busi” Busquets who is “an unobtrusive genius”, according to football commentator Simon Kuper.

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Healthy habits to boost productivity Caffeine regimens and email headings are among the chirpier personal productivity hacks that have faded during the pandemic as the lines between the professional and personal blur. Here are some tips from business executives to promote a healthy work-life balance.

Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa in the Italian Dolomites is legendary. Equal parts luxury chalet and rustic mountain lodge, with a multi-Michelin-starred destination restaurant. It joined the Aman stable of hotels and resorts last year and is part of a new programme of multi-day extreme sports retreats. Discover more getaways guaranteed to push you to the limit.