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Frontrunning: November 23

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  • Boehner comments show tough road ahead for "fiscal cliff" talks (Reuters)
  • Argentina angry at hedge fund court win (FT)
  • EU Spars Over Budget as Chiefs See Possible Deadlock (Bloomberg)
  • Merkel doubts budget deal possible this week, more talks needed (Reuters)
  • Greek deal hopes lift market mood (FT)
  • Greek Rescue Deal Faltering Cut in Rescue-Loan Rate (Bloomberg)
  • Japan's Abe Pushes Stimulus (WSJ) - Unpossible: a Keynesian in Japan demanding stimulus? Say it isn't so. 
  • Authorities Tried to Flip Trader in Insider Case (WSJ)
  • S&P Keeps France's AA-Plus Rating (WSJ)
  • Mersch Named to ECB After Longest Euro Appointment Battle (Businessweek)
  • Cyprus Poised for Bailout From European Union (WSJ)
  • Debt Burden Adds to Won Gains in Crimping Korea Rebound (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Li Says Economic Overhaul Must Accelerate to Keep Growth (Bloomberg)
  • U.S. Detects N. Korea Missile-Test Preparations, Asahi Says (Bloomberg)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* The pressures shaking Anglo American Plc might not be over yet. Shareholders at the world's fifth biggest mining company say they will push for new board members if the company fails to act swiftly to sell struggling mines and reduce costs.

* British Broadcasting Corp appointed Tony Hall, one of its former news executives who now heads the Royal Opera House, as its new director general, calling him an "outsider" who can cast a fresh eye on the broadcaster and help it recover from a scandal over its coverage of sex-abuse cases.

* One of the biggest traders on the London Metal Exchange, Barclays Plc, said it downgraded its membership in a move that will see its traders leave Europe's last open-outcry trading floor, limiting the bank to telephone and electronic trading.

* A year before U.S. prosecutors charged Mathew Martoma with insider trading, they tried to get him to turn against his former boss and the founder of SAC, Steven Cohen.

* From matching rivals' prices to avoiding Black Friday discounting altogether, retailers are testing out a host of strategies this holiday season as they try to energize sales and profits during their most critical time of the year.

 

FT

ARGENTINA ANGERED AT HEDGE FUND COURT WIN

Argentina has reacted angrily to a U.S. court decision awarding hedge fund creditors more than $1.3 billion, as bondholders vowed an immediate appeal.

ENERGY DEAL ENDS COALITION INFIGHTING

Britain's coalition partners have ended months of infighting over energy policy, finally agreeing a deal designed to reassure an industry rocked by political instability.

UBS FACES ADOBOLI FINE OF UP TO 50 MLN POUNDS

UBS will have to pay one of the largest fines ever imposed by the UK's financial regulator for management failures that led to the Swiss bank's $2.3 billion rogue trading loss.

DALMAN TO ASSUME WIDER ROLE AT ENRC

Mehmet Dalman, the veteran investment banker chairing Eurasian Natural Resources Corp is poised to take on a wide range of executive responsibilities at the Kazakh miner.

HSBC LEFT HOLDING AMADEUS STAKE

HSBC was left holding a more than 410 million euros ($528.28 million) block of Amadeus shares after it failed to attract investors for stock in the Spanish IT group.

BANKS TOUT IDEA OF SHARING BOND DATA

Investment banks are looking at the idea of building a directory of corporate bond holdings in a fresh attempt to boost liquidity.

SCEPTICISM GREETS CAMERON AT EU TALKS

David Cameron landed in Brussels on what was seen in some European capitals as the start of another wrecking mission in Europe by the British prime minister.

KING AND TUCKER CLASH ON BANK REFORM

Paul Tucker on Thursday threw his weight behind the government's plan to overhaul the structure of the banking industry.

STATE STREET IN PROBE OVER PENSION FEES

Ireland's national debt agency has accused State Street of fraud for overcharging the country's pension fund during a transaction last year.

SANTANDER LINES UP US SPIN-OFF

Santander may list its U.S. car financing division to squeeze yet more cash out of overseas businesses to shore up its defences against weakness in Spain.

LLOYDS TO SELL 1.2 BLN POUNDS OF DEBT

Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to sell 1.2 billion pounds of distressed mortgages tied to European real estate.

 

NYT

* Evidence suggests that Steven Cohen participated in trades that the government says illegally used insider information, but he has not been charged.

* Tony Hall, a former BBC news executive who went on to head the Royal Opera House, has been selected to steer the broadcaster through its worst crisis in years.

* Glencore International gained regulatory approval for its $32 billion takeover of Xstrata after it agreed to sell assets and reduce its operations to appease European antitrust authorities.

* Retailers are trying to lure shoppers away from the Internet, where they have increasingly been shopping to avoid Black Friday madness, and back to the stores. The bait is technological tools that will make shopping on the busiest day of the year a little more sane - and give shoppers an edge over their competition.

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

*
Retailers are feeling the pinch as Canadians surge to the United States
armed with a strong dollar and higher duty-free limits, with the Black
Friday shopping frenzy south of the border threatening to further
squeeze sales in this country.

Sales among Canadian retailers
were nearly flat in September, according to the latest measure released
on Thursday, weaker than expected and evidence of the pressure among
merchants to push aggressive U.S.-style promotions to stanch the loss of
customers to the United States.

* A day before the deadline, a
seventh would-be leader has entered the race for the Ontario Liberal
leadership. Harinder Takhar resigned as government services minister on
Thursday and announced his intention to join the race to replace Premier
Dalton McGuinty.

The other leadership hopefuls so far are
Kathleen Wynne, Glenn Murray, Charles Sousa, Eric Hoskins, Sandra
Pupatello and Gerard Kennedy.

Reports in the business section:

*
A dispute about a plan by Chrysler Canada Inc to open a new dealership
in Calgary has thrown into question a key rule that has governed
relations between auto dealers and manufacturers for more than a decade.

The
dispute has led to an Alberta Court of Queen's Bench injunction that
puts Chrysler's plans for an eighth dealership in Calgary on hold and
has cast doubt on the so called eight kilometre rule, which prevents
auto makers from setting up new dealerships within eight kilometres of
an existing store of their own brand.

* Investors are taking a
second look at Research In Motion Ltd. The company's battered stock is
surging on new found optimism about its upcoming BlackBerry 10
smartphones, which are central to the company's hopes of reversing more
than a year of catastrophic losses in market share.

RIM
executives are now parading the touchscreen devices in front of wireless
operators and financial analysts as they prepare for a global launch
event on Jan. 30, 2013. And so far, the market likes what it sees.

NATIONAL POST

*
Thomas Mulcair says Canada's municipalities are heading for an
"infrastructure cliff" unless the federal government commits to long
term, stable funding to repair crumbling roads, water and sewer systems.

And
the NDP leader says that commitment must be made in the next budget in
2013 since the current Building Canada Fund is set to expire the
following year. The fund, launched in 2007, has pumped some C$33 billion
($33.06 billion) into municipal infrastructure projects.

FINANCIAL POST

*
Alberta, burned in its effort to export oil through the proposed
Northern Gateway pipeline in British Columbia, is now turning to Quebec
as an outlet for its valuable crude.

Whether it will meet a
willing partner or another enemy really depends on which side of the
two-faced Parti Quebecois wins out: The one that snubbed Alberta on
Nov.14 and accused the province of "wanting to transport its oil on our
territory without our consent"; or the one that's hinted it understands
the potential economic bene.

* Royal Bank of Canada says the
cost of home ownership became more affordable in the most recent quarter
due to a modest decline in home prices and gains in Canadian household
incomes. RBC's affordability index for a detached bungalow stood at 42
percent of income nationally in the second quarter.

An owner
would need to spend 42 percent of pre-tax annual income to pay for
mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes -- 1 percentage point
lower than in the third quarter of 2011.

 

Hong Kong

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

-- About 7,500 eBay merchants from the mainland achieved revenue of more than $100,000 and posted 68 percent sales growth on average in the 12 months to June, according to the Greater China Exporters' Index. ()

-- Macau will bring domestic helpers from the mainland in a pilot scheme next year, said Secretary for Economics and Finance Francis Tam. The scheme will initially allow maids from Guangdong and Fujian provinces and might be extended to other regions.

HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES

-- Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd Chief Executive Officer Charles Li said a deal with London Metal Exchange (LME) is in progress as scheduled, adding that the approval from the British Financial Services Authority is expected in December.

THE STANDARD

-- Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd is putting 550 parking spaces at its Festival City project in Tai Wai on the market, with prices ranging from HK$980,000 ($126,400) to HK$1.3 million. ()

MING PAO DAILY NEWS

-- Henderson Land Development Co Ltd plans to sell six residential projects, which have an estimated market value of more than HK$10 billion, in the coming half year, said Lam Tat-man, general manager of sales.

WEN WEI PO

-- China Minsheng Banking Corp said it intends to buy a site in Dalian, Liaoning province, for 1.65 billion yuan ($264.89 million) to build a training base for the bank.

TA KUNG PAO

-- Chinese developer Yuexiu Property Co ltd said it has acquired a site in Liaoning province for 399 million yuan. The land will be used for residential and commercial purposes.

 


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