Frontrunning: January 21

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  • With array of challenges, Obama kicks off second term at public inauguration (Reuters)
  • Uneasy in the Political Climate, Mickelson Talks Like Someone Ready to Step Away (NYT)
  • BOJ Should Slow Easing If Yen Weakens Too Much, Hamada Says (BBG)
  • Spain Recession Scars Exposed as Jobless Seen at 6 Mln (BBG)
  • Davos Doom Loses to Merkel-Draghi as Euro Defies Roubini (BBG)
  • Algeria finds dead Canadian militants as siege toll rises (Reuters)
  • Beijing tries to clean up its act (FT)
  • Investigators probe Boeing 787 battery maker (Reuters)
  • Netanyahu Gets Landslide in Markets Masking No Peace Process (BBG)
  • Google aims to replace passwords with ID ring (Telegraph)
  • Kim Dotcom launches new upload site (FT)
  • Dell Said to Hire Evercore to Seek Higher Bids After Buyout (BBG)
  • Hostess Bakers Union Hires Investment Bank Gordian in Asset Sale (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* President Barack Obama took the oath of office Sunday in a private ceremony at the White House, opening a second term in which he faces a divided government and myriad challenges overseas.

* Fears rose of a growing international death toll from the four-day terrorist attack on a remote Sahara desert natural-gas facility in Algeria, as more details emerged of the siege that has fueled new concerns about the threat posed by North Africa-based terror groups.

* The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said that the battery that caught fire on a parked Japan Airlines Co 787 jet earlier this month "did not exceed its designed voltage."

* Kim Dotcom, the larger-than-life personality accused by the U.S. of operating a website used to pirate half a billion dollars in entertainment, introduced a new version of his controversial Megaupload file-storage service on Sunday.

* ZTE Corp warned it expects to report a loss for 2012, but the Chinese telecom-equipment maker said it expects a profit for the first quarter of 2013, thanks to its strategic realignment.

* U.S. Federal Reserve officials in 2007 appeared to underestimate the sickly condition of U.S. financial markets before shifting to a state of growing alarm, according to 1,566 pages of newly released transcripts from the central bank's meetings that year.

* House prices rose across the UK in January, while the number of new sellers also increased as market sentiment improved.

 

FT

WEST FACES 'DECADES' OF CONFLICT IN N AFRICA David Cameron has raised the spectre of Britain being sucked into the fight against terrorists in north Africa for "decades".

OBAMA SWORN IN FOR SECOND TERM Barack Obama was sworn in on Sunday as the 44th president of the United States, ushering in a second term expected to be marked by partisan battles over debt, gun control and immigration.

NOKIA SIEMENS NETWORKS SEEKS TO RAISE 700 MLN EUROS Nokia Siemens Networks is set to issue a high-yield bond that will help gauge broader investor interest in the telecoms equipment maker.

TAX CRACKDOWN TO TARGET MIDDLE CLASSES Professionals are to be targeted in a crackdown on tax evasion, the director of public prosecutions, said.

ALLIANZGI TO LAUNCH UK BUILDING FUND Allianz Global Investors is to launch an infrastructure debt fund in the UK to help build schools, hospitals and roads.

EQT SHELVES PLAN TO SELL SPRINGER SCIENCE EQT has shelved a plan to sell German academic publisher Springer Science for up to 4 billion euros.

BATTERY FINDING MAY DELAY DREAMLINER The resumption of Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights could be further delayed after a top US investigator ruled out excessive voltage as the cause of a battery fire that led to the grounding of the aircraft around the world.

 

NYT

* With only his family beside him, President Barack Obama was sworn into office for a second term on Sunday in advance of Monday's public pomp, facing a bitterly divided government at home and persistent threats abroad that inhibit his effort to redefine America's use of power.

* If the issues with smoldering batteries that have grounded Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner prove more complicated, they could threaten Boeing's plans to expand production of the planes, and the jobs that go with them.

* Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom opened his new file-storage Web site to the public on Sunday, a year after the police raided the mansion he rents in New Zealand. The raid was part of a coordinated operation with the F.B.I. that also shut down Megaupload, the file-sharing business he had founded.

* On Monday, Time Warner Cable -- the second-largest cable provider in the United States behind Comcast -- will begin a campaign aimed at former subscribers who might be having second thoughts about their current video service, spending at least $50 million on broadcast, print, online and direct mail ads.

* As Comcast's Internet Essentials program to bring affordable broadband to low-income homes gains popularity, the company has been accused of overreaching in its interactions with local communities.

 

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

-- Chinese banks need to work to prevent risks in the "shadow banking" sector from infecting the banking system, said Cai Esheng, vice chairman with the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

-- Several analysts said they expected China's economy to continue to recover this year and that the property market could gradually rebound, but they did not expect a sharp rise in property prices.

-- Fiscal revenue growth could fall to single digits for the first time, said Li Yang, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

-- The Shanghai Stock Exchange said it encourages seven types of companies to buy back their shares, especially companies whose stock prices are lower than their net asset value.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

-- Total annual turnover at Chinese stated-owned or state-controlled enterprises rose 11 percent to 42.4 trillion yuan ($6.82 trillion) from a year earlier in 2012. Net profits fell 5.8 percent to 2.2 trillion yuan.