Frontrunning: April 15
- Venezuela Says Chávez Successor Wins Vote (WSJ)
- China growth risks in focus as first quarter data falls short (Reuters)
- Japan Gets Calls From U.S. to Europe Not to Drive Down Yen (BBG)
- EU Set to Clash on Bank Deal as Germany Sees Treaty Limit (BBG)
- Dish Launches $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint (WSJ)
- Commodities Tumble, Stocks Slide as China Growth Slows (BBG)
- Top fund managers take home $8bn less (FT)
- Obama Programs Derided by Republicans as Pejorative Entitlements (BBG)
- Gene swapping makes new China bird flu a moving target (Reuters)
- McDonald's Cranks Up The Volume on 'Value' (WSJ)
- UK pension deficits set to rise by £100bn (FT)
- Merkel rival calls for curbs on capitalism (FT)
- North Korea looks inward for founder's birthday, tensions ease (Reuters)
- Manhattan Apartment Rents Near Peak as Gains Accelerate (BBG)
- Tycoon Tests Singapore Market With Priciest Home (BBG)
- Interpol issues wanted notice for escaped French gangster (CNN)
- ‘War of lists’ chills US-Russia ties (FT)
Overnight Media Digest
* Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc was nearing a deal Sunday to take over fellow laboratory-equipment maker Life Technologies Corp for as much as $13 billion, in a move that could enable the company to slash costs and reap gains from next-generation genetic-sequencing machines.
* China's economic growth slowed unexpectedly in the first quarter, raising concerns that a recovery that started in the second half of last year is already losing steam.
* Energy Future Holdings Corp, the troubled Texas power company formerly known as TXU Corp that is at the center of a record private equity buyout, plans to pay roughly $270 million in interest due on its bonds in May, which could let it stave off a bankruptcy filing for as long as another 18 months, according to people close to the situation.
* Federal aviation regulators on Monday will order special inspections and, if needed, replacement of improperly manufactured parts on more than 1,000 Boeing Co 737 jets that could cause pilots to lose control.
* Mark Zandi, a prominent economist, has emerged as a leading candidate to head the regulator of mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac amid signs that he would likely attract support from Senate Republicans, according to people familiar with the matter.
* In a settlement proposal to European Union antitrust lawyers, Google Inc for the first time has agreed to submit to a legally binding commitment to make minor changes to the look of its web-search engine in order to allay concerns that it is hurting competitors, according to a person familiar with the matter.
* Nissan Motor Co Ltd is considering a new plant in North America to produce at least 100,000 of its premium Infiniti vehicles a year, likely starting in 2017 as the automaker fans out production globally from Japan.
* General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have teamed up to produce a nine-speed and a 10-speed automatic transmission for use in their portfolios of cars, crossovers, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks as they look to keep in step with their rivals both foreign and closer to home.
* The first patent on OxyContin expires Tuesday, a milestone in the history of one of the most powerful and abused painkillers on the market. But it could be quite some time before generic versions of the drug are available.
* Hedge fund Barington Capital Group is pressuring Jones Group Inc to sell parts of its portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the apparel manufacturer pursues a turnaround.
Global commodities traders have raked in nearly $250 billion over the last decade riding on the rise of China and other emerging countries.
CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm that owns Formula One, is in the early stages of preparing an offer for online gambling group Betfair
After six weeks of arguments from private sector plaintiffs, the US federal and state governments, and Transocean and Halliburton, the other companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster BP is having its day in court to present in full its argument that the accident was not solely its fault.
Telecoms group BT will significantly undercut the pricing of Sky subscriptions for pubs as the company eyes a chunk of the 300 million pound market for its new new sports channel launching this summer. Cambridge-based slot machine technology manufacturer Quixant, is hoping to tap into soaring global demand for gaming and gambling by listing on London's AIM later this year.
* Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co, capitalizing on government efforts to bolster the housing market, reported strong earnings, but added that home loans and mortgage banking income was declining.
* Kareem Serageldin, a former senior trader at Credit Suisse Group AG, pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that he fraudulently inflated the value of mortgage bonds as the housing market collapsed, becoming one of the highest-ranking Wall Street executives to admit to crimes related to the 2008 financial crisis.
* Goldman Sachs Group Inc's directors, who were already among the best-compensated corporate directors in the country, will receive an additional 500 shares a year, according to a securities filing submitted on Friday.
* Google Inc has for the first time agreed to legally binding changes to its search results after an antitrust investigation by European regulators into whether it abuses its dominance of online search.
* The Chinese economic recovery lost some of its momentum during the first quarter of this year, official data released on Monday showed, surprising analysts who had expected growth to accelerate on the back of ample credit, strong infrastructure spending and firm exports.
* The Supreme Court is poised to take up the question of whether human genes can be patented. But some say advances in the field may blunt the impact of its ruling.
* Intel Corp, the world's largest semiconductor maker, is struggling to adapt as PC sales collapse, users rely more on mobile phones and tablets, and cloud computing expands.
* The president of Cyprus chided the nation's central banker on Sunday, telling him to try to stabilize the bailed-out country's troubled banking sector rather than acting in ways that catch the government by surprise.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* Justin Trudeau won the Liberal crown with a crushing victory that brings a new guard to the helm of the party and heralds a competitive era in federal politics.
Trudeau, 41, won with 80 per cent of the votes, and Liberals said the 104,552 votes that were cast represented the highest number in a national leadership race in history. (http://link.reuters.com/kad47t)
* Wealthy Canadians with money stashed overseas have come forward in droves to confess their misdeeds after secret lists began circulating with the names of people apparently evading taxes in foreign banking havens.
The Canada Revenue Agency has seen the number of voluntary disclosures of foreign, unreported income rise dramatically since 2007, when it received the first such list from Liechtenstein naming 106 Canadians with accounts in secretive banks there. (http://link.reuters.com/nad47t)
Reports in the business section:
* Industry Minister Christian Paradis will move swiftly to finalize rules that will govern the transfer of wireless licences between telecom companies and could reveal those new regulations as soon as May. (http://link.reuters.com/qad47t)
* The costs associated with pulling the plug on the Mississauga power-plant project west of Toronto are significantly greater than the C$190-million ($187.48 million)tab disclosed by former premier Dalton McGuinty's government, according to a report by the provincial auditor that threatens to revive a stubborn political problem for the Liberals. (http://link.reuters.com/mad47t)
* Lotto officials were waiting to hear from the four ticket holders who won a share of what is touted as the largest lotto jackpot in Canadian history.
A spokesman for the British Columbia Lotto Corporation says three of the winning tickets for Saturday's C$63.4-million 6/49 jackpot were purchased in B.C.'s lower mainland, while the fourth was purchased in Alberta. (http://link.reuters.com/tad47t)
* A 13-year-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert was found safe in Oshawa Sunday, the Ontario Provincial Police said. The girl, who is from Douro-Dummer Township, near Peterborough, was reported missing by her grandmother on Sunday morning. (http://link.reuters.com/wad47t)
-- Premier Li Keqiang, speaking during a recent meeting with economists, said China needs to deepen reforms to ensure its economy will continue to have a relatively high speed of growth in the coming years.
-- A commentary says China will stick to its policy that the Korean peninsula must be denuclearised and that any conflicts in the peninsula must be solved peacefully.
SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS
-- China's poultry industry has hit a recent low after a fresh outbreak of bird flu since last month. In the latest development, two people in the central Chinese province of Henan have been infected by the new strain of avian influenza, the first cases found in the region, while the death toll has risen to 13 from a total of 60 infections.
-- Top steel maker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd said it had bought back its own shares worth 3.65 billion yuan ($590 million) in response to a government call for listed firms to buy back their own shares to support the weak stock market.
CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL
-- The recent trouble in China's rapidly expanded but inadequately regulated photovoltaic industry, as shown in the bankruptcy of a unit of the country's largest solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, has made banks extremely cautious to lend to such companies.
-- Retail gold prices in China tumbled over the weekend after a slump in global markets late last week.
-- China has been increasing its outbound foreign direct investment, with Chinese and Belgian sovereign funds working together to help Chinese companies invest in Europe.
-- Only two years after its launch, WeChat, the mobile text and voice messaging service developed by Chinese telecom giant Tencent Holdings, has attracted more than 300 million users.
Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot
CGI Group (GIB) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Chipotle (CMG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Dentsply (XRAY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Gold Fields (GFI) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
Greenbrier (GBX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow
Sherwin-Williams (SHW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
Sherwin-Williams (SHW) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Under Armour (UA) upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna
Alpha Natural (ANR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Arch Coal (ACI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Freeport McMoRan (FCX) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup
Harmony Gold (HMY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup
Kansas City Southern (KSU) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Noranda Aluminum (NOR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
OpenTable (OPEN) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Saks (SKS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
TSMC (TSM) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
UniTek Global (UNTK) downgraded to Sell from Buy at Janney Capital
Varian Medical (VAR) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
AeroVironment (AVAV) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Apache (APA) initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna
Aviv REIT (AVIV) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
Cognizant (CTSH) initiated with an Overweight at Evercore
Model N (MODN) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Model N (MODN) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Omeros (OMER) initiated with a Buy at MLV Equity
Restoration Hardware (RH) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (TTPH) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Thomson Reuters (TRI) initiated with a Buy at Canaccord
DISH (DISH) proposed $25.5B merger with Sprint (S), or $7.00 per share
Suncor (SU) to sell majority of Western Canadian natural gas, crude business for $1B to
Centrica (CPYYY) and Qatar Petroleum International
Dell (DELL) investor Southeastern Asset Management hired a proxy solicitation firm to fight Michael Dell’s proposal to take the company private (BX)
DOJ challenged AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) mobile spectrum dominance (DTEGY, S)
Clearwire (CLWR) said it received unsolicited bid for spectrum on April 8
European Commission approved Virgin Media (VMED) acquisition by Liberty Global (LBTYA)
- The economy is struggling when Americans can't even splurge for a Big Mac. While McDonald’s (MCD) is expected to report an increase in Q1 profit on Friday, Wall Street analysts fear the fast-food company's sales trends won't be so hot, the Wall Street Journal reports
- GM (GM) and Ford (F) have joined forces to produce two new transmissions as the automakers look to keep in step with their rivals both foreign and closer to home, the Wall Street Journal reports
- Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) is cutting an approved list of money managers and investment vehicles that its stockbrokers market to the firm's wealthy clients, a change of direction that has rattled the third-largest U.S. brokerage network, Reuters reports
- Airbus parent EADS (EADSY) is in talks to buy back 1.56% of its stock from the French government, the latest step in the overhaul of state interests in Europe's largest aerospace group, Reuters reports
- Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities have seen outflows for three straight months, according to Morningstar (MORN), Bloomberg reports
- Citigroup’s (C) European chief said U.S. universal banks are gaining market share in investment banking because they can absorb the rising cost of regulation better than European peers, Bloomberg reports
Yahoo (YHOO) could jump 25% if Marissa Mayer's plans are successful
Best Buy (BBY) shares have soared on excitement, not fundamentals (SSNLF, AMZN)
Priceline.com (PCLN) could slip 20% if earnings growth slows (EXPE, OWW)
Some stocks offer the same benefits of food stocks, for less (BA, TRV, LLL, SWK, OXY)
New York & Co. (NWY) shares could jump 40% in the next 18 months
KKR & Co. (KKR) files to sell 2.5M common units representing limited partners