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Frontrunning: March 25

Tyler Durden's picture




 
  • Putin Threatened With More Sanctions as Russia Out of G-8 (BBG)
  • China Faces ‘Mini Crisis’ on Debt Defaults, Ex-PBOC Adviser Says (BBG)
  • Don't laugh too hard: Obama to propose ending NSA bulk collection of phone records (Reuters)
  • Japan GPIF asset review not aimed at supporting domestic stocks (Reuters)
  • Chinese families clash with police, slam Malaysia over lost plane (Reuters)
  • Russian Capital Flight Surges in First Quarter, Fueled by Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)
  • SEC Is Probing Dealings by Banks and Companies in Loan Securities (WSJ)
  • Democrats ditch Nate Silver after data whiz predicts dismal midterm outcome (DN)
  • China’s Urbanization Loses Momentum as Growth Slows (BBG)
  • German Confidence Falls for First Time in Five Months (BBG)
  • Loneliness of Kiev Bond Trader Shows Market Was Wiped Out (BBG)
  • Japan Firms Continue to Hoard Cash (WSJ)
  • China Internet Funds Called Vampires Draw Calls for Rules  (BBG)
  • UK satellite operator used 19th century physics to trace missing plane (Reuters)
  • Grand Central: A Stein on the Fed’s Easy Policy Path  (WSJ)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* The heads of state of the world's largest advanced economies moved Monday to isolate Russia, severing a key link between Moscow and the Western world after nearly two decades. The leaders of the Group of Seven, or G-7, nations effectively disbanded the larger G-8 by excluding Russia until it changes course in Ukraine. (http://link.reuters.com/rak87v)

* Seventeen days after a Malaysian jetliner disappeared, authorities for the first time said they believed they knew what happened to the plane and the 239 people aboard: It crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, one of the world's most remote and turbulent seas. (http://link.reuters.com/tak87v)

* The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether a Wall Street boom in complicated bond deals is creating new avenues for fraud, according to people close to the probes. (http://link.reuters.com/cek87v)

* Bernard L. Madoff has maintained for years that his decades long Ponzi scheme was a one-man show. On Monday, a jury concluded instead that it was a team effort. Jurors found five former employees of Madoff guilty of aiding and hiding the fraud in a trial that painted the money manager's Manhattan offices as a hive of illegal activity, where employees cooked up lies and manufactured fake documents to keep afloat a scam that ultimately cost investors $17 billion. (http://link.reuters.com/xak87v)

* Box Inc on Monday revealed plans to raise up to $250 million in an initial public offering as the unprofitable startup tries to ward off intensifying competition in the online storage market. (http://link.reuters.com/zak87v)

* Walt Disney Co on Monday named ABC News President Ben Sherwood as the next head of its television-entertainment networks, marking a rapid climb for a news producer who just four years ago was out of the media business entirely. (http://link.reuters.com/bek87v)

* General Motors Co engineering managers knew about ignition-switch problems on the 2005 Cobalt that could disable power steering, power brakes and air bags, but launched the car because they believed the vehicles could be safely coasted off the road after a stall, according to court documents. (http://link.reuters.com/dek87v)

 

FT

Russia's government is braced for capital outflows to jump to $70 billion in the first three months of the year as investors seek to soften the blow from international sanctions after President Vladimir Putin's Ukrainian land grab.

Five of investment manager Bernard Madoff's former aides have been found guilty of helping him carry out and cover up multibillion-dollar investment fraud for years.

The European Commission shelved plans to relax cross-border rules that could leave schemes with a multibillion pound funding gap, dashing the Scottish government's hopes that EU pension reforms would smooth a transition to independence, sources said.

Data storage company Box said it hoped to raise about $250 million in an initial public offering after posting a wider net loss than last year despite doubling its revenue.

Rating agency Moody's cautioned that changes to the rules on buying an annuity in Britain had "credit negative implications" for the country's life insurers, dealing them a further blow following George Osborne's pensions overhaul

 

NYT

* The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal to end the National Security Agency's once-secret bulk phone records program - a systematic collection of data about Americans' calling habits. If approved by Congress, phone companies would not be required to retain bulk data for any longer than they normally would. The N.S.A. could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, using a new kind of court order.(http://link.reuters.com/xek87v)

* At a meeting on May 15, 2009, engineers at General Motors Co learned that data in the black boxes of Chevrolet Cobalts confirmed a potentially fatal defect that existed in hundreds of thousands of cars. But in the months and years that followed, as a trove of internal documents and studies mounted, GM told the families of accident victims and other customers that it did not have enough evidence of any defect in their cars, interviews, letters and legal documents show. (http://link.reuters.com/vek87v)

* A federal jury on Monday found five associates of the convicted swindler Bernard Madoff guilty of 31 counts of aiding one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. (http://link.reuters.com/wek87v)

* The Walt Disney Co acted quickly to put a new top executive in place at its ABC Television Group, naming Ben Sherwood on Monday to succeed Anne Sweeney, who announced her resignation two weeks ago. (http://link.reuters.com/zek87v)

* Herbalife Ltd said on Monday it agreed to give its biggest shareholder Carl Icahn three additional seats on the board. Icahn, one of the company's most outspoken supporters, who already had a 16.8 percent stake in the company and two board seats, requested the additional representation last week. (http://link.reuters.com/kuk87v)

* Online storage service company Box Inc expects to raise about $250 million in its initial public offering. Box was valued at $2 billion in a recent round of private funding, but would most likely be worth several times that after the IPO. Many more cloud businesses, for both business and consumers, are expected to follow this year. (http://link.reuters.com/nuk87v)

* Google Inc on Monday announced a partnership with the Luxottica Group, the largest eyeglass company in the world, to design, manufacture and distribute frames for Google Glass, the Internet-connected eyewear.(http://link.reuters.com/puk87v)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Ontario's Liberal government is planning a budget crafted to be hard for the New Democratic Party to defeat, including left-friendly measures such as better welfare benefits. Despite Premier Kathleen Wynne's bullish posturing in recent weeks, government sources say the Liberals are wary of a spring vote - particularly after two by-election losses last month - and will design a budget New Democrats can support in order to prevent one. (http://link.reuters.com/ham87v)

* The Alberta Progressive Conservative party leadership vote to replace Alison Redford will take place on Sept. 6, with a potential run off vote scheduled for Sept. 20. The PC party, which has formed the government in Alberta continuously for more than four decades, made the announcement about the leadership contest after a long board meeting on Monday. (http://link.reuters.com/bam87v)

Reports in the business section:

* Canadian companies operating in Russia are pleading with Ottawa to ensure they aren't hurt by sanctions as the federal government puts global security ahead of commercial interests in the region. On Monday Prime Minister Stephen Harper said commercial interests are now secondary in the consideration of responses to the Russian moves. (http://link.reuters.com/vyk87v)

NATIONAL POST

* Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his fellow G7 leaders have indefinitely suspended Russia from the Group of Eight until President Vladimir Putin "changes course." The G7 "condemned" Russia's annexation of Crimea in a brief document called "The Hague Statement" that was more strongly worded than had been expected. It described the referendum held in Crimea eight days ago that resulted in a 96.7 percent support for union with Russia as "illegal." (http://link.reuters.com/cyk87v)

* Prime Minister Stephen Harper has endorsed controversial Calgary Conservative MP Rob Anders, who faces a serious challenge from a well-known former Alberta provincial minister as he seeks his party's nomination for the 2015 election. (http://link.reuters.com/jyk87v)

FINANCIAL POST

* British Columbia's Liberal government has followed through with its promise to table back-to-work legislation for unionized truckers on strike at Port Metro Vancouver, with heavy penalties for not complying. The legislation includes penalties of up to $400 per day for workers and $10,000 per day for the union or employer for contravening the legislation. (http://link.reuters.com/kyk87v)

* The clock is still ticking on BlackBerry Ltd's attempted turnaround, but it is clear Chief Executive John Chen has managed to buy some time for the embattled technology company. Chen has moved quickly to jumpstart BlackBerry's transition from primarily a seller of smartphones to a specialized provider of enterprise grade software and services. (http://link.reuters.com/syk87v)

 

China

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

-- Occupy Central activists may block roads in Hong Kong's financial district this summer if authorities make decisions that rule out any hope for "genuine" universal suffrage. Campaign organiser Chan Kin-man said supporters became impatient since protests against a cross-strait trade pact began in Taiwan. (link.reuters.com/fuj87v)

-- Bets on yuan appreciation have long been deemed the key reason for accumulation of yuan deposits in offshore banking systems, but Hong Kong regulators say growth in yuan deposits in the city had instead been driven by the interest rate difference between yuan and Hong Kong dollar. (link.reuters.com/huj87v)

-- Sinopharm, China's largest drug distributor, plans to boost retail sales to more than 10 billion yuan ($1.62 billion) in 2016, said president Li Zhiming. Last year, the state-owned firm's drug retail sales rose 17.5 percent to 4.83 billion yuan. (link.reuters.com/kuj87v)

THE STANDARD

-- The Housing Authority will put up 85 Home Ownership Scheme flats in Tai O on Lantau Island for sale in June, all costing below HK$1 million ($128,900) each. The prices are based on a 30 percent discount to market value and reflect the remote location of the flats. (link.reuters.com/puj87v)

-- Chongqing Bank plans to boost micro loans to comprise 40 percent of its total business by 2015 from 33 percent now. (link.reuters.com/suj87v)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

-- Tongda Group Holdings Ltd is seen to sell 420 million new shares at up to HK$1.19 apiece in a share placement, raising up to HK$500 million ($64.45 million), according to a term sheet.

HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES

-- Yanzhou Coal Mining Co Ltd had trimmed its work force by 5,400 in 2013 in a move to reduce cost and the firm is set to cut up to another 5,000 this year, according to senior management.

 

Britain

The Telegraph

RBS 'IN TALKS' TO SELL CITIZENS TO JAPANESE BANK

One of Japan's largest banks has approached Royal Bank of Scotland to buy its U.S. retail business ahead of its stock market flotation this year. (http://link.reuters.com/kyj87v)

ENERGY COMPETITION PROBE 'WILL INCREASE RISK OF BLACKOUTS'

The risk of blackouts will be increased by a two-year probe into the energy market that will deter companies from building new power plants, a leading analyst has warned. (http://link.reuters.com/gyj87v)

MONITISE TO RAISE 110 MLN STG IN SHARE PLACING

Monitise, the online payments provider, announced plans to raise more than 110 million pounds ($181.4 million) on London's junior AIM market to fund a shift to subscription-based services that is expected to slow its growth. (http://link.reuters.com/myj87v)

GATWICK MISSES OUT ON DIRECT ROUTE TO JAKARTA

An Indonesian airline which was due to launch a direct service from Gatwick to Jakarta in May will now operate the service via Amsterdam to pick up passengers, it has emerged. (http://link.reuters.com/hyj87v)

The Guardian

LLOYDS' TOP MANAGEMENT BONUSES POTENTIALLY WORTH MORE THAN 27 MLN STG

Bailed out Lloyds Banking Group has handed its top management team - including Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio - bonuses potentially worth more than 27 million pounds. (http://link.reuters.com/naj87v)

ASDA TO AXE AROUND 200 JOBS

Asda is to cut around 200 jobs as it forges a new five-year plan to tackle increasing competition from rival supermarkets and discounters. (http://link.reuters.com/baj87v)

The Times

CO-OP'S STAKE IN BANK SLIPS AFTER 400 MILLION POUND CALL

The Co-operative Group's grip on its troubled banking division appeared to weaken further last night after a stack of mis-selling costs forced the lender into a surprise 400 million pound emergency cash call. (http://link.reuters.com/dyj87v)

SCOTLAND 'WOULD FACE HIGHER TAXES OR IMMIGRATION TO FUND PENSIONS'

An independent Scotland would have to raise taxes or attract hundreds of thousands of immigrants to pay the state pension currently offered within the UK, a new study has found. (http://link.reuters.com/wuj87v)

PHONES4U TRIES TO GATECRASH CARPHONE MERGER WITH DIXONS

Merger talks between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse have hit a potential hurdle after the owners of Phones4u approached the retailer about an alternative deal. (http://link.reuters.com/cyj87v)

LLOYDS ACCUSED OF USING LOOPHOLE TO CUT PPI BILL

A fresh payment protection insurance scandal is set to engulf Lloyds Banking Group amid accusations that it used a loophole to cut compensation awards to customers. (http://link.reuters.com/xuj87v)

ALL THAT GLISTERS COULD NOW TURN TO DUST FOR ALBEMARLE

Troubled pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond, which has been seeking a buyer for the business for months while its lenders kept the company afloat, is set to collapse after its banks called time on the turnaround of the business. (http://link.reuters.com/byj87v)

The Independent

FURY AS FCA IS ACCUSED OF WIMPING OUT OF TOUGH NEW REGULATIONS ON PAYDAY LOANS

Members of Parliament and consumer groups have criticised the London's financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, for lacking teeth ahead of its taking over responsibility for payday lenders next month. (http://link.reuters.com/nyj87v)

 

 

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled today include:
S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for January at 9:00--consensus up 0.6% for month
Consumer confidence for March at 10:00--consensus 78.4
New home sales for February at 10:00--consensus down 4.9% to 445K rate

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Domtar (UFS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Eni SpA (E) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Exa Corp. (EXA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
Farmers Capital upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
PACCAR (PCAR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Palo Alto (PANW) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital
Rackspace (RAX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
ReneSola (SOL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital
Sinopharm Group (SHTDF) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse

Downgrades

Alpha Natural (ANR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Arch Coal (ACI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
BioMarin (BMRN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
CST Brands (CST) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
KBR (KBR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
MSCI (MSCI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Navistar (NAV) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
PulteGroup (PHM) downgraded to Underweight from Equalweight at Barclays
Timken (TKR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc

Initiations

Alliance Fiber Optic (AFOP) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Convergys (CVG) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
Fifth Street Senior (FSFR) initiated with a Buy at UBS
FireEye (FEYE) initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Sapient (SAPE) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
Spirit Airlines (SAVE) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
Varonis (VRNS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Varonis (VRNS) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Varonis (VRNS) initiated with an Equalweight at Barclays
Varonis (VRNS) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital

COMPANY NEWS

Disney (DIS) announced a deal to acquire Maker Studios for $500M. The deal also includes up to an additional $450M in performance-based payouts for Maker
Online file sharing and content management service Box (BOX) filed with the SEC for an IPO
RealD (RLD) announced an agreement with Wanda Cinema to install 780 additional 3D screens in China
Sonic (SONC) said it expects FY14 SSS to grow by low-single digits and earnings for the year to grow 14%-15%
Orthofix (OFIX) implemented an internal audit program and announced the filing of restated financial results
Safeway (SWY) declared special stock dividend to spin-off Blackhawk (HAWK)

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
McCormick (MKC), HD Supply (HDS), Sonic (SONC)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
CTI Industries (CTIB), Exa Corp. (EXA)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

SEC launching investigation into complex bond deals (BCS, C, DB, GS, MS, UBS, RBS), WSJ reports
Yahoo (YHOO) shareholders eyeing a big Alibaba payday, FT reports
Luxottica (LUX), Google (GOOG) collaborating on new versions of Google Glass, WSJ says
HP (HPQ) may not release news on first 3D printer until October, GigaOM says
Sanofi (SNY) joins bidders for Merck's (MRK) consumer health unit, Bloomberg reports 
U.K. PS4 (SNE) sales up 106% since launch of 'InFamous' game, MCV says
RBS (RBS), Sumitomo (SMFG) hold talks on RBS Citizens, WSJ says
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) has considered bid for RBS's (RBS) Citizens, Reuters reports
General Motors (GM) engineers knew about ignition problems, WSJ reports

SYNDICATE

Actinium Pharmaceuticals (ATNM) files $200M mixed securities shelf
Arlington Asset Investment (AI) files to sell 2.75M common shares
Box, Inc. (BOX) files registration with SEC for IPO
CommScope (COMM) files to sell 17.5M shares of common stock for holders
Crestwood Midstream (CMLP) files to sell $300M in common units
CyrusOne (CONE) files $600M mixed securities shelf
CyrusOne (CONE) files to sell 44.48M shares of common stock for holders
Farmland Partners (FPI) files 4.67M share IPO
MoneyGram (MGI) files to sell 8M shares of common stock
MoneyGram (MGI) files to sell 8M shares of common stock for holders
PRO-DEX (PDEX) announces commencement of rights offering
PennyMac (PFSI) files to sell 5.55M shares of common stock for holder
SciQuest (SQI) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
Veeva (VEEV) files to sell 12M shares of common stock in an amended S-1 filing
Western Asset Mortgage (WMC) files $400M mixed securities shelf

 

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Tue, 03/25/2014 - 07:52 | 4589332 Hindenburg...Oh Man
Hindenburg...Oh Man's picture

Was there some release of information at 0745 that I missed? 

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 07:59 | 4589343 Independent
Independent's picture

Sanctions, Shmansions, if you got oil and gas sanctions are nothing more than a fly on the windshield.  The Euro wussies better watch out their economies can take a nose dive and they will have their own Kiev revolutions in their capitals,  SUCKERS.  And they all have far right movements already waiting for the opportunity to take over.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:14 | 4589367 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

DON'T LAUGH TOO HARD ABOUT OBOZO AND THE NSA!!?  HOW CAN WE NOT!?

And get a clue Dumbocrats!  You're all gone with the midterm elections.

Because Obama you mooktards!

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:06 | 4589355 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Looks like they whacked some right wing guy in Western Ukraine last night.  A professional hit done like western mercs usually do. "Purge of the Fascists?"

http://www.moonofalabama.org/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/03/ukraine-purge-of-the-fascists.html#...

In other news one of the most dangerous leaders of the Pravyh Sektor, the muscle paramilitary side of the fascists in Ukraine, was shot down and killed near the west-Ukrainian city of Rivne. It is unclear who killed him and why. According to the (anti-Putin) Moscow Times:

Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Doniy said on his Facebook page that unknown assailants blocked off Muzychko's car, dragged him out of the vehicle, cuffed his hands behind his back, and shot him twice in the chest.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:10 | 4589357 wmbz
wmbz's picture

"The president will arrive on Tuesday night with a 900-strong entourage, including 45 vehicles and three cargo planes".

In other news this is what it takes to shuttle Obozo the clown around. What a waste of time and money. Barry could have read his prepaired text from one of his dozens of telepromters, from a golf course here in the U.S. No one, as far as I can tell takes him seriously anyway.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:44 | 4589479 RyeWhiskey
RyeWhiskey's picture

Box IPO? That's most stupidest startup I ever heard of.
FTP allowed transfers of huge files, for free.
And here comes Box - offering nothing new, ZERO innovation
and wanting your 250 millions.
Whoever invested in this thing must have been undeservingly rich.
Soon after IPO, this thing will flop.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:51 | 4589714 no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

"The centers of power in the European neoliberal economic empire know that the current Greek government will expire soon and therefore, they've given orders to finish the experiment at any cost, so that to expand it to the whole Europe."

http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/03/a-class-war-culmination-after...

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