Frontrunning: April 11
- Subprime bubble is back: Lenders Again Dealing Credit to Risky Clients (NYT)
- Housing bubble is also back: AIG Is Planning a Return to U.S. Property Investing (WSJ)
- Spain and EU Reject Talk of Bailout (FT)
- Coeure Suggests ECB Could Restart Bond Purchases for Spain (Bloomberg)
- IMF Set to Recognise Shrinking Chinese Surplus (FT)
- Government to Propose New Mortgage Servicing Rules (AP)
- Japan Currency Chief Warns Against Delay Over Finances (Bloomberg)
- The 'Michael Corleone' of Libya (Reuters)
- North Korea Says Fuel Being Injected Into Rocket (Reuters)
- SNB Reaffirms Vow to Cap Swiss Franc (FT)
Overnight media digest:
* Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn resigned abruptly amid what the company described as a board probe into his "personal conduct."
* The Philippines says its largest warship is engaged in a standoff with Chinese surveillance vessels in the South China Sea.
* A wave of selling rolled through financial markets on both sides of the Atlantic Tuesday, shattering a calm that has pervaded global markets for the past few months, as concerns flared anew about Europe's troubled economies.
* More than 100 people and firms have now been charged with fraud tied to the financial crisis by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but that hasn't quelled criticism that the agency hasn't cracked down hard enough.
* Coty Inc has explored a possible public listing in the U.S., a potential alternative to its proposed $10 billion takeover of Avon Products Inc according to people familiar with the matter.
* A JPMorgan Chase trader whose massive derivatives sales in recent months earned him the nickname the "London whale" has stopped making those trades, for now. But investors that were squeezed in his earlier action remain engaged in high-stakes strategies against the trader.
ABI WARNS OVER BARCLAYS' PAY DEAL
Shareholder unease about the pay deals granted to bosses at Barclays intensified on Tuesday as a leading group of big UK institutional investors flagged its concerns about the bank's pay policy ahead of its annual meeting in a fortnight.
UNILEVER END STAND-OFF OVER PENSIONS
Unilever has struck a deal with two of the biggest unions representing its employees to cut pension benefits after a seven-month stand-off with workers that saw the Anglo-Dutch multinational suffer its first nationwide strikes.
GOLDMAN'S CO-HEAD OF M&A RETIRES
Yoel Zaoui, one of Goldman Sachs' most senior dealmakers, is leaving the bank after a 24-year career advising on some of the biggest deals in global mergers and acquisitions.
HSBC IN TALKS OVER PAKISTAN AND KOREA
HSBC is in talks to sell all of its operations in Pakistan and is closing in on a sale of its South Korean retail and wealth management businesses to the Korea Development Bank, the UK-listed bank said on Tuesday.
LOGICA BOSSES TURN DOWN BONUSES
The top management of Logica turned down bonuses worth nearly 1 million pounds ($1.58 million) under pressure from shareholders after a year in which the UK-based IT services company lost a third of its value and announced 1,300 redundancies.
RIELLO SEEKS TO EXPAND GLOBAL PRESENCE
Riello, a leading producer of titanium-cutting machines for the aerospace industry, is seeking a new strategic shareholder, in a move that could allow a Chinese company to make a key move in this sector.
SONY WARNS OF WORST EVER FULL-YEAR LOSS
The scale of challenges facing Sony were underscored by a warning from the electronics and entertainment group that it expects to make a 520 billion yen net loss for its just-ended financial year, its worst deficit ever.
FITNESS FIRST PONDERS CVA TO TRIM RENTS
Fitness First, the indebted gym chain owned by private equity firm BC Partners, is considering using a legal mechanism to cut rental payments for some of its 140 UK clubs ahead of a likely takeover by lenders in May.
* With the financial industry recovering and fee income reduced by new regulations, lenders are seeking to woo back less creditworthy borrowers.
* Facebook's acquisition of Instagram could be something of a turning point, as even Facebook tries to get a better grasp on a market that requires a rethinking of old rules.
* Some economists say giving American services companies the same subsidies as manufacturers would raise United States exports and employment.
* Wall Street notched its fifth consecutive decline on Tuesday fueled by concerns over the euro zone.
* Edward DeMarco, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said it might make sense for the mortgage finance companies to write down mortgage loan principal.
* Best Buy Chief Executive Brian J. Dunn's departure came as the board looked into his "personal conduct," the electronics retailer said.
* The electronics giant, Sony Corp, already battered by a number of factors, doubled its projected net loss for the business year that just ended because of an additional tax expense.
* Scott Thompson told Yahoo's remaining 12,000 employees that he was restructuring the company around three core groups: consumer, regions and technology.
* Alcoa Inc, the aluminum manufacturer, said Tuesday that it earned 9 cents a share in the first quarter, topping analysts' forecasts on a modest increase in sales.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
- Veterinarians and other inspectors responsible for food recalls and ensuring the safety of Canadian meat are among the hundreds of federal public servants who will be told this week their jobs are at risk. r.reuters.com/zev57s
- In the weeks after Canada first announced it would acquire the controversial F-35 Lightning fighter, Defence Minister Peter MacKay was instructed by his department to describe the jet as the least expensive option on the market, documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show. r.reuters.com/duv57s
Reports in the business section:
- The highest-rated application in the PlayBook app marketplace is called Flashlight. It has no remarkable features - loading it simply brings up a brightly lit white screen. That it should be a PlayBook bestseller illustrates one of the most serious drawbacks of Research In Motion Ltd's flagship tablet. r.reuters.com/huv57s
- Canada and Denmark appear close to agreement in their festering territorial dispute over Hans Island, with an amicable plan for both countries to split ownership of the tiny, barren rock in the Arctic being put forward. r.reuters.com/kuv57s
Reports in the business section:
- It's almost a chicken-and-egg argument, deciding whether the government comes first in the crackdown on consumer borrowing or if the banks should be responsible for reining in Canadian debt. r.reuters.com/quv57s
- International Business Machines Corp is launching its first formal research and development lab in Canada through a $175-million investment over the next 21 months in a consortium with seven Ontario universities, the company said on Tuesday. r.reuters.com/ruv57s
European Economic Update:
- UK BRC Sales Like-for-Like 1.3% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 0.0% y/y. Previous -0.3% y/y.
- Spain Industrial Output -5.1% w.d.a. y/y -3.0% n.s.a. y/y. Previous -4.2% w.d.a. y/y. -2.4% n.s.a. y/y. Revised -4.3% w.d.a. y/y .-2.5% n.s.a. y/y.
- Germany Wholesale Price Index 0.9% m/m 2.2% y/y. Previous 1.0% m/m 2.6% y/y.
- Turkey Current Account -4.2B – higher than expected. Consensus -4.7B. Previous -6.0B. Revised -5.9B.
- Hungary Consumer Prices 0.8% m/m 5.5% y/y – in line with expectations. Consensus 0.8% m/m 5.5% y/y. Previous 0.8% m/m 5.9% y/y.
- Norway Industrial Production -0.6% s.a. m/m 3.1% w.d.a.j. Previous 4.5% s.a. m/m 3.0% w.d.a.j. y/y. Revised 4.4% s.a. m/m.
- Denmark Industrial Production -1.0% m/m. Previous 1.8% m/m. Revised 0.9% m/m.
- Denmark Industrial Orders -5.1% m/m. Previous -5.3% m/m. Revised -8.7% m/m.