Frontrunning: April 5
- Portugal Says Some Town Halls May Need to Restructure Their Debt (Bloomberg)
- Draghi Scotches ECB Exit Talk as Spain Keeps Crisis Alive (Bloomberg)
- China PBOC Injects Net CNY25 Bln Into Money Market This Week (WSJ)
- BoE warns on mortgage limits (FT)
- Apple investigating new iPad WiFi issues, tells AppleCare to replace affected units (9to5Mac)
- Juppé promises French hard line in EU (FT)
- ECB liquidity fuels high stakes hedging (FT)
- Fed’s Lacker Says Markets Saw Odds of Policy Easing as Too High (Bloomberg)
- Japan minister to ask for nuclear reactor restart: media (Reuters)
- King Readies Completion of Current Stimulus as BOE Debate Looms (Bloomberg)
- Fed Exploring Selling Maiden Lane III Assets From AIG Rescue (Bloomberg)
- Geithner says U.S. far behind on housing finance reform (Reuters)
- Poland Signals Higher Rate to Assuage Investors as CPI Rise (Bloomberg)
- Threat to UK access to venture capital (FT)
Overnight Media Digest via Reuters
* New York's top financial regulator is expanding an investigation of insurers that force homeowners insurance on borrowers.
* Fears that central banks may soon end efforts to support financial markets and fresh concerns about Europe drove down stock markets around the world.
* Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette are close to settling an e-book price-fixing probe with the Justice Department. Apple and two other publishers are holding out.
* The market for pools of loans to "junk"-rated companies is coming back, driven by investors' hunger for high-risk, high-return securities. It has topped $6.8 billion this year, the fastest pace in four years.
* Yahoo confirmed it would eliminate 2,000 jobs, or 14 percent of its global work force, a move expected to yield about $375 million of annual savings.
* Callaway Golf Co agreed to sell the intellectual-property rights to its Top-Flite golf equipment and accessories brand to Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
JUDGE BLASTS SFO OVER TCHENGUIZ CASE
A British high court judge has blasted the Serious Fraud Office for "sheer incompetence" after the regulator admitted it has "no clear record" of the information it used to obtain search warrants against property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz.
ROTHSCHILD EYE CROSS-CHANNEL UNITY
The Rothschild family plans to secure "long-term control" over its international banking empire by merging its French and British assets into a single entity and implementing a new form of governance that provides immunity from hostile takeover.
THREAT TO UK ACCESS TO VENTURE CAPITAL
European rules on state aid have jeopardised small UK companies' access to venture capital funding worth hundreds of millions of pounds each year, placing further strain on a sector already starved of credit.
TESCO UNDER FIRE FROM UNEASY INVESTORS
Some of Tesco's biggest shareholders are calling on the retailer's newly appointed chairman to address their concerns about the culture and strategy of the group, which is set to unveil a blueprint for its future in 10 days' time.
CONTEST OPENS FOR UK WAVE POWER PRIZE
Energy companies will be invited on Thursday to bid for a 20 million pounds prize to develop Britain's first full-scale wave energy projects, helping to unlock a power source that ministers believe could generate up to a fifth of the UK's energy needs.
HEALTHCARE INVESTORS EYE DEAL WITH MOSCOW
Western investors are considering teaming up with the Moscow city government to invest in an $800 million venture designed to overhaul the Russian capital's healthcare system.
BIG BANKS FAILED TO MEET BASEL REGULATIONS
Twenty-seven of Europe's biggest banks would have been short of a combined 242 billion euros ($317.44 billion) in capital if tough global bank safety rules had kicked in last year, new research from the European Banking Authority shows.
SALARY FREEZE FOR IAG CHIEF WALSH
The salary of Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, will be frozen in 2012 as he oversees a turnaround of the airline group's underperforming Spanish subsidiary.
NEW ICAS CHIEF CRITICISES 'COSY' AUDITOR TIES
Sir David Tweedie, one of the world's most prominent accountants, has added his voice to criticism of the decades-long relationships that bind auditors to the companies they are supposed to be vetting.
* The music's concerts and festivals now have profit margins that Wall Street is starting to notice, but determining the value of the promoting companies and the risks associated with live music events pose challenges for investors.
* One year after its acquisition by AOL Inc, The Huffington Post has become a source of growth with several business units now in Arianna Huffington's hands, a move intended to add sections and products faster.
* Provisions in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act will roll back some major securities regulations that could affect emerging growth companies and public offerings.
* At current or foreseeable gas prices, it would take many years for the fuel savings from hybrid and plug-in cars to make up for the cars' high initial cost.
* Delta Air Lines has emerged as a possible buyer for a ConocoPhillips refinery in order to cut its jet fuel costs, but running an oil refinery can be even tougher than running an airline.
* Wall Street stocks closed down about 1 percent, as investors digested the suggestion that further monetary stimulus action from the Fed was unlikely.
* Since taking office in 2010, Gov. Chris Christie has approved a record $1.57 billion in state tax breaks for dozens of New Jersey's largest companies after they pledged to add jobs.
* Google Inc provided a first look at its Internet-connected glasses, which place a small see-through display screen above a person's eye.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
- The Harper government is starting anew on its multibillion-dollar fighter-jet purchase. New team will seek to mimic strategy used to award shipbuilding contracts, abandoning a process that has been heavily criticized by the Auditor-General.
- Gasoline prices in Canada are climbing to near-record highs, and financial speculators betting on the closing of a Philadelphia refinery are partly to blame.
Reports in the business section:
- A majority of Yellow Media Inc's creditors have begun to hash out a blueprint to take over the troubled phone-directory company, a plan that would wipe out the shares that thousands of Canadians once bought for their rich dividends.
- The U.S. regulator that launched a lawsuit against Royal Bank of Canada this week is now coming under scrutiny after facing criticism in recent months over its handling of a high profile case in the United States.
- The beleaguered Missing Women Commission of Inquiry is now itself the subject of an inquiry. Commission boss Wally Oppal said Wednesday morning he has hired an "experienced independent investigator" to look into allegations of harassment and intimidation inside his workplace.
- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is cutting 650 jobs - including 475 this year - and will begin to run ads on CBC Radio in the wake of a C$115 million ($115.3 million) reduction in annual funds from the federal government.
Reports in the business section:
- Dundee Corp, which has a strong history with Bank of Nova Scotia, has emerged as a leading contender to own the bank's prestigious head office in Toronto, estimated to be worth about C$1.30 billion, according to multiple sources.
- Air Canada managed to buck a wildcat strike and looming threat of labour disruptions throughout March to fill its planes last month more than it did a year ago.