Frontrunning: February 1
- China’s factories in strong start to 2012 (FT)
- Merkel to court Chinese investors (FT)
- States to decide this week on mortgage deal (Reuters)
- Europe is stuck on life support (FT)
- IMF's Thomsen Says Greece Must Step Up Reform (Reuters)
- Tax cuts expiry to slow US growth (FT)
- Government health spending seen hitting $1.8 trillion (Reuters)
- Romney Win in Florida Primary Shows Strength (Bloomberg)
- EU regulator blocks D.Boerse-NYSE merger (Reuters)
- Greek Bondholders said to get GDP Sweetener in Debt Swap Agreement (Bloomberg)
- S. Korea Plans to Buy China Shares (Bloomberg)
Overnight Media Digest:
* Venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has helped fuel Silicon Valley's latest Web boom with investments in hot companies from Facebook Inc to Twitter Inc, said it has raised two new funds totaling $1.5 billion, in one of the larger fundraisings in the venture-capital industry.
* Apple Inc tapped the chief of one of Europe's largest electronics retailers as its new head of retail, filling its most high-profile vacancy with a rare company outsider.
John Browett, chief executive of Dixons Retail since 2007, will join Apple in April as a senior vice president in charge of the technology giant's retail operations and expansion. The 48-year-old will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
* Obama is expected to announce a fresh bid to revive the housing market -- despite likely congressional opposition -- by letting millions of homeowners refinance their mortgages.
* Federal prosecutors are preparing to file criminal charges against former traders at Credit Suisse Group, alleging they misstated the value of mortgage bonds, an issue central to the 2008 financial crisis.
* Amazon is struggling to make money as quickly as it spends it, putting the squeeze on the online retailer's latest financial results and crimping its outlook.
* Drug companies have scored a string of recent successes against advanced prostate cancer, ending a long drought during which there seemed to be few weapons to combat the disease.
In the latest evidence of progress, researchers reported Tuesday that an experimental drug from San Francisco-based Medivation Inc extended survival by nearly five months in a 1,199-patient study.
* Federal prosecutors expanded their insider-trading case against former Goldman Sachs Group Inc director Rajat Gupta ahead of a trial set for April, increasing the number of illegal tips he is charged with in a new criminal indictment.
The new indictment against Gupta, once one of the nation's most prominent businessmen and corporate directors, formally accuses him of giving four illicit tips to a friend and business associate, Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, twice the number in the original indictment
EU TO RULE ON DEUTSCHE BOERSE AND NYSE MERGER
The NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Borse tie-up on Wednesday faces its day of reckoning in Brussels, as EU commissioners are expected to sign-off a recommendation to block a merger that allegedly stifles competition. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9b0521da-4c2f-11e1-bd09-00144feabdc0.html#axzz...
MCGRAW-HILL EXPLORES SALE OF EDUCATION BUSINESS
McGraw-Hill is exploring the possibility of selling its $2.5 billion-plus education business, after its previously announced plan to split the division from its Standard & Poor's financial arm prompted interest from private equity groups, three people familiar with the situation said. http://link.reuters.com/xab46s
UK TREASURY HIT BY EXODUS OF TOP STAFF
The British treasury is grappling with an exodus of personnel as officials fume at low pay levels and high staff turnover, creating real operational difficulties with the budget just seven seeks away. http://link.reuters.com/zab46s
FORMER RBS BOSS STRIPPED OF KNIGHTHOOD
Sir Fred Goodwin, the former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland , was stripped of his knighthood on Tuesday, in the latest political concession to public anger in Britain over the perceived arrogance of some senior bankers. http://link.reuters.com/beb46s
UK AIRPORT OPERATOR BAA TO END STANSTED RUNWAY HOPES
British airport operator BAA has signalled it has abandoned its hopes of building a second runway at Stansted airport after its chief executive committed the company to selling 280 homes it owns in the area. http://link.reuters.com/ceb46s
OPEC HEAD WARNS OF OIL PRICE VOLATILITY
Abdalla el-Badri, OPEC secretary-general, on Tuesday warned of volatile crude prices as the oil market adjusted to Europe's embargo on Iranian oil imports. http://link.reuters.com/deb46s
BRUISING YEAR FOR COMMODITIES HEDGE FUNDS
The commodities hedge fund industry has suffered its worst year in more than a decade as the sector's top managers recorded heavy losses amid volatile markets. http://link.reuters.com/feb46s
APPLE HIRES DIXONS CHIEF TO DRIVE GLOBAL RETAIL
Apple pounced on the Dixons chief in a surprise raid on Tuesday, offering him a place on the board as senior vice-president for retail, a salary that could exceed 400,000 pounds ($631,200) and the possibility of millions of dollars of stock options.
UK RETAILER ARGOS SET TO ANNOUNCE NEW CEO
Argos, the British retailer owned by Home Retail, is set to announce John Walden as chief executive on Wednesday.
TESCO MARKET SHARES DIP BELOW 30 PERCENT
Tesco's market share has dipped below 30 percent for the first time in nearly seven years, according to industry figures.
FORMER JC-FLOWERS CHIEF FINED IN FRAUD CASE
The former UK chief executive of JC Flowers has been fined 2.9 million pounds ($4.58 million) and banned from working in the financial services in the UK after defrauding the private equity group of more than 1 million pounds.
LONDON MAJOR OPENS ARMS TO FRENCH BANKS
Britain should welcome with "open arms" French banks that want to move business from Paris to London to escape the country's new financial transaction tax, according to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Britain's top bank lobbyist.
FORMER RBS CHIEF STRIPPED OF KNIGHTHOOD
Former head of Royal Bank of Scotland Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood by the Queen on Tuesday for his role in the creation of the biggest recession since the second world war.
BP DEAL KEEPS UK REFINERY RUNNING TEMPORARILY
BP threw a lifeline to Coryton on Tuesday, striking a deal that allowed the bankrupt UK oil refinery to buy a fresh cargo of crude that will keep it running for a few more days.
European Economic Data:
- Germany CPI (EU Harmonised) -0.5% m/m 2.3% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus -0.4% m/m 2.4% y/y. Previous 0.7% m/m 2.3% y/y.
- UK Nationwide House Prices -0.2% m/m 0.6% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus -0.4% m/m -1.6% y/y. Previous -0.2% m/m 1.0% y/y.
- Hungary PMI Manufacturing for January 49.38. Previous 48.6.
- Poland PMI Manufacturing for January 52.2. Previous 48.8.
- Turkey PMI Manufacturing for January 51.7. Previous 52.0.
- Norway PMI Manufacturing for January 54.9 – higher than expected. Consensus 48.0. Previous 46.6.
- Spain PMI Manufacturing for January 45.1. Previous 43.7.
- Switzerland Retail Sales 0.6% y/y. Previous 1.8% y/y.
- Czech PMI Manufacturing for January 48.8. Previous 49.2.
- Switzerland PMI Manufacturing for January 47.3 – lower than expected. Consensus 50.7. Previous 49.1.
- Italy PMI Manufacturing for January 46.8 – higher than expected. Consensus 45.3. Previous 44.3.
- France PMI Manufacturing for January 48.5 – in line with expectations. Consensus 48.5. Previous 48.5.
- Germany PMI Manufacturing for January 51.0 – higher than expected. Consensus 50.9. Previous 50.9.
- Norway Unemployment for January 3.4% - in line with expectations. Consensus 3.3%. Previous 3.4%.
- Eurozone PMI Manufacturing for January 48.8 – higher than expected. Consensus 48.7. Previous 48.7.
- UK PMI Manufacturing for January 52.1 – higher than expected. Consensus 50.0. Previous 49.7.
- Eurozone CPI Estimate for January 2.7% y/y – in line with expectations. Consensus 2.7% y/y. Previous 2.7% y/y.