Frontrunning: February 20
- Germany FinMin: More Talks Needed On 2nd Greece Bailout Plan (MarketNews)
- You stand up to the bankers, you win - Icelandic Anger Bringing Record Debt Relief in Best Crisis Recovery Story (Bloomberg)
- Iranian ships reach Syria, China warns of civil war (Reuters)
- Men's suit bubble pops? Zegna CEO Says China Sales Slowing (WSJ)
- German presidency row shakes Merkel's coalition (Reuters)
- Greece must default if it wants democracy (FT)
- Decision day for second Greek bailout despite financing gaps (Reuters)
- So true fair value is a 30% discount to "market" price? Board of Wynn Resorts Forcibly Buys Out Founder (WSJ)
- Spain Sinks Deeper Into Periphery on Debt Rise (Bloomberg)
- Walmart raises stake in China e-commerce group (FT)
- Iron Lady Merkel Bucks German Street on Greek Aid (Bloomberg)
- S&P Affirms Japan Rating (WSJ)
US HEDGE FUNDS TO TAKE CONTROL OF TRAVELODGE
The ownership of Travelodge, the debt-laden UK budget hotel group, is moving out of the hands of its Dubai backers and into the grasp of two U.S. hedge funds that have been long-term buyers of its debt. http://link.reuters.com/byt66s
PFIZER PLANS TO RAISE $3 BILLION THROUGH IPO
Pfizer is weighing plans to raise about $3 billion this year through a part-flotation of its animal health division, as the drugs giant examines the best way to spin off a business valued at as much as $18 billion. http://link.reuters.com/cyt66s
EURO ZONE SEEKS ECB TO HELP WITH GREEK BAILOUT
Euro zone governments are looking to the European Central Bank and national central banks to help pare back the cost of a second rescue package for Greece which would otherwise amount to 170 billion euros ($224 billion). http://link.reuters.com/dyt66s
OVERCROWDING PUTS PRESSURE ON FEES, SAY BANKERS
Investment banking in Asia is overcrowded, with too many institutions putting too much pressure on fees, according to senior bankers, giving the industry a longer-term problem than the fall in market activity at the end of 2011. http://link.reuters.com/fyt66s
RESOURCE GROUPS AIM TO COUNTERACT ANTI-CORRUPION RULES
Royal Dutch Shell and other natural resources companies have stepped up efforts to counteract planned anti-corruption rules that would force them to disclose payments to governments in countries where they operate. http://link.reuters.com/gyt66s
FUJITSU TO LAUNCH MOBILE DEVICES IN EU MARKET
Fujitsu will launch a wide range of smartphones and tablets for the first time in Europe, as the Japanese electronics company seeks to stake a claim in the fast-growing and high-margin mobile device market. http://link.reuters.com/hyt66s
REPORT FINDS NHS HOSPITALS OFFER VALUE FOR MONEY
Contentious moves to stimulate competition in the health service have been bolstered by a groundbreaking study of 2 million patients that shows forcing NHS hospitals to compete with one another saves money and improves efficiency. http://link.reuters.com/jyt66s
UK BANKS QUESTION 'CREDIT EASING' POLICY
Several of the UK's biggest banks have raised doubts as to whether a flagship government scheme aimed at boosting demand for credit will result in cheaper loans for small and medium-sized enterprises. http://link.reuters.com/kyt66s
INVESTORS SEEK TO HEDGE AGAINST EURO SPLIT
Leading investment banks are considering creating currency products that would protect companies and investors in the event of a partial break-up of the euro. http://link.reuters.com/myt66s
TRUCE CALLED IN BATTLE FOR BUMI
Financier Nat Rothschild and Samin Tan, the Indonesian mining entrepreneur, called a truce in their power struggle for control of UK-listed coal miner Bumi, agreeing at talks in London that Rothschild would step down as co-chairman but remain on the Bumi board. http://link.reuters.com/nyt66s
* The International Monetary Fund is likely to offer minimal funds for a second Greek aid package that is expected to be approved by euro-zone finance ministers on Monday, leaving the bloc's governments to provide a much bigger share of the loans than they did in the euro zone's three earlier bailouts.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it plans to buy a majority stake in Chinese e-commerce company Yihaodian, a move to boost its online efforts as consumers there flock to the Internet to shop.
* The co-founder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., who was forcibly bought out over the weekend, fired back at the company Monday, saying he would take legal action to block the board's "outrageous" action and accused it of operating like a "star chamber."
* Japan's economy got off to a bad start this year, posting a record ¥1.475 trillion (US$18.5 billion) merchandise trade deficit in January as a global economic slowdown and the strong yen hurt exports and fuel imports continued to increase.
* Standard & Poor's Corp. on Monday reaffirmed Japan's sovereign debt rating at AA- and maintained its negative outlook, a move that leaves Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda under pressure to deliver on tax increases to improve the country's dire fiscal position.
* Billabong International Ltd. said Monday it will consider a revised 765.3 million Australian dollar (US$825.3 million) takeover offer from U.S. private-equity firm TPG Capital.
* The U.S.'s enormous debt load has been overshadowed recently by other global financial problems, but, as those start dissipating, bond investors are wondering how long the U.S. government will keep getting a free pass. Treasury yields are still at historic lows after last summer's remarkable rally, when investors were bracing for a messy fallout from the European debt crisis.
* The pair of deals to split EMI between Sony and Universal would give those music companies substantial advantages over Warner, the only other major player still in the market.
* State and local entities all across the country issue municipal bonds, which are often their lifeblood. But not all are adapting well to a new, more open world.
* The announcement Saturday that Foxconn Technology - one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers - will sharply raise salaries and reduce overtime at its Chinese factories signals that pressure from workers, international markets and concerns among Western consumers about working conditions is driving a fundamental shift that could accelerate an already rapidly changing Chinese economy.