Frontrunning: July 31
- Hilsenrath: Heat Rises on Central Banks (WSJ)
- Some at Fed Are Urging Pre-Emptive Stimulus (NYT)
- Obama Warns of Headwinds in Europe; Urges European Leaders to Take Decisive Action on Euro (WSJ) - also needs reelection
- ECB thinks the unthinkable, action likely weeks away (Reuters)
- Games Turn London Into ‘Ghost Town.’ (FT)
- Greek Leaders Seek to Defer Austerity Cuts (FT)
- Hong Kong Builders Unload Properties to Raise Cash for Land Rush (Bloomberg)
- North India Crippled by Power Cuts (FT)
- Euro-Area Unemployment Rate Reaches Record 11.2% on Crisis (Bloomberg)
- Italy's Monti sees hope of end to euro crisis (Reuters)
Overnight Media Digest:
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is negotiating a settlement with authorities investigating attempted interest-rate rigging at RBS and other banks, and a deal, including fines, could be announced in the next few months, according to people familiar with the matter.
* Google Inc says it will put in another $200 million to market the channels on YouTube as it attempts to upgrade its content from simple user-generated videos and to lure more viewers and advertising.
* Ross Levinsohn, one of Yahoo Inc's top executives, said he is leaving the internet company after the board chose longtime Google Inc executive Marissa Mayer to become Chief Executive.
* The Coca-Cola Co is greatly expanding the responsibilities of Steve Cahillane and Ahmet Bozer, turning the two senior executives into early front-runners to succeed Muhtar Kent at the helm of the world's largest beverage company.
* Nokia Corp's board of directors has boosted the maximum number of stock options the company can hand out to certain senior-level employees, in a move aimed at retaining key talent during the struggling Finnish handset maker's turnaround effort.
* General Motors Co signed a multimillion-dollar sponsorship with Manchester United, one of the UK's top soccer clubs, after altering terms of the deal negotiated by its former Chief Marketing Officer, Joel Ewanick.
* HSBC Holdings Plc said it set aside $2 billion to cover regulatory problems related to money laundering and other issues, the most severe blow to profits since the UK bank booked billions of pounds of losses during the U.S. subprime-mortgage crisis.
* Just four years after listing shares on the Bovespa stock exchange, Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista said that he plans to spend close to $300 million to buy back all shares in LLX Logistica SA and delist the transportation company from the Sao Paulo market.
* Chrysler Group LLC rebounded in its second quarter, posting income of $436 million on rising auto sales and stronger pricing in North America. The result marks a turnaround from a loss of $370 million for the same period a year earlier.
HSBC SETS ASIDE $2 BLN TO COVER FINES
HSBC's profit dipped as Europe's biggest bank set aside $2 billion to cover U.S. law enforcement and regulatory costs.
GAMES TURN LONDON INTO 'GHOST TOWN'
The Olympics is creating a "ghost town" as visitors who would normally flock to the capital's shops, hotels and theatres stay away.
NORTH INDIA CRIPPLED BY POWER CUTS
A protracted blackout disrupted the lives of an estimated 300 million people across northern India on Monday.
PRIVATE EQUITY ASSETS HIT RECORD $3 TRILLION
The value of assets managed by the private equity industry rose last year to a record $3 trillion.
HISCOX CHAIRMAN ATTACKS RED TAPE
The outgoing chairman of Hiscox has criticised the approach to corporate governance by institutional investors.
DMGT FILES CASE AGAINST TWITTER USER
An anonymous Twitter user who allegedly set up an account pretending to be a company executive has had a case filed against him by the publisher.
LIBOR REVIEW TO LOOK INTO SCRAPPING RATE
Libor could be scrapped altogether and replaced with a different interest rate, according to a review set up by the UK government.
NBC OLYMPICS COVERAGE DRAWS FIRE
NBC Universal has faced fierce criticism on social media for its time-delayed Olympics coverage.
IRAN SENTENCES BANK FRAUDSTERS TO DEATH
An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death for their role in a $2.8 billion bank fraud.
* Borrowing costs for Spain and Italy eased once again as officials in the region continued voicing their commitment to supporting the euro currency union. The German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, issued a joint statement expressing confidence in euro zone members' efforts.
* The Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce giant, is close to completing a more than $8 billion round of financing that will value it at as much as $43 billion in equity, according to two people briefed on the matter.
* Manchester United is moving forward with its initial public offering, disclosing that it is seeking $16 to $20 a share in its return to the public stock markets.
* Yet another key benchmark in the financial industry is under scrutiny. The scrutiny of the Municipal Market Data comes on the heels of revelations that a broader financial industry benchmark, the Libor, was manipulated by banks before and after the financial crisis.
* Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, one of the world's largest manufacturers of solar panels disclosed a potential fraud on Monday. Suntech said that 560 million euros ($685.58 million) in German government bonds, pledged as collateral for loan guarantees provided by the company, might not exist.
* Profit at HSBC Holdings Plc dropped nearly 9 percent in the first half of the year. HSBC said that it had set aside $700 million to cover the potential fines, settlements and other expenses related to a money-laundering inquiry in the U.S.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* An arbitrator has selected Air Canada's final offer to forge a new contract for pilots, clearing the way for management's proposal to launch an international discount airline.
* A Canadian Forces aboriginal recruiting ad that likened building a canoe to serving on a warship was nixed after focus groups found it "offensive to the point of being comical," says a newly released report.
* Conrad Black says he sees investment potential in Canadian newspapers, sparking speculation that the former media baron wants to re-enter the media industry.
European overnight summary
- UK GfK Consumer Confidence -29 – in line with expectations. Consensus -29. Previous -29.
- Germany Retail Sales -0.1% m/m 2.9% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.5% m/m 0.4% y/y. Previous -0.3% m/m -1.1% y/y.
- France Consumer Spending 0.1% m/m 0.2% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.2% m/m 0.4% y/y. Previous 0.5% m/m 0.5% y/y.
- France Producer Prices -0.9% m/m 1.3% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus -0.3% m/m 2.1% y/y. Previous -1.0% m/m 2.1% y/y.
- Spain Retail Sales -4.3% y/y. Previous -4.3% y/y.
- Germany Unemployment Rate (sa) 6.8% – in line with expectations. Consensus 6.8%. Previous 6.8%.
- Italy Unemployment Rate (sa) 10.8% – higher than expected. Consensus 10.3%. Previous 10.6%.
- Spain Current Account – EUR 0.8B. Previous – EUR1.7B.
- Euro-Zone CPI Estimate 2.4% – in line with expectations. Consensus 2.4%. Previous 2.4%.
- Euro-Zone Unemployment Rate 11.2% – in line with expectations. Consensus 11.2%. Previous 11.1%.