Frontrunning: November 27

  • OECD slashes 2013 growth forecast (FT)
  • Fiscal Cliff Compromise Elusive as Congress Returns (Bloomberg)
  • China’s PBOC Chief Search Spurs Focus on Finance Regulators (Bloomberg)
  • Elected, but Still Campaigning (WSJ)
  • Pentagon Readies Options for Afghanistan Force After 2014 (Bloomberg)
  • Greece Wins Easier Debt Terms as EU Hails Rescue Formula (Bloomberg)
  • Monti presses Cameron for EU referendum (FT)
  • Welcome, Mr Carney – Britain needs you (FT)
  • Argentina seeks halt to $1.3bn debt order (FT)
  • Asean chief warns on South China Sea disputes (FT)
  • South Korea Tightens FX Rules to Temper Won Surge (WSJ)

Overnight Media Digest


* Mark Carney, a former investment banker who runs Canada's central bank, will become governor of the Bank of England in July, the British government announced on Monday, a surprise pick that promises to bring change to the bank's insular culture at a time when it is gaining new regulatory powers in the U.K.

* Archstone Inc, the apartment-building owner that played a major role in the demise of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, is being sold by Lehman to rival landlords Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities for $6.5 billion in cash and stock.

* A group of creditors owed billions of dollars by Ally Financial Inc's mortgage subsidiary wants cash from a string of asset sales before any goes to the U.S. government, which funded a $17.2 billion bailout of the firm.

* Shipping giant China Cosco Holdings Ltd said it plans a $1 billion, 10-year U.S. dollar bond offer for the general corporate purposes of its offshore units and affiliates.

* Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced her departure on Monday, bringing to an end a turbulent period for the agency.




Mark Carney was announced on Monday as the next governor of the Bank of England. He will succeed Sir Mervyn King when his term comes to an end in July.


Older workers have propelled the increase in self-employment that has helped to hold down the jobless rate since the economic crisis began.


Qatar's sovereign wealth fund sold the last of the warrants it owns in Barclays on Monday, notching up a gain of more than 1.7 billion pounds ($2.7 billion).


Corporate predators have been given fresh warnings by the City of London watchdog to be more specific about their plans for target companies when they make a takeover bid.


Intrade, the leading prediction market for bets on events from elections to box-office receipts, said it would cut off U.S. customers next month in the face of a regulator's lawsuit.


Steelmaker Mittal, which acquired France's Arcelor in 2006, is no longer wanted in France due to years of broken promises, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Monday.


Mary Schapiro, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is stepping down next month after nearly four years in charge.




* Mark Carney is leaving the Bank of Canada with a groomed successor in place, a slate of worthy outside candidates and a long list of thorny problems for whoever takes the job. Senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem, the current No. 2 at the Bank of Canada, is the obvious choice to fill the large shoes of the savvy and charismatic Carney.

* The Harper government is axing two-thirds of its fleet of Challenger jets, cutting back on the symbolic perk that has gotten so many officials in hot water over the years.

Reports in the business section:

* George Weston Ltd's bread business is getting squeezed, and a big part of the problem comes from an unlikely source: its Loblaw grocery arm. Struggling with declining fresh bread sales, the Weston family's food company is racing to catch up with the fast changing trend of consumers switching to alternatives such as flat breads and gluten-free offerings.

* Merck Canada Inc is investing C$12.5 million to fund research at three Quebec university-affiliated and hospital-based research centers as part of its commitment to research and development in Quebec. The investment will go to the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, the CHUM Research Centre and the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre.


* Toronto City Hall lurched into upheaval Monday as a Superior Court judge gave Rob Ford two weeks to vacate his seat over a conflict of interest violation, prompting the mayor to vow he would "fight tooth and nail" to remain in office.


* SNC Lavalin Group Inc has confirmed that it made payments for more than a decade to commercial agents for projects in Libya, payments it says part of an investigation by Swiss authorities. The Montreal-based engineering and construction giant said Monday that it retained Duvel Securities Inc and Dinova International Inc in connection with projects in the North African country between 2001 and 2011.

* Companies mining in Quebec are expected to ship C$9.6 billion worth of minerals this year, double the amount exported only five years ago. But the boom taking hold is being complicated by political uncertainty and competing visions over just how far taxpayers should go in backing companies digging valuable resources in their midst.




-- China's six largest banks will be the first in the country to implement a new "advanced method" for calculating capital adequacy ratio specified by the Basel III capital rules, the paper reported, citing unnamed sources. Using the revised metric, the sources estimate the six banks could see their capital ratios rise by 40-50 basis points.

-- China is expected to convene the Central Economic Work Conference in the middle of next month. Analysts expect China's economic growth target to be 7-7.5 percent in 2013.


-- The paper ran a lengthy and flattering profile of Wang Bincan, a judge in the east coastal city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, who specialises in dealing with lawsuits arising from "popular lending" - informal loans to small businesses by non-bank entities. Wenzhou is famous as a centre of private entrepreneurs and the underground financing networks that serve them.


-- Wuhan Iron and Steel Co Ltd plans to raise 15 billion yuan ($2.41 billion) in private placement and purchase iron ore products from companies within its group.


-- The volume and value of smuggled goods that customs authorities have seized rose 20 percent year-on-year in January through September this year, said the General Administration of Customs, adding that the authorities are "facing a grim situation."


-- A total of 11.2 million urban jobs were created in the first 10 months of 2012, the highest level since 2004.


Fly on the Wall 7:00 am Market Snapshot



Eaton Vance (EV) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
OceanFirst (OCFC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Regal-Beloit (RBC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair
Yelp (YELP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor


Atlas Air (AAWW) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Baxter (BAX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho
Boston Scientific (BSX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein
Cablevision (CVC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
General Moly (GMO) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
LG Display (LPL) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
McMoRan Exploration (MMR) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
National Oilwell (NOV) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Pactera (PACT) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Cowen
Pall Corp. (PLL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T
Solar Power (SOPW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital


Allot Communications (ALLT) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Amarin (AMRN) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Crocs (CROX) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Deckers Outdoor (DECK) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Delek Logistics (DKL) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Finish Line (FINL) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Foot Locker (FL) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Illinois Tool Works (ITW) initiated with a Buy at Stifel Nicolaus
Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
MarkWest Energy (MWE) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Ohr Pharmaceutical (OHRP) initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital
PVR Partners (PVR) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Restoration Hardware (RH) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Restoration Hardware (RH) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Southcross Energy Partners (SXE) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Southcross Energy Partners (SXE) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird
Steven Madden (SHOO) initiated with a Sell at Goldman
Trius Therapeutics (TSRX) initiated with an Outperform at Leerink
Wolverine World Wide (WWW) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman


Ericsson (ERIC) filed a patent infringement action against Samsung (SSNLF)
OGX acquired Petrobras' (PBR) 40% stake in BS-4 block for $270M
Merit Medical (MMSI) to acquire Thomas Medical Products, a GE Healthcare (GE) unit for $167M
Lehman to sell Archstone to Equity Residential (EQR) and Avalon Bay (AVB) for $6.5B
AvalonBay (AVB) expects to increase stock dividend for 1Q13 by 8%-12%
UBS (UBS) fined GBP29.7M by FSA for failing to prevent unauthorized trading
US Airways (LCC) said Sandy affected Oct. earnings by $15M, Nov. earnings by $20M
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) board approved $2.75 per share special dividend
Dillard's (DDS) declared special one-time cash dividend of $5.00 per share
FICO (FICO) acquired CR Software, terms not disclosed
Regeneron's (REGN) Eylea Injection approved by European Commission
Zillow (Z) to acquire HotPads for $16M in cash


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Berry Plastics (BERY), Shanda Games (GAME), Bazaarvoice (BV)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Hillenbrand (HI), Thor Industries (THO)


Faced with a possible tax increase on dividends next year, U.S. company boards are approving bigger payouts and cutting checks faster to avoid 2013 rates, the Wall Street Journal reports
After about 14 years of trying to persuade China to buy into its foreign coffee culture, Starbucks (SBUX) will now look to become more Chinese as it plans a rapid expansion there, the Wall Street Journal reports
Europe is preparing to follow the U.S. in delaying the introduction of stricter rules on bank capital as it lobbies for new thinking of the U.S. position, sources said. The delay could push back the start of global rules in Europe, known as Basel III, by six months or longer on a law expected to be phased in from the start of 2013, Reuters reports
Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said he was not worried about inflation in the U.S. but about unemployment, and monetary policy was not enough to create jobs, Reuters reports
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon would be the best person to lead the  Treasury Department in a financial crisis, said Warren Buffett (BRK.A), Bloomberg reports
Airbus SAS (EADSY) accused Boeing (BA) of making misleading claims about its planes’ performance and ridiculed its competitor with an ad campaign showing a Boeing jet nose to resemble Pinocchio’s, Bloomberg reports


AvalonBay (AVB) files to sell 14.5M shares of common stock
Clean Harbors (CLH) commences offering of 6M shares of common stock
Equity Residential (EQR) files to sell 19M shares of common stock
Full Circle Capital (FULL) commences offering of 1.35M shares of common stock
Generac (GNRC) withdraws secondary offering for stockholders
Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) files to sell 8M shares of common stock for holders


Starboard Value reports 5.7% stake in Tessera (TSRA)
Elliot Associates reports 5.7% stake in Compuware (CPWR)


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