Frontrunning: May 21

  • IMF Tells Central Europe to Spend More (WSJ)
  • Tornadoes Blast Oklahoma (WSJ)
  • Frenetic search for survivors as 91 feared dead in tornado-hit Oklahoma (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan investors on edge over vote on Dimon; what if they win? (Reuters)
  • Wealthy bank depositors to suffer losses in EU law (Reuters)
  • Yen Slips as Amari Backtracks (BBG)
  • Japan Ready for More Yen Weakness Despite Recent Comments (WSJ)
  • IRS officials back on Capitol Hill hot seat over targeting (Reuters)
  • Li Keqiang pledges China boost to India trade (FT)
  • Europe's Recession Sparks Grass-Roots Political Push (WSJ)
  • Obama and Xi to meet in effort to calm growing US-China rivalry (FT)
  • Berlin plans to streamline EU but avoid wholesale treaty change (FT)
  • France must reform or face punitive measures - EU's Oettinger (Reuters)
  • Tumblr’s 26-Year-Old Founder Celebrates $1.1 Billion Deal (BBG)
  • SocGen Joins UniCredit in Warsaw as Equity Sales Surge (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


* JPMorgan Chase & Co is preparing for a shake up of its board even if every director wins re-election at Tuesday's shareholder meeting and James Dimon keeps his dual job as chairman and chief executive.

* Even in the fast growing realms of the consumer Internet, some businesses are best served by old fashioned consolidation. GrubHub and Seamless, two nationwide startups used for ordering restaurant takeout by smartphone and computer, said they would merge. GrubHub Chief Executive Matt Maloney, who will lead the combined company, declined to discuss valuation.

* Here is a glimpse at the future of finance. When Deutsche Bank AG set out to win a role on Apple Inc's $17 billion bond, it eschewed Wall Street's traditional tactics. Instead of flying well-groomed bankers to Cupertino, California, to charm Apple's top executives with powerpoint presentations, Deutsche relied on iTunes. The German bank has handled the back office work for Apple's online store in recent years, according to people familiar with the situation.

* Aware that it needs China's sweet tooth, Hershey Co is rolling out a Chinese brand designed for the world's fastest growing candy market. In a first launch beyond the U.S. market, Hershey is unveiling on Tuesday a candy known in English as the Lancaster and in Chinese as Yo-man. Hershey will officially open its Shanghai-based Asia Innovation Center on Wednesday. It will be company's second-largest research and development center world-wide.



The U.S. Senate accused Apple Inc of paying little or no taxes to governments around the world by using loopholes and Irish units that are not tax residents of any country.

Actavis said it would by rival Warner Chilcott in a $5 billion deal that would see the combined company become the world's third-largest generic drug company by sales.

ENRC's co-founders, who are bidding to take control of the miner, are likely to be able to buy the company for a low price, analysts said.

India's Essar Oil will sign a loan-for-oil deal with state-run China Development Bank under which the bank will provide the company with a loan in exchange for oil shipments to PetroChina.

The European Commission is seeking new information from trading houses, including Glencore, as part of its probe into the manipulation of energy price benchmarks.



* Yahoo's $1.1 billion proposed acquisition of Tumblr is a huge coup for the young founder of the even younger start-up and a splashy move by Marissa Mayer to shake up her company. It also heralds a larger shift in social media. Facebook arguably invented modern social networking, and is still the king. But increasingly its approach is seen as passive and outdated as people flock to sites like Tumblr where they can be more actively engaged in creating personal, expressive content to share - and which could potentially translate to advertising dollars.

* Even as Apple became the nation's most profitable technology company, it avoided billions in taxes in the United States and around the world through a web of subsidiaries so complex it spanned continents and went beyond anything most experts had ever seen, Congressional investigators disclosed on Monday.

* SAC Capital Advisors is bracing for another round of withdrawal requests as fears grow that insider trading investigations could further damage Steven Cohen and his firm.

* Courts are looking to Urban Dictionary, a crowd sourced website, as one way to define words on which a case may turn.

* While companies weigh bids for Hulu and industry heavyweights complain that TV Everywhere isn't going much of anywhere, another way to watch time-shifted television is quietly gaining traction: video-on-demand, or VOD.

* The Obama administration and the European Union have each decided to negotiate settlements with China in the world's largest anti-dumping and anti-subsidy trade cases involving China's roughly $30 billion a year in solar panel shipments to the West, officials and trade advisers in Beijing, Brussels and Washington said.

* Last week's disclosure by Ronald Machen Jr, the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, that his office had secretly seized telephone records of Associated Press reporters as part of a leak investigation surprised and shocked many people. But to some on Wall Street, Machen's involvement in a phone records case had a familiar ring. They recalled the case of Allied Capital, a formerly high-flying business development company based in Washington whose shares collapsed in 2009. Two years earlier, Allied had admitted that one of its investigators had stolen the phone records of a prominent hedge fund manager who had been critical of the company's accounting practices. The chief outside lawyer counseling Allied was Machen, then a partner at WilmerHale.

* Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic shock therapy, which combines a flood of cheap cash, fiscal stimulus and deregulation, is getting early results.




* When Toronto city council meets Tuesday morning to formally kill the proposal for a downtown casino, it will end for good what was once a pet project for mayor Rob Ford.

The meeting will also be the first time the beleaguered mayor must face his council colleagues since accusations he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine surfaced last week. (

Reports in the business section:

* Alaska proposed a multiyear, multimillion dollar plan aimed at determining the true oil and gas potential in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. State officials hope the plan will reinvigorate and reshape the debate over whether to drill on the refuge's coastal plain. (


* Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will head to South America this week to suss out membership in a new trading bloc he has been working to join for many years.

The Pacific Alliance was formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru in 2011 and Canada took a spot on the sidelines the next year, along with several other countries as observers. ( (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore)




- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India, his first foreign trip since taking office in March, has enhanced the strategic partnership of the two countries, the ruling Communist Party's newspaper said in a report.


- China is expected to further increase supervision of local government debt to prevent risk of defaults.

- Chinese wine makers have applied to the Ministry of Commerce to launch an anti-dumping investigation into sales by European counterparts in China.


- Experts believe the Chinese currency yuan has the potential to rise further in the near term as China steps up exchange rate reforms. Driven by strong capital inflows into China, the central bank has guided the yuan to a slew of record highs since early April.

- Bank stocks are still being favoured by Chinese investors and have led a recent rally in China's stock market, although foreign investors have been withdrawing from the Chinese sector.


- China's marine economy will account for 13 percent of the country's GDP by 2020, a government think-tank said on Monday. The China Institute for Marine Affairs said the sector would be worth more than 10 trillion yuan ($1.63 trillion) by then.

- Many of China's first-tier cities are "barely suitable for living", according to a report released on Sunday by a top Chinese think-tank. Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong all failed to make the list of "habitable cities".


- The number of weddings in Shanghai skyrocketed more than 800 percent to 3,766 on Sunday alone, as happy couples flocked to tie the knot. May 20 is seen as an auspicious date in China.

Corporate Finance

* Charlie Ergen, the chairman of U.S. satellite company Dish Network Corp, has offered to buy bankrupt broadband company LightSquared Inc's wireless airwaves, a source close to Ergen told Reuters. Bloomberg reported the offer to be valued at $2 billion, citing people familiar with the bid.

* U.S. private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC is planning to invest as much as $1 billion in a new commodities venture run by Deutsche Bank AG former head of commodities David Silbert, the Financial Times reported.

* India's Essar Oil Ltd will sign a $1 billion loan deal with China on Tuesday that sources with knowledge of the matter said would be backed by supply of refined products to top state oil producer PetroChina Co Ltd.

* Specialty chemicals producer Rockwood Holdings Inc's pigments businesses have attracted offers from buyout firms including Blackstone Group LP and Advent International Corp, several people familiar with the matter said.

* Italian motorway operator Atlantia SpA is close to selling its transmission towers to U.S. investors for almost 100 million euros ($128.56 million), a source close to the matter said on Monday.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



American Tower (AMT) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
BlackRock (BLK) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
Con-way (CNW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich
Cubist (CBST) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Cantor
Felcor Lodging (FCH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
Stifel Financial (SF) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo
T. Rowe Price (TROW) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Wet Seal (WTSL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc


Acquity Group (AQ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital
Beazer Homes (BZH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
CME Group (CME) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
Carnival (CCL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Coach (COH) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Deutsche Bank (DB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
First Republic Bank (FRC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Franklin Resources (BEN) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
Life Technologies (LIFE) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA
Oil States (OIS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
Raymond James (RJF) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
VF Corp. (VFC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
WellCare (WCG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman


Aetna (AET) reinstated with a Buy at Goldman
BioScrip (BIOS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Cray (CRAY) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Harris (HRS) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Hasbro (HAS) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
JAKKS Pacific (JAKK) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
LeapFrog (LF) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Mattel (MAT) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Sony (SNE) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Summer Infant (SUMR) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Taylor Morrison (TMHC) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank


Dish (DISH), Sprint (S) to engage in talks
Softbank (SFTBF) confirmed waiver, expects Sprint (S) deal to close in six weeks
Cadbury Schweppes (CSG) begins modified $125M "Dutch Auction" tender offer
Apple (AAPL) has used Ireland as a tax-haven for the past five years by creating "No-shore" tax entities, said Senator Carl Levin (D-MI)
S&P lowered Dell (DELL) ratings to 'BBB' from 'A-', remains on watch negative
Carnival (CCL, CUK) lowered FY13 EPS to $1.45-$1.65 from $1.80-$2.10, consensus $1.97
General Cable (BGC) initiated dividend and extended $125M repurchase authorization
DOJ reached settlement with Cinemark (CNK) in Rave Holdings deal
Wausau Paper (WPP) agreed to divest specialty paper business for about $110M
Regeneron (REGN), Bayer (BAYRY), Genentech (RHHBY) resolved certain patent disputes


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
hhgregg (HGG), TiVo (TIVO), Urban Outfitters (URBN)


  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) plans to shake-up of its board even if every director wins re-election at today’s shareholder meeting and James Dimon keeps his dual job as chairman and CEO, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Mutual-fund firms are joining activist investors in getting more aggressive over demands for change in how board members are paid at U.S. companies. Activist investors have been experimenting more frequently with incentive pay packages for the board members they nominate in proxy fights, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Specialty chemicals producer Rockwood Holdings’s (ROC) pigments businesses have attracted offers from buyout firms including Blackstone Group (BX) and Advent International, sources say, Reuters reports
  • The Asian prime brokerage unit of Credit Suisse (CS) replaced Morgan Stanley (MS) as the second largest firm servicing the region's $148B hedge funds industry, according to a survey by AsiaHedge. Goldman Sachs (GS) remains Asia's top prime broker with 179 clients and total assets under management of $24.6B, Reuters reports
  • Bank managers in the U.S. are less likely to engage in mergers and acquisitions this year as regulators heighten scrutiny on potential deals and sellers wait for higher valuations, according to a KPMG survey, Bloomberg reports
  • PIMCO’s Bill Gross says the bull market for bonds may have ended last month. But investors are staying put. Four years into the biggest rally in U.S. stocks since 2000, bond mutual funds are attracting more money than their equity counterparts, Bloomberg reports


Cimatron (CIMT) files to sell ordinary shares
First Potomac (FPO) files to sell 6M shares of common stock
Ironwood (IRWD) files to sell 10.5M shares of common stock
Laclede Group (LG) files to sell 8.7M shares of common stock
NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP) files to sell 6M shares of common stock
Oaktree Capital (OAK) files to sell 6M shares of common stock
TCP Capital (TCPC) files to sell 4M shares of common stock
Wesco Aircraft (WAIR) files to sell 15M shares of common stock