Frontrunning: June 13

  • Global shares pummeled, dollar slumps as rout gathers pace (Reuters)
  • Hong Kong to Handle NSA Leaker Extradition Based on Law (BBG)
  • Lululemon chairman sold $50 million in stock before CEO's surprise departure (Reuters)
  • Companies scramble for consumer data (FT)
  • Traders Pay for an Early Peek at Key Data (WSJ)
  • When innovation dies: Apple looking at bigger iPhone screens, multiple colors (Reuters)
  • Washington pushed EU to dilute data protection (FT)
  • Japan-U.S. drill to retake remote island kicks off (Japan Times)
  • EM economies in danger of overheating, World Bank says (FT)
  • Don't forget the Indian crisis: Chidambaram seeks to quell concerns over rupee (FT)
  • RBS Falls After Hester Exiting as 2,000 Job Cuts Planned (BBG)
  • Rival hedge funds hope to feast on SAC Capital redemptions (Reuters)
  • Obama Quietly Raises 'Carbon Price' as Costs to Climate Increase (BBG)
  • Boeing Loyalists’ Patience Tested as Airbus Wide-Body Takes Off (BBG)
  • College Serial Rapists Evade Antiquated Campus Responses (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


* Japanese stocks tumbled 6 percent, dropping into bear territory, as markets across Asia fell amid signs of slowing global growth and jitters over the possible winding down of U.S. monetary stimulus.

* Indian tire maker Apollo Tyres Ltd agreed to acquire Cooper Tire & Rubber Co in a deal valued at about $2.5 billion that is the largest U.S. acquisition by an Indian company.

* In their BMC Software Inc purchase, Bain Capital LLC, Golden Gate Capital and their co-investors will contribute only 18 percent from their own cash, the lowest of any buyout with loans exceeding $500 million since 2008.

* Lululemon Athletica Inc's chairman sold $50 million worth of stock in the firm through a prearranged trading plan just days before shares slid on the unexpected news the CEO would depart.

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group said Chief Executive Stephen Hester will step down later this year, a move sought by the lender's board as it seeks to end five tumultuous years of government ownership.

* U.S. regulators are grilling banks over lending standards and warning them about mounting risks in business loans.

* Facebook Inc is rolling out hashtags on its social network in an effort to play a greater role in real-time public conversations dominated by rival Twitter.

* GlaxoSmithKline Plc is investigating allegations from an anonymous tipster that its sales staff in China was involved in widespread bribery of doctors to prescribe drugs, in some cases for unauthorized uses.

* Pfizer Inc and Takeda have reached a $2.15 billion settlement with Teva and Sun Pharmaceutical for patent-infringement damages resulting from their launches of generic Protonix in the U.S.

* Procter & Gamble is reviewing the way it provides financial forecasts to Wall Street, a move aimed at avoiding stock-price swings when its numbers don't line up with market expectations.

* Clear Channel Communications will start paying classic rock band Fleetwood Mac a sliver of the broadcaster's radio-advertising revenue in exchange for the right to use the band's newest music on the company's online services.

* French authorities placed France Télécom Chief Executive Stéphane Richard under formal investigation for his alleged role in an arbitration ruling that gave a financial award to a prominent French businessman five years ago.

* ESPN is pulling the plug on its ESPN 3D channel by the end of the year, citing viewers' "low adoption" of the format.



Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Stephen Hester is to step down at the end of the year, as the British Government looks to appoint a new CEO to lead the bank through its privatisation.

France Telecom Chief Executive Stephane Richard, is being formally investigated by a French court for his alleged involvement in organised fraud when he was a senior finance ministry official during Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency.

Vodafone is in early talks to buy Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest cable company, in a deal that could be worth over 7 billion euros ($9.34 billion).

Virgin Money, the British banking arm of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, is expected to choose advisers for its initial public offering during the next six months, according to sources.

Over a quarter of shareholders in world's biggest advertising agency, WPP, either opposed or abstained in a vote over Chief Executive Martin Sorrell's hefty 17.6-million-pound ($27.6 million) pay package.



* The leaders of the European Union, mired in recession and battered by increasing opposition from voters, are desperate for political success to promote economic growth. They are pushing for a rapid negotiation of a trade agreement with the United States aimed at expanding commerce and creating jobs.

* Gary Cohn has long been considered the man who will be the next Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc ; the problem is the current chief, Lloyd Blankfein, isn't ready to leave.

* E-Cigarettes, the devices that mimic tobacco cigarettes are growing in popularity even as regulators in Europe and the United States weigh their risks.

* Intel Corp's plan to create a virtual cable service is running up against a barricade being guarded by cable and satellite distributors.

* World Bank's economists forecast that the global economy would grow about 2.2 percent this year and 3 percent in 2014.

* The Financial Conduct Authority of Britain says it is looking into claims that traders at large banks manipulated some foreign exchange benchmark rates and that it might start an official investigation.

* Significant cognitive distraction was seen by researchers who analyzed subjects trying to juggle driving with high-tech in-car systems.

* The battered Japanese stock market lurched into bear market territory Thursday morning, after a tumble of 5.3 percent took the combined decline in the Nikkei 225 index since May 23 to more than 20 percent.




* The chair of a parliamentary anti-terrorism committee says he was unaware of a federal spying program that allows for the collection of Canadians' data trails.

* Senator Mac Harb has been ordered to repay more than C$230,000 ($225,900) in expenses he claimed to the Senate during the past eight years, according to the Senator in charge of a series of expense audits.

* The Alberta government has taken the extraordinary step of firing the health superboard that makes day-to-day decisions regarding operations at the province's hospitals and clinics after board members refused, even when asked by the health minister, to revoke executive bonuses.

Reports in the business section:

* In a C$5.8 billion deal that will reshape Canada's grocery industry, Sobeys Inc, operated by Empire Co Ltd, is buying Safeway Inc's Canadian division to beef up its western business and take on intensifying competition.

* Canada is joining a list of countries pushing resource companies for more disclosure about payments to foreign governments. But there is a growing debate about how complex the global system will become, how measures will be implemented, and whether they will provide enough useful information.

* Microsoft Corp has opened a new technology center - the first of its kind in Canada - as part of a bid to convince its business customers to embrace the cloud.


* Mocked for his red-and-white gym gear and derided for hailing from a nation of seal clubbers, an Ottawa-born teenager says he dropped out of a Christian school in upstate New York because staff relentlessly teased him over his Canadian background.

* NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died after an accident on Wednesday night in a heat race at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway.


* The Fort Hills mine oil sands project will have to make "economic sense" before Suncor Energy Inc will sign off on a final investment decision with its French partner Total SA , according to the Calgary-based company's chief financial officer.

* TransCanada Corp says it is disappointed by the National Energy Board's latest rejection of its proposals on how the company charges customers to ship natural gas across the country.




-- A slew of weak data for May issued earlier this month indicates that China's economic recovery is much slower than the market had previously expected, analysts said.

-- China's A-shares, denominated in Chinese yuan, may be included in MSCI's emerging equity index if the government loosens investment curbs, the company that manages the index said in a report.


-- Despite the weak data for May, analysts expect the People's Bank of China, the central bank, will stick to its neutral monetary policy for now.


-- Dagong Global Credit Rating Co, China's top rating agency, will kick off its European business on Thursday to become the first Chinese rating firm to register and operate in Europe.


-- China had issued 3.5 billion bank credit and debit cards by the end of 2012, the latest official data shows.

-- China's mutual funds have reduced their stock holdings to 80 percent of their total by the end of last week, down from 83.34 percent a week earlier, due to the weak domestic stock market.


- A series of economic data released over the weekend have exacerbated concerns over the Chinese economy but authorities may refrain from cutting interest rates or banks' reserve requirement ratio unless labour market conditions deteriorate.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



Ares Capital (ARCC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
BlackBerry (BBRY) upgraded to Buy from Sell at Societe Generale
Hercules Offshore (HERO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
International Paper (IP) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Ross Stores (ROST) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee


AngloGold (AU) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Societe Generale
Banco Santander (SAN) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Cosi (COSI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital
Randgold Resources (GOLD) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale
Republic Services (RSG) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Safeway (SWY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Smithfield Foods (SFD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Davenport
Vantage Drilling (VTG) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Waste Management (WM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman


AMC Networks (AMCX) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
American Express (AXP) initiated with a Perform at Oppenheimer
Angie's List (ANGI) initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich
BE Aerospace (BEAV) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Boeing (BA) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Bunge (BG) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Discover (DFS) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer
Discovery (DISCA) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
DreamWorks (DWA) initiated with an Underperform at Sterne Agee
FMC Corporation (FMC) initiated with an Outperform at Macquarie
Henry Schein (HSIC) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
MWI Veterinary Supply (MWIV) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Patterson Companies (PDCO) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Starz (STRZA) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Textron (TXT) initiated with an Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
TransDigm (TDG) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
TripAdvisor (TRIP) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
Viacom (VIAB) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee


Empire company's Sobey's to buy Canada Safeway (SWY) for C$5.8B in cash
DISH (DISH) extended tender offer for Clearwire (CLWR)
Clearwire (CLWR) committee, board recommended holders accept DISH's (DISH) $4.40 p/s offer. Sprint (S) said evaluating statement from Clearwire board
Northstar REIT (NRF), Goldman Sachs (GS) to pay $925M for stakes in NJ pension holdings
PepsiCo (PEP) in new $2.9B five year credit pact
Rexnord (RXN) said best strategic alternative is to remain stand-alone company
H&R Block (HRB) not renewing relationship with Wal-Mart (WMT)
Target (TGT) shareholders reject proposal for independent chairman
Fitch affirmed Hillshire Brands (HSH) IDRs at 'BBB/F2', outlook stable
Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Cordis received FDA clearance for Adroit catheter
AutoZone (AZO) authorized additional $750M stock repurchase
C.R. Bard (BCR) authorized $500M stock repurchase


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Men's Wearhouse (MW), Five Below (FIVE), PVH Corp. (PVH), Culp (CFI)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Sigma Designs (SIGM), H&R Block (HRB)


  • U.S. crude-oil production grew by over 1M barrels a day last year, the largest increase in the world and the largest in U.S. history. In the latest sign of the shale revolution remaking world energy markets, crude production in the U.S. jumped 14% last year to 8.9M barrels a day, according to the newly released Statistical Review of World Energy, published by BP (BP), the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Procter & Gamble (PG) is reviewing the way it provides financial forecasts to Wall Street, a move that's aimed at avoiding stock-price swings when the company's numbers don't line up with market expectations, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • GE (GE) offered concessions to try to win EU regulatory approval for its $4.3B proposed purchase of Italian plane components maker Avio, a deal intended to boost its global supply chain, Reuters reports
  • U.K. lawmakers described Google's (GOOG) tax affairs as "contrived" in a report released today and called on its tax authority to investigate whether the company was acting within the law, Reuters reports
  • Blackstone Group (BX) has $1.5B of capital commitments for its first Asian property fund, targeted at $4B. The firm said it plans to begin investing the money immediately, focusing on China, India, Australia and Japan, sources say, Bloomberg reports
  • Goldman Sachs (GS), planning as much as $3.19B in renewable energy investments in Japan, is eyeing offshore wind power after building up holdings in more established clean energy sources such as solar, Bloomberg reports


Bright Horizons (BFAM) 8.5M share Secondary priced at $33.05
Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT) files to sell 4.5M common shares of beneficial interest
Coty (COTY) 57.143M share IPO priced at $17.50
Exar (EXAR) files to sell 357,873 shares of common stock for holders
First Solar (FSLR) 8.5M share Secondary priced at $46.00


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