Frontrunning: April 14

  • Three dead in shootings at Kansas Jewish centers; man to face charges (WSJ)
  • Sanctions Blowback in Russia Targets Burgers to Movies (BBG)
  • Deadly Virus's Spread Raises Alarms in Mideast (WSJ)
  • China group buys $6bn Glencore Peru copper mine (BBG)
  • Iran lodges complaint against United States over U.N. envoy ban (Reuters)
  • Russian assets down sharply on Ukraine conflict fears (Reuters)
  • ECB comments knock euro, but not much (Reuters)
  • World-Leading $25 Hourly Wage Roils Swiss Businesses (BBG)
  • Gross Loses to Goldman in Hot Bond Strategy as Pimco Lags (PIMCO)
  • Southwest Co-Pilot Retires After Wrong Airport Landing (BBG)
  • Citigroup Said to Cut Up to 300 Jobs in Global Markets Division (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


* Fined by China for misleading pricing and selling poor-quality products, Wal-Mart Stores Inc paid fines and ratcheted up its testing and inspections, but it is also doing something rare for a Western company: Telling Chinese authorities they need to clean up their own act. (

* General Motors Co's European unit, Adam Opel AG, appears to be on the cusp of breaking even before its 2016 target date - welcome news for GM Chief Executive Mary Barra amid the fallout from a massive recall that is expected to take a $1.3 billion bite out of GM's first-quarter profit. (

* Citigroup Inc declined to work on an Italian government-backed bid for Spain's Deoleo SA the world's biggest olive-oil bottler, because of concern that the deal would infuriate the Spanish government, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. (

* Yahoo Inc will release revenue and profit numbers from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Tuesday. Those figures are expected to show a big fourth quarter for Alibaba. The report will help set the stage for Alibaba's expected filing for a U.S. initial public offering, which may value the company at more than $100 billion, say analysts. (

* Google Inc wants to expand further in the New York city and is launching a search for enough space to hold more than 3,000 employees, according to several real-estate executives familiar with the hunt. The Internet firm has been in discussions with several landlords about leasing at much as 600,000 square feet in Manhattan-about half the size of the Chrysler Building. (

* The turmoil caused by the "Heartbleed" encryption bug is shedding light on a little-known element of the White House's surveillance overhaul package: how the government handles software holes and vulnerabilities. The National Security Agency has compiled a list of software bugs and holes known as "zero days," which the agency has exploited to gain access to secure networks before they can be fixed. (

* The world's top finance officials stepped up warnings about low inflation during weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund, calling for action to combat downward price pressures that threaten consumption and stymie debt reduction. The IMF's policy committee highlighted stubbornly weak price increases as a key drag on the global recovery, which is approaching the end of its fifth year. (

* The IMF again sounded the alarm bell at the weekend over low global inflation. But has the worst of anemic price rises already passed the world economy? That, at least, is the view of JP Morgan & Chase economists. In its weekly roundup of global economies, JP Morgan said it believed inflation has reached a low point after two-and-a-half years of falling price growth. (

* Glencore Xstrata said it agreed to sell the mining company's Las Bambas Peruvian copper project to a Chinese consortium in an all-cash deal worth at least $5.8 billion. Glencore said it had agreed to sell its entire interest in Las Bambas to a consortium led by MMG Ltd, a unit of state-controlled China Minmetals Corp. (

* Citigroup Inc has cut 200 to 300 jobs, or about 2 percent of its global markets workforce. The bank is tightly managing expenses and "making targeted head count reductions in light of current market conditions," a company spokeswoman said. (

* China's largest brokerage, Citic Securities Co has bought a stake in U.S. brokerage firm BTIG LLC, the company's latest move to grow outside of China through buying a holding in a Western investment firm. (



Commodities trader Glencore Xstrata sold its interest in the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru to a Chinese consortium for $6 billion in cash.

The European Central Bank is ready to make asset purchases if it deems them necessary to stave off low inflation in the euro zone, Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Sunday.

The amount of individual penalties levied on wayward bankers by UK's Financial Conduct Authority has increased 76 percent over the past two years.

Finance Minister George Osborne's plan to give the taxman powers to clamp down on 10 billion pounds of tax evasion and avoidance in the UK might face opposition from a committee of MPs, who argue that the move could hit civil liberties.

Britain's Co-Operative Group is set to reveal a staggering 2 billion-2.5 billion pound loss on Thursday, highlighting the urgency of adopting sweeping governance reforms at the troubled mutual.

Certain sections of the World Health Organisation are keen to categorise e-cigarettes as tobacco and regulate them as normal cigarettes, according to leaked documents seen by the FT.



* Glencore Xstrata, the giant commodities trading and mining company, said on Sunday that it had sold its interest in the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru to a Chinese consortium in a $5.85 billion cash deal, one of China's biggest mining acquisitions in recent years. (

* Quora, a question-and-answer website, which has no revenue and just 70 employees, recently announced that it had raised an additional $80 million. The eye-popping investment - for no obvious immediate purpose - was the latest example of a dynamic that is reshaping Silicon Valley: Start-ups, already flush with cash, are piling on the investment dollars. (

* Entrepreneurs are lucky to have one big score. Richard Barton has had a string of them, by repeatedly asking the same simple question: What piece of marketplace information do people crave and don't have? By producing and investing in a series of successful start-ups such as Expedia, Zillow and Glassdoor, 46-year old Barton has managed to accomplish something few others have done. (

* Yahoo Inc a company that seems like a permanent adolescent in search of an identity, is about to try a new persona: high-quality television programmer. At a time when the culture is addicted to high-end television narratives, Yahoo wants in on the action, partly because while its site may have flat traffic - 700 million global visits a month - and declining revenue, it has zero cachet and no discernible way forward. (

* Maxwell House coffee - a pantry staple promoted as "Good to the last drop" for almost a century - is remaking its marketing. The makeover, to be introduced on Monday by the Maxwell House parent, Kraft Foods Group Inc, includes logos, packaging, new products, the brand's presence in digital media and social media and advertising. (




* In a rare exercise of power, a Senate committee is pushing back against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government by unanimously recommending changes to the Fair Elections Act, an overhaul of electoral law that is fiercely opposed by other parties. (

* Calgary MP Rob Anders lost the Conservative Party's nomination contest for the newly created riding of Calgary Signal Hill to former Progressive Conservative MLA Ron Liepert. (

Reports in the business section:

* When the Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz leaves its key interest rate at 1 percent on Wednesday, it will be the 29th consecutive meeting that the central bank does nothing. If economists are right, the bank won't start raising rates again until the middle of next year. (


* Teams of volunteers in southern Ontario and Quebec were preparing for flooding with walls of sandbags on Sunday as they awaited heavy rain expected to hit parts of both provinces over the next several days. Environment Canada said parts of Ontario could get up to 75 millimetres of rain by early Tuesday, while upwards of 45 millimetres of rain was expected in southern and central Quebec. (

* New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair says with 18 months to go before the next election, he's focusing his party's sights on the federal government's Election Act overhaul, saying the hotly debated legislation should be the focus of the next campaign because it could undermine the rules of democracy. (


* Enbridge Inc vowed to press on with its C$7.9 billion Northern Gateway pipeline through British Coumbia despite a vote Saturday that saw a majority of residents in Kitimat vote against the project. (




-- Beijing has left the door open on the possibility of a pan-democrat being allowed to run for chief executive in 2017. But there is no possibility of public nomination of candidates, Hong Kong's lawmakers were told during a meeting with senior mainland officials in Shanghai. (

-- The United States looks set to reintroduce annual reports to Congress on political developments in Hong Kong following a plea by the Democratic Party's founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming. (

-- Hong Kong's financial services minister has warned market players not to expect the quota under the proposed cross-border stock trading scheme to be increased after it is filled, despite complaints that the cap is too low. (


-- Both primary and secondary home market sales improved slightly during the weekend. The leader was Cheung Kong Holdings with its final batch of flats -- all 402 homes -- at Trinity Towers, sold in two weeks. (

-- Wing Tai Properties expects to invest up to HK$710 million in developing the most expensive residential plot in Hong Kong's Sai Wan Ho. (


-- Media services group SMI Culture Group Holdings Ltd said it planned to invest in making 8 to 10 movies this year. One of the movies it has invested in -- American Dreams in China -- recorded 539 million yuan in box office receipts on the mainland.


-- CITIC Pacific, which is expected to announce details of its acquisition of parent assets on April 16, may issue new shares and obtain a syndicated loan to raise capital to finance the deal, according to market sources. Sovereign funds, such as Temasek, may be introduced as strategic investors, they added.



The Times


Glencore Xstrata is to sell its Las Bambas copper mine to a consortium of Chinese state-controlled resources companies for more than $6.25 billion


KPMG, the Co-op Bank's auditor for more than 40 years, is facing dismissal after the embattled bank revealed on Friday that it was putting its audit contract out to tender.

The Guardian


Myners, who was brought in to reform the crisis-stricken Co-operative Group, fears his plan will be rejected unless the owners of the loss-making chain of supermarkets, pharmacies and funeral homes understand the serious need for a radical overhaul of the way it is run.


Department store sells majority stake in 480 million pound deal touted as largest overseas retail acquisition by Chinese business.


Philip Clarke sees supermarket's share price drop to 10-year low despite 1 billion pound expenditure on store refurbishments and staff.

The Telegraph


Pay increases are set to outstrip inflation for the first time in six years as the economy gathers pace and unemployment continues to fall, according to forecasters.


Punch Taverns, Britain's second biggest pubs group, has brought in an independent corporate restructuring expert to aid long-running discussions over its 2.3 billion pound debt mountain.



Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot


Domestic economic reports scheduled today include:
Retail sales for March at 8:30--consensus up 1.0%
Business inventories for February at 10:00--consensus up 0.6%



Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital
Allegheny Technologies (ATI) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee
BP (BP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Boardwalk Pipeline (BWP) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
Boston Scientific (BSX) upgraded at BofA/Merrill
Boston Scientific (BSX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Charles Schwab (SCHW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Eaton Vance (EV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
Edwards Lifesciences (EW) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
Eli Lilly (LLY) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
F5 Networks (FFIV) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Lincoln National (LNC) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James
MasterCard (MA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
McDermott (MDR) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC
Palo Alto (PANW) upgraded to Overweight from Equalweight at Barclays
PriceSmart (PSMT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital
Principal Financial (PFG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Regency Energy Partners (RGP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Sensata (ST) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
TD Ameritrade (AMTD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
TD Ameritrade (AMTD) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
TTM Technologies (TTMI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank
Ultimate Software (ULTI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
VMware (VMW) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA
Visa (V) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
bebe stores (BEBE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital


Bancolombia (CIB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Brookfield Renewable (BEP) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Corning (GLW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Enbridge (ENB) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
HeartWare (HTWR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Medtronic (MDT) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Microsoft (MSFT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Millicom (MIICF) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg
STMicroelectronics (STM) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Whole Foods (WFM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T


3D Systems (DDD) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Akebia (AKBA) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Akebia (AKBA) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
Akebia (AKBA) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Argo Group (AGII) initiated with a Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Artisan Partners (APAM) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Kindred Biosciences (KIN) initiated with an Outperform at Leerink
LifeLock (LOCK) initiated with an Outperform at Pacific Crest
MasterCard (MA) initiated with a Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
MediWound (MDWD) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
MediWound (MDWD) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
New York Mortgage (NYMT) initiated with a Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Old Second Bancorp (OSBC) rated Market Perform from not covered at Keefe Bruyette
Paylocity (PCTY) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Paylocity (PCTY) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Paylocity (PCTY) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Paylocity (PCTY) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
Q2 Holdings (QTWO) initiated with a Buy at Canaccord
Q2 Holdings (QTWO) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Q2 Holdings (QTWO) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Q2 Holdings (QTWO) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Q2 Holdings (QTWO) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Rouse Properties (RSE) initiated with a Hold at KeyBanc
Sempra Energy (SRE) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Stratasys (SSYS) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Ultimate Software (ULTI) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Visa (V) initiated with an Outperform at Pacific Crest


Herbalife (HLF) says no knowledge of ongoing investigation by DoJ or FBI
Invesco Mortgage (IVR) CFO to resign
Vornado (VNO) to spin-off shopping center business
Trina Solar (TSL)lowers Q1 solar module shipment view to 540MW-570MW from 670MW-700MW, still sees FY14 module shipments 3.6GW-3.8GW (AMZN) says Amazon Fire TV out of stock until April 21
Total (TOT), partners to develop Kaombo project in Angola for $16B
Medtronic (MDT) says CoreValve ruling has no impact outside U.S.
Intercept (ICPT) reports additional positive data from POISE trial at EASL  
Edwards (EW) says court limits sale of Medtronic CoreValve system in U.S. 


Fuwei Films (FFHL) reports Q4 RMB(0.04) vs. RMB(0.96) a year ago
Flexible Solutions (FSI) reports Q1 revenue $3.81M, one estimate $4.94M


3D Systems (DDD), other 3-D printing stocks could fall further, Barron's says
Google (GOOG), Palo Alto (PANW) worth looking into, Barron's says
Caesar's (CZR) deal with second-lien bondholders could dilute shares, Barron's says
JPMorgan (JPM) outlook promising despite earnings shortfall, Barron's reports
Land's End (LE) shares could head lower, Barron's says
LifeLock (LOCK), DFC Global have more downside, Barron's says
J&J (JNJ) halting development of Botox (AGN) competitor, WSJ says (AMZN) plans to launch smartphone in 2H14, WSJ reports
'Captain America' surpasses 'Rio 2' in weekend box office, LA Times says
Facebook (FB) looks to provide financial services for users, Financial Times reports
GM Opel unit may get to break even ahead of 2016 target, WSJ says
Phillips 66 (PSX) halts sale efforts for Irish refinery, Independent says
Sprint (S) and Spotify plan to team up, Re/code says 

CEL-SCI (CVM) to offer common stock, six month warrants in 'best efforts' offering
Pan American Silver (PAAS) files to sell 7.81M common shares
Radio One (ROIAK) files to sell $100M of Class D common stock


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