Frontrunning: November 25

  • European stocks up, oil slides as concerns ease over Russia-Turkey tension (Reuters)
  • ECB discusses two-tiered bank charges, broader bond buys (Reuters)
  • Skies Darken for Accord on Syria With Turkish Downing of Russian Fighter (WSJ)
  • New agonies, alliances as Fed debates post-liftoff plan (Reuters)
  • Introducing the New OPEC Member That Likes Lower Oil Prices (BBG)
  • A New Military Power Rises in the Mideast, Courtesy of One Man (BBG)
  • Russia's Gazprom says halts gas supplies to Ukraine over payment (Reuters)
  • Ex-Goldman Compliance Worker Sued by SEC for Insider Trading (BBG)
  • Other central banks set to act, but Swiss policy cupboard bare (Reuters)
  • The Many Steps in a Syrian Refugee’s Journey to the U.S. (WSJ)
  • BTG Pactual CEO Esteves Arrested In Brazil's Graft Probe, Police Say (BBG)
  • If China Killed Commodity Super Cycle, Fed Is About to Bury It (BBG)
  • HP Inc. Gives Weak Earnings Forecasts (WSJ)
  • Swedish central bank calls for action as Nordic property market fears grow (Reuters)
  • For Poor Countries, Well-Worn Path to Development Turns Rocky (WSJ)
  • Canada refugee plan revives concerns over porous U.S. border (Reuters)
  • Elite funds prepare for reflation and a bloodbath for bonds (Telegraph)
  • Three Goldman bankers leave for Uber as tech world raids Wall Street talent (Reuters)

 

Overnight Media Wrap

WSJ

- For a decade, Takata Corp employees in the U.S. raised concerns internally about misleading testing reports on air bags that later became prone to explosions, according to documents reviewed by Wall Street Journal. (http://on.wsj.com/1OfGx8R)

- When federal regulators launched a crackdown on alleged discrimination in auto lending two years ago, they calculated they could secure a market-shaping settlement by going after a company unlikely to fight the charges because it needed to avoid a complaint to clinch government approval for a broader restructuring, according to a report, based on internal documents and emails written by the staff of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (http://on.wsj.com/1OfGFoU)

- A U.S. investigation into potential foreign bribery by Wal-Mart Stores Inc has unearthed evidence of possible misconduct by the retailer in Brazil, after investigators found little to support the sweeping allegations involving Mexico that initially prompted the probe, according to documents and people familiar with the matter. (http://on.wsj.com/1OfGMkm)

- The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether Comcast Corp's business practices in the $5 billion cable advertising-sales market violate federal antitrust law, according to a document reviewed by Wall Street Journal. (http://on.wsj.com/1OfGU3i)

- The California Public Employees' Retirement System, known as Calpers, said it has paid $3.4 billion in performance fees to private-equity managers since 1990, providing the most significant disclosure yet in a debate at retirement plans over whether Wall Street is worth the price of admission. (http://on.wsj.com/1OfH5vx)

 

FT

German prosecutors have launched an investigation into suspected tax evasion in connection with cheating on emissions tests by Volkswagen, adding to the intense scrutiny of Europe's biggest carmaker.

The European Commission proposed on Tuesday, a 45 billion stg eurozone-wide deposit guarantee scheme, that would guarantee all bank accounts up to 100,000 euros within the decade.

Former chief executive of BP Plc and ex-chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc said in a report that oil and gas companies need to adopt strategies such as shifting to renewable energy technologies and cutting further investment in fossil fuels to survive the global pressure to cut the use of fossil fuels.

 

NYT

- The American economy turned in a better performance last quarter than first thought, expanding at a 2.1 percent rate, the government said on Tuesday. The improvement in inventory levels was offset by a slight downward revision in consumer spending last quarter. (http://nyti.ms/1kRsTxp)

- Turing Pharmaceuticals, which sparked a fury two months ago by sharply increasing the price of a 62-year-old drug, said on Tuesday it would not reduce the list price of that drug after all. However, it said it would offer discounts of up to 50 percent to hospitals and would take other measures to help patients afford the medicine. (http://nyti.ms/1YteENE)

- The Food and Drug Administration said it had approved Portrazza from Eli Lilly, in combination with two forms of chemotherapy, to treat patients with advanced squamous nonsmall cell lung cancer, the most common type of lung cancer. (http://nyti.ms/1kSItZG)

- On Tuesday, California Public Employees' Retirement System disclosed for the first time that it paid $3.4 billion since 1990 to the biggest private equity managers on Wall Street, including firms such as Carlyle, Blackstone and Apollo. (http://nyti.ms/1PY6g5F)

- As early as 2000, the Japanese auto supplier Takata manipulated test results on airbag inflaters, according to a person with direct knowledge of internal company documents. The data manipulation, whose details were first reported by The Wall Street Journal, involved tests intended to demonstrate compliance with automakers' design specifications, said the person, who was not authorized to speak. (http://nyti.ms/1YteWnu)

- Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that the state had come to an agreement to keep open an Alcoa plant on St. Lawrence River after promising the company nearly $70 million in state subsidies. The governor's announcement came after several weeks of negotiations between New York officials and Alcoa.(http://nyti.ms/1I9J4Am)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Quebec's pension fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec's bold foray into the world of infrastructure development is hitting snags, with concerns being raised over the tendering process for transit projects. (http://bit.ly/1Og2p3Z)

** Mortgage rates are on the rise in Canada, a trend that could cool the housing market even as the economy struggles to recover from the effects of low oil prices. Five-year, fixed-rate mortgages, which represent the largest share of Canadian mortgages, have risen by as much as 20 basis points in the past two months as Canadian government bond yields have moved higher. (http://bit.ly/1Og2Eff)

** Justin Trudeau's government will miss its self-imposed deadline to fulfill a signature campaign promise on Syrian refugees, as the Liberals announced a slower approach on Tuesday to bringing 25,000 government-assisted refugees to Canada. (http://bit.ly/1Og2Viu)

NATIONAL POST

** This Black Friday, the Outlet Collection at Niagara on the Ontario side of the border will be packed with more than a few U.S. license plates. Americans looking to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate have been heading north, and the expectation is that it will continue as long as the loonie is low, says Carley Rupcic, the tourism manager for the 720,000 square foot mall owned by Ivanhoe Cambridge, a real estate company. (http://bit.ly/1Lz0GAm)

** Bombardier Inc asked investors for a little more patience on Tuesday, acknowledging that 2016 will be another "difficult year" while outlining plans for a significant turnaround by 2020. (http://bit.ly/1Lz0MIf)

 

Hong Kong

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

- Some Hong Kong businesses are still not ready for a competition law which will come into force on December 14, an antitrust lawyer said. John Hickin, a partner of Mayer Brown JSM, said some businesses engaged in clearly cartel-type activities that have done nothing. The new Competition Ordinance will prohibit unfair business practices such as price fixing. (http://bit.ly/1YsXkYY)

- Hong Kong's new young band of democratically elected politicians has been invited by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to join the advisory bodies, which help shape government policies. The move follows Sunday's district council elections that saw dozens of young candidates unseat veterans of the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps. (http://bit.ly/1lgCZr9)

- Alibaba Health Information Technology, which recorded a wider interim net loss for six months to September-end, plans to expand its fledgling internet-based medical services network to meet growing demand for private healthcare operations in mainland China. Chief executive Wang Lei said pilot testing of its medical services network started in the interim period. (http://bit.ly/1LyjyQ4)

THE STANDARD

- The International Federation of Association Football has started probe into an incident where Hong Kong fans booed the national anthem at the home World Cup qualifying match against China. The Hong Kong Football Association received an official letter from Fifa about disciplinary investigation, and is asked to provide a report for the match at Mong Kok Stadium on November 17. (http://bit.ly/1I9r8Wk)

- Eight of 60 batches of clothing tested by Shanghai authorities have contained quality issues. The Shanghai municipal bureau of quality and technical supervision identified problems with eight batches of garments, some from popular brands. These included women's jeans from Gap, jeans from Japanese brand Uniqlo and H&M jackets. (http://bit.ly/1T1YerG)

- Mainland developers may see their share prices outperform the Hang Seng Index in the first half of next year, with total home sales hitting a historic high during 2016, Citibank said in a report. A quick rebound in home prices in second-tier cities and more government stimulus such as tax cuts are the two driving forces for the industry, Citibank added. (http://bit.ly/1Yt0wE5)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

- Asset Management Association of China said it lost contact with 12 private equity funds in the mainland, including 9 in Beijing. The association said it could not get hold of the funds through their provided telephone numbers, e-mails and short messages.

- Luxury goods retailer Joyce Boutique Holdings posted HK$34.9 million ($4.5 million) loss for six months ended September, against a profit a year ago, amid fall-off in customer spending in Hong Kong and China, driving down sales performance of luxury retail market. Depreciation of the euro and yen against yuan led to an increase in overseas shopping and online shopping.

 

Britain

The Times

One of the biggest shareholders in Royal Dutch Shell Plc has thrown its weight behind the oil group's 43 billion stg takeover of BG Group Plc, despite mounting concerns about the impact of plunging oil prices on the commercial logic that underpins the deal. (http://thetim.es/1jiFTuf)

The Guardian

The new chief executive of Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc has warned that senior job losses will form part of 200 million stg in annual cost cuts. (http://bit.ly/1jiF2d1)

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has accused George Osborne of putting Britain's health and security at risk with politically motivated deficit reduction plans that have left the economy in chaos. (http://bit.ly/1lIoXiP)

The Telegraph

The chairman of the Energy and Climate Change select committee said it would write to regulator Ofgem asking it to examine "potential abuses of the system" after concerns were raised about the high prices National Grid had to pay one generator, Calon Energy, to help keep the lights on across the UK at the start of November. (http://bit.ly/1OeRszu)

The Treasury has agreed to meet with Britain's challenger banks at least four times a year, as George Osborne attempts to defuse a row over financial taxes ahead of his Autumn Statement on Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/1P7f9ve)

Sky News

Whitehall is making plans for a Commons vote on George Osborne's welfare cap within a month, in the clearest sign that the Chancellor has missed his self-imposed welfare cap. (http://bit.ly/1OqViUr)

The rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers that seriously injured five people was caused by human error, the theme park has said. (http://bit.ly/1kSmMZK)

The Independent

The maker of Whirlpool, Indesit and Hotpoint tumble dryers has warned that a "significant" number of millions of dryers in households around the UK could pose a fire risk. (http://ind.pn/1MzDPZt)