Frontrunning: January 26

  • China shares end at 14-month lows after late selling frenzy (Reuters)
  • China Dec gold imports through Hong Kong highest since 2013 (Reuters)
  • China Contagion Fades as European Stocks Pare Drop, Oil Rises (BBG)
  • Apple set for slowest ever iPhone sales growth (Reuters)
  • Saudis, Russia Seen by Iraq as More Flexible on Oil-Output Cuts (BBG)
  • China Probes NEV sector for subsidy fraud (China Daily)
  • J&J forecasts 2016 sales below analysts' estimates (Reuters)
  • Wider China-Hong Kong Discrepancy Revives Fake Trade Doubts (BBG)
  • German two-year yields hit new low as March ECB cut almost priced in (Reuters)
  • AIG to Sell Broker-Dealer Network (WSJ)
  • At $3.68 Million, This California Home Has Everything But Buyers (BBG)
  • Pimco to Vanguard Step Into Credit Fray to Buy High-Grade Bonds (BBG)
  • Vacant Office Spaces Pile Up in Houston  (WSJ)
  • Khomeini Grandson Barred From Iran Poll in Blow to Reformers (BBG)
  • Germany’s Cautious Savers Find New Taste for Risk (WSJ)
  • In coastal New Jersey, a flood of criticism for Christie follows storm (Reuters)
  • European Stability Mechanism head rules out haircut for Greek debt  (Reuters)
  • One Salmon Costs More Than Barrel of Oil as Slump Deepens (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that convicts who received life sentences as juveniles can seek parole, extending the possibility of freedom to as many as 2,500 inmates who otherwise would die in prison. (http://on.wsj.com/1PhlByD)

- The White House unveiled on Tuesday a raft of proposals to make it easier for workers to save for their retirements, in part by pushing businesses and states to make benefits more portable. The steps include a $100 million grant proposal to explore ways to provide benefits that are portable across employers and are available to workers who are self-employed, are part-timers or have multiple employers. (http://on.wsj.com/1PhlItY)

- Hassan Rouhani landed in Rome on Monday on his first overseas trip since the European Union lifted sanctions on Jan. 16 in return for Tehran's implementation of key restrictions on its nuclear program. With a number of U.S. sanctions still in place, European countries are moving quickly to re-establish ties to sell everything from consumer goods to aircraft. (http://on.wsj.com/1PhlRxm)

- Johnson Controls Inc and Tyco International Plc agreed to merge in a $14 billion deal that creates a new giant provider of commercial-building systems and reflects a growing push by some executives and shareholders toward companies that are bigger but more focused. (http://on.wsj.com/1PhlSBC)

- A highly anticipated new energy-demand projection from Exxon Mobil Corp released Monday cuts the company's expectations for China. And a slew of data is emerging that points to the toll a weakened economy has taken on Chinese energy demand, which is among the most important factors in determining the price of crude oil. (http://on.wsj.com/1Phm5Vs)

 

FT

Greg Medcraft, chairman of the International Organization of Securities Commissions said that financial groups betting on blockchain technology should also take into account the cost of fraudulent transactions, much like banks do for credit card transactions.

The CFE-CGC energy union has put forward a set of challenges that may jeopardise EDF's plans to build an 18 billion pound ($25.61 billion) nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. These include an expression of serious concern about the plant's viability and what it might cost the company.

French billionaire Xavier Nile's Iliad has held preliminary discussions with UK telecoms regulators Ofcom to enter Britain's mobile market.

Greece has hit back at EU proposals to tighten its border security with Macedonia to stem the flow of refugees, saying its a dangerous experiment which would turn the country into a "cemetery of souls".

 

NYT

- Years of rapid economic growth across sub-Saharan Africa fueled hopes of a prosperous new era. To many, the world's poorest continent was finally emerging, with economies that were no longer dependent on the fickle global demand for Africa's raw resources. (http://nyti.ms/1PhmRS7)

- "Manchester by the Sea," a buzzy drama starring Casey Affleck as a handyman coping with family strife, was sold to Amazon.com Inc for $10 million, beating out the likes of Fox and Universal. (http://nyti.ms/1Pho6Rq)

- Johnson Controls Inc, which introduced a device that could control room temperature some 130 years ago, has agreed to combine with Tyco International PLc. With the deal, Johnson Controls will relocate its headquarters from Milwaukee to Cork, Ireland, where Tyco is domiciled and where corporate taxes are lower than in the United States. (http://nyti.ms/1Pho7VA)

- Airbus Group SE said Monday it was in talks with Iran toward the sale of dozens of new commercial aircraft - part of a number of international business deals likely to flow toward Iran since it agreed to curtail its nuclear ambitions. (http://nyti.ms/1Pho8Zm)

- A Chinese journalist who was traveling across Thailand on a frantic quest for political refuge messaged his wife recently to say that he would soon reach the border with Laos. Two weeks ago, the journalist, Li Xin, disappeared. Li's wife, He Fangmei, and his supporters believe he has joined a growing list of people at odds with Beijing, who have been spirited into China across borders, especially from Thailand. (http://nyti.ms/1PhoiQG)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** WestJet Airlines will suspend some of its regularly scheduled flights from Calgary and Edmonton to divert more of its capacity to Central and Eastern Canada. (http://bit.ly/200RYII)

** Canadian government plans to require a separate climate test for proposed pipelines and a planned LNG export terminal, which are now under regulatory review, to determine their impact on Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, a move that could impose new delays on billion dollar projects. (http://bit.ly/200S5E7)

** Postmedia Network Canada Corp announced an unconventional deal with Mogo Finance Technology Inc, an online provider of short-term loans that is looking to build a customer base among young people who shy away from traditional bank branches. (http://bit.ly/200SfLQ)

NATIONAL POST

** Vancouver is the third least affordable city in the world for a home, and construction constraints are to blame for rising home prices there and in other Canadian cities, according to U.S. group Demographia. (http://bit.ly/200Sq9Z)

** Fitch Ratings affirmed the default ratings of Canada's largest banks Monday, but changed its outlook on Royal Bank of Canada's to negative from stable. (http://bit.ly/200SyWK)

** Crude oil prices have fallen so low that oilsands producers are now in danger of seeing negative prices for their bitumen, according to a report Monday from FirstEnergy Capital Corp. (http://bit.ly/200SI0o)

 

Britain

The Times

The Guardian is to slash its costs by £54 million over the next three years and could start charging for some of its content after burning through £80 million of cash in only a year. (http://thetim.es/1POjwX3)

Ophir Energy has signed a preliminary agreement with Schlumberger to develop its Fortuna gas project off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. (http://thetim.es/1Py8kNN)

The Guardian

American Apparel founder Dov Charney has lost his last-ditch attempt to wrest back control of the bankrupt retailer he started in his Tufts University dorm room in 1989. (http://bit.ly/1SflfJv)

Sainsbury's largest investor, the Qatar Investment Authority, has indicated that it might be willing to support a £1bn-plus bid for Home Retail Group at a "modest" increase to the 130p or so cash and shares offer rejected by the Argos owner in November. (http://bit.ly/1TkzsFZ)

The Telegraph

Regulators are considering whether to allow two Iranian banks in London to resume operations after years of sanctions. (http://bit.ly/1JzxJdV)

McDonald's will accelerate the rollout of table service across its refurbished UK restaurants and expand its trial of premium burgers in a bid to revamp its image amid intensifying competition in the fast food space. (http://bit.ly/1JzAk7t)

Sky News

George Osborne is preparing to end a six-month search for the new head of the City watchdog this week after ruling out one of the leading contenders for the job. (http://bit.ly/1njOwXH)

The head of Opec has laid the blame on smaller oil-producing countries for the glut in supply swilling through global markets that has driven down prices. (http://bit.ly/1ZOKB1G)

The Independent

The oil explorer JKX, which faces an attempt to topple its management this week, banned two of its biggest shareholders from voting yesterday after accusing them of providing "false or materially incorrect" information. (http://ind.pn/1JzBpwb)

A former Oxford schoolboy dubbed "Jihadi Jack" has dismissed reports that he is a member of Isis and accused the media of demonising young Britons who convert to Islam - in messages seen exclusively by The Independent. (http://ind.pn/1nkgLpg)