Frontrunning: February 16

  • Oil eases off highs after output freeze agreement (Reuters)
  • Saudis and Russia agree to oil output freeze, Iran still an obstacle (Reuters)
  • China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (WSJ)
  • Obama starts work to pick Supreme Court justice amid political 'bluster' (Reuters)
  • The Never-Ending Story: Europe’s Banks Face a Frightening Future (BBG)
  • Apollo Global to buy security services company ADT for $7 billion (Reuters)
  • Anglo Hastens Retreat From Coal, Iron Ore as Losses Double (BBG)
  • Markets Putting Faith in QE4 (WSJ)
  • Technology stocks selloff may turn IPO chill into IPO freeze (Reuters)
  • Goldman Channels FDR's `Nothing to Fear' With Sell Gold Call (BBG)
  • Not in my backyard? Mainstream Scandinavia warily eyes record immigration (Reuters)
  • Japan’s Banks Brace for Bleeding in Core Business as Negative Rates Kick In (WSJ)
  • Wait Two Years for That $65 Million Gulfstream Personal Jet (BBG)
  • Gordon and Bud Did It. Did You? Insider Trading Gets a Rethink (BBG)
  • Hedge funder’s attack on renminbi draws scrutiny and doubt (FT)
  • Fallen Giants Block Path to S&P Bull Market as Amazon Slumps (BBG)
  • New York police probe assault claim against Eliot Spitzer; lawyer disputes (Reuters)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- HSBC PLC 's decision to keep its headquarters in the U.K. rather than move to Hong Kong is prompting soul-searching in this former British colony about its perception on the world stage. (http://on.wsj.com/1PB9NpA)

- General Dynamics Corp, Britain's BAE Systems PLC , and Germany's Rheinmetall AG, are among those lining up for the right to replace Australia's armored vehicles and tanks. (http://on.wsj.com/1PB9BH6)

- Japan's SoftBank Group Corp on Monday moved to bolster its share price beaten down by worries about U.S. mobile subsidiary Sprint Corp, saying it would buy back up to 500 billion Yen, or as much as $4.4 billion, of shares, its biggest repurchase ever. (http://on.wsj.com/1PB9Wtc)

- Brazil's southernmost state halted the use of a mosquito larvicide that an Argentine doctors' group warns could be behind the recent surge of babies born with microcephaly. (http://on.wsj.com/1PBa1gt)

 

FT

UK phone network operator Vodafone Plc and John Malone's cable company Liberty Global Plc agreed on Monday to form a 19 billion euros ($21.23 billion) mobile-and-cable operator in the Netherlands.

The Bank of England has rejected criticism from John Vickers, the chief architect of the UK's banking reforms, by denying that it had gone soft on UK banks or watered down his recommended minimum capital levels for Britain's biggest lenders.

The world's top two oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia will hold talks on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the matter, as producers try to tackle a glut that has pushed prices to their lowest in over a decade.

 

NYT

- Paragon Offshore Plc, which operates offshore drilling rigs from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Over the last 16 months, about 60 oil and gas companies have filed for bankruptcy as commodity prices slide, and that figure is expected to double in the coming months if prices remain low. (http://nyti.ms/1PNQeIO)

- Turmoil in global markets is making the yen rise in value again. That has resulted in big hits to the Japanese stock market and has raised worries among economists that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not be able to deliver the economic growth his country needs to get back on track. (http://nyti.ms/1Tkti8n)

- Leo Van Munching Jr, whose stewardship of the importing company started by his father made the Dutch-brewed beer Heineken and its low-calorie sibling, Amstel Light, familiar brand names in the United States, passed away on Sunday. (http://nyti.ms/1mEhn8J)

- The multinational media and telecommunications conglomerate SoftBank said on Monday that it would buy back shares worth 500 billion yen ($4.36 billion), the biggest share repurchase it has ever made. (http://nyti.ms/1StTmiv)

 

Canada

 

 

Britain

The Times

The president of the European Central Bank rallied stock markets by pledging that it was "ready to do its part" to shore up the European economy from a rising tide of financial turmoil. (thetim.es/215xpYz)

Royal Dutch Shell reiterated its confidence in the North Sea oil industry as it sealed a 35 billion pound ($50.52 billion) acquisition of its rival BG Group and promised a rapid boost in output from Brazil. (thetim.es/1QhPCAx)

The Guardian

Mining giant Anglo American Plc's debt has been downgraded further into junk territory by Moody's, which cited a deterioration in commodities market conditions and doubts over how long it will take the company to reduce debt levels. (bit.ly/246aYFg)

Living standards in the UK have finally made up the ground lost as a result of the financial crash following the boost to incomes provided by rising employment and falling inflation, according to the Resolution Foundation. (bit.ly/1Lql2gD)

The Telegraph

Vodafone has agreed a deal with US cable giant Liberty Global to merge their Dutch operations. The UK mobile giant will pay Liberty, owned by billionaire John Malone, 1 billion euro ($1.12 billion) to "equalize ownership in the joint venture", according to a statement released on Monday night. (bit.ly/1Tk7nhO)

A botched set of negotiations on Britain's membership in the European Union could damage the eurozone, the European Central Bank president has warned. (bit.ly/1oF6Tr9)

Sky News

Supermarket chain Aldi will create 5,000 new jobs and open 80 new stores as part of its expansion plans in the UK. (bit.ly/20VDg6d)

Hornby shares have jumped by over a third after the company announced that it is parting company with Chief Executive Richard Ames. (bit.ly/1QEw3N8)

The Independent

HSBC could switch up to 1,000 jobs to Paris if Britain votes to exit the EU in the forthcoming referendum. (ind.pn/1SPXp9o)


 

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