Frontrunning: February 14

  • Yellen to Face Questions on Trump’s Impact on Economy (WSJ)
  • Fed has limited view on Trump economic policies as Yellen heads to Congress (Reuters)
  • Oil rises as OPEC-led output cuts trim oversupply (Reuters)
  • Mnuchin’s G-20 Debut Clouded by Currency Chatter (BBG)
  • Israel’s Netanyahu Prepares for High-Stakes Talks With Trump (WSJ)
  • Peugeot Owner in Talks to Buy GM’s European Business (BBG)
  • Challenge to Trump travel ban moves forward in two courts (Reuters)
  • No return home in sight for thousands of Californians sheltering from dam (Reuters)
  • Aetna, Humana Mutually End Merger Agreement (WSJ)
  • South Korean prosecution again seeks arrest of Samsung chief (Reuters)
  • Pimco to Investors: Don't Underestimate the Chance of a Fed Mistake (BBG)
  • Euro-Area Growth Revised Lower in Sign of Recovery Fragility (BBG)
  • U.K. Inflation Rate Rises Less Than Expected, Stays Below 2% (BBG)
  • Geeks venture into Goldman Sachs' world of big deals and egos (Reuters)
  • Italy's ex-pm Renzi calls leadership contest for his PD party (Reuters)
  • Toshiba’s Chaotic Earnings Report Raises Doubts Over Grip on Business (BBG)
  • Firm Delays Muscular Dystrophy Drug Launch Amid Criticism of $89,000 Price (WSJ)
  • The Hidden Side to the Reflation Trade Is China's Surging Prices (BBG)
  • Macron Blames Russian Hackers for Downing Campaign Web Site (BBG)
  • Airbnb Wants to Spend Some of the $3 Billion It’s Sitting On (BBG)
  • Rolls-Royce Mulls Future of Weaker Operations as Profit Down 49% (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


- A $671 million settlement announced between DuPont Co and lawyers representing thousands of people in Ohio and West Virginia could bring a swift end to years of litigation, while fueling cases in other states where people have alleged health problems after a chemical used to make Teflon got into their drinking water.

- The White House is exploring a new tactic to discourage China from undervaluing its currency to boost exports. Under the plan, the commerce secretary would designate the practice of currency manipulation as an unfair subsidy when employed by any country, instead of singling out China.

- National Security Adviser Mike Flynn resigned as he was under increasing fire over his conflicting statements about his contacts with Russian officials before the inauguration, the White House said. Flynn's resignation was accepted by Trump after information about his Russia contacts continued to emerge while the president was "evaluating" whether to keep him in his post.

- A federal judge in Virginia said late Monday that President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration was likely unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction blocking part of the administration's efforts to restrict entry to the United States. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said the government has provided "no evidence" to justify the order, which temporarily barred visitors and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries.



GlaxoSmithKline Plc said its new HIV treatment would be "less harmful" than current therapies, as it unveiled clinical trial results for a two-drug cocktail designed to reduce the amount of medicine that patients must take each day.

Glencore Plc announced a $960 million deal to buy Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler out of two of the mining-cum-trading company's copper and cobalt operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

BAE Systems Plc is set to confirm that Ian King will be succeeded as chief executive this year by Charles Woodburn, the former oil services executive hired by the defence company in 2016 as chief operating officer.

The United States said Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami was an international drug trafficker who had facilitated multiple one-ton narcotics shipments to Mexico and the United States, and it froze millions of dollars worth of his U.S.-based wealth.



- New data published by OPEC shows its members are largely sticking to an agreement to limit production. But questions remain about whether they can hold together.

- Gerard Baker, the editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal, vigorously defended his newspaper's coverage of President Trump on Monday, rejecting suggestions that the Journal had not been aggressive enough.

- The Senate confirmed Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood film financier, to be secretary of the Treasury Department on Monday.

- Maurice Greenberg, the often combative former chief executive of American International Group, began a news media counteroffensive on Monday to repair his legacy days after the bruising end to his 12-year court battle with the New York State attorney general.

- Spain's national court on Monday ordered a criminal inquiry into whether a former governor of the country's central bank and seven other regulatory officials knowingly ignored financial problems at Bankia, the giant savings bank whose near collapse prompted Spain's banking bailout in 2012.




** After meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Donald Trump signaled his desire to strengthen the bilateral-trading relationship, as the two leaders committed to improved energy trade and singled out the Keystone XL pipeline as an important infrastructure project.

** Tim Hortons Inc's sales growth at its existing restaurants continued to slide in its fourth quarter as its parent, Restaurant Brands International Inc, raced to seal agreements with international franchisees to bolster the chain's business outside of Canada.

** The White House has assured Canada that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will not be appointed as U.S. ambassador to Canada.


** Home Capital Group Inc will likely be able to manage any financial sanctions stemming from an enforcement notice it received from Canada's largest securities regulator, but the threat of a class-action lawsuit is "potentially more meaningful," a National Bank analyst says.

** The specter of new rules creates more risk for Canada's wireless service providers, Desjardins analyst noted in light of the federal regulator's review of the wireless code.



The Times

Banks scent bargains in Co-op chaos

Smaller lenders are circling Co-operative Bank Plc looking to pick up bargains as it emerged that the stricken institution could have to raise almost 1 billion sterling in order to bolster its finances.

Ocado may run out of cash to complete overseas licensing deal

Ocado Group Plc could be out of spare cash to execute an international licensing deal, according to an analyst who adds that short-term payouts to the online food retailer's management may be unwarranted.

The Guardian

Unite workers at BMW threaten action over plans to shut UK pension scheme

More than 7,000 BMW workers are threatening industrial action over the German carmaker's plans to shut the final salary pension scheme.

Chemical giant Ineos to build heir to Land Rover Defender

The chemicals group Ineos has insisted its plan to build an off-road vehicle to succeed the Land Rover Defender is not a vanity project driven by its billionaire founder and chairman Jim Ratcliffe.

The Telegraph

BAE Systems poised to promote Charles Woodburn as chief executive

BAE Systems Plc is poised to confirm Charles Woodburn as its new chief executive in a widely anticipated move that marks a generational shift at the defence giant.

Firestone Diamonds smashes expectations with first sale

Fledgling diamond miner Firestone Diamonds Plc has promised more riches are in store after beating expectations for its first-ever sale of gemstones from Lesotho.

Sky News

Brexit pound plunge pumps up Sonos speaker prices by up to 25 pct

Music lovers face paying more to listen to their favourite tunes at home after U.S. speaker-maker Sonos said it would hike UK prices by up to 25 percent following the post-referendum slump in the pound.

Union calls off London Underground strike threat after deal

Union officials have called off the threat of further industrial action on the London Underground after agreeing a deal with Transport for London (TfL).

The Independent

Brexit: Britain must be made worse off after leaving EU, says Austrian chancellor

The European Union must ensure Britain is made worse off when it leaves the trading bloc and any other result would be a "capitulation," the Austrian chancellor said at a press conference on Monday.

Waitrose rebrands 'British' lamb ready meals after customer outrage over New Zealand meat

Waitrose has rebranded its lamb ready meals after coming under fire from both customers and the farming sector for using misleading labels.