Frontrunning: July 25

  • Dollar slumps to 13-month lows before Fed; euro up (Reuters)
  • Overwhelming approval likely for Russia bill (Reuters)
  • Trump to study tougher Russia sanctions bill: White House (Reuters)
  • Unrest bubbles among Trump's key foreign policy aides (Reuters)
  • Abe Overtaken by Rival as Top Choice for Japan Premier in Poll (BBG)
  • More U.S. Cars Are Made in Mexico (WSJ)
  • The Chipotle Corporate Sabotage Theory Returns (BBG)
  • McCain to return for pivotal Senate vote on healthcare (Reuters)
  • Kushner Faces Hostile Questioning by Dems on House Panel (BBG)
  • Chinese says interception of U.S. plane 'necessary' (Reuters)
  • Record-Low ECB Rates Are a €1 Trillion Government Windfall (BBG)
  • Dead Bodies Start Piling Up as Fuel Theft Booms in Mexico (BBG)
  • Uber ties up with AXA for drivers' accident cover in France (Reuters)
  • Can John Cryan Save Deutsche Bank From Itself? (BBG)
  • Oil extends gains as Saudi pledges export curbs (Reuters)
  • Australia to accept first Central American refugees under U.S. deal (Reuters)
  • U.S. judge halts deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals (Reuters)
  • Angry Lawmaker Singles Out ‘Female Senators’ Over Health Vote (BBG)
  • Israel removes Jerusalem metal detectors, Palestinians reject new measures (Reuters)
  • Saudi Dairy Farm May Use Cow Dung to Meet Power Needs (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


- President Donald Trump made a last-minute pitch to GOP senators urging them to vote Tuesday to begin debate on the health-care law, an exhortation that added to the pressures facing congressional Republicans.

- Alphabet Inc said clicks on its ads surged 52 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier and Google Inc's revenue per click fell 23 percent in the quarter. The growth in the number of clicks helped boost second-quarter revenue 21 percent to $26.01 billion over a year prior.

- South Korea's Samsung conglomerate, best known for its smartphones and televisions, will make available in the U.S. its lower-price copy of Johnson & Johnson's blockbuster arthritis drug Remicade.

- Saudi Arabia's Energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, announced it would go further than cutting its production and would also limit its exports at 6.6 million barrels a day in August.

- China has been bolstering defenses along its 880-mile frontier with North Korea and realigning forces in surrounding regions to prepare for a potential crisis across their border, including the possibility of a U.S. military strike.

- Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG is investing in a Chinese self-driving startup, in another instance of a Western auto maker seeking out a Chinese partner to get a foothold in a challenging market.

- Barnes & Noble Inc is being pushed to sell itself by Sandell Asset Management, which says the beleaguered bookseller could benefit from fresh investment.

- One of China's most acquisitive conglomerates, privately owned HNA Group, has unveiled a new ownership structure in a bid to eliminate doubt over who ultimately controls the group.



Alphabet Inc profits fell by more than a quarter after it was hit by a $2.7 billion fine by the European Commission, triggering the biggest decline in the internet group's net income since 2008.

Flavio Cattaneo, who stepped down as chief executive of Telecom Italia SpA over the weekend amid reports of a clash with majority shareholder Vivendi SA, will receive a 25 million euro payout, the company said on Monday.

The UK's Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into a 2011 payment made by Rio Tinto Plc to a consultant working on a controversial iron ore deposit in Guinea.

A restructuring by acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA has moved the ownership of a 29.5 per cent stake from a mysterious Chinese investor to a New York-registered non-profit, adding to the questions surrounding the governance of the company.



- Martin Shkreli said in court Monday that he would not testify in his own defense in his fraud trial, a turnaround from last week, when his lawyers told a judge that he had "insisted" on testifying.

- Fact-checking website Snope is locked in a legal battle saying it has drained the money it needs to survive. The site, which gets all of its revenue from advertising, created a crowdfunding page seeking $500,000 from readers to remain operational indefinitely.

- HNA Group said its largest shareholder Guan Jun, a private businessman in China, recently donated his 30 percent stake in the company to HNA's Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation. Combined with the 22.8 percent stake held by HNA's sister charity in China, HNA says it is now 52 percent owned by the Cihang foundations.

- Internet Brands, a KKR portfolio company, agreed to buy WebMD Health Corp for about $2.8 billion. Separately, KKR also said it would acquire a majority stake in Nature's Bounty from private equity rival Carlyle Group for an undisclosed amount.



The Globe and Mail

** Canada government is prepared to walk away from NAFTA negotiations if the Trump administration insists that dispute-settlement panels be removed from the accord, according to a senior official. Canada, the United States and Mexico will sit down on Aug. 16 for the first round of talks aimed at rewriting the North American free-trade agreement.

** British Columbia Premier John Horgan will meet with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross when he heads to Washington this week to make a case for a deal to resolve the softwood-lumber dispute, which threatens the province's single-largest export to the United States.

** Underwriters had little trouble selling Hydro One Ltd's C$1.4 billion ($1.12 billion) bought deal, which was announced last week with the utility's C$4.4 billion ($3.52 billion) acquisition of U.S.-based Avista Corp. The entire allocation of convertible debentures was sold within a day, say sources familiar with the financing.

National Post

** Creative groups representing media producers, writers, directors and actors published a letter on Monday imploring Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Jolyare to overrule a decision by Canada's broadcast regulator that they argue will cut investments in made-in-Canada television programming by hundreds of millions of dollars.

** The International Monetary Fund now expects Canada's gross domestic product to grow 2.5 percent this year, leading G7 growth, according to its latest World Economic Outlook. This is up from the prior forecast of 1.9 percent released in April.



The Times

Banks are guilty of a "spiral of complacency" as lenders from credit card providers to car financiers have eased their lending standards and allowed borrowers to "rack up more and more debt", one of the Bank of England's leading officials has warned.

Fraud investigators have opened an inquiry into possible corruption by Rio Tinto Plc in Guinea, nearly nine months after the miner reported itself to authorities in three countries over suspect payments.

The Guardian

EasyJet Plc has announced the largest cabin crew intake in its 21-year history, with plans to hire more than 1,000 staff.

The Telegraph

Convenience chain McColl's Retail Group Plc has confirmed it is retendering its 2 billion pounds ($2.60 billion) supply deal with retailer Nisa, in a potential blow to J Sainsbury Plc's planned 130 million pounds takeover of Nisa.

A raft of top European companies will be forced to pull out of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia or face crippling sanctions under legislation racing through the U.S. Congress.

Sky News

More than 2,500 products have shrunk in size over the past five years, but are being sold for the same price, official figures show. It is not just chocolate bars that are affected by the so-called "shrinkflation" phenomenon, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The first phase of a four-year 246 million pounds government investment into battery technology has been launched in a move that could help bring down household electricity bills.

The Independent

Tesco Plc is rolling out its same-day grocery delivery service across the country as it aims to counter the threat posed by Inc.