Frontrunning: January 3

  • North Korea reopens border hotline with the South (Reuters)
  • North Korea warned against new missile test (Reuters)
  • MiFID II’s First Day Comes Off Without Glitches, Regulator Says (BBG)
  • No Idea What MiFID Stands For? Here’s What You Need to Know (BBG)
  • As Trump Weighs New Tariffs, Imports of Washers and Solar Panels Jump (WSJ)
  • Oil hits new two-and-a-half year highs as higher output looms (Reuters)
  • Iran stages pro-government rallies after sixth day of protests (Reuters)
  • AMD Soars After Rival Intel Reveals Processor Flaw (BBG)
  • Bitcoin Loses Some Dazzle as Second-Tier Crypto Coins Catch Up (BBG)
  • The New Floor for Bond Underwriting Fees: $1 (WSJ)
  • The Tax Law Hits Manhattan Home Sales (BBG)
  • Trump Tower meeting with Russians 'treasonous', Bannon says in explosive book (Guardian)
  • Israel says Iran recruited Palestinian militants via South Africa (Reuters)
  • Hungary, Poland want a strong say in Europe's future: PM Orban (Reuters)
  • Dominion Energy to buy Scana Corp in $14.6 billion deal (Reuters)
  • Pershing Square, Valeant to appear in court on insider trading suit settlement (Reuters)
  • Bonus or No, Don’t Get Your Hopes Up for a Raise (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


- An American national-security panel refused to approve a deal for Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Financial Services Group to buy MoneyGram International Inc, the companies said, in the latest sign the United States is tightening scrutiny of investment from China at a time of greater tensions between the two countries.

- Founders Fund, the venture-capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, has bought large sums of bitcoin that are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

- BP PLC said it would take a roughly $1.5 billion accounting charge for its latest quarter related to the U.S. tax overhaul, though it added that a corporate tax cut would be a long-term positive.

- Diageo PLC is suspending all of its advertising on Snapchat after the UK advertising watchdog ruled that the alcohol giant didn't take sufficient care to ensure that a campaign from its Captain Morgan rum brand wasn't seen by users under the UK's legal drinking age of 18.

- Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc said it will work with hedge fund Elliott Management Corp on filling an open board seat. The move comes as the rare-disease drugmaker has been facing pressure from the activist investor.



- Ryanair Holdings Plc applied for a British air operating certificate to ensure that it will continue flying in UK post-brexit.

- UK Prime Minster Theresa May is insisting on students being counted in migration figures, even though there are fears that the government will be defeated on the issue in the House of Commons.

- South African retailer Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd said it may be forced to restate its results for years before 2015.

- MoneyGram International Inc and Ant Financial abandoned their $1.2 billion proposed deal after failing to win approval from CFIUS.



- MoneyGram International Inc and Ant Financial, the Chinese electronic payments company, said they had canceled their merger after failing to win approval from a Washington panel that reviews foreign purchases of American companies.

- Vice Media placed its President Andrew Creighton and its chief digital officer Mike Germano on leave after sexual harassment allegations were reported against them.

- Hoda Kotb, the longtime co-host of the fourth hour of the NBC morning franchise "Today," will replace Matt Lauer as co-anchor of the program's opening hours, the network said.

- As protests in Iran stretched into their sixth day on Tuesday, the Iranian authorities continued to restrict access to social media tools that have become key sources of information to anti government demonstrators.




** The Public Health Agency of Canada is turning to an Ottawa artificial-intelligence startup that studies social media to predict potential spikes in suicide rates – information that could give the federal government a heads-up to proactively deploy mental-health resources to at-risk communities where lives might be in danger.

** On Tuesday, the first day of trading in 2018, DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd's shares plummeted 18 percent after the board replaced the company's co-founder and chief executive, Mogens Smed, and moved him into the role of executive chair. The board also removed DIRTT's president and interim chief financial officer, who is no longer with the company.

** Lululemon Athletica Inc founder Chip Wilson's waterfront property in Vancouver valued at C$78.8 million ($63 million) has topped the list of the most expensive residential properties in British Columbia for the fifth consecutive time.


** Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis Inc, one of Canada's largest licensed medical marijuana producers, said November 2017 had been a "record" month for sales at home and in Germany, where medical cannabis is also legal.

** The deep freeze currently chilling most of North America is providing a boost to beleaguered natural gas producers, but analysts believe the colder temperatures would need to last for months for prices to improve further.

** The U.S. dollar has started off 2018 where it left off last year - on the decline - and if forecasts for the currency to soften further prove correct, that could make the Canadian dollar's recent ascent to 80 cents U.S. seem rather insignificant by the end of the year.



The Times

- Tesco Plc's former UK food boss John Scouler did not commit fraud but in fact helped to uncover accounting irregularities after ordering a junior employee to investigate problems in its commercial finance department, his lawyer told a court yesterday.

- Ian Tyler, the chairman of Bovis Homes Group Plc , who admitted last year that the group had cut corners to reach City targets, is to become chairman of Amey Group, the infrastructure business.

The Guardian

- Marks and Spencer Group Plc is selling 27 stores in Hong Kong and Macau to its longstanding franchise partner in the Asian region, Al-Futtaim.

- BP Plc has said Donald Trump's sweeping changes to U.S. taxes will knock about $1.5 billion off its profits for the end of 2017.

The Telegraph

- Arif Hussein, a former UBS Group AG trader who has been banned by Britain's regulator from financial services for alleged Libor-rigging, "simply followed" the Swiss bank's rules and so should not be barred from the sector, his lawyers will argue this week.

- London city staff who spent the Christmas period racing to prepare for a major piece of EU legislation that goes live on Tuesday have been warned that meeting deadline does not mean the work is over.

Sky News

- Ryanair Holdings Plc is seeking a licence from British regulators to safeguard against a hard Brexit amid little apparent progress on a new aviation deal between the UK and Europe.

- Chargemaster Plc (IPO-CAP.L), Britain's biggest provider of infrastructure to the electric vehicle market, is plotting a 170 million pound ($231.12 million) bid to charge on to the London Stock Exchange.

The Independent

- An accounting scandal plaguing the troubled owner of Poundland looked likely to deepen on Tuesday, after Steinhoff announced that it may have to restate even more historic accounts than previously expected.

- UK manufacturing cooled from a four-year high in December, according to the latest survey snapshot – although the sector retained its strong growth momentum. The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 56.3 in the month, down from 58.2 in November, with any reading above 50 signalling expansion.