Frontrunning: February 15

  • Global Stocks Power Ahead, Unfazed by U.S. Inflation (WSJ)
  • Florida community seeks answers after 17 killed (Reuters)
  • Florida Teen Charged With 17 Murder Counts in School Attack (BBG)
  • Shooting suspect was 'crazy about guns' (Reuters)
  • Hedge fund Bridgewater makes $22 billion bet against European firms (Reuters)
  • Number of crypto hedge funds soars amid bitcoin volatility (Reuters)
  • Publishers Warm to Google’s Ad Blocker—but Cautiously (WSJ)
  • Shifting Alliances Make Syria’s Tangle of Wars More Dangerous (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Tax Law Could Make Divorces Bitterer (BBG)
  • EU tells Facebook, Google and Twitter to do more for users (Reuters)
  • Rise of Private Assets Is Built on a Mountain of New Debt (WSJ)
  • Doesn’t Anyone Care About Deficits Anymore? (BBG)
  • Cyril Ramaphosa elected President of South Africa (Reuters)
  • Republican Foes of Health Law Try Patch Job Ahead of Midterms (WSJ)
  • How Ramaphosa Pulled the Strings and Toppled a President (BBG)
  • Qualcomm meets Broadcom to discuss $121 billion acquisition offer (Reuters)
  • Lebanese presidency denies U.S. Secretary of State kept waiting at palace (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- AT&T Inc is considering an unusual gambit in the coming trial over its $85 billion bid to buy Time Warner Inc , seeking testimony from the Justice Department's antitrust chief Makan Delrahim, who wants to block the merger. (on.wsj.com/2EFXB9W)

- Cisco Systems Inc said Wednesday it would repatriate $67 billion of its foreign cash holdings to the U.S. this quarter, in one of the largest repatriation plans yet revealed. (on.wsj.com/2o0H9HX)

- British officials blamed Russia for last June's massive "Petya" cyberattack, which crippled computer networks at multinational firms including FedEx Corp and Merck & Co Inc. (on.wsj.com/2o8vuGf)

- India's Punjab National Bank said it had uncovered an alleged scam involving some $1.77 billion in transactions at a Mumbai branch. (on.wsj.com/2BXnbXn)

- A gunman opened fire at a South Florida high school at the end of the school day Wednesday, leaving 17 people dead and more than a dozen injured in one of the deadliest U.S. school shootings. (on.wsj.com/2o3xJuu)

- Siemens AG expects to spend more on compliance as the German company adjusts its accounting in accordance with the new U.S. tax law, the company’s head of tax Christian Kaeser said

 

FT

Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical U.S. shares shot up in after-hours trade on Wednesday after Berkshire Hathaway Inc said it had taken a new stake in the company, signalling confidence by famed investor Warren Buffett.

Cisco Systems Inc has become the first big tech company to pass the rewards of U.S. tax reform directly to its investors, with the announcement of a $25 billion stock buyback plan that contributed to a 6 per cent bounce in its share price late on Wednesday.

Renault SA have confirmed that chief performance officer Stefan Mueller is to leave the company, clearing the way for Thierry Bollore to be anointed as number two on Thursday.

 

NYT

- State financial regulators in New York said on Wednesday that they would investigate reports that gay men have been denied insurance policies covering life, disability or long-term care because they were taking medication to protect themselves against H.I.V. nyti.ms/2CmJb9A

- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a long-awaited blood test to detect concussions in people and more quickly identify those with possible brain injuries. The test is called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator. nyti.ms/2ClNMJg

- AT&T Inc is seeking to put the head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division on its witness list in a trial over the government's decision to block the phone company's $85 billion merger with Time Warner Inc, according to two people with knowledge of the pretrial activity. nyti.ms/2CmmMth

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL
** Sun Life Assurance Co of Canada will become the first major insurance company to add medical marijuana to its group benefits plans for Canadian companies, a pivotal move in the insurance industry that will help ease the financial burden for medical-marijuana users, and a sign of the growing acceptance of cannabis in the Canadian workplace. tgam.ca/2Bv6TDR

** The Quebec government's economic advisory council is calling on the province to quintuple its investment in artificial intelligence to C$500 million ($400.48 million) over the next decade, warning its nascent power in machine learning will be at risk if it does not boost funding. tgam.ca/2BsRrrX

** Barrick Gold Corp is on track to lose its long-held crown as the world's largest gold producer after forecasting production for this year that will likely fall short of U.S. competitor Newmont Mining Corp. tgam.ca/2o2tTm6

NATIONAL POST
** Sears Canada creditors could be a step closer in their attempt to recoup some of the C$3 billion ($2.40 billion) in controversial dividends paid out to the company's shareholders — most notably, Sears Holdings Corp chief executive Edward Lampert — years prior to the defunct retailer's insolvency filing last June. bit.ly/2BvuWm1

** Canopy Growth Corp strengthened its lead in the cannabis market in the third quarter, more than doubling its year-over-year revenue in the three months leading to Dec 31. bit.ly/2o2amm1

 

Britain

The Times

* Jeff Fairburn, chief executive of Persimmon, is in line for one of the largest bonuses in UK corporate history, currently set to be as much as 100 million pounds ($140.03 million). bit.ly/2Cmxe3L

* Sterling will plunge more than 15 percent from current levels if Britain leaves the European Union in a disorderly fashion, the International Monetary Fund has warned. bit.ly/2ClvkjU

The Guardian

* British workers are set for the biggest annual pay rise in a decade, according to forecasts from the Bank of England's agents, as the rising minimum wage and staff shortages finally begin to lift wages above inflation. bit.ly/2Cllleu

* GVC, the online gambling firm behind Foxy Bingo, has been fined 350,000 pounds for "repeatedly misleading consumers" with offers of free bonuses, on the same day that regulators announced a crackdown on gambling adverts. bit.ly/2Cl6L6Q

The Telegraph

* An independent U.S. trade body on Wednesday said it rejected hefty duties on Bombardier's C-Series jets partly because Boeing lost no sales or revenue when Delta Air Lines ordered the aircraft in 2016 from the Canadian planemaker. bit.ly/2CmhJc2

* The chief executive of Galliford Try has said that the cost of a troublesome road project in Aberdeen, one of the contracts which sunk fellow contractor Carillion, will be more than 150 million pounds higher than it had initially thought. bit.ly/2CmC6Ge

Sky News

* The parent company of Barratt, Dip Dab brands, Tangerine Confectionery, will be auctioned later this year by its owner, the private equity behemoth Blackstone. bit.ly/2CldBcp

* The European Union economy grew at its fastest rate in 10 years in 2017, registering a 2.5 percent increase on the year before. bit.ly/2ClZjIo

The Independent

* British lawmakers have called for urgent action over an erupting pensions misselling scandal after finding that financial advisers exploited thousands of savers for "cynical" personal gain. ind.pn/2CmCm8a

* Major banks including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have been called out by Conservative MP and head of the influential Treasury Select Committee Nicky Morgan for failing to sign the Women in Finance Charter, which pledges to promote gender diversity across their businesses. ind.pn/2ClimTr