Frontrunning: May 1

  • Europe focus of global May Day labour protests (BBC)
  • Occupy movement's May Day turnout seen as test for its future (Reuters)
  • BofA to Cut From Elite Ranks, will fire 2000 (WSJ)
  • Man Group Has $1 Billion Outflows; Shares Slide on Cash Concern (Bloomberg)
  • Obama Fails to Stem Middle-Class Slide He Blamed on Bush (Bloomberg)
  • Berlin insists on eurozone austerity (FT)
  • This must be really good for AMZN's 1.5% operating profit margins: Microsoft muscles in on ebooks (FT)
  • Ohio Union Fight Shakes Up Race (WSJ)
  • How to Lose $7.8 Billion and Still Be Top of the Rich List (WSJ)
  • Hollande Seen Bowing to Debt Crisis in Socialists’ Balancing Act (Bloomberg)
  • BP profit falls as Gulf spill costs still weigh (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest


* Spain has joined seven other euro-zone economies in recession, providing further evidence that austerity policies are failing to regenerate confidence in the region's economies.

* Consumers found it easier to get credit cards and auto loans in the first quarter of 2012, but standards for home and business loans remained tight.

* After a series of meetings early this week, Treasury officials will decide whether to start issuing floating-rate debt for the first time ever.

* Australia's central bank Tuesday slashed interest rates by 0.5 percentage point, reacting to mounting evidence the economy has slowed to a crawl in 2012 due in part to a soaring Australian dollar.

* Microsoft is investing at least $605 million in Barnes & Noble's Nook digital-book business, as the software giant pushes deeper into the e-books business and props up a rival to the iPad and Amazon's Kindle.

* Japan's domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses surged 92 percent from a year earlier in April, rising for the eighth straight month as government incentives sparked demand

* Tumblr Inc's president John Maloney resigned over the weekend, just as the fast-growing but profitless blogging platform prepares to sell ads for the first time and tries to justify its sky-high valuation.

* Concerns are growing about departures at mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a situation that some executives argue is making it difficult to manage the companies and their $5 trillion mortgage business.

* The homeownership rate fell in the first quarter to the lowest level in 15 years as more Americans lost homes to foreclosure and shifted to renting amid the weak economic recovery.




Microsoft is challenging Amazon and Apple in the fast-growing ebook market with a $300 million investment in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will give the software group its own stake in a digital bookstore for tablets, smartphones and PCs.


Coca-Cola is in talks with Monster Beverage, the U.S. energy drink maker, about a potential takeover that would rank among its biggest ever acquisitions, according to people familiar with the situation.


Airlines using London's Heathrow airport would pay higher landing fees to help sort out Britain's border chaos under a plan backed by David Cameron.


WPP handed its chief executive a 60 percent increase in total pay for last year in spite of suffering a revolt last June by shareholders over executive rewards at the company.


Guy Hands, the veteran UK private equity investor, has completed his last deal for the foreseeable future, betting on the British care home sector to help recoup some of the money he lost on the doomed EMI music buyout.


The new chairman of Italy's third-largest bank by assets has taken a big cut in salary in a bid to win support for a turnround plan at the 500-year-old Monte dei Paschi di Siena .


Edi Truell's new bid vehicle has approached Royal Bank of Scotland about a possible multi-billion pound purchase of its Direct Line insurance arm



* At the center of the uproar over a Google Inc project that scooped up personal data from potentially millions of unsuspecting people is the company software engineer who wrote the code.

* Microsoft Corp agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Barnes & Noble's Nook division, giving the bookstore chain stronger footing in the hotly contested electronic book market and creating an alliance that could intensify the fight over the future of digital reading.

* Delta Air Lines said on Monday that it had agreed to buy a refinery near Philadelphia from ConocoPhillips to offset the risk of higher jet fuel prices.

* Aviva said on Monday that its chief executive had decided to refuse a pay increase for this year after some shareholders raised concerns about the levels of executive pay at the British insurance giant.

* The energy transportation and distribution company Sunoco agreed Monday to be sold to Energy Transfer Partners , a pipeline operator, for $5.3 billion, in the latest deal in America's fast-expanding oil and natural gas industry.



- Canadians will face shorter seasons at national parks and historic sites according to public service union leaders who say Parks Canada has been particularly hard hit by federal spending cuts.

- An office created to oversee the acquisition of new jet fighters is pressing the Department of National Defence to start afresh on its F-35 Lightning purchase and consider whether Canada needs to buy a different plane.

Reports in the business section:

- The group of 13 financial institutions trying to buy TMX Group Inc cleared a number of critical hurdles to the $3.8 billion takeover, breathing new life into the deal.

- Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, the largest shareholder in the massive Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands operation, said it is facing a widening gap between the price the company receives for its oil relative and the North American benchmark, amid changing dynamics in the refining market.


- Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp said Monday there is no point talking about mediation to end the province's 12-week student strike unless student associations move away from their insistence that university tuition remain frozen at C$2,168 ($2,200)a year.


- As Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin Group Inc struggles through an unprecedented scandal that has rattled its employees and shaken its reputation, its depressed stock market valuation may make it a ripe takeover target.

An internal investigation ordered by the company's board of directors uncovered $56 million worth of missing payments at its construction unit and led to the departure of three executives, including chief executive Pierre Duhaime and executive vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa.


No comments yet! Be the first to add yours.