ZeroHedge – Frontrunning – 1 July 2014

  • Ceasefire over, Ukraine forces attack rebel positions (Reuters)
  • No Good Iraq Options for Obama as Russia, Iran Jump In (BBG)
  • Japan’s Cabinet Agrees to Allow Military to Help Defend Allies (BBG)
  • Obama says to reform immigration on his own, bypassing Congress (Reuters)
  • South Stream Pipeline Project in Bulgaria Is Delayed (NYT)
  • Foreign Banks Still in the Dark About Missing Metals in China (WSJ)
  • Quelle indignity: several bankers at French bank BNP Paribas will face demotions and cuts to their pay and bonuses (FT)
  • Symantec Warns of Hacker Threat Against Energy Companies (BBG)
  • Shrinking Office Spaces Slow Recovery (WSJ)
  • Rand Paul Slams ‘Fat Cats’ With Hedge Fund in Top Donors (BBG)
  • After BNP, U.S. targets range of firms in crackdown on illicit money flows (Reuters)
  • Singer Says Argentina Won’t Negotiate as Default Looms (BBG)
  • Singapore Home Prices Post Longest Losing Streak in 5 Years (BBG)
  • Threat of Costly West Coast Port Shutdown Spurs Pay Talks (BBG)
  • Israel bombs Gaza sites hours after bodies of Israeli teens found (Reuters)
  • Richest Ukrainian Walks $13 Billion Tightrope (BBG)
  • Fear, suspicion undermine West Africa’s battle against Ebola (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest


* President Barack Obama said Monday he would begin using his authority to bolster border security and consider taking other steps on his own to change the nation’s immigration policy, after angrily declaring that Republicans had finally killed off any chances for immigration legislation this year. (

* BNP Paribas SA agreed to pay nearly $9 billion and plead guilty to violating U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Iran and other countries, an unprecedented settlement that includes a year-long ban on the French bank’s ability to transact in U.S. dollars. (

* The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 split said private companies can on religious grounds opt out of a federal health-care law requirement that companies provide contraception coverage for employees. (

* General Motors’ compensation plan for victims of 2.6 million defective small cars would offer payments for any accidents in which the air bags in the cars failed to deploy, and may offer increased payouts to victims who accepted out-of-court settlements before the auto maker recalled the vehicles. GM also said it will recall an additional 8.45 million vehicles in North America from the 1997 to 2014 model years, most due to an unintended ignition key rotation. (

* Hewlett-Packard said it reached a settlement in three shareholder lawsuits related to its 2011 acquisition of software firm Autonomy, in another sign the personal-computer maker is seeking to put the costly deal behind it. (

* To fix Nestlé’s sagging U.S. business, Paul Grimwood has been slashing the number of product variations, and deciding which brands need attention, like Lean Cuisine. (

* Argentina will send a delegation to meet with a court-appointed lawyer on July 7 as it tries to resolve a dispute with a small group of creditors that could see the South American country default for a second time in 13 years. (

* Inc has recruited an executive from Autodesk Inc as its new chief financial officer. The San Francisco-based company, which offers online software to automate sales and other functions, said Mark Hawkins will start as finance chief on Aug. 1. He has served for five years as CFO of Autodesk, whose software is used for tasks that include designing buildings, cars and other consumer products. (

* Amherst Securities Group LP and Pierpont Securities LLC are set to merge in a deal aimed at creating a bigger player in underwriting and trading mortgage-related securities, businesses that some larger banks have retreated from in recent years. The companies plan to announce the tie-up on Tuesday morning, they said, declining to disclose terms. (



Several bankers at French bank BNP Paribas will face demotions and cuts to their pay and bonuses, according to sources, following the payment of a record $8.9 billion fine to U.S. federal and state authorities.

China’s investment firm Citic Group, which is in the midst of a broad restructuring, is considering giving up its U.S. bank branches, according to several of its senior executives.

Europe’s biggest defence contractor BAE Systems said it would reorganise its interests in Saudi Arabia to reap the benefits of a government programme meant to help the world’s largest oil producer expand its industrial base in the country.

General Motors recalled a further 8.23 million cars on Monday over faulty ignition switches and said three people might have died because of the problems, deepening the automaker’ s ongoing safety crisis.

The U.S. Supreme Court has shielded HSBC, UniCredit and UBS from legal claims in excess of $10 billion relating to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Pension consultants in the UK should be regulated in order to rein in the power of a group of investment advisory firms, Britain’s Law Commission said in a report on Monday



* General Motors on Monday announced the recall of 8.4 million more vehicles worldwide – most of them for an ignition defect similar to the flaw that the company failed to disclose in other models for more than a decade. The announcement came hours after Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert hired by GM, unveiled a plan to pay victims of accidents involving GM vehicles, promising more than $1 million for families of those who died. (

* BNP Paribas SA on Monday admitted to doing billions of dollars in deals with Iran and other countries blacklisted by the United States and agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion penalty to state and federal authorities. (

* Russian hackers have been systematically targeting hundreds of Western oil and gas companies, as well as energy investment firms, according to private cyber security researchers. The motive behind the attacks appears to be industrial espionage – a natural conclusion given the importance of Russia’s oil and gas industry, the researchers said. (

* More than a million people risk losing their federally insured pensions in just a few years despite recent stock market gains and a strengthening economy, a new government study said on Monday. The people at risk have earned pensions in multi-employer plans, in which many companies band together with a union to provide benefits under collective bargaining. (

* Regulatory filings posted on Monday night show that Dov Charney, the recently ousted founder of American Apparel , bought 27 million shares of American Apparel stock last week, which gives him a total stake of about 43 percent. If he can persuade an additional 7 percent or so of shareholders to support him, he might be able to get his company back. (

* The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a case accusing Google of wire-tapping to proceed, undermining the search company’s efforts to put a troublesome episode to rest even as it plans to become more deeply embedded in consumers’ lives. Google maintains it was not wire-tapping as part of Street View. Its failure to persuade the Supreme Court to hear its appeal means the case will go forward in the lower court. (

* Cosmetics maker L’Oréal USA, a subsidiary of L’Oréal SA, has agreed to settle complaints in the United States that advertisements for its skin care products Lancôme Génifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code were deceptive, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday. (

* A California prosecutor on Monday charged General Motors with unfair business practices and deceptive marketing for concealing ignition-related defects and others in order to boost its bottom line. The lawsuit, filed by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas of Orange County, accuses G.M. of “half-truths and omissions.” (




** Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party emerged victorious in Monday’s by-election races, stealing a seat from the New Democratic Party and boosting its vote share across the board. Liberal candidate Adam Vaughan, a former city councillor and broadcaster, nabbed the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina from the NDP, while Liberal Arnold Chan boosted the party’s vote in holding the long-time stronghold of Scarborough-Agincourt, another Toronto riding. (

** Sixty days after Rob Ford took a leave from city hall under the pall of fresh drug allegations, Toronto’s controversial leader marched back into the spotlight, his voice catching as he acknowledged the damage his alcohol and drug use has done and pledging an “unwavering” commitment to “clean living” and a change in the company he keeps. (

Reports in the business section:

** Alberta has turned the corner following the global economic meltdown of 2008, according to budget numbers released on Monday. According to the final report, the province brought in more than $45 billion in revenue in the fiscal year that ended March 31. That’s 17 percent more than expected, credited mainly to higher than forecast energy and tax revenues. (


** Journalists and columnists at the Globe and Mail refused to attach their names to their work on Monday, as negotiations between the union and the paper’s management neared a breaking point. With the Globe’s union, Unifor’s Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild, backed with a 97 percent strike mandate, the byline strike came just hours before the collective agreement for editorial, advertising and circulation staff reached its Tuesday expiry date. (

** Prosecutors are seeking 15 years in prison for a Canadian businessman Cy Tokmakjian, who was arrested in a high-profile crackdown on corruption, Cuban authorities said on Monday. (


** It could be just the impact of all those home-renovation television programs, but Canadians are fixing up their properties like never before, according to a new report. Renovation spending has been rising for 15 straight years and reached a record $63.4 billion in 2013, which accounted for 3.7 percent of total Canadian gross domestic product, Toronto-based real estate consultants Altus Group said. (

** Growth in the Canadian economy stalled in April, edging up just 0.1 percent – the same pace as the previous month – with wholesale and retail activity contributing only meager growth, while mining and construction output weakened. Economists had forecast gross domestic product – the largest measure of economic health – to advance by 0.2 percent in April. (



– The Chinese economy will continue to face downward pressure in the second half of 2014, according to industry sources. The front-page article also said liquidity is expected to remain loose and the possibility that the central bank would cut interest rates cannot be ruled out if third- and fourth- quarter economic data remain weak.

– China plans to speed up a batch of major energy projects and may start a nuclear power project soon, said Wu Xinxiong, director of National Energy Administration.


– A total of 633.5 billion yuan ($102.12 billion) worth of real-estate trust will mature in 2014, Haitong Securities calculated.


– Short-term measures by Chinese local governments to boost the housing market will not be beneficial for the local economy, and officials should focus on supporting the real economy, the newspaper said in an editorial.


– The expulsion of former Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xu Caihou, reflects the policy of the Chinese Communist Party and shows its determination to fight corruption.



The Telegraph


SSP Group Ltd, the owner of Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza, is expected to become the latest company to float in London at the lower end of expectations.

The Guardian


“It could be one of the biggest and best turnarounds in corporate history,” says Steve Murrells, head of Co-operative Group’s retail arm, as he contemplates the companies rising phoenix-like from the ashes of controversy and financial mismanagement.

The Times


The Franco-Japanese consortium planning to build the next generation of nuclear power stations at Sellafield has claimed that three new reactors at the Cumbrian site will be ready to be switched on by 2024.

The Independent


Mortgage approvals fell to an 11-month low in May, confirming that the lending market was already losing some steam before the Bank of England announced new curbs last week.

Sky News


Fever-Tree, the maker of premium drinks mixers, is preparing to toast a change of ownership that could involve a London Stock Exchange flotation.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot


Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
Markit’s final manufacturing PMI for June at 9:45–consensus 57.5
ISM manufacturing index for June at 10:00–consensus 55.6
Construction spending for May at 10:00–consensus up 0.5%



Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Leerink
Endurance Specialty (ENH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
H&E Equipment (HEES) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc
iGATE (IGTE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Nabors Industries (NBR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
comScore (SCOR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
iGATE (IGTE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies


21st Century Fox (FOXA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Franklin Resources (BEN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein
Heritage-Crystal Clean (HCCI) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
MannKind (MNKD) downgraded to Hold from Buy at MLV & Co.
Midstates Petroleum (MPO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland
Sunstone Hotel (SHO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Symantec (SYMC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
Time Warner (TWX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Triumph Group (TGI) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Xerox (XRX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup


ARC Group (ARCW) initiated with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Arista Networks (ANET) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill
Arista Networks (ANET) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Arista Networks (ANET) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Arista Networks (ANET) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Arista Networks (ANET) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Arista Networks (ANET) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
BPZ Resources (BPZ) initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital
Coty (COTY) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Expedia (EXPE) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer
Intercept (ICPT) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital (JD) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies (JD) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust (JD) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill (JD) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray (JD) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Kona Grill (KONA) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James
NorthStar Asset Management (NSAM) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Orbitz (OWW) initiated with a Perform at Oppenheimer
Priceline (PCLN) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer
Synageva (GEVA) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
TechTarget (TTGT) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies


Actavis (ACT) receives FTC clearance for proposed acquisition of Forest Labs (FRX)
Autodesk (ADSK) CFO Hawkins resigns to become CFO of (CRM)
BNP (BNPQY) pleads guilty to sanctions and faces $8.9B fine
Cooper Companies (COO) to acquire Saulfon Pharmaceuticals for $1.2B
GE (GE) water business to acquire Monsal
Gentiva (GTIV) board rejects unsolicited offer from Kindred (KND)
HP (HPQ) agrees to settle shareholder litigation over Autonomy deal
Hormel Foods (HRL) to acquire maker of Muscle Milk sports nutrition products for $450M
Pinnacle Foods (PF) terminates merger agreement with Hillshire Brands
Sport Chalet (SPCHA) to be acquired by Vestis Retail for $1.20 per share
Transcept Pharmaceuticals (TSPT), Paratek Pharmaceuticals sign merger agreement
Twitter (TWTR) confirms acquisition of TapCommerce


Bulgaria blocking major natural gas pipeline, NY Times says
Microsoft’s (MSFT) new smartband to be released in October, says
Morgan Stanley (MS) mulls financial adviser pay reductions, Reuters says
Nestle (NSRGY) U.S. CEO cutting products to simplify operations, WSJ reports
Novartis (NVS) faces charges in Japan over data manipulation, Financial Times says
Wells Fargo (WFC) looks pricey, Barron’s says


Investar Holding (ISTR) 2.875M share IPO priced at $14.00
Minerva (NERV) 5.455M share IPO priced at $6.00
TECO Energy (TE) files to sell 15.5M shares of common stock
US Antimony (UAMY) 1.45M share Secondary priced at $1.40
Unilife (UNIS) files to sell 600,000 shares for holders
Unity Bancorp Inc (UNTY) commences $6.2M rights offering
Western Gas Equity (WGP) 5M share Spot Secondary offered at $60.19, last sale $62.70 /link to original article

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