Frontrunning: July 16


  • India Joins Brazil to China in Efforts to Tighten Liquidity (BBG)

  • Seven dead as police and protesters clash in Egypt (Reuters)

  • U.S. senators fail to cut deal, head for showdown on filibuster (Reuters)

  • Gasoline Tankers Beating Crude for First Time on Record (BBG)

  • Smithfield's China bidders plan Hong Kong IPO after deal (Reuters)

  • Bitcoin ETF plan struggles to find support (FT)

  • Big Home Builders Gobble Up Rivals Starved for Cash (WSJ)

  • Putin wants Snowden to go, but asylum not ruled out (Reuters)

  • Zimmerman's lawyer calls prosecutors 'disgrace' to profession (Reuters)

  • McDonald’s to bring Big Mac to Vietnam (FT)

  • Korean Pilots Avoided Manual Flying, Former Trainers Say (BBG)

  • Transparency Suffers as State Department Fails to Report (BBG)

  • Musk to Release ‘Hyperloop’ Tranport Plans Next Month (BBG)

  • China Targets Big Pharma (WSJ)


Overnight Media Digest


WSJ


* The Senate moved closer to a clash that could stall a range of legislative business, after an unusual, closed-door meeting failed to resolve a dispute over President Barack Obama's executive-branch nominees.


* Lowering health-care costs is tougher than improving the quality of care, according to first-year results from a key pilot program under the federal health law.


* The nation's biggest publicly traded home builders are on a buying spree, snapping up small privately held companies who made it through the housing slump but now are struggling to find financing.


* China unveiled a litany of bribery and misconduct allegations against GlaxoSmithKline, a move that industry experts said could presage a broader crackdown in a lucrative market for pharmaceutical and medical companies.


* Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, launched an investigation into an arrangement in which the University of Michigan sells early peeks at its consumer-sentiment survey to a select group of investors through Thomson Reuters.


* The European Banking Authority said that 3,175 European finance-sector workers earned more than 1 million euros ($1.30 million) each in 2011, the vast majority of them based in the UK.


* First Data Corp, owned by private equity firm KKR & Co , will suspend 401(k) contributions to employees and replace cash bonuses with stock as part of its new chief executive's strategy to return the credit-card processor to profitability.


* Chinese search giant Baidu Inc said it would buy 91 Wireless Websoft Ltd, one of China's mobile app stores, for $1.9 billion from NetDragon Websoft Inc, as it ramps up to compete for business from China's growing population of smartphone-carrying consumers.


* Opposing lawyers said former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive Fabrice Tourre was either a liar who cost investors $1 billion or a "scapegoat" whom securities regulators intend to blame for risks taken by sophisticated buyers and sellers ahead of the financial crisis.


* London-based auctioneer Christie's said it is planning to hold its first sale in India this winter in an expansion that reflects the growing clout of Indian collectors in the global art marketplace.


* Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co boosted exposure to interest-rate risk in June at time when yields jumped, a move that led to the fund's record quarterly loss in the second quarter.


FT


Chinese authorities accused drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline of being the ringleader at the center of a half-a-billion-dollar bribery scandal that involved 700 companies.


A report by Europe's banking regulator reveals that the UK is home to more top-earning bankers than all other EU members put together.


RWE npower has publicly warned that the government's green policies will mean higher energy costs for consumers, saying bills would rise by more than 19 percent by the end of the decade.


Two former brokers who worked for RP Martin were charged by Britain's Serious Fraud Office for allegedly attempting to manipulate the yen-Libor rate.


Commerzbank said it had agreed to sell the UK operations of its property lending arm to Wells Fargo and private equity company Lone Star in a 4 billion pound ($6.04 billion) deal.


Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rejected calls for him to step down over a slush fund scandal that has hit his party and warned of the risks of plunging Spain into "political instability."


NYT


* British safety investigators are examining if a failure in the emergency transmitter, which would send out the plane's location in the event of a crash, caused the plane to catch fire on Friday at the Heathrow Airport in London. Honeywell Aerospace, which supplies the transmitter and the jet's navigation system, said Monday that it had sent technical experts to Heathrow to help the investigators.


* AT&T plans to announce on Tuesday a way for customers to upgrade phones sooner. T-Mobile unveiled a similar option last week.


* A sprawling factory that churns out the profitable Jeep Grand Cherokee has become a symbol of hope that Detroit's downward spiral can be reversed.


* The civil trial of former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre, whose work putting together a now-notorious mortgage investment is the focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission's case, began Monday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.


* Chinese police on Monday accused British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline of channeling bribes to Chinese officials and doctors through travel agencies to boost sales illegally and raise the price of its medicines in the country.


* Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund whose career unraveled in a series of sex scandals, was named a board member of the Russian Regional Development Bank, a banking subsidiary of Russian state oil company Rosneft.


* BMW has bet considerable resources that the cost advantages of operating an electric car will outweigh the one big disadvantage - range. BMW will sell a motorcycle gasoline engine with the new i3 that helps maintain the charge when the car runs low.


* Bill Damaschke, chief creative officer of DreamWorks is increasingly calling the artistic shots as Jeffrey Katzenberg, head of the film studio, focuses on other areas.


* A report on ethical conduct surveyed 250 industry insiders, a quarter of whom said they would engage in insider trading to make $10 million if there were no repercussions.


* Baidu, China's leading search engine company, said it reached a preliminary agreement to acquire 91 Wireless, a major mobile app developer and app store operator in China.


Canada


THE GLOBE AND MAIL


* Prime Minister Stephen Harper is girding for the next election with a huge cabinet shuffle that enlists and promotes younger ministers to fashion a team he can take into an expected 2015 campaign. ()


* The Harper government is facing questions about whether Conservative staffers were compiling enemies lists as part of transition plans for Monday's cabinet shuffle. ()


* Toronto police have one suspect in custody after a triple homicide Monday night. Sergeant Steve Woodhouse confirmed that homicide squad and forensic teams were investigating the murders at a townhouse complex on Old Burnhamthorpe Road in Etobicoke, in Toronto's west end. ()


Reports in the business section:


* Loblaw Companies Ltd announced on Monday an agreement to buy Shoppers Drug Mart Corp for $12.4 billion in cash and stock.


* Telus Corp announced on Monday a new "Clear and Simple" pricing plan based on two-year, rather than three-year, contracts. The plan allows customers to pick a device and data plans, and share it among multiple users with different devices.


* Toronto Sun's Editor-In-Chief James Wallace, a former reporter and columnist with the paper, who was appointed to the job in 2008, told the staff he would be stepping down Monday afternoon. Executives at Sun Media Corp, who own the Toronto tabloid, didn't respond to requests for comment but confirmed his departure.


* Corporate Canada is warmly welcoming new Industry Minister James Moore, saying he will bring a more effective hands-on approach than his predecessor to a job that oversees some of the most contentious files facing the government, including competition in the wireless phone sector.


NATIONAL POST


* Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office asked Conservative political staffers to develop lists of "enemy" lobby groups, as well as troublesome bureaucrats and reporters to avoid as part of preparations for incoming ministers named in Monday's cabinet shuffle, according to leaked emails sent to Postmedia News by an unidentified source.


* A humanitarian relief organization that lost its charity status two years ago over its alleged support for Hamas said Monday it was suspending operations after the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce won court approval to close its accounts.


* Toronto police says it has foiled a multi-million dollar fraud scheme that saw a network of 25 people trick major banks into loaning money to phoney businesses.


* NDP members in Scarborough-Guildwood, Ontario are questioning the nomination process that saw former city councillor Adam Giambrone become the party's candidate in an upcoming provincial byelection.


* One person is in police custody following an apparent triple homicide in Etobicoke, Toronto on Monday night.


* The death of an elderly woman in a fatal apartment fire on Saturday is being investigated as a homicide, according to Toronto police, who are hoping to identify a man seen leaving the building shortly before the blaze was reported.


FINANCIAL POST


* An industry source confirmed that the U.S. pharmaceutical and grocery giant Walgreen Co was leading a group that had come to Canada to consider making an offer for Shoppers Drug Mart Corp.


* The $12.4-billion deal between Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart announced on Monday could be a boon to consumers if Canada's two retail giants start sharing loyalty programs and products.


* Stephen Harper is banking on Jim Flaherty -- his veteran finance minister and the only one to have that job in the Harper government -- to continue cutting the federal deficit and to provide steady, though meagre, growth.


* Christian Paradis is out as head of Industry Canada and will be replaced by James Moore, formerly minister of Canadian Heritage.


China


CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL


- China will announce reforms this year, making the operation of pension funds investment feasible in future, said experts with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.


- Authorities will likely raise the domestic price of refined oil prices on July 19 by the largest amount since the implementation of the new pricing mechanism in March, analysts said.


SECURITIES TIMES


- About 30 percent of the 1,530 listed companies that have reported results for the second quarter so far have showed a decline in net profit, according to the newspaper's calculation.


SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS


- The net profit of the securities industry in the first half of 2013 showed the first increase for three years, rising to 24.47 billion yuan ($3.99 billion), up 8.1 percent from a year earlier, said a report by the Securities Association of China.


21ST CENTURY BUSINESS HERALD


- The Development and Reform Commission of Guangdong Province will launch a large-scale pilot project for carbon trading as early as September, the commission said.


PEOPLE'S DAILY


- Following reforms to China's rail cargo system, average daily rail cargo volume was 8.36 million tons year-to-date through July 15, basically unchanged from the same period a year earlier, ending a period of decline, said an official with China Railway Corporation.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot


ANALYST RESEARCH


Upgrades


Baidu (BIDU) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
General Motors (GM) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Kinder Morgan Energy (KMP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
NYSE Euronext (NYX) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Perfect World (PWRD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Resolute Forest (RFP) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital
Spectrum (SPPI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities


Downgrades


Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Brinker (EAT) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital
DCP Midstream (DPM) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
DaVita (DVA) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
Delphi Automotive (DLPH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Ford (F) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Genesis Energy (GEL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Joe's Jeans (JOEZ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Joe's Jeans (JOEZ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital
Mercer (MERC) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Nautilus (NLS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Stamps.com (STMP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Standard Motor Products (SMP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Tenneco (TEN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan


Initiations


ARIAD (ARIA) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
BJ's Restaurants (BJRI) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Brinker (EAT) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Chipotle (CMG) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Chuy's (CHUY) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Constellium (CSTM) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Darden (DRI) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Del Frisco's (DFRG) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Domino's Pizza (DPZ) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
GoGo (GOGO) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Jack in the Box (JACK) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Masimo (MASI) initiated with an Outperform at Wedbush
McDonald's (MCD) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
MedAssets (MDAS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Panera Bread (PNRA) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Ruby Tuesday (RT) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Sonic (SONC) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Starbucks (SBUX) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Trovagene (TROV) initiated with a Buy at Cantor
Wendy's (WEN) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Yum! Brands (YUM) initiated with a Buy at Stifel


HOT STOCKS


Baidu (BIDU) acquired 100% interest in NetDragon subsidiary 91 Wireless for $1.9B
McDonald's (MCD) announced developmental licensee for Vietnam
EQT Midstream Partners (EQM) to acquire pipeline from EQT Corp. (EQT)
Wilshire Bancorp (WIBC) acquired Saehan Bancorp for $105.5M
Joe's Jeans (JOEZ) to acquire Hudson Clothing for about $97.6M
Actavis' (ACT) generic version of Lamictal ODT (GSK) received FDA approval
Sims Metal (SMS) announced sale of U.S.-based aerospace metals business
NQ Mobile (NQ) acquired remaining 45% stake in subsidiary NationSky for $25.2M
Heidrick & Struggles (HSII) to pursue standalone strategy after CEO resigned


EARNINGS


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Mercantile Bank (MBWM), Del Frisco's (DFRG), Brown & Brown (BRO)


Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Miller Energy (MILL), Cintas (CTAS), Stanley Furniture (STLY), Joe's Jeans (JOEZ)


Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
WhiteWave Foods (WWAV)


NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES



  • The largest U.S. publicly traded home builders (LEN, SPF, TOL, DHI, NVR, RYL) are on a buying spree, snapping up small privately held companies who made it through the housing slump but now are struggling to find financing, the Wall Street Journal reports

  • Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, launched an investigation into an arrangement in which the University of Michigan sells early peeks at its consumer-sentiment survey to a select group of investors through Thomson Reuters (TRI), the Wall Street Journal reports

  • As China plans to restrict vehicle sales in eight more cities to cut traffic congestion and pollution, car manufacturers (GM, F, TM, FIATY, VLKAY) aren’t concerned, since they expect organic growth in the world's biggest auto market to outweigh any restrictions, Reuters reports

  • Stronger earnings by Citigroup (C) show it’s on the path to recovery but its broad presence in emerging markets, many of which are experiencing slowing economic growth, may temper investors' optimism. Emerging markets have fueled two-thirds of Citigroup revenue growth for the last two years, Reuters reports

  • Tankers (STNG) hauling gasoline and diesel are poised to earn more than crude carriers six times their size for the first time on record as the U.S. exports the most refined-oil products in at least two decades, Bloomberg reports

  • Anadarko Petroleum (APC), a partner in the BP (BP) well that blew up in 2010 and triggered the largest U.S. offshore oil spill, must face a lawsuit claiming it misled investors, said U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison in Houston, Bloomberg reports


SYNDICATE


Access Midstream (ACMP) files to sell $300M of common units for limited partners
AmREIT (AMRE) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
Berry Plastics (BERY) files to sell 15M shares of common stock for holders
Boise Cascade (BCC) files to sell 10M shares of common stock for holders
EQT Midstream Partners (EQM) to offer 10M common units for limited partners
Healthcare Realty Trust (HR) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
Insmed (INSM) files to sell $60M in common stock
PennantPark Floating Rate (PFLT) files to ell 4.7M shares of common stock
WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) files to sell 29.9M shares of common stock

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