Frontrunning: September 3

  • Mediterranean 'Ballistic Targets' Were Part of Israeli Test – Defense Ministry (RIA)

  • Microsoft to Buy Nokia’s Devices Unit for $7.2 Billion (BBG)

  • Long-Term Jobless Left Out of Recovery (WSJ)

  • Swiss banks apologize for assisting tax cheats (Reuters)

  • As Obama pushes to punish Syria, lawmakers fear deep U.S. involvement (Reuters)

  • India Looking to Expand Rupee-Payment System (WSJ)

  • Citigroup Dialing Back Its 'Alternative' Holdings (WSJ)

  • Libya Seeks New Solutions to Oil Crisis (WSJ)

  • Lenovo Chief Yang Shares Bonus With Workers a Second Year (BBG)

  • Japan Salaries Extend Longest Fall Since ’10 in Threat to Abe (BBG)

  • UK Construction PMI Hits Highest Level in August Since September 2007 (Reuters)

  • SNB Says It Will Cap Franc as Long as Conditions Warrant (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Microsoft agreed to buy most of Nokia's cellphone business in a $7.17 billion deal that will see several Nokia executives move to Microsoft.

* Verizon Communications agreed to pay $130 billion for Vodafone Group Plc's stake in their U.S. joint venture, an enormous deal that gives Verizon full control of its wireless operations after more than a decade of negotiations.

* Citigroup Inc has shed more than $6 billion in private-equity and hedge fund assets in the past month, according to people familiar with the transactions, in order to comply with new regulations limiting banks' holdings of "alternative" investments.

* CBS reached a deal with Time Warner Cable, ending a month-long blackout of the network on the cable operator's systems.

* Microsoft's directors aren't necessarily leaning toward a visionary-style leader, said people familiar with the board's thinking. Directors hope to select a CEO in about four to six months, people familiar with board deliberations said.

* Some casino companies are revamping their anti-money-laundering procedures after being put on notice by the Justice Department that they need to comply with federal reporting requirements, casino executives say.

* Limited supplies of new Impalas, Odysseys, Elantras and Sentras mean bargains are harder to come even during clearance sales when dealers typically cut prices to clear stocks of last year's cars.

FT

Vodafone Group Plc is planning to hand back $84 billion in cash and shares to its shareholders after striking a deal on Monday to sell its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless to joint venture partner Verizon Communications for $130 billion in cash and stock.

Europe's largest telecoms tower operator Telediffusion de France (TDF) has received a near 3.8-billion-euro non-binding offer for its French assets from Ben Jenkins, Blackstone Group's former top executive in Asia, according to people familiar with the matter.

A consortium of U.S. private equity group Centerbridge and London-based Anacap are in late-stage talks to buy a division of one of Spain's nationalised lenders, people close to the talks said.

Turkey's Dogan Group, which controls a host of the country's media assets, said on Monday it had submitted a $742 million non-binding bid for a 53 percent stake in Turkish pay-TV operator Digiturk.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said new international capital rules for banks, aimed at forcing bondholders instead of taxpayers to bail out failing institutions, were necessary for the G20 countries to stop the most important banks from being "too big to fail".

London-listed Russian ports operator Global Ports bought domestic rival National Container Company (NCC) in a deal worth almost $1.6 billion.

NYT

* CBS Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc ended their protracted contract dispute Monday evening with CBS winning not only a significant financial increase for its programming, but also its stake in the digital future.

* Verizon Communications Inc agreed on Monday to spend $130 billion to take full control of its enormous wireless unit because it said it believed that the American desire for cellphones and broadband services was not yet nearly sated.

* Bertelsmann, the German media giant, has expanded its recent efforts to return to the music business through a $150 million deal with Primary Wave Music, an American company that handles music publishing rights, artist management and marketing, the companies plan to announce on Tuesday.

* The spreading expectation that President Obama will name Lawrence Summers to lead the Federal Reserve Board appears to be working against the central bank's efforts to stimulate the economy. The jitters even have some analysts betting that a Summers nomination could lead to slower economic growth, less job creation and higher interest rates than if the president named Janet Yellen, the Fed's vice chairwoman.

* The China Minzhong Food Corp Ltd, whose Singapore-traded shares lost half their value last week after it came under attack from a California short-seller, said on Monday that it had received a timely takeover offer from its biggest shareholder, an Indonesian food company.

* Brazil's government summoned the United States ambassador on Monday to respond to new revelations of American surveillance of President Dilma Rousseff and her top aides, complicating relations between the countries ahead of Rousseff's state visit to Washington next month.

* The White House's aggressive push for Congressional approval of an attack on Syria appeared to have won the tentative support of one of President Obama's most hawkish critics, Senator John McCain, who said Monday that he would back a limited strike if the president did more to arm the Syrian rebels and the attack was punishing enough to weaken the Syrian military.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* The Prime Minister's advisers have dismissed a warning by a respected think tank that ultra-low interest rates need to start rising now to avoid damage to the Canadian economy.

* Canada's banking regulator has been gathering detailed mortgage information from financial institutions, in what could be a precursor to changes in the rules for home loans. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has spent months considering a tightening of mortgage rules for lenders, a decision that's being weighed as the housing market begins to pick up after a year-long slump.

Reports in the business section:

* Verizon Communications Inc is ruling out expansion into Canada in the wake of its $130-billion deal to take full control of its wireless arm, eliminating Ottawa's best hope of attracting a new wireless carrier to compete with the country's three incumbents.

* Carol Hansell, one of Canada's more prominent corporate governance advisers, is leaving her long-time Bay Street law firm to found a new legal boutique specializing in boardroom issues.

NATIONAL POST

* Union members flooded the streets of Toronto in a spirited Labour Day celebration emboldened by the birth of the country's biggest union Unifor, formed this weekend from a merger between the Canadian Auto Workers and Communication, Energy and Paperworkers unions.

* The U.S. ambassador to Brazil met with his Brazilian counterpart Monday following new revelations that the National Security Agency's spy program directly targeted the South American nation's leader.

* Negotiations to transfer ownership of the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area from the federal government to a Winnipeg-based think-tank will continue until March 2014 under a new transitional agreement, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced on Monday.

FINANCIAL POST

* Green shoots of recovery seem to have sprouted eight months after Industry Canada bombed the landscape by ruling out majority stakes by foreign national oil companies in the oil sands. FP Infomart data show energy deals worth $3-billion were completed in the first half of the year, compared with the $25-billion worth of deals transacted during the same period last year.

* Bombardier Inc is aiming to have its new CSeries jet in the sky by Sept 17. The Montreal-based manufacturer received its flight permit from Transport Canada Friday that will allow Bombardier to start high-speed taxi tests on the flight test vehicle, one of the final tests for the aircraft ahead of first flight.

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- A total of 16 Chinese real estate developers plan to raise a combined 44.4 billion yuan ($7.26 billion) pending regulatory approval, a development suggesting that Beijing could loosen its controls and allow property developers to raise funds after it rolled out a slew of measures to cool property prices since late 2011.

- China's Ministry of Transport said shipbuilders should accelerate a pilot scheme of transforming fuel-inefficient vessels to run on liquefied natural gas, and subsidies should be provided to projects that meet requirements for energy saving.


SECURITIES TIMES

- The central Chinese city of Zhengzhou has tightened rules governing the purchase of homes while some other cities in eastern China, including Wuhu and Wenzhou, have eased regulations.

- A total of 36 listed solar companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen made a combined net profit of 12.21 million yuan in the second quarter, compared with a heavy loss of 500 million yuan in the same period of last year, thanks to improving domestic demand.

CHINA DAILY

- Beijing may impose a congestion fee for cars in the city centre, a step that could cut air pollution by a quarter by 2017, an official with the city's environmental protection bureau said. Beijing also plans to ban private cars from driving in certain areas at specific times.

- The Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog launched a new website on Monday to enhance openness and transparency amid a deepening anti-corruption drive.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Update

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Apache (APA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho
BCE Inc (BCE) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Cerner (CERN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Leerink
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Constellation Brands (STZ) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Fidelity National (FNF) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Finish Line (FINL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
First American (FAF) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Green Dot (GDOT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Compass Point
Key Energy (KEG) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Nokia (NOK) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank
Owens-Illinois (OI) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
TELUS (TU) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Verizon (VZ) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital

Downgrades

CGI Group (GIB) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Coca-Cola (KO) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA
Corning (GLW) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Dean Foods (DF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Ensco (ESV) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Green Mountain (GMCR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
LeapFrog (LF) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
Palo Alto (PANW) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities
Rockwell Collins (COL) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Williams-Sonoma (WSM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord

Initiations

Altisource Residential (RESI) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
Athlon Energy (ATHL) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
Cvent (CVT) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
DDR Corp. (DDR) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird
Fox Factory (FOXF) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
Fox Factory (FOXF) initiated with an Outperform at William Blair
Fox Factory (FOXF) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Heat Biologics (HTBX) initiated with a Buy at Cantor
Intrexon (XON) initiated with a Buy at Mizuho
Intrexon (XON) initiated with an Equal Weight at Barclays
Intrexon (XON) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Mead Johnson (MJN) initiated with a Market Perform at First Global
QEP Midstream Partners (QEPM) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
QEP Midstream Partners (QEPM) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
QEP Midstream Partners (QEPM) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Stock Building Supply (STCK) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Stock Building Supply (STCK) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Stock Building Supply (STCK) initiated with a Neutral at RW Baird
World Point Terminals (WPT) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
YuMe (YUME) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
YuMe (YUME) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
YuMe (YUME) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray


HOT STOCKS

Verizon (VZ) acquired Vodafone's (VOD) 45% interest in Verizon Wireless for $130B
Microsoft (MSFT) acquired Nokia (NOK) Devices & Services, licence patents, mapping services
CBS (CBS), Time Warner Cable (TWC) reached content carriage agreement
Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF) acquired Spaipa S.A. Industria Brasileira de Bebidas in Brazil
Amdocs (DOX) to acquire Actix for $120M

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES


  • Citigroup (C) shed over $6B in private-equity and hedge-fund assets in the past month, sources say, to comply with new regulations limiting banks' holdings of "alternative" investments, the Wall Street Journal reports

  • Some casino companies (LVS, CZR) are revamping their anti-money-laundering procedures after being put on notice by the Justice Department that they need to comply with federal reporting requirements, casino executives say, the Wall Street Journal reports

  • Verizon Communications (VZ) started syndicating the $61B bridge loan backing its $130B  buyout of Vodafone Group's (VOD) stake in its U.S. wireless business, banking sources say, adding that some of the loan may actually be drawn upon due to its huge size, Reuters reports

  • A Chinese police investigation into drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) discovered that alleged bribery of doctors in China was coordinated by the British company and was not the work of individual employees, state media reported, Reuters reports

  • BCE (BCE), Rogers Communications (RCI) and Telus (TU) are poised to rally after Verizon Communications (VZ) decided to stay out of Canada maintains their lock on the country’s wireless market, Bloomberg reports

  • While Vodafone Group (VOD) is getting $130B to exit the U.S. wireless market, the company’s shareholders don’t get out so easily. As part of the deal, investors in Vodafone will receive $23.9B in cash and $60.2B in Verizon stock. The payout was structured to prevent Vodafone from ending up with a large stake in Verizon, sources say, Bloomberg reports

BARRON’S

Allstate (ALL) shares could rise another 50% in the next few years
Uncertainties could hurt SolarCity (SCTY)
Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) could rise 30%
Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) poised for more gains
Selloff of Tyson Foods (TSN) presents a good buying opportunity
Yahoo (YHOO) fantasy football reports show personalization for ads

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