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Frontrunning: September 22

  • Quid pro quo Clarice: Iran seeks give and take on Islamic State militants, nuclear program (Reuters)
  • Alibaba’s Banks Said to Boost IPO Size to Record $25 Billion (BBG)
  • European Stocks Fall Amid China Concern as Tesco Slides (BBG)
  • Tesco Suspends Executives, Probes Error That Triggers New Profit Warning (WSJ)
  • Kurds say they have halted Islamic State advance on Syrian town (Reuters)
  • Because luck and managing money is genetic: Financial Elite's Offspring Start Their Own Hedge Funds (WSJ)
  • Islamic State Onslaught Spurs Mass Exodus of Syrian Kurds (BBG)
  • Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity From Fossil Fuels (NYT)
  • Merck KGaA to Buy Sigma-Aldrich for to Add Chemicals (BBG)
  • China's Yahoo: SoftBank Falls After Alibaba Listing Removes Proxy Appeal (BBG)
  • Ukraine President Sees Tensions Easing as Truce Tested (BBG)
  • Relief over Scotland gives way to 'Great Stagnation' worries (Reuters)
  • Sarkozy Says ‘Despair’ in France Reason for Return to Politics (BBG)... that and the money
  • Beatles' Ringo Starr Lists Liverpool Estate For US$33 Million (Mail)
  • You Too Can Clone Bill Ackman Without Buying His New Fund (BBG)
  • Gap Between Manhattan’s Rich and Poor Is Greatest in U.S., Census Finds (NYT)

 

Overnight Media Digest

FT

More Phones 4u stores are to be saved as EE and Dixons Carphone Plc agreed to buy parts of the collapsed mobile phone retailer. The deal is expected to be announced on Monday.

SNPL pilots' union said on Saturday that it would push the Air France management even more to meet its demands by extending the week-long protest until this Friday.

U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP is "giving up on Russia", underscoring that even the well-connected western investors are unwilling to conduct business in the country.

French insurance group Axa SA is to partner with IFC, the private investment arm of the World Bank, to encourage developing countries to take up insurance products.

Russia's natural gas exporter Gazprom could lose 18 percent of its revenue due to competition from the U.S. liquefied natural gas exports, according to New York-based think-tank Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia university.

 

NYT

* The market debut of the Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet titan, hit the stock markets like a meteor last week, and thanks to $500 million in investments made in Alibaba in 2011 and 2012, American investment firm Silver Lake now sits on a stake worth more than $5.1 billion, after having reaped $278.8 million by selling a fraction of its holdings.(http://nyti.ms/1tRanG0)

* Industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said late on Sunday it would buy U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group Inc for $7.6 billion, including the assumption of debt. (http://nyti.ms/1wExBi1)

* EMC Corp, the computer storage company now facing pressure from a big activist hedge fund, had held discussions with Hewlett-Packard about a merger, though those talks have since ended, a person briefed on the matter said on Sunday. (http://nyti.ms/1qlyLJC)

* Governor Jerry Brown of California has signed several bills to help build the market for electric cars in his state, two days ahead of speaking alongside world leaders at the United Nations this week for a summit meeting on climate change. The legislation is designed to make electric cars more affordable for low-income residents, and the intent is to have at least one million zero-emission and near-zero-emission vehicles on the state's roads by 2023. (http://nyti.ms/1tRd8qC)

* As magazines and newspapers continue to lose print readers, they are scrambling to secure customers for their digital products, and are finding them increasingly through social media. Pinterest has forged close relationships with magazines, especially those focused on women, who make up 71 percent of Pinterest users. It is a leading driver of traffic to certain magazines, and in some cases - like Self - it serves as a bigger source of reader referrals than either Facebook Inc or Twitter Inc. (http://nyti.ms/1B0J6RD)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** One of Parliament's most high-profile bills appears set to become law without major changes - as one senator says the committee considering Bill C-36, aimed at reining in the sex trade, is "highly unlikely" to call for changes. (bit.ly/1sUt33j)

** After hanging up the letters of the alphabet and making sure they have enough desks in their classrooms, British Columbia's public school teachers say they face the difficult task of returning to work after an emotionally bruising five weeks on the picket line. The experience was disheartening for many teachers, and some say they were exposed to heated rhetoric and public scorn daily. (bit.ly/Z8txf2)

** Prices of some Canadian homes are certainly too high, but there is no immediate catastrophe looming for the country's housing market, the head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp suggested in a speech on Friday. (bit.ly/1obTtvX)

NATIONAL POST

** The spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham called for attacks on Canadians on Sunday in an apparent attempt to deter members of the military alliance that has formed to challenge the terrorist group. (bit.ly/1v7f2lq)

** Candidates for the leadership of Ontario's Progressive Conservative party have until the end of February to sign up new members before voting is held next May. The party has decided all members will be eligible to cast preferential ballots on May 3 or May 7 and the official results will be unveiled on May 9. (http://bit.ly/1ucQZEM)

** Canada's finance minister is urging European countries to consider taking quick action to repair their flagging economies by following stimulus programs similar to the one that pulled this country out of recession. (bit.ly/1wF63sW)

 

China

CHINA DAILY

- Chinese investors complain that they have been largely left out of Alibaba Group Holding's share listing in New York, where the Chinese e-commerce leader surged 38 percent on its first day of trade on Friday, due to government restrictions.

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- Chinese banks and capital markets should take more steps to support the country's services sector, Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People's Bank of China, said over the weekend at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20 countries in Australia.

- China needs to use a combination of measures to help guide interest rates lower to support corporate financing, in particular by small companies, as it tries to boost the slowing economic growth, the newspaper said in a commentary.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

- The eastern Chinese city of Nanjing has become the latest to ease restrictions on housing purchases as local governments rush to take steps to boost the property market, which has been hit by a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

- The China Securities Regulatory Commission has issued guidelines to crack down corruption in securities supervisory organisations, in line with an ongoing official anti-corruption campaign in the country.

SHANGHAI DAILY

- Tropical storm Fund-Wong is set to hit mainland China soon after one man died as the storm pounded Taiwan with torrential downpours and powerful winds on Sunday.

People's Daily

- China will use various means to improve "socialist democratic politics", President Xi Jinping said at a meeting on political consultancy on Sunday.

 

Britain

The Times

STAY IN REFORMED EU TO KEEP ECONOMY ON THE RIGHT ROAD, MANUFACTURERS SAY

An overwhelming majority of manufacturers believe it is vital that Britain remains as part of the European Union and that any new government plays "a leading role in Brussels". (http://thetim.es/1wDUYID)

BUOYANT CITY BRACED FOR LISTING STAMPEDE Flotations worth about 3 billion pounds ($4.90 billion) are expected to be unveiled this week as London's main market heads towards a record-breaking year. Jimmy Choo Ltd <IPO-JIM.L>, the shoe brand, is expected to lead what could be a bumper week for financial advisers as it unveils plans for an estimated 800 million pound listing. (http://thetim.es/1uu3OqK)

The Guardian EE AGREES PHONES 4U SHOP DEAL TO SAVE HUNDREDS OF JOBS The administrators of stricken retailer Phones 4u are expected to confirm the sale of about 60 shops to EE in a move that will save hundreds of jobs. The final terms of the deal are still being thrashed out but an announcement is expected around noon on Monday. (http://bit.ly/1p95YbV)

CONSTRUCTION COMPETITION: LODHA PLANS 3 BLN STG PUSH INTO LONDON PROPERTY

British housebuilders could face aggressive competition in London from Indian developer Lodha Group, which is planning a 3 billion pound push into property in the country's capital city. (http://bit.ly/1sTy0cL)

The Telegraph

JOB CREATION AT RISK UNDER LABOUR'S MINIMUM WAGE PLANS, WARN BUSINESS GROUPS Job creation could take a hammering under the Labour party's plans to increase Britain's minimum wage to 8 pounds an hour by 2020, business groups have warned, as they told party leader Ed Miliband to steer clear of the issue. (http://bit.ly/1DroXbh)

COMET BACKERS IN TALK TO FUND MONARCH A secretive vulture fund that backed electricals retailer Comet before its collapse has emerged as a potential saviour for the troubled airline Monarch. Greybull Capital, based in London's West End, is in talks to take a stake in Monarch and potentially avert a cash crunch. (http://bit.ly/1rfx5GB)

 

Fly On The Wall Pre-Market Buzz

ECONOMIC REPORTS
Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
Chicago Fed national activity index for August at 8:30--consensus 0.33
Existing home sales for August at 10:00--consensus up 1% to 5.2M rate

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Bill Barrett (BBG) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital
CenterPoint Energy (CNP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
Dun & Bradstreet (DNB) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
Enerplus (ERF) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Hologic (HOLX) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Leggett & Platt (LEG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
MasTec (MTZ) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T
PolyOne (POL) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis
Sirona Dental (SIRO) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
Toro Company (TTC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
TreeHouse Foods (THS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust

Downgrades

Actavis (ACT) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Auxilium (AUXL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Finish Line (FINL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
InvenSense (INVN) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Outerwall (OUTR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at B. Riley
PSEG (PEG) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Realogy (RLGY) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Saba Software (SABA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Suburban Propane (SPH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Walgreen (WAG) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Watts Water (WTS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital

Initiations

Curtiss-Wright (CW) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Eros International (EROS) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Global Eagle (ENT) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Inventure Foods (SNAK) initiated with an Outperform at William Blair
Mallinckrodt (MNK) reinstated with an Overweight at Barclays

COMPANY NEWS
Merck KGaA (MKGAY) to acquire Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL) for $17B
Siemens (SIEGY) said it would acquire Dresser-Rand (DRC) for $83 per share, or $7.6B
Dresser Rand (DRC) adopted a shareholder rights plan
Total (TOT) now sees producing 2.8M boepd in 2017 and looks to reduce operating costs by $2B per year by 2017
Tesco (TSCDY) said it overstated 1H profit by an estimated GBP250M
Corinthian Colleges (COCO) received grand jury subpoena on September 3. The subpoena seeks documents and records relating to an internal investigation of a former employee’s misconduct at the Everest Brandon campus and the company’s return of Title IV funds as a result of the investigation

EARNINGS
There are no notable earnings to report.

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

EMC explores merger, holds talks with HP, Dell, WSJ reports
Clorox (CLX) turned down offer to sell or merge with rival, NY Post reports
Blackstone (BX) does not renew contracts to its consultants in Russia, FT reports
Microsoft (MSFT) delays China launch of its Xbox One console, Reuters reports
General Electric (GE) considered deal with Dresser-Rand (DRC), FT reports
Iliad (ILIAF) sets mid-October deadline for T-Mobile (TMUS) bid, Reuters reports
Google (GOOG) selects HTC to make 9-inch Nexus tablet, WSJ reports
Yahoo (YHOO) could have 35% upside, Barron's says
Bank of America (BAC) could climb over 50%, Barron's says
Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) shares could climb over 20%, Barron's says

SYNDICATE
CombiMatrix (CBMX) files $85.9M mixed securities shelf
Gramercy Property Trust (GPT) files to sell $100M of common stock
Limoneira (LMNR) files to sell $75M of common stock
Parkway Properties (PKY) files to sell 10M shares of common stock
Vital Therapies (VTL) files to sell $46M in common stock