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Frontrunning: April 2

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

  • Mixed signals from China’s factories in March (Reuters)
  • EU wants G20 to boost IMF funds after Eurogroup move (Reuters)
  • Euro Leaders Seek Global Help After Firewall Boosted (Bloomberg)
  • Euro-Region Unemployment Surges to Highest in More Than 14 Years (Bloomberg)
  • Big banks prepare to pay back LTRO loans (FT) … don’t hold your breath
  • Coty Inc. Proposes to Acquire Avon Products, Inc. for $23.25 Per Share in Cash (PRnewswire)
  • Spain Record Home Price Drop Seen With Bank Pressure (Bloomberg)
  • Firm dropped by Visa says under 1.5 million card numbers stolen (Reuters)
  • Japan Tankan Stagnates With Yen Seen as Threat (Bloomberg)
  • Fed to buy $44 billion Treasuries in April, sell $43 billion (Reuters)
  • China’s Li: priority to boost consumption, imports (Reuters)
  • Korea’s Credit Rating Outlook Raised to Positive by Moody’s (Bloomberg)
  • Wolfgang Munchau – The G20 should say no to the eurozone (FT)
  • Europe ponders free trade or fair trade (Reuters)
  • Brazil-US relations near turning point (FT)

Overnight Media Digest:


* Law firms are split over a proposal that would reverse long-standing tradition by letting non-lawyers own limited stakes in U.S. law firms, something allowed on a broader scale in the U.K. and Australia.

* If current negotiations fail, Hostess and its unions will face off in a trial over whether the company can scrap its labor contracts-the latest example of how wage levels across many once-vibrant U.S. industries are falling.

* Even as the European banking crisis shows signs of easing, lenders are engaging in a variety of maneuvers to avoid, or at least delay, coming to terms with potential problems lurking on their books.

* Global Payments, the credit-card processor that reported a significant security breach Friday, said that hackers stole account numbers and other key information from up to 1.5 million accounts in North America.

* The first quarter was not a great time to be bringing companies public in most of the world, but bankers are optimistic that the atmosphere is improving — especially in the U.S., where Facebook debuts this quarter.

* Art auction house Sotheby’s is launching its own year-round gallery in Hong Kong to expand sales at a time when China’s appetite for art is booming

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc remains committed to India and is keen to tap opportunities to grow alongside the local economy and its capital markets, Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said.



Some fund managers’ worst fears over pan-European regulation have re-emerged, prompting the hedge fund and private equity industries to hit back at technical standards proposed by Bruseels that they say will damage business and shut out the U.S. and Asia.


Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, plans to list his $11 billion cement business on the London Stock Exchange next year and loosen his personal control over the company.


Some of Europe’s biggest banks are preparing to return a chunk of the cheap three-year funding they recently took from the European Central Bank as early as this year.


AIG, the insurance group bailed out by the U.S. government after disastrous bets on the mortgage market, is exploring a way of ramping up its activity in the sector once again by buying home loans.


Two key independent directors at BSkyB are set to leave as the pay-TV company embarks on an overhaul of its board that could weaken its unanimous backing of James Murdoch as chairman.


The number of dawn raids by Britain’s financial regulator in its pursuit of insider traders and other white-collar criminals has soared since the financial crisis.


Leading consumer electronics companies have switched to a new price-setting policy in the U.S. to try to protect their brands from heavy discounting.


The scale of divergence in global reinsurance premiums has been highlighted by a closely tracked study that shows rates for some Japanese insurers have doubled or more in the past year while other areas are little changed.


The biggest asset manager for American academics’ pensions is in talks with JPMorgan Chase about joining the bank’s infrastructure fund in a bid for Edinburgh airport.


* Pension funds that have increased expensive investments in private equity, real estate and hedge funds have been outperformed by stocks and bonds in the last five years.

* A group representing MF Global customers is trying to prove that the firm delayed returning its money, using checks rather than wire transfers, in an attempt to stay afloat.

* Apple Inc’s latest iPhones are available only in black or white, but some owners are replacing the front and back panels with colorful and unauthorized alternatives.

* Regulators are poised to crack down on eight financial institutions that are not part of a recent settlement over foreclosure practices involving inadequate documents.

* With smartphones changing the culture in so many ways, more and more young people are using their mobile devices to keep track of their health, and the trend is not going unnoticed by advertisers.

* Visa Inc removed Global Payments Inc, an Atlanta company that helps the payment giant process transactions for merchants, from its list of “compliant service providers.”

* Asian stock markets mostly rose Monday after a Chinese survey showed that manufacturers in the world’s No. 2 economy boosted production for a fourth straight month.



- The Harper government’s austerity budget will start cutting a swath through the federal government this week as bureaucrats begin receiving letters informing them their position is being eliminated.

- As the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose Party battle on the right in Alberta’s election, three other parties are jockeying for position in the centre and on the left – the Liberals, New Democrats and the upstart Alberta Party.

Reports in the business section:

- Canadian retail suppliers are paying big bucks to learn about the tastes and tactics of the U.S. discounter Target Corp . Target’s arrival next year will be the biggest change to hit the Canadian retailing scene since Wal-Mart Stores Inc set up shop in the country in 1994.

- Most years, it’s an eye-glazing exercise. But calculating “reserves” – how much oil or gas an energy company has buried on its lands – has taken on a sudden new importance for an industry in the throes of a remarkable pricing spiral.


- About 40 people descended on Parliament Hill at noon Sunday to demand the governing Conservatives launch a special inquiry into complaints about automated calls during the last election that allegedly directed people to the wrong polling stations.

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits the White House Monday to forge greater political and economic ties with his counterparts from the United States and Mexico, but an equally big priority in the coming weeks will be to boost trade relations with nations throughout Latin America.

Reports in the business section:

- Despite the opportunity to lock in low interest rates today, it could actually be beneficial for the average Canadian for rates to rise. Higher mortgage rates could help by making higher debt levels more punitive and less tempting.

- Canadian governments, strained by debt incurred through the financial crisis, are resorting to deficit reduction to forestall fiscal calamity. This week saw both federal and Ontario budgets tabled, both of which aim to slow debt accumulation.

European Economic Update:

  • Italy PMI Manufacturing 47.9 – higher than expected. Consensus 47.7. Previous 47.8 .
  • France PMI Manufacturing 46.7 – lower than expected. Consensus 47.6. Previous 47.6.
  • German PMI Manufacturing 48.4 – higher than expected. Consensus 48.1. Previous 48.1.
  • Belgium Unemployment Rate (s.a) 7.20%. Previous 7.40%.
  • Italy Unemployment Rate (s.a) 8.80% – higher than expected. Consensus 8.70%. Previous 8.10%.
  • Euro-Zone Unemployment Rate 10.80% – in line with expectations. Consensus 10.80%. Previous 10.70%.
  • Italy Budget Balance (YTD) -1155M. Previous -846M.

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