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Frontrunning: June 15

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

  • Markets Are Sliding Again (BBG)
  • Trump’s Legal Peril Deepens as Mueller Expands Scope of Probe (BBG)
  • Trump blasts report on possible obstruction of justice probe (Reuters)
  • Putin says ex-FBI head Comey gave no proof Russia meddled in U.S. election (Reuters)
  • The Fed Is Flying Blind (BBG)
  • Fed Lays Out Plan to Unwind Years of Asset Purchases (WSJ)
  • In the Search for Yield, Investors Play the Risky Role of Lender (WSJ)
  • London tower block fire toll rises to 17, more feared dead (Reuters)
  • Planning documents for tower in fatal fire omitted safety barriers (Reuters)
  • Tim Cook on Trump, the HomePod, and the Legacy of Steve Jobs (BBG)
  • Uber Gaffe Is Latest Drama in Storied Career of Billionaire Bonderman (WSJ)
  • Saudi Billionaire, Daimler Invest in Mideast Uber Rival Careem (WSJ)
  • Bank of England comes closest to voting for rate hike since 2007 (Reuters)
  • Immigration Not Enough to Halt Exodus From Biggest U.S. Cities (BBG)
  • Russia’s Putin says bridge to Crimea is on schedule (Reuters)
  • Goldman-backed startup Circle launches no-fee foreign payments service (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest


- A highflying Chinese business tycoon, Wu Xiaohui, whose company owns New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel was detained in China late last week by authorities who are investigating corruption and trying to curb risky financial behavior.

- A bipartisan group of state attorneys general is jointly investigating the marketing of prescription painkillers and the causes of widespread opioid addiction, according to people familiar with the matter, in another sign of growing pressure on the pharmaceutical industry.

- Steve Bolze, once a top candidate to be the next chief executive of General Electric Co, is retiring from the company after not getting the top job.

- Mattel Inc is cutting its quarterly dividend by more than half, as new Chief Executive Margo Georgiadis looks to free up money to help the toy maker modernize its brands for the digital world and expand in emerging markets.

- Avon Products Inc Chief Executive Sheri McCoy is expected to step down, according to people familiar with the matter, after her effort to turn around the beleaguered cosmetics seller faltered.

- Amid a major retrenchment by American companies such as Gap Inc, J. Crew Group Inc and Nordstrom Inc, one player continues to defy gravity: Zara. And the rapid-fire design-and-production system that has allowed the Spanish giant to outpace rivals is now giving it a powerful platform to succeed online, an outlet that has confounded its lumbering rivals.

- China approved imports of two new varieties of genetically modified crops, clearing the way for U.S. agricultural companies to market new biotech seeds to farmers.

- General Motors Co will extend the typical summer shutdown at certain U.S. factories to deal with slumping sales and bloated inventory, a sign the industry’s hot streak is grinding to a halt.


Chancellor Philip Hammond will urge Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday to put the economy at the heart of exit negotiations, warning her of the dangers of a “hard” Brexit in a speech at Mansion House.

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis will open divorce talks in Brussels next week with an offer to allow the three million European Union citizens living in Britain the same rights that they have now.

Tim Farron, the leader of Britain’s pro-European Union Liberal Democrat Party, resigned on Wednesday after a lacklustre election campaign in which the party lost votes and failed to break through with its promise of second Brexit referendum.

The Financial Reporting Council said on Thursday that accountancy firms KPMG, Deloitte, and Grant Thornton are lagging behind their professional services peers in terms of the quality of their audits.

Telegraph Media Group said it is moving its longstanding chief executive Murdoch MacLennan to the role of deputy chairman and replacing him with Nick Hugh, the company’s chief operating officer and former Yahoo Inc executive.


- Even as Wells Fargo & Co was reeling from a major scandal in its consumer bank last year, officials in the company’s mortgage business were putting through unauthorized changes to home loans held by customers in bankruptcy, a new class action and other lawsuits contend.

- Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s Fox News dropped its “fair and balanced” slogan on Wednesday. The slogan was dropped in part because of its close association with Roger Ailes, a network founder, former chairman and the originator of the phrase, who was fired in August in a sexual harassment scandal.

- Robert Mueller III, the special counsel examining Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, has requested interviews with three high-ranking current or former intelligence officials, the latest indication that he will investigate whether President Trump obstructed justice, a person briefed on the investigation said on Wednesday.



** U.S. President Donald Trump has named Kelly Knight Craft, a top donor and fundraiser, as ambassador to Canada. Craft runs a business-consulting firm, but she is best known in Republican circles as a prodigious fundraiser and generous contributor.

** Home Capital Group Inc has reached agreements to settle an enforcement case with Ontario’s securities regulator as well as a class action lawsuit launched over allegations of misleading disclosure.

** TransCanada Corp is moving ahead with a C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) expansion to its pipeline system in Alberta and British Columbia.


** Canadian National Railway Co is investing in technological innovations to improve safety and operations as it grapples with rapidly disruptive changes in the industry. CN chief executive Luc Jobin told an investor conference gathered in Montreal on Wednesday that the company must take advantage of technological innovations.

** Shaw Communications Inc President Jay Mehr revealed company’s big ambitions in the wireless market at the TD Securities telecom and media forum in Toronto on Wednesday, stating plans to take the playbook from Quebecor Inc’s regional carrier Videotron Inc.


The Times

* Most skilled workers from the EU who are employed by large companies are likely to leave the UK before Brexit, according to a survey by Baker McKenzie.

* The chief executive of News Corporation accused Google and Amazon of doctoring search results for commercial gain and said their deliberate manipulation of search algorithms amounted to a “charlatan’s charter”.

The Guardian

* Netflix and Amazon are set to overtake the cinema multiplex after a report by PwC predicted that revenues from streaming film and TV shows in the UK will exceed box office takings by 2020.

* The Duke of Westminster’s property group, Grosvenor Group, is to build 1,500 rental homes in south-east London, one of the capital’s biggest “build to rent” developments.

The Telegraph

* Accountancy firms have been warned of a gap in quality between their audits of big businesses and those of smaller firms, which are increasingly flawed, according to the Financial Reporting Council.

* Nick Hugh has been named as the new chief executive officer of Telegraph Media Group, taking over from Murdoch MacLennan who has run the publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph since 2004.

Sky News

* Expectations have grown among a number of current and former Barclays executives that the SFO plans to charge both the bank and several individuals in connection with the inquiry, which has focused on arrangements struck with a Qatari sovereign wealth fund in 2008, according to Sky News.

* Pay growth has slowed sharply to a weaker-than-expected 1.7 percent, tightening the squeeze on households as inflation turns higher, official figures show.

The Independent

* The UK Government handed Shell a 112 million pound ($142.83 million) tax rebate last year, despite the oil giant making billions of pounds in profits. Most of the payment from HM Revenue and Customs is a contribution towards Shell’s costs for decommissioning its North Sea oil and gas fields.

* The EU has launched antitrust investigations into Nike , Universal Studios and Sanrio Co Ltd, owner of the Hello Kitty brand, over their licensing and distribution practices within the single market.

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