Fred’s Inc. added two more board directors as the company awaits word from the Federal Trade Commission on the fate of Rite Aid’s sale to Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Fred's Inc. (FRED) posted decent fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results on the back of strategic initiatives, strong holiday season sales and improving Pharmacy business.
Федеральная торговая комиссия США (Federal Trade Commission, FTC) разослала 90 знаменитостям письма о том, что им необходимо ставить отметки о рекламе к оплаченным третьими лицами материалам в соцсетях. В ведомстве заметили, что такие сообщения отправляются впервые, поэтому они носят рекомендательный характер.
Отправка американских солдат на европейский военный театр началась только в июне 1917 года, и в октябре 1917 года только одна американская дивизия заняла позиции на фронте. К этому времени в армию США было призвано около 1 млн. человек. Летом 1918 года конгресс США несколько раз расширял контингент военнообязанных. Согласно закону от 31 августа 1918 года, регистрации подлежали все мужчины в возрасте от 18 до 45 лет. Число взятых на учёт дошло до 24 млн. человек, что составляло до 44% мужского населения страны.
Two months ago, Bloomberg's Patrick Clark penned an article that promptly went viral as it touched on a rather unorthodox topic: a pet leasing, or rather rental, company aimed at subprime borrowers who could not afford to buy their pet outright. The company in question is Wags Lending, a/k/a Bristlecone, was founded by Dusty Wunderlich in 2003. A brief background from the original BBG piece: Wunderlich dreamed up Wags Lending in 2013, then used the pet-leasing business to launch an improbable collection of financing vehicles—writing leases against furniture, wedding dresses, hearing aids, and custom auto rims. In a little more than three years, his company has originated 66,000 leases for just over $100 million. He once worked out a plan to lease cattle to dairy farmers, though plummeting commodity prices soured the economics. (He got far enough to decide that if a cow gave birth during the terms of the lease, the lessee got to keep the calf.) In another idea that never reached the market, he explored lease financing for funerals. “We like niches where we’re dealing with emotional borrowers,” Wunderlich said. But mostly pest: "Because dogs can be expensive, and not everyone who wants a fancy one can afford to pay cash or use a credit card. Because others, like Sabins, are more eager to bring home their new furry friend than to read the fine print of their contract. But mostly because—thanks to a 36-year-old Nevadan who ditched a career in private equity to help subprime borrowers finance purebred pets—they can." Dusty Wunderlich The 36-year-old in question had one simple idea: in the future nobody will own anything, everything will be leased: “When I take a good hard look at what the world will be like in 10 years, I think most things are going to be on lease,” said Dusty Wunderlich, chief executive officer of Bristlecone Holdings LLC, the Reno, Nevada-based company that operates Wags Lending. To be sure, Wunderlich certainly practiced what he preached: Wunderlich rents his apartment. He leases his car. He owns his horse. He’s drawn to the rugged individualism expressed in the novels of Ayn Rand and the blog Cowboy Ethics, but he hastens to argue that while he profits off high-cost lending, he’s also improving the lives of subprime borrowers. He is, he writes in a mission statement on his personal website, “living in a Postmodern culture while maintaining my old American West roots and Christian values.” Taking his idea further, he decided to target one particular niche of subprime clients: pet buyers who have a less than pristine credit rating. Which is why the article quickly became known as the "subprime pet leasing" piece. On the surface, Wunderlich had a great, and lucrative, idea even if the loss provisions were sure to be quite high. There was just one problem, as the company's financially troubled clients soon found out: what was a $2,400 dog purchase would end up costing $5,800 when accounting for total interest outlays. There was another problem: the clients would quickly realize that hidden in the small print was the interest: a whopping 70% APR, double more than double the average credit card. The Sabins had bought their new dog, Tucker, with financing offered at the pet store through a company called Wags Lending, which assigned the contract to an Oceanside, California-based firm that collects on consumer debt. But when Dawn tracked down a customer service rep at that firm, Monterey Financial Services Inc., she learned she didn’t own the dog after all. “I asked them: ‘How in the heck can I owe $5,800 when I bought the dog for $2,400?’ They told me, ‘You’re not financing the dog, you’re leasing.’ ‘You mean to tell me I’m renting a dog?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah.’ ” Without quite realizing it, the Sabins had agreed to make 34 monthly lease payments of $165.06, after which they had the right to buy the dog for about two months’ rent. Miss a payment, and the lender could take back the dog. If Tucker ran away or chased the proverbial fire truck all the way to doggy heaven, the Sabins would be on the hook for an early repayment charge. If they saw the lease through to the end, they would have paid the equivalent of more than 70 percent in annualized interest—nearly twice what most credit card lenders charge. It wasn't just the Sabins: “There is just no way I should pay over $5000 for a $2000 puppy,” wrote one customer in an April 2014 complaint collected by the Federal Trade Commission after financing a Yorkshire terrier from a Kennesaw, Georgia, pet store with a lease from Wags Lending. (That complaint and the others that follow were directed at Monterey Financial by customers who had financed high-end pets through Wags Lending.) “The rep … told me the payments I had been making are rental [fees],” wrote another surprised lessee. “For a dog?? They are renting animals?? No way! Yes it's true!” Which goes back to square one: "The complaints raise a valid question: Why would anyone walk into a pet store to buy an animal and decide, instead, to lease?" Well, because some people can be fooled all the time. There was another reason: Wunderlich considered various credit models before he landed on the closed-end lease, which gave him free rein from usury laws in all 50 states. It seemed well-suited to an era when the housing crisis was threatening to sour Americans permanently on mortgages, credit card loans, even the concept of ownership. Despite the growing customer complaints, the idea seemed so good, the money flowed in. In 2014, [Wunderlich] landed a meeting with SenaHill Partners LP, a New York-based merchant bank firm that invests in financial technology startups. It didn’t take long for Justin Brownhill, a partner at SenaHill, to sense an opportunity in the company’s data-driven lending model and point-of-sale marketing strategy. Five minutes into the meeting, Brownhill excused himself. “I walked out and grabbed my three other partners and said, ‘I think we have something special here,’ ” Brownhill said. Wunderlich parlayed that meeting into a seed round of $1.1 million. SenaHill also connected him with a firm that furnished Bristlecone with a $75 million line of credit, lowering Bristlecone's borrowing costs. For a while everything was going great. As Clark concluded his March 2017 piece, "For now, Wunderlich is still focused on launching new credit products. He recently finalized a deal with a Utah-based bank that helps online lenders use the state's lender-friendly laws to make loans elsewhere. That will let Bristlecone expand its product offerings to include term loans, allowing it to extend more enticing rates to borrowers with better credit profiles and to finance services like veterinary care, elective surgery, even funerals—not just tangible assets like dairy cows and Labradoodles." “We’ve gone a long way to making sure that what we’re doing is within the confines of the law,” Wunderlich said. “Is there a regulator one day that’s going to just absolutely not like what we do and pick a fight with us? Probably. And we’ll have to hash it out.” Which brings us to today, when just 7 weeks after these words were put to html, something went terminally wrong, and it didn't even involve a regulator cracking down on the predatory pet renter. It was a good old fashioned bankrutpcy, because overnight, Wags - the up and coming subprime pet renter - admitted that its business model was terminally flawed when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. And yet, even in bankruptcy, the company remained shady because unlike other corporations which file Chapter due to an excessive debt burden, listed a modest $50,000-100,000 in liabilities owed to less than 50 creditors... ... even as it disclosed assets up to 5 times as high. Why not just sell assets to cover liabilities and continue operating instead of impairing vendors such as Affordable Pups, All Pets Club, American Dog Club, Bark Avenue Puppies and so on? Perhaps we will get some answers when the affidavit in support of the bankruptcy is filed, but somehow we doubt it. In any case, keep an eye on the subprime entrepreneur Dusty Wunderlich: we are confident that after the "subprime pet rental" venture implosion, he will reappear soon with some new idea, one whose APR this time may be in the triple digits.
Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) is set to release first-quarter 2017 results ahead of the bell on Apr 20.
Trump's inaugural committee brought in a record $106.7 million, double the amount of Obama's first ceremony.
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced the rollout of an Economic Liberty Task Force. This major policy initiative’s first focus is on occupational licensing. In what follows, Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen explains why the FTC is focusing on occupational licensing reform.
Innovation has always required a constant iteration of trial and error as companies use data about current performance to improve future performance. So it should come as no surprise that companies in the information age want to use ever more data to hone their products. But there is an emerging debate over the competitive implications of big data. Some observers argue that companies amassing too much data might inhibit competition, so antitrust regulators should preemptively take action to cut “big data” down to “medium data.” Others say there is nothing new here, and existing competition law is more than capable of dealing with any problems. Among those advocating for an expansion of antitrust reviews around data are law professor Maurice Stucke and antitrust attorney Allen Grunes, who voice three interrelated concerns in Big Data and Competition Policy. First, they argue that allowing companies to control large amounts of data raises barriers to entry for potential rivals that lack enough data to develop competitive products. By this logic, deals like Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp should be fought, because allowing a dominant company to acquire even more data will increase its market power. Second, proponents of this view assert that existing antitrust law is inadequate for the competitive threats stemming from large collections of data. One reason why is that much of traditional antitrust analysis focuses on the prices of goods and services, because companies with market power face incentives to limit supplies and charge more. With the profusion of “free” services, authorities may have a much tougher time adequately evaluating the implications of competition other than price, such as degradations in product quality or privacy protection. Finally, some who worry about big data from an antitrust perspective claim that consumer protection laws are inadequate, because privacy protections are themselves a function of how much competition companies face, so antitrust regulators must step in to protect privacy. But other antitrust scholars are much less worried that a company possessing large amounts of data automatically confers market power. For example, economists Anja Lambrecht and Catherine Tucker recently examined the use of data and found “little evidence that the mere possession of big data is sufficient protection for an incumbent against a superior product offering.” This is because there is a vibrant market in the collection and sale of all sorts of data, and new technologies have made it easier for market entrants to gather, store, and analyze the data they need. Moreover, if the possession of large amounts of data were necessary for an entrant to compete successfully, that would not necessarily constitute an unfair competitive advantage. Many industries have high entry costs; we do not say that Ford and Daimler have an unfair advantage just because companies must build an expensive factory before they can sell a single car. With regard to free services, while companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter may have a very large share of the consumer markets for their narrow service offerings, the markets themselves are two-sided — and the side where they earn most of their revenue is advertising, which is characterized by fierce competition, powerful counterparties, and constant evaluation of the relative performance of different advertising outlets. So in this case traditional concerns of abuse, such as pricing below marginal cost and product tying, don’t really apply, and can actually benefit competition and consumers. When it comes to privacy, those who don’t believe that merely possessing lots of data is anticompetitive suggest that antitrust regulators should leave that to privacy and consumer protection regulators. In the United States, that principally means the Federal Trade Commission, which to date has largely acted on a case-by-case basis to deal with bad conduct stemming from the use of data. There is no evidence that the mere possession of more data provides any greater risk to privacy. But data does drive many of our most important emerging technologies, including autonomous cars, language translation, and other artificial intelligence–based innovations. Nor is there evidence that consumers are demanding more privacy protection in the products they use. Most consumers are willing to share large amounts of personal data in return for free services they value. Consumers tend to object only when their data is actually misused, something regulators already take action to address. There is no question that diligent antitrust enforcement remains critical to ensuring competitive markets. Data-rich companies, like all companies, are capable of engaging in anticompetitive behavior. They are also capable of trying to use mergers to amass enough market power to affect prices and squeeze out competitors. Wherever this happens, antitrust agencies need to take action — and existing law gives them adequate power to address these threats. However, regulators must demonstrate a clear threat to competition to justify their actions. Antitrust law is not meant to protect weaker companies from the consequences of fair competition or to pursue noncompetitive goals, such as privacy. Moreover, the mere possession of large amounts of data is never a cause for concern. And, in most cases, neither is using this data to produce a better product. Data-rich companies are not an economic threat, but rather are an important source of innovation. If the simple possession of data were to become a new factor in antitrust analysis, it would depress innovation when policy makers should be encouraging it.
Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) and Valspar have entered into a definitive agreement to divest Valspar's North American Industrial Wood Coatings assets to Axalta.
There's a lot of confusion with disclosures, whether that's with sponsored content, influencer marketing, or social media. Marketers, no more "alternative" facts. What does it mean to be compliant, our open letter to the FTC.
Судебный спор между двумя компаниями был связан с выплатами, которые канадский производитель делал в течение 2010–2015 годов.В конечном счёте это ещё один удар по бизнес-модели Qualcomm. Несмотря на то что Qualcomm более всего известна как производитель чипов для мобильных устройств, большую часть доходов компания получает от лицензирования патентов на технологические решения. Федеральная торговая комиссия США также возбудила судебное дело против Qualcomm, считая выплаты по лицензионным соглашениям противоречащими конкуренции.В январе нынешнего года компенсацию в размере $1 млрд через суд потребовала и Apple.
GNC Holdings, Inc. (GNC) -- a specialty retailer of health and nutrition related products -- is scheduled to report first-quarter 2017 financial results on Apr 18, before the opening bell.
Обновился список Топ-10 уязвимостей от OWASP — наиболее критичных рисков безопасности веб-приложений. На проект OWASP Топ-10 ссылается множество стандартов, инструментов и организаций, включая MITRE, PCI DSS, DISA, FTC, и множество других. OWASP Топ-10 является признанной методологией оценки уязвимостей веб-приложений во всем мире. Читать дальше →
Qualcomm подала встречный иск против Apple, обвинив производителя i-устройств во лжи и запугивании. По словам юристов, фирма Тима Кука лгала регуляторам по всему миру, чтобы те начали расследование в отношении деятельности чипмейкера, а также угрожала скрыть факт использования в iPhone их модема.
Qualcomm (QCOM) has counter attacked Apple in relation to the last $1 billion lawsuit filed by the latter in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in Jan 2017.
With volume starting to fade ahead of Friday's holiday, and geopolitical concerns growing as a US aircraft carrier approaches North Korean, S&P futures pointed to a slightly lower open, in line with stock markets in Europe and Asia. Safe havens such as gold and treasuries strengthened along with Japanese yen, which erased all of yesterday's losses and neared its 110 support on investor caution about global security risks and the future of U.S. interest rates after Yellen's Monday speech failed to provide clarity. "I think we have a healthy economy now," Yellen said at an event at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor and confirmed that the “appropriate stance of policy is now closer to, let me call it neutral” and that “we want to be ahead of the curve and not behind it”. "Whereas before we had our foot pressed down on the gas pedal trying to give the economy all the oomph we possibly could, now allowing the economy to kind of coast and remain on an even keel -- to give it some gas but not so much that we are pressing down hard on the accelerator -- that’s a better stance of monetary policy," she said. Yellen also suggested that inflation is still below 2% in her estimation. Yellen also voiced some concern about the Fed’s independence being under threat, referring specifically to two bills put forth in Congress and legislation that would require the Fed to follow a simple mathematical rule in setting interest rates and any deviation from it would result in calling in the General Accounting Office to conduct audits. Crude oil ended this year’s best run, and was modestly lower in early trading. Haven assets were bid after Sean Spicer issued a warning to Syria not to use barrell bombs while tensions over North Korea rumbled on, while in Europe the recent surge in far-left candidate Melenchon has changed the French presidential election calculus materially in recent days, sending the spread between French and German 10Y blowing out again, helped by yesterday's Goldman downgrade of French OATs. Bond yields fell after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen confirmed the central bank has shifted gears from post-crisis healing to sustaining economic gains according to Bloomberg. Oil dropped after five days of gains although that may reverse should API and EIA data due over the next two days show a decline in stockpiles from record highs. Gold hit its highest since November. "It's a relatively modest reaction but there is a lot of geopolitical risk in global markets at the moment," said TD Securities European head of currency strategy Ned Rumpeltin. A quick recap of the latest geopolitical news: China has deployed 150K troops in order to deal with the possible North Korean refugees over fears that Trump may strike Kim Jong-un following the missile attack on Syria. North Korea vowed to take toughest counteraction against US after the US deployed the USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula. China and South Korea have agreed to place "strong" new sanctions on North Korea if it conducts further nuclear or long-range missile tests, according to a South Korean official. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Moscow this week in an effort to persuade Russia that its alliance with Assad is no longer in its strategic interest. The G-7 foreign ministers hold a news conference after a two-day meeting in Lucca, Italy. As Richard Breslow commented earlier, confused traders not only have to cope with monetary tightening in the world’s biggest economy and the prospect of an unwinding central bank balance sheet, they’re also weighing President Donald Trump’s unpredictable foreign policy. “Flight to safety drives the global markets, as geopolitical concerns occupy the global headlines with North Korea’s missile tests and growing threat against the U.S., the U.S.’s strike on Syria and Jean-Luc Mélenchon gaining support in the French election,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a market analyst at London Capital Group Ltd., wrote in a note. Looking at global markets, the MSCI All-Country World Index was little changed. Volumes in markets are down in a week that’s shortened in many countries by Easter holidays. Chinese equities traded in Hong Kong fell to a one-month low while Japan’s Topix slipped as the yen gained. Shares in Seoul extended the longest losing streak since June as tensions over both Syria and North Korea remain in focus. S&P 500 futures were unchanged at 6:30am ET. The index climbed less than 0.1% on Monday, even as the VIX, rose to the highest level this year. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped less than 0.1 percent, after a four-day rally to the highest since December 2015. European stocks were also subdued and looked to be heading for a second day in the red as an early attempt at a move higher quickly fizzled. Tech stocks were the biggest sectoral losers as broker downgrades sent chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor and AMS (AMS.S) tumbling 18% and 7.5%. Banking stocks also dropped with Spain's Banco Popular (POP.MC) down over 5 percent after the bank said that it was considering another capital hike and would consider a merger. German Bunds yields dipped below 0.20% for the first time in more than five weeks while French yields rose to a one-week high of 0.96% leaving the spread between to two at its biggest in six weeks. "After Britain's Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election surprised markets in 2016, could this event do the same?," Mark Burgess, global head of equities at Columbia Threadneedle in London, wrote in a note. Gold was the main beneficiary of the cautious mood, with the precious metal up at its highest since November at $1,256 an ounce and advancing for the sixth day in the last eight. Oil retreated from five-week highs hit earlier in the session meanwhile, as concerns about rising U.S. shale production offset a shutdown at Libya's largest oilfield over the weekend and the U.S. strikes against Syria that had supported prices. Brent fell 10 cents to $55.89, breaking a six-session winning streak, while U.S. crude pulled back 14 cents to $52.95 a barrel, after rising for the previous five sessions. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 2,349.70 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.06% to 381.03 MXAP down 0.09% to 146.47 MXAPJ down 0.2% to 478.02 Nikkei down 0.3% to 18,747.87 Topix down 0.3% to 1,495.10 Hang Seng Index down 0.7% to 24,088.46 Shanghai Composite up 0.6% to 3,288.97 Sensex up 0.6% to 29,752.46 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 5,929.27 Kospi down 0.4% to 2,123.85 German 10Y yield unchanged at 0.208% Euro up 0.05% to 1.0601 per US$ Italian 10Y yield rose 2.1 bps to 1.947% Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.7 bps to 1.606% Brent Futures down 0.3% to $55.83/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,257.23 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 100.92 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg U.S., Allies Show Unity on Syria Before Tillerson Moscow Visit Toshiba Warns of Its Ability to Continue as Going Concern Dialog Semiconductor Shares Tumble After Analyst’s Apple Warning Le Pen Faces Trump’s KKK Quandary With Extremist Supporters MTS Probe Finds Misconduct in China Unit; 2017 EPS View Trails Circassia Says FTC Approves AstraZeneca Deal Bristol’s Cancer Drug Opdivo Is Too Expensive: U.K.’s NICE Seadrill’s North Atlantic Gets Conoco Rig Contracts for $1.4b BHP Billiton Said to Work With Goldman Sachs on Elliott Defense Billionaire Eurnekian Said to Hire Lazard to Help Itau Sell TGN PPG Offer for Akzo Nobel Is ‘Unacceptable’, FD Cites Akzo CEO LG Display Says No Details Decided on Google OLED Investment Ford to Add Five All-New SUVs to North American Lineup by 2020 Uber Must Give Waymo Documents Levandowski Wants Sealed: Judge Asia equity markets traded with a muted tone as geopolitical news continued to be in focus following reports that the US hold open the possibility for future action in Syria and with North Korea vowing to take the toughest counteraction against the US following its carrier deployment to the Korean peninsula, while China had amassed 150K troops on the North Korean border which was later reported to be to a deal with possible North Korean refugees. Fears were evident as safe-haven flow was apparent with the stronger JPY weighing on the Nikkei 225 (-0.3%), while sentiment in China was mixed with the Shanghai Comp. (+0.6%) higher and Hang Seng (-0.9%) negative after the PBoC continued to refrain from liquidity injections. ASX 200 (+0.3%) took the spotlight in the day's session, as the index extended on gains above 5,900 to approach close to a 9-year high with the materials driven index buoyed by Rio Tinto, which is up over 2% on the day, while gains across the energy sector also underpinned the index. Finally, JGBs was mildly supported as the flight to safety has been the theme, with the Japanese lOy yield pressured as a result to below 0.05% and print its lowest since January 2017. PBoC refrained from conducting open market operations today for a daily net drain of CNY 20bIn. Top Asian News China March Retail Auto Sales Rise 1.6% on Year, PCA Says China H Shares Slide to One-Month Low Amid Regulation Worries Fed Rate Hikes Raise Risks for Asian Nations Swimming in Debt China Seen Allowing Bigger Yuan Declines as Trade Tensions Ease Top Korea Presidential Candidate Open to Talks With Kim Jong Un Singapore Revokes One Asia Investment’s Capital Markets Permit World Bank Says Philippines to Remain Top Performer in East Asia European indices trade broadly lower this morning (Eurostoxx 50 down as much as -0.4%) as risk off sentiment filters through to Europe from Asian trade amid increased global tension. As well as the global tension, markets are also being weighed on due to concerns over the upcoming earnings season, light volumes ahead of Easter and a touted delay to the delivery of any tax reform in the US. There has also been volatility on a stock specific basis with German listed Dialog shedding over 20% of their share price after a note from Bankhaus Lampe suggested Apple may drop the chip maker and instead produce their own; elsewhere luxury name LVMH are among the best performers today after a stellar revenue update. The risk off sentiment has also filtered through to fixed income markets, where Bund yields reside at their lowest levels in five weeks, while concerns over the rise of Melenchon potentially blowing the election race wide open has seen yields rise. Top European News U.K. Inflation Pickup Takes Easter Break as Rate Stays at 2.3% BT’s EE to Recruit 800 Customer-Service Staff in U.K., Ireland Putin Said to Plan to Meet Tillerson Tomorrow, RBC Reports EU Banks Profitability in U.S. Is Higher Than Disclosed: HSBC Romanian Opposition May Pick New Central Bank Deputy Governor In currencies, the yen gained 0.2 percent to 110.67 per dollar at 9:53 a.m. in London, strengthening for a second day. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged lower by 0.1 percent, while the euro pared losses to trade little changed. The British pound added less than 0.1 percent to $1.2422; data showed U.K. inflation’s upward trajectory paused in March. The main movers this morning have been the JPY and later in Europe GBP. The former has gained on the rise in tensions between the US and North Korea, as the later has responded to the incursion into the Korean peninsula. USD/JPY has tested down into the mid 110.00's again, and again found support, but subsequent upside traction will be limited under the circumstances, as we get to see further pressure through the cross rates. EUR/JPY has been an obvious draw with the French elections ahead keeping the single unit well capped in the interim. The lead spot rate continues to run into sellers above 1.0600, while cross rate supply saw the 117.00 handle briefly relinquished. Earlier this morning we saw weakness in the EU industrial production numbers, but the ZEW sentiment surveys for both Germany and the EU as a whole show improvement. EUR/GBP pressure has also been apparent in the early exchanges, but demand ahead of 0.8500 also noteworthy. Ahead of the EU numbers, we saw headline CPI in the UK rising a little more than the consensus figure, but after a kneejerk move higher in GBP, strength sellers noting higher input prices took advantage. Cable is back around pre announcement levels, and remains on the heavy side, though we can see a period of consolidation ahead as longer term demand awaits lower down. In commodities, West Texas Intermediate oil fell 0.3 percent to $52.91 after jumping 1.6 percent on Monday. Gold rose for a third day, adding 0.2 percent to $1,257.03 an ounce. Iron ore futures climbed as much as 1.4 percent in China after dropping 7.1 percent in the previous two sessions, but pared most gains. Zinc extended its decline, dropping 1.3 percent amid signs that output is increasing. The London Metal Exchange index of six metals contracts closed Monday at the lowest in a month. Oil prices are coming off better levels in recent trade, but despite the fact that events in Syria have been the primary driver of recent gains, WTI has made good in-roads back into the USD 50-55 range. Brent has tipped USD56.00 also, but from here, we are back to watching the inventory — API tonight. Precious metals also stay bid from the risk perspective, but with the USD tailing off again today, Gold has retested USD1260. Silver still struggling ahead of USD18.00 though. In base metals, Zinc has underperformed notably over the last 24 hours. Supply issues/stockpiles continue to determine price at the present time, with 'steady' demand-side factors hit on recent bearish forecasts by key analysts. Copper gravitating circa USD2.60 for now. Looking at the day ahead, we get the February industrial production report for the Euro area which disappointed, rising only 1.2% vs Exp. 2.0%, and the April ZEW survey in Germany which beat at 19.5, vs Exp. 14.0 (up from 12.8). Over in the US this afternoon the data includes February JOLTS job openings and the March NFIB small business optimism reading. Away from the data the Fed’s Kashkari is due to speak at 6.45pm BST while the ECB’s Visco is also scheduled to speak this afternoon. US Event Calendar 6am: NFIB Small Business Optimism, est. 104.7, prior 105.3 10am: JOLTS Job Openings, est. 5,650, prior 5,626 1:45pm: Fed’s Kashkari Participates in Q&A in Minneapolis DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It wasn’t a particularly exciting day in markets yesterday at the start of two holiday shortened weeks. The S&P 500 rose a modest +0.07%, meaning the index has now closed up or down by less than 0.10% three times in the last week. In Europe the Stoxx 600 recovered from a mid-session wobble to finish unchanged by the closing bell. Sovereign bond markets were stronger at the margin although again moves were very modest. 10y Bund yields finished 2.1bps lower at 0.202% and are starting to approach the February lows on the current on the run contract again (when they touched 0.179%). Similar maturity Treasury yields were also 1.6bps lower at 2.367%. Meanwhile in commodities WTI Oil (+1.61%) continues to march higher and closed above $53/bbl for the first time since March 7th with yesterday’s move in part supported by the news of a production outage at Libya’s largest oil field. A little less boring was the fact that we did see equity vol climb a bit yesterday. The VIX closed above 14 (+9.17%) for the first time since December 2016 while the VSTOXX in Europe climbed over 13% to close at 22.09 and the highest level since December 2nd. Geopolitical concerns have clearly been on the rise over the last week or so with Syria and North Korea never far from the front pages while it’s worth noting that we are all of a sudden now just 12 days away from the first round presidential election in France. Yesterday we noted the climb in the polls for Melenchon over the last few weeks and an Ifop-Fiducial poll released yesterday confirmed the trend. The poll showed both Le Pen (24%) and Macron (23%) as holding on to first and second place still, with Fillon (18.5%) and Melenchon (18%) barely separated in third and fourth place. That percentage for far-left candidate Melenchon is up from 11.5% using the same pollster in a poll run back on 18-21st March. In that time support for Hamon has fallen 3.5% but it’s worth noting that the poll back in March also had support for Le Pen and Macron at 26% and 25.5% respectively. So the gap between the top 4 has certainly shrunk in recent weeks. Our economists in France noted yesterday that in 2012 Melenchon also witnessed a similar surge in the polls at the same point in the campaign. Ultimately that surge in support did not materialise in the first round vote and he was not close to qualifying for the second round. They do however highlight that this time may be different because Melenchon appears closer to the top two candidates in first round polls. But, this also means that his radical program might ultimately push moderate voters back towards mainstream candidates. While the most likely outcome remains a second round between Macron and Le Pen, the race to qualify for the second round has tightened in the last week, so it’s one to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks. This morning in Asia bourses have kicked off Tuesday largely on the back foot. A stronger Yen (+0.23%) is weighing on the Nikkei (-0.71%) while the Hang Seng (-0.80%) and Shanghai Comp (-0.46%) are also weaker. In Korea both the Kospi (-0.59%) and Korean Won (-0.52%) have extended losses with the North Korea situation still a focus. US equity index futures are also a bit weaker overnight while Treasuries and bond yields in Asia are generally lower. Moving on. Following the close yesterday Fed Chair Yellen spoke at an event in Michigan. Yellen confirmed that the “appropriate stance of policy is now closer to, let me call it neutral” and that “we want to be ahead of the curve and not behind it”. Yellen also suggested that inflation is still below 2% in her estimation. Perhaps more interestingly, Yellen did voice some concern about the Fed’s independence being under threat, referring specifically to two bills put forth in Congress and legislation that would require the Fed to follow a simple mathematical rule in setting interest rates and any deviation from it would result in calling in the General Accounting Office to conduct audits. Elsewhere, and before we look at today’s calendar, quickly wrapping up yesterday’s dataflow. In Europe the most notable release was the Sentix investor confidence for April which rose 3.2pts during the month to 23.9 (vs. 21.0 expected) and to the highest since August 2007. In France the Bank of France business sentiment reading was down 1pt in March to 103. Over in the US the lone release was the Fed’s labour market conditions index which rose a fairly modest 0.4pts in March, but in doing so confirmed a 10th consecutive monthly rise for the index. Looking at the day ahead, this morning in Europe the early focus will be on the UK where we get the CPI/RPI/PPI data dump for March. The consensus is for a +0.3% mom increase in headline consumer prices while PPI output prices are expected to have risen a more modest +0.1% mom. Following that we then get the February industrial production report for the Euro area (+0.1% mom expected) and the April ZEW survey in Germany. Over in the US this afternoon the data includes February JOLTS job openings and the March NFIB small business optimism reading. Away from the data the Fed’s Kashkari is due to speak at 6.45pm BST while the ECB’s Visco is also scheduled to speak this afternoon. Well done for getting to this point and staying awake.
23.12.2014 Власти США и Канады заблокировали продажу «Роснефти» нефтетрейдингового подразделения Morgan Stanley. За год сторонам так и не удалось получить одобрения регуляторов. Западные санкции также снизили привлекательность этой сделки, сумма которой оценивалась в $400 млн. Комитет по иностранным инвестициям США отказался согласовывать сделку с Morgan Stanley, поэтому «Роснефть» не смогла ее завершить, заявил РБК вице-президент компании по связям с общественностью и СМИ Михаил Леонтьев. «Отказ в выдаче регламентирующих соглашений мы получили не только от американских, но и от канадских регуляторов. Это их право: оспаривать незаключенную сделку мы не будем», – пояснил он. «Роснефть» договорилась о покупке нефтетрейдингового бизнеса Morgan Stanley 20 декабря 2013 года. В случае завершения сделки российской компании перешли бы международная сеть нефтехранилищ, запасы нефти и нефтепродуктов, прямые контракты с потребителями, контракты на условиях предоплаты, логистические контракты, а также акции и доли в профильных дочерних компаниях в области инфраструктуры, международного маркетинга и исследований. На работу в «Роснефть» также должны были перейти более 100 нефтетрейдеров из офисов Morgan Stanley в Великобритании, США и Сингапуре, а также около 180 менеджеров из вспомогательных подразделений. В июне сделку одобрила Федеральная торговая комиссия США, а в июле «Роснефть» и Morgan Stanley обратились в комитет по иностранным инвестициям. В сообщении «Роснефти» отмечается, что «стороны затратили на подготовку сделки существенные усилия и сожалеют о невозможности ее закрыть». Но потерь от срыва сделки «Роснефть» не понесла, утверждает Леонтьев. «Не факт, что в текущих условиях эта сделка была бы так же интересна, как раньше», – добавил он. А Morgan Stanley рассмотрит теперь ряд вариантов в отношении нефтетрейдингового подразделения с учетом интересов акционеров, клиентов и служащих компании, говорится в сообщении банка, которое приводит ТАСС. Сумма сделки не раскрывалась. Но, по данным The Wall Street Journal, она могла составить «несколько сотен миллионов долларов». Аналитики Platts оценивали ее примерно в $400 млн. Из-за несостоявшейся сделки «Роснефть» почти ничего не потеряла, компания могла потратиться лишь на консультантов, но это незначительные средства, говорит старший аналитик «Уралсиб Кэпитал» Алексей Кокин. О том, что сделка может сорваться, стало известно еще осенью. «Роснефть» до последнего это не признавала, но американцы не исключали такую возможность. «В нынешних условиях нет и не может быть никаких гарантий того, что сделка будет закрыта, особенно учитывая прописанное в договоре требование о том, что все необходимые разрешения должны быть получены до конца года», – говорил представитель Morgan Stanley в октябре. Источники Financial Times тогда сообщали, что сделка фактически не имеет перспектив. Это стало ясно после того, как санкции отрезали «Роснефти» доступ к долгосрочным валютным кредитам в сентябре, говорит Кокин. Нефтетрейдинговый бизнес подразумевает доступ компании к кредитам в несколько десятков миллиардов долларов, иначе бизнес не будет работать, указывает он. Таким образом, для срыва сделки были и объективные причины, заключает эксперт. Это не первый случай, когда планам «Роснефти» помешали санкции. В конце сентября Exxon Mobil приостановила сотрудничество с российским партнером по девяти из десяти СП в России, а затем свернула работы и на совместном проекте в Карском море. В ноябре норвежская North Atlantic также была вынуждена отложить сделку с «Роснефтью» до 2015 года. http://www.rbcdaily.ru/industry/562949993439576 19.06.2014 Глава Роснефти Игорь Сечин, процитировав в интервью телеканалу CNBC французского государственного деятеля Шарля Мориса Талейрана, назвал введенные в отношении него санкции со стороны США бессмысленными. «Я думаю, что эту прискорбную ситуацию можно описать словами французского политика Шарля Мориса де Талейрана, который, насколько я помню, сказал примерно следующее – «все лишнее не имеет значения», – передает ИТАР-ТАСС. Относительно возможного ужесточения санкций в отношении России Сечин заявил, что Роснефть продолжает работать, чтобы показать эффективность совместной взаимовыгодной деятельности с американскими корпорациями. «Однако, если решения о санкциях будут приняты, мы продолжим реализацию наших проектов самостоятельно, оставив их открытыми для наших американских партнеров, которые смогут вернуться, когда это станет возможным», – подчеркнул президент Роснефти. По словам Сечина, он не может понять «никаких обоснований» для введения санкционного режима. «Я не понимаю, какую цель они преследуют. Я не вовлечен в принятие политических решений... Так что введение санкций я считаю бессмысленным», – заключил глава Роснефти, добавив, что не думает, что его активная взаимовыгодная работа с американскими компаниями может выступать основанием для санкций. «Серьезные люди не должны принимать серьезные решения под давлением», – резюмировал президент Роснефти. Напомним, в конце апреля глава Роснефти уже говорил, что воспринял решение США ввести персональные санкции против него как высокую оценку эффективности работы подконтрольной ему компании. Перед этим США объявили о новой волне карательных мер против Москвы. В санкционный список кроме главы Роснефти Игоря Сечина вошли полпред президента России в Крыму Олег Белавенцев, глава Ростеха Сергей Чемезов, вице-премьер Дмитрий Козак, председатель международного комитета Госдумы Алексей Пушков, директор ФСО Евгений Муров, первый замглавы кремлевской администрации Вячеслав Володин. Тогда же представитель американского минфина сообщил, что граждане США продолжат работать в совете директоров Роснефти, несмотря на санкции, введенные в отношении главы нефтяной компании. http://vz.ru/news/2014/6/19/691836.html 16.06.2014 Чем опасен Игорь Сечин Человек, максимально близкий Владимиру Путину, самый тяжелый из политических тяжеловесов, теневой премьер-министр — каких только названий не выдумывается для президента «Роснефти» Игоря Сечина! Когда он только переместился на нынешнюю должность из зампредов правительства, казалось, что это тяжелое аппаратное поражение; но давно очевидно, что никакое не поражение, а серьезное возвышение. ... (Кстати замечу, что и кремлевскому покровителю весьма выгодна эта странная конструкция: можно в ответ на всякие нападки справедливо указывать, что в правительстве сидят сплошь экономические либералы, и не беспокоиться о содержании их деятельности, когда важнейшей частью экономики занимается такой ультрагосударственник, как президент Сечин.) ... Тайком направить войска в Крым, конечно, президенту Сечину не по чину будет — но на своем родном поле, в энергетической сфере, он явно может действовать без оглядки на, назовем это так, условности. А как мы знаем из истории, даже самым великим людям иногда решительно отказывает чувство меры. Опровержение Решением Останкинского районного суда г. Москвы от 26 августа 2014 года признаны не соответствующими действительности и порочащими честь, достоинство и деловую репутацию Сечина Игоря Ивановича , а потому подлежащими опровержению распространенные 16 июня 2014 года редакцией электронного периодического издания «Ведомости» («Vedomosti») по адресу http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/ article/697301/igor-sechin следующие сведения: «Потому что на нынешней своей позиции способности и возможности влиять на принятие основных государственных решений президент Сечин нисколько не утратил: вроде бы “Роснефть” и подконтрольна правительству, поскольку приходится ему “внучкой”,- а вроде и не очень-то. Поразительна была, например, история с дивидендами нефтяной госкомпании, которые правительству Дмитрия Медведева хотелось использовать как-то по-своему, да не вышло, пришлось очень долго обсуждать судьбу этих денег; а уж история прошлой недели с налоговым маневром, согласованным было Минфином и Минэнерго, но отправленным в корзину одним росчерком пера (т. е. письмом) президента Сечина, — прямо символ!» «… на президентской позиции Игоря Сечина … с возможностью … по сути, не отвечать ни за какие свои действия ни перед кем, кроме кремлевского покровителя.» «…хороша ли такая бесконтрольность: нельзя приравнять российское государство, от имени которого совершает топ-менеджерские поступки президент Сечин, ни к нему…»