New World Development
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26 сентября 2017, 23:02

LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise

What will it take to educate the children and youth with the right learning and skills to help them thrive? The new World Development Report 2018 shows that too many children are missing out on basic skills, despite spending years in class. But we can’t be discouraged. There are smart, practical solutions available to turn this situation around. Learn more by going to the WDR 2018 Website: http://wrld.bg/UlZh30frwn7 Download the report: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28340

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09 июня 2017, 09:39

Азиатские рынки акций растут в пятницу

Фондовые индексы стран Азиатско-Тихоокеанского региона умеренно повышаются в пятницу, инвесторы сдержанно отреагировали на важные политические события четверга.

15 декабря 2016, 14:23

Фондовые индексы АТР упали рекордными темпами за месяц на итогах заседания ФРС

Фондовые индексы Азиатско-Тихоокеанского региона завершили торги в четверг максимальным снижением с начала ноября после того, как руководство Федеральной резервной системы (ФРС) повысило прогноз темпов роста ставки.

07 ноября 2016, 14:05

Фондовые рынки Азии закрылись в плюсе на ожиданиях победы Клинтон на выборах в США

Фондовые индексы Азиатско-Тихоокеанского региона выросли в понедельник в связи с усилившимися ожиданиями, что на президентских выборах в США победит кандидат Демократической партии Хиллари Клинтон, пишет Financial Times.

07 ноября 2016, 11:11

Фондовые индексы АТР растут на ожиданиях победы Клинтон на выборах в США

Фондовые индексы Азиатско-Тихоокеанского региона активно растут в ходе торгов в понедельник в связи с усилившимися ожиданиями, что на президентских выборах в США победит кандидат Демократической партии Хиллари Клинтон, пишет Financial Times.

17 октября 2016, 09:47

Азиатские фондовые индексы снижаются в понедельник

Большинство фондовых индексов Азиатско-Тихоокеанского региона (АТР) снижается в понедельник, инвесторы следят за статданными из США и выступлениями руководителей Федеральной резервной системы (ФРС).

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30 сентября 2016, 14:10

Hong Kong billionaire tycoon Cheng Yu-tung dies aged 91

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The billionaire founder of Hong Kong property group New World Development Co Ltd, Cheng Yu-tung, died late on Thursday aged 91, the company said on Friday.

05 августа 2016, 03:05

Donald Trump Is Pretty Sure He's Laid The Groundwork For World Peace

Everyone knows that GOP nominee and lukewarm acid gargle Donald Trump is a dealmaker par excellence ― that’s just science, man! But what many of you can’t appreciate is that Trump is also a peacemaker ― and on a global scale, to boot. In an interview this week with the Portland Press Herald in Maine, Trump said that he is the only candidate in the race who can possible achieve total “global harmony.” All you need to do to see that is take a look at his past, and use your brain’s supply of logic-sauce to just scale up. Let’s go to the tape! Q: What was the best deal you ever made – the best deal? A: Maybe the West Side Railroad Yards on the west side of Manhattan, that was one of the great deals that I made, one of the best real estate deals …we built almost 6,000 units on the west side of Manhattan, land, a very successful job. You know what, though? “A very successful job” is really just one way of looking at it. Over at Bloomberg, Tim O’Brien remembers it as a “bungled ... deal of a lifetime.” So, a bit of a jaundiced view, I guess. The basic backstory is this. In the mid-1970s, Trump used his family connections to purchase a large tract of land along the Hudson River side of Manhattan, between 59th and 72nd streets, that came available after its previous holders, the Penn Central Transportation Co., went bankrupt. Trump spent the next few years dithering with the property ― at one point losing ownership ― before repurchasing the plot in the mid-1980s. By this time, Trump had big dreams for the project, imagining it as a new home for NBC that was, depending on who you were talking to, dubbed either “Television City” or “Trump City.” As O’Brien relates, all Trump really needed was to “bring together different stakeholders” and “appease [their] interests.” So, naturally, what happened is that Trump got himself into an epic shooting war with then-New York Mayor Ed Koch over a tax abatement. Per O’Brien: “The battle played out in a carnivalesque stream on TV and on the front pages and gossip columns of newspapers.” Koch eventually stuck it to Trump, denying him his zoning request and providing NBC with sufficient tax breaks to induce the network to remain in its Rockefeller Center home. Trump vowed to develop the West Side Yards his way after Koch departed office, but never did. Instead, as O’Brien reports, this happened:  In 1994, with the Yards bleeding about $23.5 million in annual carrying costs, and long after Koch had departed City Hall, Trump’s bankers forced him to give up control of the site. The property went to a group of Hong Kong investors, including New World Development, for $82 million and the assumption of about $250 million in debt Trump had amassed. The Hong Kong investors later broke ground on the site with a series of high-end condominiums known as Riverside South, and the group used Trump’s name on some of the buildings there (they also paid him management and construction fees). The Hong Kong group sold the entire project for about $1.8 billion in 2005 ― the largest residential real estate transaction in New York City’s history at the time. So that’s the story of what Trump calls “the best deal he ever made.” With that in mind, let’s proceed to the Press Herald’s follow-up question: Q: What would be the best deal you could negotiate as president of the United States? A: Peace all over the world would be the best deal. And I think I would know how to do it better than anybody else, but peace all over the world. Sure, man. The largely failed “Television City” deal ― which Trump has described as a “war to the death” and which featured Ed Koch taunting him as a “piggy, piggy, piggy” ― is obviously a precursor to Trump bringing us “peace all over the world.” ~~~~~ Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 июля 2016, 13:30

Индексы АТР в четверг выросли

Азиатские фондовые индексы в четверг увеличились, при этом рынок акций Гонконга перешел в "бычью" фазу, сообщает MarketWatch.

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25 января 2016, 02:30

Billionaire Superman Li Ka-shing: Always A Chinese Patriot

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing(李嘉誠)might be the first Hong Kong tycoon to be accused of abandoning the motherland at a time of sharp economic downturn. He is not the last. This month, the Cheng family of New World Development had to give a rare press conference just to deny it [...]

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29 декабря 2015, 20:12

Evergrande приобретет недвижимость в Китае на сумму $3,2 млрд

Крупнейший по объему продаж в Китае девелопер Evergrande Real Estate Group приобретет недвижимость в Шанхае и Пекине у миллиардера Ченг Ю-Тунга (Cheng Yu-tung) за 20,4 млрд юаней ($3,2 млрд). Отметим, что Evergrande приобретет у застройщика New World Development, контролируемого миллиардером Ченг Ю-Тунгом, отель и офисные здания в провинции Гуйчжоу за 7,3 млрд юаней, а также элитный жилой проект в Пекине за 7,6 млрд юаней. Кроме того, будет куплена недвижимость в Шандун и Шанхае на сумму 2 и 3,5 млрд юаней соответственно.

14 марта 2015, 13:19

Ken Chan: Don't Focus on Specific Task, But on Long-Term Career Path

This is part of the #CareerAdvice series - featuring successful professionals who share their advice to people who would want to take their career to the next level. Starting off his career as a web designer a decade ago, Ken Chan, now the Managing Director for ICGX and Wayin Partner in Asia Pacific, shares with us the secrets to having successful career and how to overcome professional challenges that could actually help carve your career path. Ken Chan, Managing Director at ICGX Asia Limited Can you tell us a bit about how you started your career? What are some of your best moments in your professional life? I started off as a web designer 10 years ago. It was indeed a tough moment as there were a lot of new skills to pick up and a lot of pressure in meeting my high demands at work. I always tried to find the best solution and ways to work efficiently along with improving my business mindset. My goal was to help as many brands as possible that are focused on digital marketing and analytics. I had a wonderful opportunity to start ICGX and to partner up with Wayin, a company founded by Scott McNealy, the founder and ex CEO of Sun Microsystems. Our entrance into the market was a welcoming one as we had acquired a couple well known clients and strong support such as from Jockey Club, JOYCE.com, New World Development, TVB.com and agencies like OMD and DDB etc. It was a phenomenal early success for a business that has just started in less than a year. I'm still learning how to manage and direct my company effectively everyday. There's much to learn and an exciting journey ahead! If you could advise your 20-year-old-self today, what would tell him? Try your best to maintain good relationships with those you have met, it will pave out a smoother path when excelling to the next level. Not saying to please everyone, but rather to act with honesty and integrity. To build trust and respect with everyone that crosses my path. Learn how to manage your personal time, provide time for yourself and for your family while being mentally prepared to grab hold of any opportunities that comes your way. What has been the most valuable advice you've ever gotten when you were facing challenges in your career? I am lucky to have different mentors and advisors in different stages of my career, from design to business. The most inspirational one for me is when someone told me not to think about business when I am not a marketer. His saying actually prompted me to register a master degree in marketing. Originally, I just wanted to prove him wrong but the decision has somewhat shaped my new career path and brought me my current success. What would you advise the millennial just starting with their career or aiming to take their careers to the next level? The first job is a key to shape your future and help you move up to the next level. It's more for personal growth, so please don't focus on a specific task or job. Just learn as much as you can! It is a stepping stone to your desired career and it's definitely a learning curve! Learn more from Ken by connecting with him on LinkedIn and Twitter. Enjoyed this? Watch out for the next #CareerAdvice series or share your own. Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

14 марта 2015, 13:19

Ken Chan: Don't Focus on Specific Task, But on Long-Term Career Path

This is part of the #CareerAdvice series - featuring successful professionals who share their advice to people who would want to take their career to the next level. Starting off his career as a web designer a decade ago, Ken Chan, now the Managing Director for ICGX and Wayin Partner in Asia Pacific, shares with us the secrets to having successful career and how to overcome professional challenges that could actually help carve your career path. Ken Chan, Managing Director at ICGX Asia Limited Can you tell us a bit about how you started your career? What are some of your best moments in your professional life? I started off as a web designer 10 years ago. It was indeed a tough moment as there were a lot of new skills to pick up and a lot of pressure in meeting my high demands at work. I always tried to find the best solution and ways to work efficiently along with improving my business mindset. My goal was to help as many brands as possible that are focused on digital marketing and analytics. I had a wonderful opportunity to start ICGX and to partner up with Wayin, a company founded by Scott McNealy, the founder and ex CEO of Sun Microsystems. Our entrance into the market was a welcoming one as we had acquired a couple well known clients and strong support such as from Jockey Club, JOYCE.com, New World Development, TVB.com and agencies like OMD and DDB etc. It was a phenomenal early success for a business that has just started in less than a year. I'm still learning how to manage and direct my company effectively everyday. There's much to learn and an exciting journey ahead! If you could advise your 20-year-old-self today, what would tell him? Try your best to maintain good relationships with those you have met, it will pave out a smoother path when excelling to the next level. Not saying to please everyone, but rather to act with honesty and integrity. To build trust and respect with everyone that crosses my path. Learn how to manage your personal time, provide time for yourself and for your family while being mentally prepared to grab hold of any opportunities that comes your way. What has been the most valuable advice you've ever gotten when you were facing challenges in your career? I am lucky to have different mentors and advisors in different stages of my career, from design to business. The most inspirational one for me is when someone told me not to think about business when I am not a marketer. His saying actually prompted me to register a master degree in marketing. Originally, I just wanted to prove him wrong but the decision has somewhat shaped my new career path and brought me my current success. What would you advise the millennial just starting with their career or aiming to take their careers to the next level? The first job is a key to shape your future and help you move up to the next level. It's more for personal growth, so please don't focus on a specific task or job. Just learn as much as you can! It is a stepping stone to your desired career and it's definitely a learning curve! Learn more from Ken by connecting with him on LinkedIn and Twitter. Enjoyed this? Watch out for the next #CareerAdvice series or share your own. Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

14 марта 2015, 10:45

Ken Chan: Don't Focus on Specific Task, But on Long Term Career Path

This is part of the #CareerAdvice series - featuring successful professionals who share their advice to people who would want to take their career to the next level. Starting off his career as a web designer a decade ago, Ken Chan, now the Managing Director for ICGX and Wayin Partner in Asia Pacific, shares with us the secrets to having successful career and how to overcome professional challenges that could actually help carve your career path. Ken Chan, Managing Director at ICGX Asia Limited Can you tell us a bit about how you started your career? What are some of your best moments in your professional life? I started off as a web designer 10 years ago. It was indeed a tough moment as there were a lot of new skills to pick up and a lot of pressure in meeting my high demands at work. I always tried to find the best solution and ways to work efficiently along with improving my business mindset. My goal was to help as many brands as possible that are focused on digital marketing and analytics. I had a wonderful opportunity to start ICGX and to partner up with Wayin, a company founded by Scott McNealy, the founder and ex CEO of Sun Microsystems. Our entrance into the market was a welcoming one as we had acquired a couple well known clients and strong support such as from Jockey Club, JOYCE.com, New World Development, TVB.com and agencies like OMD and DDB etc. It was a phenomenal early success for a business that has just started in less than a year. I'm still learning how to manage and direct my company effectively everyday. There's much to learn and an exciting journey ahead! If you could advise your 20-year-old-self today, what would tell him? Try your best to maintain good relationships with those you have met, it will pave out a smoother path when excelling to the next level. Not saying to please everyone, but rather to act with honesty and integrity. To build trust and respect with everyone that crosses my path. Learn how to manage your personal time, provide time for yourself and for your family while being mentally prepared to grab hold of any opportunities that comes your way. What has been the most valuable advice you've ever gotten when you were facing challenges in your career? I am lucky to have different mentors and advisors in different stages of my career, from design to business. The most inspirational one for me is when someone told me not to think about business when I am not a marketer. His saying actually prompted me to register a master degree in marketing. Originally, I just wanted to prove him wrong but the decision has somewhat shaped my new career path and brought me my current success. What would you advise the millennial just starting with their career or aiming to take their careers to the next level? The first job is a key to shape your future and help you move up to the next level. It's more for personal growth, so please don't focus on a specific task or job. Just learn as much as you can! It is a stepping stone to your desired career and it's definitely a learning curve! Learn more from Ken by connecting with him on LinkedIn and Twitter. Enjoyed this? Watch out for the next #CareerAdvice series or share your own. Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

23 февраля 2015, 15:57

Frontrunning: February 23

Tsipras Tamed as Economists Declare Greece Loses Austerity Fight (BBG) Greece readies reform plans to first sign of leftist unrest (Reuters) Yellen Faces Congress Amid Direst Threat to Fed Since Dodd-Frank (BBG) The war must go on: Kiev says cannot withdraw heavy weapons as attacks persist (Reuters) Ukraine fears spread of war after blast in eastern city (Reuters) Denmark Dismisses Report It Could Consider Capital Controls (BBG) Deadline Nears on Homeland Security Funding Impasse (WSJ) Gross Fund Hurt by Oil’s Plunge Amid Bets on Energy Bonds (BBG) Turkish military invades Syria to evacuate soldiers, relocate tomb (Reuters) Rising Franc Upends Daily Life in Swiss Borderlands (WSJ) U.S. Banks Hoard $2 Trillion of Ultra-Safe Bonds (BBG) Local bankers emerge as Fed ally in fight against audit bill (Reuters) UK Banks Slash Ranks Of Millionaire Pay Deals (Sky) As ‘Spoof’ Trading Persists, Regulators Clamp Down (WSJ) Canada's Valeant to buy Salix in $10.1 billion deal (Reuters) Pope gets away from Vatican to work on correcting 'defects' (AP)  Overnight Media Digest WSJ * The fledgling GOP-controlled Congress returns to the Capitol just days before its first major fiscal deadline as a battle over President Barack Obama's immigration policies has set up a showdown on whether to fund the Department of Homeland Security. (http://on.wsj.com/1B3VuEw) * Switzerland's decision last month to lift the cap on the franc is disturbing everyday transactions in the country's border areas. (http://on.wsj.com/1w0tCuQ) * Corporations and the government must be "true partners" in fighting computer hackers, or breaches like the one at Sony Pictures Entertainment last year will grow more common, President Barack Obama said earlier this month. A detailed look at the attack on the Sony Corp unit shows that could be a tall order. (http://on.wsj.com/1GjGQsH) * Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said on Sunday it would buy Salix Pharmaceuticals for about $10 billion, a return to its big deal-making ways after a failed bid for Botox maker Allergan Inc last year. (http://on.wsj.com/1zZJ3Ed) * Spoofing, a bluffing tactic traders use to manipulate prices of anything from stocks to futures, is illegal under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. Exchanges and regulators have only recently begun clamping down. (http://on.wsj.com/1weLxns) * George Soros, Michael Milken and David Bonderman are among investors benefiting from early bets on a red-hot sector: young companies developing drugs that fight cancer by using the body's immune system. (http://on.wsj.com/1zZJ3Ed) * The Xiali sedan, once a status symbol in China, is now an emblem of the struggles of domestic versus foreign brands such as Volkswagen and Chevrolet that now offer less expensive vehicles. (http://on.wsj.com/1zZJuhD)  FT British Ministers have set aside 2 billion pounds ($3.08 billion) to cover potential write-downs in the value of existing student loans in this financial year alone following an increase in the rate of graduates' being unable to repay, according to Treasury documents. Dubai-based private equity group Abraaj Capital acquired 25 percent stake in Turkey's online retailer Hepsiburada. The deal was valued more than $400 million. Boutique investment bank Rothschild considers paying its 2014 bonuses early with a view to avoid payment of extra taxes that might be levied if Labour comes back to power. Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive of HSBC Holdings Plc was drawn into a tax evasion scandal after it was claimed that he had saved millions of dollars from the taxman in a Panamanian company through its Swiss private bank. NYT * In a high-profile suit set to go to trial this week, a jury will pass judgment about whether Ellen Pao suffered discrimination. (http://nyti.ms/1zZIev6) * After years of being treated as an interesting side business, autos have become the latest obsession for Silicon Valley, with Apple Inc assigning about 200 engineers to work on electric vehicle technology and Google Inc saying it envisions the public using driverless cars within five years.(http://nyti.ms/1zyqOGL) * To repair its relationships in the music world, Pandora has created a division to work with labels and artist managers, opened its vast databanks, and begun experimenting with artist promotions.(http://nyti.ms/1DMukSW) * Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has taken to the airwaves to fight back against accusations that he misled audiences with stories about his war reporting earlier in his career.(http://nyti.ms/1DMus4X) * With rents surging as the Manhattan office market rebounds, many companies are looking to cut costs, and one way to do that is by trimming personal space.(http://nyti.ms/1EGURQg) * Wielding the weapon of his pen, President Obama this week is expected to formally reject a Republican attempt to force construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But in stopping the transit of petroleum from the forests of Alberta to the Gulf Coast, Obama will be opening the veto era of his presidency.(http://nyti.ms/1BDJkmP) * Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, the acquisitive Canadian pharmaceutical company, has agreed to pay $10.4 billion for Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, or $158 a share in cash. Including debt, the transaction is valued at about $14.5 billion.(http://nyti.ms/1Lw59qk) Canada THE GLOBE AND MAIL ** The Harper government's push to deliver a balanced budget despite the burden of low oil prices has attracted fresh attention to a potential stockpile of federal cash: a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer stake in the auto business. The government's remaining 73.4 million shares in General Motors are now worth more than $3.40 billion in total, thanks to the combined effect of a solid stock price and a weakened Canadian dollar. (http://bit.ly/18fGjgk) ** The federal government is rejecting calls for more independent oversight of Canada's national security agencies even as it speeds passage of legislation that would give sweeping new powers to spies and police in the name of fighting terrorism. Parliament will vote Monday night on the Anti-Terrorism Act after the Conservatives limited second-reading debate for the legislation to three days. The bill will be sent to a Parliamentary committee for scrutiny. The Tories want the controversial legislation to become law before the summer begins. (http://bit.ly/1DJttUL) ** Health officials say a 19th case of measles has been confirmed in Quebec. Public health officials at a news conference on Saturday would not confirm whether the new case is a child or an adult, nor whether it is linked to Quebec's previous 18 cases. The source of the outbreak for the first 18 cases has been traced to Disneyland, California. (http://bit.ly/1za9l6z) ** Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc is back in major deal-making mode with the all-cash $10.4 billion agreement to acquire gastrointestinal disorders specialist Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (http://bit.ly/1EHJK9y) NATIONAL POST ** Nova Scotia's largest newspaper has locked out its unionized printing plant employees after contract negotiations failed to reach an agreement. Thirteen press operators and mechanics at the Halifax Chronicle Herald were locked out Saturday, the company said in a news release. It said the employees had turned down a proposal from management. (http://bit.ly/1DN6ab3) ** The federal government has sweetened the deal for would-be natural gas exporters with new tax measures, but the industry is still fretting about feasibility of West Coast projects amid a deteriorating LNG price environment. (http://bit.ly/1ABbaNF)  Hong Kong SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST - China's over-the-counter (OTC) equity market may get a fresh boost with a much anticipated regulatory nod to insurance funds looking to invest in start-ups. According to two insurance industry officials, several insurers are studying the OTC market as a new investment channel and insurers plan to invest in some of the start-ups listed on the market. (bit.ly/1vZGaCW) - Hong Kong fashion designers look set to benefit from this year's budget, with the government expected to offer the sector HK$200 million ($25.8 million) in promotion and scholarships in the hope of nurturing young talent in Hong Kong, according to a government source. It would be the first time the government dedicated a set sum to the fashion industry in its annual budget. (bit.ly/1EkPDLO) THE STANDARD - A savings fund providing backbone to fight off future challenges is expected to be laid out in Wednesday's budget. The fund, due to be announced by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, will provide resources to face problems posed by the aging population and other difficulties. (bit.ly/1vZJ9LA) - Hong Kong developers rolled out their home sales plans for the Year of the Goat, and agents expect a more active first quarter compared with last year. New World Development will launch six residential projects, with some 2,100 homes in total. (bit.ly/17oIhKt) HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL - HSBC Holdings Plc , which is overshadowed by allegations that its Swiss private bank helped clients to dodge taxes, is expected to post a seven percent drop in yearly profit at $21 billion, according to median forecast by brokerages. HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES - The number of Hong Kong people migrating to western countries including the United States, Canada, and Australia, totalled 6,900 in 2014, down 9 percent from a year earlier, the government's data showed. Immigration consultancy Centaline said emigration enquiry jumped 40 percent and the number of application increased as much as 10 percent. Britain The Times NEXT RBS CHAIRMAN MUST MEET CHANCELLOR'S APPROVAL The leading candidate to become the next chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland will have to meet the chancellor to discuss his or her vision for the bank before formally receiving the role. (http://thetim.es/1AyXDpH) CHANCELLOR BREAKS HIS SILENCE OVER HSBC TAX SCANDAL George Osborne has broken his silence over the tax scandal surrounding HSBC Holdings Plc by saying that it should be left to the courts to deal with any wrongdoing. The chancellor spoke out after claims that he was ducking questions over the bank and why there had been only one prosecution after allegations of tax evasion through its Swiss subsidiary. (http://thetim.es/1vqnf9b) The Guardian SWISS ACCOUNT SECRET OF HSBC CHIEF STUART GULLIVER REVEALED Stuart Gulliver, the HSBC Holdings Plc chief executive who has vowed to reform the crisis-hit bank, sheltered millions of pounds in a Swiss account through a Panamanian company and remains tax domiciled in Hong Kong. Leaked files show that the Derby-born Gulliver held about 5 million pounds ($7.69 million) in a Swiss account. (http://bit.ly/17K6Gda) MPS CALL FOR OFGEM TO CRACK DOWN ON ENERGY NETWORK COSTS The energy watchdog, Ofgem, has come under fire from MPs for exposing consumers to higher bills by failing to crack down on industry costs. The Commons energy and climate change committee said new price caps for National Grid and other power distribution companies, intended to keep down the costs of distributing and transmitting gas and electricity, were too generous. (http://bit.ly/1DIhoix) The Telegraph P&O CELEBRATES HANDOVER OF ITS BIGGEST SHIP P&O Cruises on Sunday celebrated the handover of the biggest addition to its fleet. The final instalment of the 473 million pounds Britannia was 5 percent cheaper than expected because of the strength of sterling against the euro. The original budget for the 141,000-tonne cruise liner, with accommodation for 3,600 passengers and 1,400 crew, had been 500 million pounds. (http://bit.ly/1EkvAxa) GREECE READIES LIST OF REFORMS TO DODGE BANKRUPTCY The Greek government will put forward plans to root out tax evasion and overhaul the country's labour laws in a bid to convince international creditors it should be granted a vital extension of its bailout programme. Athens is due to present a series of proposals to its international creditors formerly known as the Troika, in return for a four-month bailout reprieve which will help avert bankruptcy in the stricken country. (http://bit.ly/17oyV1b) Sky News POLICE ASSESSING AL SHABAAB UK MALL THREATS Islamist militants have released a video in which they appear to call for terrorist attacks on some of the busiest shopping areas in the UK and the United States. U.S. authorities have said they are taking the threats seriously. (http://bit.ly/1vZmqPJ) JACK STRAW SUSPENDED OVER 'CASH FOR ACCESS' Jack Straw has been suspended from the Labour Party over claims of a "cash for access" scandal. The former foreign secretary, along with Tory MP Malcolm Rifkind, were secretly filmed by the Daily Telegraph in a joint investigation with Channel 4's Dispatches programme apparently offering to use their influence in return for money. (http://bit.ly/18f73xt) The Independent APPLE SUED FOR ALLEGEDLY POACHING BATTERY ENGINEERS FROM ELECTRIC CAR FIRM A123 Systems makes batteries for electric cars and claims that Apple Inc has hired its staff. The accusations come amid claims that Apple is planning an electric car of its own. (http://ind.pn/1zsTlOb) COLLAPSE IN NEW HOMEBUILDING HEAPS PRESSURE ON MINISTERS The number of new homes being built collapsed in the second half of last year. There were only 29,800 new housing starts in England in the final quarter of 2014, the Communities Department reported. The news will be a grave embarrassment for ministers who have been claiming that the construction industry is booming. (http://ind.pn/17jbqqj) Fly On The Wall Pre-market Buzz ECONOMIC REPORTS Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include: Chicago Fed national activity index for January at 8:30--consensus is 0.05 Existing home sales for January at 10:00--consensus down 1.8% to 4.95M rate Dallas Fed manufacturing activity index for February at 10:30--consensus -4.0 ANALYST RESEARCH Upgrades Colgate-Palmolive (CL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup Computer Task Group (CTG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley IMS Health (IMS) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays LabCorp (LH) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse LabCorp (LH) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray MedAssets (MDAS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust New Gold (NGD) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Roth Capital Penn National (PENN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill Teleflex (TFX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays Downgrades Boeing (BA) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Century Communities (CCS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan CyberArk (CYBR) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan DirecTV (DTV) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital Enerplus (ERF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill GP Strategies (GPX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley Interactive Brokers (IBKR) downgraded to Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette MRC Global (MRC) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird Precision Castparts (PCP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Quest Diagnostics (DGX) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill Rio Tinto (RIO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS Salix (SLXP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray Spectrum (SPPI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital Initiations Axalta Coating (AXTA) initiated with a Buy at KeyBanc BofI Holding (BOFI) initiated with a Buy at DA Davidson CSX (CSX) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan Canadian National (CNI) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan Canadian Pacific (CP) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan Ensign Group (ENSG) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital Entellus Medical (ENTL) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill Entellus Medical (ENTL) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray Flex Pharma (FLKS) initiated with a Buy at Cantor Flex Pharma (FLKS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies Flex Pharma (FLKS) initiated with a Buy at Roth Capital Flex Pharma (FLKS) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities Flex Pharma (FLKS) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray Kansas City Southern (KSU) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan LDR Holding (LDRH) initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital Norfolk Southern (NSC) initiated with an Underweight at JPMorgan Presbia (LENS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies Union Pacific (UNP) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan Washington Trust Bancorp (WASH) initiated with a Neutral at Compass Point COMPANY NEWS Valeant (VRX) confirmed acquisition of Salix (SLXP) for $158 per share, or a total enterprise value of approximately $14.5B Polypore (PPO) agrees to sell company for $60.50 per share in cash to Asahi Kasei. Immediately prior to Asahi Kasei's acquisition of Polypore, 3M (MMM) will acquire the assets of Polypore's Separations Media segment for approximately $1B and Asahi Kasei will receive the cash proceeds from the asset sale New Residential (NRZ) to acquire Home Loan Servicing (HLSS) for $18.25 per share Globe Specialty Metals (GSM), Grupo FerroAtlántica agree to $3.1B combination DISH (DISH) announced President and CEO Joseph Clayton to retire March 31. DISH Co-founder and Chairman Charles Ergen, who has previously served as DISH’s President and CEO, will succeed Clayton in those roles Apple (AAPL) to invest EUR 1.6B in new European data centers EARNINGS Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include: DISH (DISH), Tower Semiconductor (TSEM), KLX Inc. (KLXI), Pacific Drilling (PACD) HSBC (HSBC) reports FY14 EPS 69c, compared to 84c a year ago Tower Semiconductor (TSEM) sees Q1 revenue $255M give or take 5%, consensus $224.03M KLX Inc. (KLXI) suspends financial guidance Valeant (VRX) reports Q4 EPS $2.58 vs. $2.15 in Q413, expects Q1 cash EPS of at least $2.30 per share State Street (STT) says legal accrual does not affect Q4, FY14 results NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Discovery (DISCA) held preliminary merger talks, AFR reports Google (GOOG) reaches preliminary agreement with Italian regulators, WSJ reports McDonald's (MCD) under pressure to raise hourly pay as Wal-Mart (WMT) sets bar, Reuters reports J&J (JNJ) considers Cordis sale with Cardinal (CAH) the leading suitor, Bloomberg says U.S units of Deutsche Bank (DB), Santander (SAN) seen failing stress tests, WSJ reports Investors should hold on to E.W. Scripps (SSP), Barron's says American Airlines (AAL) shares could continue 50% higher, Barron's says SYNDICATE Higher One (ONE) withdraws mixed securities shelf LinnCo (LNCO) files to sell common shares, no amount given Momenta (MNTA) enters $75M At-The-Market equity sales agreement with Stifel QTS Realty Trust (QTS) files to sell 8.7M shares of common stock Ultra Clean (UCTT) files to sell 1.44M shares of common stock for holders