Frontrunning: April 25

  • Trump’s 15% Corporate Tax Push Sets Stage for Clash With Ryan (BBG)
  • U.S. and North Korea Flex Military Muscles (BBG)
  • Le Pen’s father criticizes her presidential campaign as she steps back from party (Reuters)
  • Eight Maps That Explain France’s Macron-Le Pen Election (BBG)
  • Alphabet’s Waymo Offering Families Rides in Self-Driving Cars (WSJ)
  • UK’s May to host meeting with Japanese PM Abe on Friday (Reuters)
  • Trump Slaps Duty on Canadian Lumber, Intensifying Trade Fight (BBG)
  • Government costs could rise $2.3 billion without Obamacare payments (Reuters)
  • U.S. Suspects Russia Supplying Small Arms to Taliban in Afghanistan (WSJ)
  • Russia calls U.S. allegation it arms Taliban unsubstantiated (Reuters)
  • Kremlin says Ukraine is pushing away breakaway region with power cut (Reuters)
  • The World’s Biggest Stock Markets Haven’t Been This Split Since 2008 (BBG)
  • Politico Names Investment Banker as New CEO (WSJ)
  • Analyst Who Made $37,000 in an Hour Now Faces $815,000 Fine (BBG)
  • Betting Worst Is Over, Steelmakers Spending Again After Cuts (BBG)
  • Credit Suisse Spends to Boost Booming Energy Team Amid Cutbacks (BBG)
  • Netflix clinches licensing deal with China’s (Reuters)
  • Pentagon Sees Lockheed F-35 Deliveries Falling Behind This Year (BBG)
  • Ready for take-off? China’s answer to Boeing now just needs to sell (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


– The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request from General Motors Co to limit the fallout from its ignition-switch defect. The court denied the auto maker’s request to review a lower-court ruling that gave some victims’ families the power to sue over defective ignition switches.

– Express Scripts Holding Co said Monday it doesn’t expect Anthem Inc its biggest customer, to extend a pharmacy-benefits management agreement slated to expire at the end of 2019.

– Paint giant PPG Industries Inc on Monday raised its offer for Dutch rival Akzo Nobel NV to $26.4 billion, the U.S. firm’s third takeover attempt in a two-month-long, unsolicited courtship.

– Aerospace parts maker Arconic Inc on Monday delayed its much-anticipated annual meeting and tried to defuse a long-running spat with activist investor Elliott Management Corp that last week forced the company’s chief executive to step down.

– Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it would roll out two software updates for its new Galaxy S8 smartphone this week after users complained of red-tinted screens and patchy Wi-Fi connections.



Albertsons is exploring a takeover of high-end grocer Whole Foods Market Inc, according to two people familiar with the matter. Private equity group Cerberus Capital Management that backs Albertsons has had preliminary discussions with bankers about making a bid for Whole Foods.

British luxury retailer Jimmy Choo Plc has put itself up for sale after struggling to retain the cachet it held in the early 2000s. JAB Holdings, that owns 70 percent of the shoemaker, is seeking buyers for the brand and also said it was considering a sale of Swiss luxury footwear and accessories company Bally International.

U.S. paint maker PPG Industries Inc raised its proposed offer for Dutch rival Akzo Nobel by 8 percent to 26.9 billion euros ($29.22 billion), increasing the pressure on Akzo to enter into talks. PPG said its proposal was a “final” invitation to Akzo to enter negotiations.



– President Trump has instructed his advisers to make cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent a centerpiece of his tax-cut blueprint to be unveiled this week, according to people with knowledge of his plans, even if that means a significant reduction in revenue that could jettison his campaign promise to curb deficits.

– Yahoo Inc shareholders will vote on June 8 on whether to sell the company’s internet businesses to Verizon Communications Inc for $4.48 billion. A yes vote, which is widely expected, would end Marissa Mayer’s largely unsuccessful five-year effort to restore the internet pioneer to greatness.

– The scandal at Wells Fargo & Co over the creation of millions of fake bank accounts cost more than 5,300 people their jobs, many of them tellers and other low-level employees. The next group of employees who could lose their jobs are Wells Fargo’s board of directors, who face re-election on Tuesday at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting.

– NBC News said that Megyn Kelly would start her new job next month, with a Sunday evening showcase set to start in June. Her new morning show, which is expected to replace an hour of “Today”, is scheduled for the fall.

– After 20 years as the king of cable news, O’Reilly’s return to broadcasting came not on camera, but in a 19-minute recorded podcast on his personal website.




** Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate leaks of classified cabinet deliberations regarding a naval supply ship project that eventually led the police to accuse Vice-Admiral Mark Norman of breach of trust, according to an insider.

** Ontario will provide residents in Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay with free income, part of the government’s plan to test whether the extra funds will help improve their job prospects and quality of life.

** Canadian National Railway Co rode a wave of new shipping contracts and record volumes to a 12 percent jump in first-quarter profit. Revenue rose by 8 percent.


** The Ontario Securities Commission has been asked to halt Cenovus Energy Inc’s blockbuster deal to buy ConocoPhillips’ Canadian assets pending a shareholder vote.

** A decade-long ceasefire in the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber war ends on Tuesday with the U.S. Commerce Department expected to slap a preliminary countervailing duty of around 20 percent on Canadian lumber shipments, in response to a complaint from U.S. lumber producers.



The Times

– PPG raised its offer to 24.6 billion euros to acquire Dulux paint maker Akzo Nobel, which is more than 17 percent higher than its first sighting shot in early March. This is the third takeover offer and an apparent threat that this would be the last friendly approach.

– Anglo American reported higher production levels for the first quarter of the year as its outgoing chairman confirmed that the recovery in commodity prices had removed the pressure to sell off its mines.

The Guardian

– Shares in British Gas owner Centrica, UK’s largest energy supplier, fell 4.2 percent, while SSE shares fell 3.2 percent in the wake of the Conservative party’s pledge to cap energy bills.

– Foster + Partners, plans to lay off nearly 100 people, and blamed the uncertainty around construction projects caused by last summer’s Brexit vote.

The Telegraph

– Vodafone’s UK arm has wasted millions of pounds on pay-TV channel contracts that it is now seeking to escape, in the latest sign of the telecoms giant’s challenges in its home market. It now faces penalty payments to break the agreements early.

– Activist investor Elliott Advisors revealed it has built up a 6.8 percent stake in British engineering giant WS Atkins , which has just accepted a takeover offer.

Sky News

– Shares in British luxury brand Jimmy Choo have soared to a record high after it put itself up for sale. It was to conduct a review of various strategic options to “maximise value for its shareholders,” including the possibility of a sale.

– Co-operative Bank will this week pick new advisers to negotiate a restructuring deal with its investors as hopes of an outright sale of the company diminish.

The Independent

– UK companies risk reducing the issue of diversity to a mere footnote of other priorities, even though it’s a key driver of productivity and competitiveness, according to director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, Carolyn Fairbairn.


Source: ZeroHedge