Daily Business News ETX Capital Financial Spread Betting 19 by wuyunyi


									                                                 Newspaper Headlines
                                                 19 April 2011

                                                 The Times
                                                 Bet of the Day: Spread-betters who read charts were selling BHP Billiton‟s
                                                 share price before a production update. The charts indicated a potentially
                                                 bearish picture after last week‟s “abandoned baby” — a jump higher, quickly
                                                 followed next day by a gap lower and steep retreat — presaged a “head and
                                                 Deal of the day: Avanti Communications, a satellite company and one of
                                                 those shares bet against by Evil Knievil, the bear raider otherwise known as
                                                 Simon Cawkwell, rose 5.7% to 464½p, after being awarded almost $7.6
                                                 million (£4.7 million) from Space Exploration Technologies, an American
                                                 rocket company that failed to honour a launch contract.
                                                 Gilts: Gilts were spurred by ongoing talk that Greece would restructure its
                                                 debt and a downgrade of the U.S. credit outlook. June gilt futures settled 46
                                                 ticks higher, but underperformed the equivalent bund by 79 ticks as investors
                                                 sold U.S. Treasuries and bought German debt. In the cash market, the yield
                                                 on ten-year gilts fell six basis points to 3.55%.
                                                 Football highlights? Just point your phone at a picture: A roaring 3D dinosaur
                                                 emerges from behind Buckingham Palace as a cartoon character leaps out of
                                                 a bus stop and points at a movie trailer that has started to play. Welcome to
                                                 a reality where mobile phones and tablet computers bring images to life.
                                                 Lloyds of London appoints new Chairman: Lloyd‟s of London has appointed
                                                 John Nelson as Chairman to succeed Lord Levene, who has presided over the
                                                 insurance market‟s council for nine years. Mr Nelson, who has chaired
                                                 Hammerson, the property company, since 2005, will take over from Lord
                                                 Levene in October.
                                                 Libya fails to dent Halliburton profits: Turmoil in Libya and the imposition of
                                                 United Nations sanctions on Tripoli forced Halliburton to take a $46 million
                                                 charge in the first quarter. This, however, was more than offset by a
                                                 threefold jump in profits at its key North American operations.
                                                 Glencore‟s numbers just get bigger and bigger: Two of Glencore‟s banks have
                                                 valued the Swiss commodities trader at up to $69 billion in the run-up to its
                                                 planned flotation next month. The generous valuations have been greeted
                                                 with scepticism by some City investors, who point out that Credit Suisse and
                                                 Barclays Capital have a vested interest in promoting the value of their client.

  Contact Details
                                                 Towergate appointment taken as signal it is preparing to float: Speculation
  Manoj Ladwa                    0207 392 1487   mounted that Towergate was lining up a flotation as the acquisitive insurance
                                                 broker named a stock market veteran as its boardroom figurehead.
  Index and Equity Desk          0207 392 1479
                                                 Towergate, founded by the billionaire Peter Cullum, said that Alastair Lyons
  Institutional Equities         0207 392 1477
                                                 would be taking over as Non-Executive Chairman. Mr Lyons chairs Admiral, an
  Commodities                    0207 392 1403   insurance group that he helped to bring to the market, and Serco, the
  Options                        0207 392 1472   government outsourcing company.
  Currencies                     0207 392 1455
  Internet Dealing Desk          0207 392 1434

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                                                                          19 April 2011

    Kheraj to rejoin Barclays as Diamond‟s adviser: Naguib Kheraj, former Finance
    Director of Barclays, will rejoin the bank as an adviser to its Chief Executive,
    Bob Diamond. Mr Kheraj stepped down from a specially created international
    role at investment bank Lazard in February after just six weeks, saying he did
    not have enough time to fulfil his charitable commitments.
    Sainsbury‟s puts best foot forward in battle with the department stores: J
    Sainsbury is experimenting with its first outside concessions as it uses its larger
    supermarkets to take on the department stores. It is testing two Clarks‟ shoe
    concessions in larger stores. It is also operating an O2 mobile phone
    concession in a 100,000 sq ft hypermarket in Crayford, Kent.
    Looking for bargains on the forecourt: Dozens of independent car dealers are
    struggling in the wake of the recession and could be ripe for takeover,
    according to one of several businesses aggressively cleaning up distressed
    forecourts across Britain. Cambria Automobiles says that many dealers are
    over borrowed and are failing to shift stock — and it senses an opportunity.
    Explorers fight it out over tax bill in Uganda: A row between two oil
    companies over tax liabilities has erupted into multimillion-dollar lawsuits
    Tullow Oil is suing its former partner Heritage Oil for the $313 million (£192.5
    million) that it has had to pay in tax to the Ugandan Government. Heritage
    has countered with legal action seeking the return of $283 million held in an
    escrow account.
    BAE veteran joins queue at Dollywood: Question: what do nuclear
    submarines, battle tanks and the Eurofighter have in common with
    Dollywood, “The Great Smoky Mountains‟ family fun vacation adventure”
    owned by the singer who brought you Jolene? Answer: John Weston.
    Resolution: Lost 143/4p to 2943/4p, after UBS urged clients to no longer rate
    Clive Cowdery‟s company as a consolidation vehicle but rather to weigh it as a
    less racy, “normal” life company.

    Financial Times
    Alterian shares recover after sales forecast: Alterian, the struggling marketing
    technology company, admitted it “overreached” itself in recent months as it
    issued a trading update clarifying its two recent profit warnings.
    Resolution wavers as UBS downgrades and insurers retreat: Insurers led the
    London market lower as the FTSE 100 registered its biggest daily fall since
    November. Clive Cowdery‟s Resolution led the sector lower, down 4.8% to
    297½p, after UBS took the stock off its “Buy” list and cut earnings forecasts
    by about 30%.
    „Nimbys‟ begin struggle over High Speed 2: The political backlash against the
    High Speed 2 rail project arose in the predictable cluster of verdant
    Conservative constituencies in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and
    Warwickshire, which will find themselves bisected by the scheme.
    NHS electronic record scheme in danger: The National Health Service‟s £12.7
    billion programme to create an electronic patient record has been plunged
    into yet another crisis after CSC, its biggest supplier, missed yet another series
    of deadlines and one of its key NHS partners walked away – saying it does
    not want the systems on offer.

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                                                                        19 April 2011

    PGI takes majority stake in Finisterre: U.S. Asset Manager Principal Global
    Investors, part of the Principal Group, has taken a majority stake in Finisterre
    Capital – netting the London-based hedge funds five founders an estimated
    $52 million (£32 million).
    FSA goes for two-tier capital approach: U.K. regulators will focus resources
    only on the largest insurers in their efforts to assess new capital models
    before a January 2013 deadline, in effect leaving smaller groups to fend for
    Wrecking ball fells former Hyundai plant: A factory once hailed as a flagship
    of Scotland‟s aspirations to become global centre for semiconductor
    manufacturing fell to the wrecking ball on Monday as the site‟s new Owner
    launched its redevelopment with a focus on the renewables industry.
    SFO ponders probe into Notts County deal: Fraud investigators said on
    Monday they would decide shortly whether to examine the case of how
    football‟s oldest club was taken over by a convicted fraudster whose scam
    deceived both a former England Manager and the government of North
    Nat Express faces further scrutiny: The troubles at National Express deepened
    on Monday when a leading U.S. shareholder lobby group said it had concerns
    over the transport company‟s corporate governance procedures.
    Big guns vie to tap Azeri gas riches: An ugly mass of buildings, pipes and
    vents sprawled beside the Caspian Sea appears an unlikely beginning for
    Europe‟s future energy supply.
    International diversity of U.K. boards grows: The number of Foreign Directors
    on the boards of Britain‟s biggest companies has risen by more than half in
    five years, according to a study that is being used to shape corporate
    governance policy in Europe.
    Standard Life: Down 3.4% to 208½p, after Citigroup cut its target price to
    Petropavlovsk: Off 4% to 853½p, amid growing doubts among investors
    about the cost of switching its two main mines to refractory ore, which needs
    a more complex and expensive extraction process.
    Heritage Oil: Dropped 6.8% to 251½p, on news that Tullow Oil was suing it
    for alleged breach of contract over its refusal to reimburse a $313 million
    payment that Tullow made to the Ugandan government.
    Bwin Party Digital: Surged 29.8% to 170p, on a short squeeze while Playtech
    climbed 7.5% to 339½p.
     U.S. debt: credit where it‟s due: Bond vigilantes tend to be rude about
      rating agencies, and with good reason. But it is Standard & Poor‟s, not
      the bond market that is trying to get U.S. politicians to treat the country‟s
      fiscal deficit seriously. Should anyone care that S&P has put U.S. sovereign
      debt on negative credit outlook? The answer should plainly be “no”. This
      is only an opinion, based on public data, with a one-third chance that
      action will follow within two years. Given the scale of the deficit, it is
      obvious that rating agencies should at least consider downgrades,
      whatever they say in public. But this gesture is important precisely
      because it is aimed at politicians, not investors. S&P chose to surprise the

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                                                                          19 April 2011

        market, and to move to a formal negative outlook when it could merely
        have mused publicly about downgrades, as Moody‟s did earlier this year.
        It could have raised the alarm about the debt ceiling, the current hot
        topic. Instead, it emphasised the risk that “U.S. policymakers might not
        reach an agreement on how to address medium and long-term budgetary
        challenges by 2013”. In other words, if politicians try to avoid this issue
        until after the 2012 election, they will suffer a downgrade.

     J&J/Synthes: what the doctor ordered: Fracture a bone anywhere in the
      world and the odds are good that Synthes will supply the materials to
      mend it. Snapping up the device maker for a cool $20 billion may be just
      what the doctor ordered for Johnson & Johnson which, while not quite
      broken, has been prone to some nasty spills lately. It lost nearly $1 billion
      in sales last year due to various product recalls and has been on the prowl
      since failing to consummate a big deal for British device manufacturer
      Smith & Nephew. Buying Synthes is about much more than bolstering
      J&J‟s wounded portfolio though. A leader in other parts of the
      orthopaedic market, J&J remains a bit player in trauma, Synthes‟s forte.
      An ageing population translates to far more broken bones in coming
      decades, just as it means more artificial hips and knees (where J&J
      already has scale). Synthes controls about half of this business, valued at
      more than $5 billion, around a fifth of the overall orthopaedics market.
      And its spinal products business would help J&J edge closer to market
      leader Medtronic.

     Eurozone: panic is premature: According to the Greeks, nothing
      happened. But as markets feel they have been misled by Greece in the
      past, it is no surprise that they largely ignored its denial that it had asked
      for its debt to be restructured. Greece‟s cause was not helped by
      revelations of a German contingency plan to cope with a default. For
      Eurozone unity, the latest utterances of the d-word come at a bad time.
      Last Sunday‟s Finnish election saw Anti-Euro party True Finns vacuum up
      19% of the vote, almost five times the support they mustered in 2007. It
      may well not form part of the next coalition government, but if it does,
      its anti-bail out policies could see Finland withdraw from the European
      financial stability facility‟s €80 billion bail-out of Portugal – a lifeline that
      requires unanimous Eurozone support. Markets – like horror movie-buffs
      – love to be spooked. Spain, which must rue the timing of its Monday
      debt auction, saw yields on €3.5 billion worth of 12-month bills balloon
      almost one-third to 2.77%, and on €1.1 billion of 18 month bills by almost
      two-fifths to 3.36%. For good measure, the Euro nosedived almost 2
      cents against the dollar.

     Elliott needs fresh scalps to bolster bragging rights: For a business
      operating within the supposedly secretive world of hedge funds, Elliott
      Management of the U.S. is gaining curious prominence. Scarcely a day
      goes by without the company donning the high-visibility raiment of the
      activist investor to participate in one corporate tussle or another. It is
      seeking to replace Directors at U.K. transport group National Express and
      Swiss biotech group Actelion. Elliott is also figuring, albeit in a supporting
      role, in the defence of Danisco of Denmark from DuPont of the U.S. and
      in an assault by U.K. activist Laxey on Alliance Trust, a venerable
      investment fund. There is supposedly no strategic reason why the
      company is suddenly as omnipresent in the business pages as Kate
      Middleton is in the news sections of non-pink papers. Happenstance, it is
      claimed, required Elliott to take simultaneous public positions on National
      Express, Actelion and DuPont. But one might surmise that a recovery in
      the potential for M&A deals, reflecting improved corporate profitability,

4            Newspaper Headlines                       Refer to the last page for disclaimer
                                                                        19 April 2011

        also has something to do with it. It makes sense to signal that a business
        might be open to offers – this being Elliott‟s message regarding National
        Express – when offers might reasonably be forthcoming.

     Cover story: The severity of antitrust penalties does not feature in inward
      investment brochures under such straplines as: “Come to the U.K. with its
      skilled workforce and ferocious competition enforcers!” Yet official
      belligerence towards rigged markets is a useful guarantee that incoming
      businesses are unlikely to get stiffed by contractors and suppliers. So it is
      regrettable that the Competition Appeals Tribunal has cut fines imposed
      on nine building companies judged guilty of cover pricing. Cover pricing is
      a venial rather than a mortal sin in antitrust theology. Here, two
      contractors will typically collude in a tender, with one contractor
      deliberately quoting a higher price than the other. The overbidder thus
      stays on the customer‟s radar as a potential partner while neutralising the
      risk of winning a contract that it sees as unattractive. The danger of cover
      pricing is that it can spill over into price fixing. The CAT, living up to its
      acronym as a bit of a pussycat, slashed fines imposed on such hard-hat
      wearers as Crest Nicholson from £11.6 million to £2.7 million on Friday.
      The nub of the CAT‟s argument was that the penalties, imposed by the
      Office of Fair Trading, were too harsh.

    The Daily Telegraph
    Sovereign debt fears put Euro under pressure: The Euro fell amid fears that a
    public backlash against “squanderer” member states could de-rail Brussels‟
    radical plans to avert the mounting sovereign debt crises.
    Online gaming shares jump on U.S. crackdown: Share in online gaming
    companies without exposure to “illegal” U.S. gamblers rocketed this morning
    in response to Friday night‟s crackdown against the three largest poker
    websites in America.
    Desire shares plunge after sixth oil well comes up dry: Desire Petroleum shares
    collapsed by 60% on Monday, after the company said it will abandon its sixth
    Falklands well. It found oil “shows” in the Ninky well, but not enough to be
    commercially viable to extract, sending its share price down 241/4 to 153/4p.
    Four banks cleared of market rigging in Parmalat collapse: Four of the world‟s
    largest banks have been acquitted of market rigging in relation to the
    collapse of Italian food group Parmalat.
    Analysts claim Bart Becht fell out with Reckitt Benckiser board: Analysts have
    claimed that Bart Becht, the highly-regarded Chief Executive of Reckitt
    Benckiser, quit after a boardroom bust up over strategy.
    Serco: Advancing 0.5p to 555½p, after contract for difference broker Galvan
    placed a “Buy” rating on the company.
    Smith & Nephew: Tumbled 4.6%, on the news - Johnson & Johnson had been
    seen as a potential suitor for the artificial hip and knees maker.
    ITV: Up 1.9%, after Jefferies International upgraded its rating for the
    broadcaster to “Hold” from “Underperform”, mainly on valuation grounds.
    Toyota Motor Corp.: Fell 0.3%, as it remained unclear when the automaker
    would resume full production in Japan.

5            Newspaper Headlines                     Refer to the last page for disclaimer
                                                                         19 April 2011

    The Independent
    Euro stocks slide amid renewed fears of Greek default: Renewed fears of an
    early default by Greece on its sovereign debt sent the Euro, European stock
    markets and the already depressed value of bonds issued by other distressed
    peripheral Eurozone members sliding.
    RBS faces AGM protests over tar sands cash: Royal Bank of Scotland faces
    protests from native tribespeople over its backing for the controversial
    extraction of oil from tar sands in Canada.
    Luxury brand names take Google fight to High Court: Some of the world‟s
    most prestigious brand names are to fight a legal battle in the High Court
    over Google search terms.
    Sales rise of 17% puts fizz back into LVMH: LVMH posted sparkling first
    quarter sales figures for all of its businesses. The maker of Moet et Chandon
    champagne and Louis Vuitton handbags saw its sales grow by 17% to €5.25
    billion (£4.6 billion) over the three months, and reported “strong
    momentum” in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
    Toyota fires up quake-hit Japanese car factories: Toyota was producing cars
    at all of its Japanese factories for the first time since the devastating
    earthquake and tsunami rocked the country last month.
    Banks agree to delay Southern Cross tests: Southern Cross‟s lenders have
    postponed a test of its banking covenants until 31 May as the care homes
    group tries negotiate rent reductions with landlords in the wake of local
    authority spending cuts.

    The Guardian
    Discounters take over U.K. malls: Pound shops, discount fashion chains and
    fast-food outlets are moving into shopping centres in increasing numbers,
    changing the face of Britain‟s malls.
    Eurotunnel cruises past ferry operators in cross-channel market: Cross-channel
    tourists are losing their sea legs, Eurotunnel has claimed, after the company
    said rising fuel prices have pushed it ahead of ferry operators in the U.K.-to-
    France travel market.
    Agricultural land prices hit record high: Rising food prices have pushed up the
    price of arable land in parts of the U.K., but life is tougher for livestock
    farmers. Agricultural land prices in Britain have hit record levels following the
    surge in global food prices, according to figures from Savills.
    Citigroup profits slump 32%: Citigroup‟s profits slumped 32% in the first
    quarter of the year, dragged down by lacklustre returns in its trading division
    and U.S. consumer banking arm. The bank‟s revenues in the first quarter of
    2011 were $19.7 billion (£12 billion), up 7% from the last quarter but down
    22% from the first quarter of 2010.
    Insights from ecologists show ways of preventing economic disaster: In the
    eight centuries from 1000-1800 AD the world‟s fish stocks and species
    numbers were stable and healthy. In the subsequent 200 years, 40% of the
    species in coastal waters collapsed, showing falls in their population by 90%
    or more.

6            Newspaper Headlines                      Refer to the last page for disclaimer
                                                                          19 April 2011

    Daily Mail
    Shares slide on shock U.S. credit outlook cut: The surprise downgrading of the
    United States‟ credit outlook by a leading agency has sent stock markets
    sliding. Ratings agency Standard & Poor‟s downgraded its credit outlook for
    the U.S., from stable to negative, but maintained its top AAA credit rating.
    Philips sells majority stake of TV business: Philips is offloading 70% of its loss-
    making television business as its former flagship products can no longer
    compete with lower-cost rivals and have dragged down profit at Europe‟s
    biggest consumer electronics firm.
    Tesco looks East as U.K. lags behind: Tesco‟s Asian stores are expected to ring
    up record profits for the retailer this week, but there is unlikely to be any
    relief from dismal sales in Britain.
    Glencore and BP aim to placate investors: Commodities trader Glencore and
    oil supermajor BP is facing twin battles to reassure investors this week, after
    disgruntled institutions flexed their muscles.
    Desire Petroleum: Plunged 63% to 15p, after it failed to find oil at its Ninky
    well off the Falkland Islands.
    BP: Edged up by 0.8p to 456.55p, as it emerged that one of its top investors
    had advised the oil giant to double its £19 billion asset sale programme, with
    the aim of creating a sleeker operation with greater growth potential.
    Broker Views:
     Logica: Exane BNP Paribas upgrade the stock to “Outperform” and
      increased the target price to 167.00p

     888 Holdings: Numis Securities Ltd upgrade the stock to “Buy” and
      increased the target price to 50.00p

     AstraZeneca: Oehman Fondkommission upgrade the                           stock      to
      “Outperform” and increased the target price to 3245.68p

     Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd: Nomura Code Securities maintains a “Buy” rating
      on the stock, with a target price of 21.00p

     Avanti Communications Group: Jefferies maintains a “Buy” rating on the
      stock, with a target price of 1340.00p

     EnCore Oil: Arbuthnot Securities maintains a “Buy” rating on the stock,
      with a target price of 211.00p

    Daily Express
    Clothes chain seeks German ban for ASOS: ASOS faces a legal challenge over
    the launch of its website in Germany amid claims the brand will cause
    confusion among shoppers.
    S&N drifts as bid hopes slip: Shares in orthopaedics group Smith & Nephew
    fell 3% as takeover hopes faded after prospective U.S. bidder Johnson &
    Johnson closed in on a possible $20 billion (£12.3 billion) buy-up of Swiss
    medical group Synthes.

7            Newspaper Headlines                       Refer to the last page for disclaimer
                                                                        19 April 2011

    Norwich to pay £51 million: One of Britain‟s biggest building societies is to
    pay £51 million in compensation to customers after being fined £1.5 million
    for mis-selling investment products.
    Chevron: £2 billion tax hike could scupper North Sea hopes: Chevron has
    warned the Government‟s £2 billion tax raid on North Sea oil and gas profits
    could force it to invest elsewhere.

    The Scottish Herald
    Scottish arm of Lloyds in trading warning: Up-for-sale Lloyds TSB Scotland is
    warning it expects “challenging” economic conditions north of the Border for
    most of 2011, likely limiting growth in its lending and income and meaning an
    improvement in the bad debt picture might not be maintained.
    King Sturge ace casts verdict on property market: The big Scottish banks are
    controlling a “substantial amount” of the commercial property market north
    of the Border amid scarcer funding and lower valuations, consultancy King
    Sturge‟s big-hitting signing Caroline Parker said.
    EnCore unveils subsidiary plan: EnCore Oil said that it is planning to spin off
    its North Sea exploration assets into a new company as it focuses on two key
    projects in the U.K. sector, writes Douglas Hamilton.
    Anti-piracy firm raises £5 million: Metaforic, a software company which has
    developed products to combat piracy and hacker attacks, has raised £5
    million in a funding round led by venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners.
    Maxima Chief Executive refuses to rule out job cuts: Graham Kingsmill, the
    Chief Executive of troubled former Scottish technology darling Maxima
    Holdings, has told The Herald that axing headcount was “not part of plan”
    after announcing a comprehensive strategic review which could result in the
    sale of the company.

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                                                                   19 April 2011

    Market Round Up
     FTSE 100 declined 2.1% to close at 5,870.1.
     FTSEurofirst 300 index slumped 1.7% to 1,112.4.
     DJIA edged down 1.1% or 140.2 points, to settle at 12,201.6.
      NASDAQ slid 1.1% or 29.3 points to close at 2,735.4. S&P 500
      slipped 1.1% or 14.5 points to 1,305.1.
     Nikkei 225 index is trading 1.2% lower, at 9,442.4.
     In Asia, crude oil for May delivery is trading 47 cents lower at
      $106.65 per barrel.
     At 0400 BST today, the GBP is trading 0.1% lower against the USD
      at $1.6246, slightly lower against the EUR at €1.1421 and
      marginally down against the JPY at ¥134.13.

9        Newspaper Headlines                    Refer to the last page for disclaimer
                                                                                                                              19 April 2011


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