- Equities: Novartis [NOVN.SZ] Reported Q4 Net $1.51B below consensus estimates
of $1.86B. Revenues were $10.08B missing the estimate of $10.53B. Guided
revenues to grow 'at mid-single digit rate' in local currencies this year and
added that 2009 would be an increasingly challenging year. To raise dividend by
25% to CHF2/shr || SAP [SAP.GE] Reported Q4 Net ‚ā¨850M above consensus estimates
of ‚ā¨826.4M. Revenues were ‚ā¨3.49B roughly in line with the ‚ā¨3.45B estimate. It
noted that it would reduce its global workforce to 48.5K (about 3K jobs or 5.8%
of workforce) by end of 2009. The company planned to pay dividend this year and
retain a 30% payout ratio. It did not plan a share repurchase program in 2009
|| Wacker Chemical [WCH.GE] Reported its Q4 revenues of ‚ā¨1.01B which was
slightly below expectations of ‚ā¨1.03B. It met its 2008 revenue goal with
revenues coming in at ‚ā¨4.3B versus ‚ā¨4.31B estimates. To introduce shorter
working hours to cut costs but noted it was 'well equipped' to meet current
year's challenges. It saw demand falling in chemical divisions and in
semiconductor wafers || Schneider [SU.FR] Announced strategic update and
reaffirmed 50% dividend payout ratio. It targeted EBITA margin of at least 12%
this year and noted that near term visibility resulting from the global
economic downturn reduced considerably the group's ability to provide reliable
forecast on growth. It would cut further ‚ā¨400M from costs if needed by 2011 and
targeted organic growth of GDP plus 3 pts over cycle || Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
[BBVA.SP] Reports FY08 Net ‚ā¨5.02B v ‚ā¨5.63Be || Centrotec [CEV.GE] Met its FY08
outlook. Guided FY09 revenues ‚ā¨455-480M v ‚ā¨467M estimates || British Sky
Broadcasting [BSY.UK] Reported H1 Adj Op Profit of ¬£388M above ¬£361M estimate
with revenues of ¬£2.60B and in-line ¬£2.58B consensus. It was increasing its
dividend by 5% to 7p/shr and noted it was creating 1K new job. Its Q2 Net Adds
were171K above 134K estimates while Churn came in at 9.9% v 10.4% consensus. ||
3i Group [III.UK] Names Michael Queen new CEO || Carillion [CLLN.UK] Awarded
Bankside contract worth up to ¬£130M || GKN [GKN.UK] Provided trading update in
which its 2008 group sales would to be up 12% y/y. Its pretax seen at higher
end of forecast. It noted that that conditions have deteriorated and that its
2008 results would include ¬£150M impairment. Its automotive business
loss-making in Nov and dec period || Vedanta [VED.UK] Provided Q3 production
update: Reports highest ever quarterly production of zinc and aluminum; record
sales of iron ore. The company also reported Q3 revenues of Rev $1.31B compared
to $1.89B seen a year ago || Norsk Hydro [NHY.NO] Announced NOK3.5B asset
writedown and saw impairment on Q4 results. It would reduce 2009 CAPEX by 30%.
It noted that Aluminum products have been hit by weak demand || Tate & Lyle
[TATE.UK] Provided interim management statement in that the current orders are
lower than in H1 of FY. It commented that the firm remained 'well financed'
despite the deterioration in the global economy. || SSL [SSL.UK: To sell up to
19.2M shares (about 10% of shares outstanding) and noted that its trading
remained in line with expectations || Balfour Beatty [BBY.UK] JV names
preferred provider for National Grid contract, valued at $1.7B || Areva
[CEI.FR] Awarded long term EDF contract for uranium conversion, worth several
hundred million euros || Fraport [FRA.GE] Board Member Schulte noted that its
Q1 would be 'worst of crisis' for aviation industry and that overall 2009 would
be a very difficult year. He noted that the firm wwas still interested in other
airports such as Edinburgh || British Land
[BLND.UK] May sell its 50% stake in the Meadowhall shopping center for about
¬£550M according to UK press reports || Spanish Car Assoc: See 2009 sales at
900K units ||
- Speakers: SNB's Roth: Sees 'commented that there was no evidence' for a
potential 2010 recovery so far. He added that the Swiss economy was in solid
shape but would 'suffer' like other countries in the current environment. He
expressed no surprise over weakness of USD given Fed's policy. Switzerland
needs a stable US
economy for recovery and noted that its export sector showed weakness. He
commented that Swiss could encounter some negative inflationary forces in next
few months but not deflation|| ECB Gonzales- Paramo noted that the EuroZone
inflation had declined significantly and inflationary expectation are currently
anchored. Anchored Inflationary expectations have allowed ECB to lower interest
rates but the central bank's mandate remains medium term price stability ||
EU's Juncker commented that controlling deficits at any price without
considering economic realities would be 'harmful' || OECD's Gurria reiterated
that both the ECB and BoE have additional room to lower interest rates ||
Polish Central Banker Noga: Key interest rate may fall under 4% level ||
Economist Nouriel Roubini labels current environment as a ‚Äúsynchronized global
recession‚ÄĚ || SNB to set up a swap line with Magyar Nemzeti, a Hungarian bank
|| World Bank Chief Economist noted that China's Q1 GDP growth may be under 7%
but remain confident its 2009 GDP growth to be 7-8% range || IMF's Strauss-Kahn
stated that the Eurozone was in need of political coordination and could be 'in
danger' without it. || German Bundesbank commented that it was not selling gold
(This seems to be in regards to its Sept 30th comment Sept 30th comment that
would not sell gold in fifth year of central bank agreement and would pass on
remaining sales quotas to other central banks). || Spain GDP contracted by 1.1%
in quarterly terms in Q4; officially in recession - Central Bank
- In Currencies: The risk appetite in the session was aided by speculation that
the US was
moving towards setting up a toxic bank and an agreement on its bailout package.
The JPY and USD were on a weaker footing as a result of the firmer equity bias.
EUR/USD tested back above the 1.33 early in the session before consolidating in
the mid-1.32 neighborhood. The GBP continued with its retracement rally moving
above the 1,43 handle against the USD and below 0.93 versus the Euro
- The CHF was weaker in the session. The SNB agreed to set up a swap line with
Magyar Nemzeti, a Hungarian bank, which would be effective from February 2nd
through the end of April. One dealer commented that that the development could
remove a source of CHF buying. USD/CHF moved from the 1.1360 area to above
1.1430 during the course of the morning. || the Russian Rouble moved above the
38 level against its basket. Some analysts noting that perhaps the new upper
band of RUB41 could be tested in weeks rather than months.
- In Energy: WSJ article noting that the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
indicated that the Obama administration could be open to expanded offshore
drilling. Article notes that the administration was mulling doing away with a
program that allows oil companies to pay in kind for oil and natural gas taken
from public lands. || FT noted that President Obama was looking to cut US oil
demand by about 4M bpd; The figure would equal the combined daily consumption
of France and Canada.
Article quoted Obama as saying "within 10 yrs (we aim) to save more oil
than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela
- Credit Crisis: Speculation that a US
‚Äúbad bank‚ÄĚ plan might be announced next week. FDIC's Chairman Bair seeks to run
such an entity
- In Fixed Income volumes have been predictably thin ahead of the FOMC decision
later in the session. Italy
sold ‚ā¨1.5B in 2019 and 2035 inflation linked bonds, with healthy results not
really suprising and consistent with recent auctions. Supply continues to be
provided with Spain
launching a new 10y and Slovenia
offering new 3 and 5 years later in the year. Elsewhere details emerged of
upcoming new issues from some major European corporate names. KPN , AC.FR and
Nokia (NOK) are all expected to tap corporate debt markets with new 5 and 10y
bonds on the horizon
*** NOTES ***
- Risk appetite seems to again return as governments continue to scramble to
limit the impact of the recession amid the turmoil . Speculation that a US
‚Äúbad bank‚ÄĚ plan might be announced next week. FDIC's Chairman Bair expressed
interest to run such an entity. The success of such an operation is at what
level would the toxic assets be purchased at. Dealers noting that the level
would be whether or not the plan has the foundation for 'success.'
- Dealers also noting the pending FOMC announcement later today. The focus
would be on the communications challenges that the central bank endures now
that interest rates are basically zero.
- Looking Ahead:
- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Jan 23: No expectations v -9.8% prior
- (GE) German Jan CPI- Baden Wuttemberg M/M: % v 0.4% prior; Y/Y: % v 1.4%
- (GE) German Jan Preliminary CPI M/M: -0.3% expected v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 1.1%
expected v 1.1% prior
-14:15 (US) FOMC Rate Decision : Expectations are for no change to the Fed
Funds target rate of 0.0% to 0.25%
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