- Equities: Lafarge [LG.FR] Reported FY08 Adj Net income of â‚¬1.71B slightly
below the â‚¬1.81B expected. Revenues were â‚¬19.03B v â‚¬18.89Be. It announced it
would launch a â‚¬1.5B rights issue which is part of â‚¬4.5B action plan || Swiss
Life [SLHN.SZ] Reported FY Net CHF340M compared to loss CHF411.8Me || Shire
[SHP.UK] CEO commented that the firm to become more aggressive in takeovers. He
noted that employees are concerned that the company itself could become
takeover target. The CEO stated that it sought to acquire 5 companies in
therapeutic field and wouldl use $1.2B revolver credit line to fund such
acquisitions || Saint-Gobain [SGO.FR] Reported 2008 net â‚¬1.38B compared to
â‚¬1.81B estimates. Revenues were â‚¬43.80B below the â‚¬44.15B consensus. It planned
to raise â‚¬1.5B in capital and reduce its dividend by 50%. It expected 2009 to
be an extremely challenging year and would cut its CAPEX by at least 25% in
2009. it also would cut its workforce by 8K jobs || Anglo American [AAL.UK]
Reported FY08 Net profit of $5.21B below consensus of $5.78B. Revenues were
$32.96B above the forecast of $28.55B. It would not pay final dividend and
suspended further dividends. The firm will cut 19K jobs || Rentokil [RTO.UK]
Reported FY Op profit of ÂŁ147.7M compared to estimates of ÂŁ142.6M. Revenues
were ÂŁ2.41B versus ÂŁ2.35B expectations. It would not pay final dividend. It
noted that Q4 Net margin decreased to 8.4% || Prudential [PRU.UK] Reported FY08
insurance Rev ÂŁ3.02B, up 5% y/y. It confirmed transfer assets and liabilities
agency to China Life || Bekaert [BEKB.NV] Reported FY08 Consolidated Rev â‚¬2.66B
versus â‚¬2.62B expectations. It commented that it did not expect current
economic slowdown to last on company-wide scale || Cattles [CTT.UK] Reports
interim statement in which it would delay it 2008 preliminary results. I now
expects its profits before taxes to be substantially below market expectations.
The delay is due to pending completion of a review of the adequacy of its
impairment provisions. || Titan [TSW.UK] Provided interim update in which it
guided it FY08 Rev ÂŁ450M compared to ÂŁ440.0Mesitmates. it expected its pretax
in line with prior expectations, but added it would not pay a final dividend ||
Telenor [TEL.NO] Siberian court ruled against that co. is liable for $1.76B in
damages; will appeal decision
- Speakers: ECB Trichet stated that both the US and Europe face same challenges
and reiterated that prior comments of a possibility to cut interest rates at
its March policy meeting . He also noted that ZERO rates would bring
inconveniences. The ECB has taken decisive measures to combat global market
turmoil and that the crisis was serious challenge to global financial system. Trichet
noted that the ECB balance sheet has increased by â‚¬600B since the beginning of
crisis, which is a two thirds increase. | ECB's Stark reiterated the â€śofficialâ€ť
view of that no break-up of Eurozone would result from the global economic and
resulting fiscal issues. He commented that no bailout clause was important
foundation of Euro|| World Bank commented that the Eastern European 2009
outlook was "gloomy" and that the weaker CE4 currencies leave the
regions' central banks with limited room for rate cuts to provide economic
momentum. It noted that some currencies have given back previous gains that
took 4 years to achieve. It added that Eastern Europe
has little room for fiscal impulses and forecasted the region's 2009 GDP at
flat to up 2.0% || Russian Pres Medvedev stated that the bottom of the global
economic crisis still has not reached. He added that leaving EU would
exacerbate the financial problems of departing members. || German Fin Ministry
denied earlier speculation (and German press report) regarding Eurobond issue
to help EU members. The ministry noted that it must discuss the widening EU
bond spreads with EU Commission, ECB and Eurogroup || Russian Econ Min
Nabiullina stated that the country's GDP declined 2.4% in January; economic
situation remains 'quite difficult' and noted that the trend would continue for
'next few quarters' || India Planning Panel Head stated that the central bank
has room for more interest rate cuts as inflation recedes || Club Med [CU.FR]
Reported Q1 Rev â‚¬329M compared to â‚¬323M y/y. Its like-for-like sales were
higher by 3% y/y || Iceland's
Fin Min commented that it should lower its interests rates soon and pledged to
settle debts to foreign depositors. He noted that rates should be lowered prior
to the removal of cap restriction laws || German Bundesrat (Upper House)
approved â‚¬50B economic stimulus package || Germany's Vice Chancellor Steinmeier
did note that a â€śprocessâ€ť has begun to consider how strong Euro nations could
help each other during the economic turmoil but added it was too early to say
what kind of steps might be taken
- In Currencies: The EUR/USD hovered around the 1.26 for most of the European
morning. The dealers taking note that the recent break of 1.2730 earlier this
week was retested and rejected providing some validation that the pair could
moved back towards it 1.2330 lows from last October. || USD/CHF was its highest
level sine East Dec as it broke above the 1.1830 level. Dealers noting that CHF
remains subdued over concerns that the Swiss banking secrecy laws have been
compromised following UBS's decision to release names to the IRS. Concerns also
about CHF denominated Eastern European debt pressured the currency as well. The
GBP moved into positive territory after better than expected Jan retail sales
data. GBP/USD at 1.4275, up 20 pips from its Asian opening levels. EUR/GBP at
0.8840 after opening the Asia session at 0.8875.
- Fixed income: Concerns over supply have lost out to the broader macroeconomic
malaise and risk averse sentiment this morning, driving prices higher and
yields lower across curves in both Germany
and the UK.
Uncertainty over EU plans to assist Eastern European members remain, with
German government officials providing little by way of detail on intended
measures of assistance, and denying press reports over joint eurozone issuance,
pushing 5y CDS spreads of both Germany
into fresh record highs. In corporates, BMW and Volvo both announced plans to
offer Euro denominated issues, with sizes as yet unconfirmed. || Moody's noted
that â€śAAAâ€ť ratings of Austrian Sovereign debt are resistant to stress tests
- In Energy: FT reported that China has signed an agreement with Brazil
securing long term oil delivery in exchange for financing Brazil's coastal
development of reserves.
*** NOTES ***
- The price action in the markets suggests that participants seek action and
innovation not vague rhetoric. The equities are making new bear market lows as
the NY morning approaches. The BOJ monthly report noted that its economy was
deteriorating significantly coupled with its corporate profits worsening at
faster pace. Japan's
Topix Index fell to its lowest level since 1984, while Europe's
Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index slid to a five-year low. Several European companies
announced rights issues to shore up their balance sheets.
- Dealers seem to note that the ECB is at a loss on additional steps as rates
are poised to continue to move lower. The European PMI showed that activity in
both the manufacturing and service sectors fell more sharply than the previous
- Dealers chatter again circulating that Citigroup [C] would be nationalized
over the weekend.
- Looking Ahead:
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Jan Unemployment Rate: 7.8% expected v 6.8% prior
- 7:00 (CA) Canadian Jan CPI M/M: -0.2% expected v -0.7% prior; Y/Y: 1.2%
expected v 1.2% prior
- 7:00 (CA) Bank of Canada CPI Core M/M: -0.1% expected v -0.4% prior; Y/Y:
2.2% expected v 2.4% prior
- 8:30 (US) Jan CPI M/M: 0.3% expected v -0.8% prior; Y/Y: -0.1% expected v
0.1% prior, CPI NSA 211.081 expected v 210.228 prior
- 8:30 (US) Jan CPI EX Food & Energy M/M: 0.1% expected v 0.0% prior; Y/Y:
1.5% expected v 1.8% prior
- 10:00 (MX) Mexican Interest Rate Decision: 50bps cut to 7.25% expected,
current Overnight Rate is 7.75%
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