- Equities: GEM Diamonds [GEMD.UK] reported its FY08 EBITDA inc items at $83M v
$45.7Me and Rev at $296.9M v $308.5Me. The miner announced details of a Â£75M
share placing. GEM stated trading conditions weakened further during January
2009, though the average Let*eng February 2009 tender achieved price was up
9.7% on January and that it will continue to Seek out new routes to optimize
diamond sales. GEM stated that it would be up to 75M New Shares at the Issue
Price of 100 pence per New Share to raise gross proceeds of Â£75M. Note: 68M New
Shares have already been firmly placed with existing Shareholders and new
investors. || Johnson Matthey [JMAT.UK]
provided an interim statement: Q4 Trading has been in line with prior
expectations and reaffirmed its FY guidance. The firm noted that its
Environmental Technologies Division experienced mixed trading conditions in the
quarter, with sales of autocatalysts substantially down on last year as car
companies continued to reduce production in response to falling car sales. ||
For Deutsche Boerse [DB1.GE], Atticus Capital has cut stake from 9% to below
3%. Note that the US based hedge fund and German listed exchange had been in a
dispute over future strategy since as early at 2005 (major tensions regarding
bid for LSE in 2005/2006) || Lafarge [LG.FR] is reportedly to begin its â‚¬1.5B
capital increase at â‚¬16.65/shr. Existing shareholders have the right to
purchase 6 new shares for every 13 existing and the subscription period is to
run from April 2-15. Lafarge stated that new shares will trade on Euronext.
Note: Price represents a discount of 51% from Tuesdays closing price (â‚¬33.89).
Vivendi [VIV.FR], reportedly company's favorable tax treatment has been
extended to year end 2011 - La Tribune. || Uralkali [URKA.RU] reported its FY08
Net RUB29.5B v RUB33.1Be. The industrial put its Q1 production at 459K tons v
1.25M ton y/y and stated that the outlook on Potash market remains unclear. ||Statoil
ASA [STL.NO] is to develop UK
offshore wind project with Statkraft. The project is to consists of 88 turbines
and the group see the farm beginning operations in 2011. Statoil guides annual
production from facility at 1.1TWh with an investment expected to be NOK10B. ||
UBS [UBSN.SZ] Names Ulrich Koerner new COO, effective immediately. He will lead
in this function and serve on the Group Executive Committee of the bank. || For
Fortis [FORB.BE], Belgian courts blocks share holders (those who bought stakes
post October, 2008) from voting in April's EGM -WSJ. This decision blocks
efforts by Fortis that had sought to include recent stake holders who had
bought cheap share post the September/October price collapse. The bank had seen
these shareholders as members of group that strongly supported BNP/Belgian
buyout offer that valued their shares at slightly over â‚¬3//share. Fortis noted
that these recent stake holders represent approx 5% of outstanding shares.
Article states that Fortis still expects to be able to achieve a Yes vote in
Aprils meeting on the back of institutional support. It is expected that Ping
An Insurance (5% stake holder) will issue a statement in this trading week.
Spokesperson: Confirms speculation that bank may postpone April EGM, will
decide later in the day
- Speakers: PM Brown stated that both the US
and UK agree on
importance of this week's G20 summit. He noted that the current economic
environment requires a global solution || ECB's Trichet: Restoring confidence
is G20 summit's main priority || President Obama: G20 leaders must act with a
sense of urgency as economic crisis is the worst since 1945
|| German Fin Min Steinbrueck commented following the poor German retail sales
data that any recovery in Germany would be 'very slow'. Additionally he
expected a sharp slump in May tax revenues. However, he reiterated his position
against further stimulus programs || BOE's Blanchflower stated that he agreed
with those world leaders who are calling for more fiscal stimulus. He noted
that unemployment could breech 3M mark by year-end and have yet to feel the
pain on unemployment front. He reiterated that contraction of employment among
younger workers were a major social issue. The stimulus focus should be on
infrastructure amid job creation. Lower inflation was not a big concern at this
time and that the contraction of global trade was larger worry than inflation
at the current time || Polish Dep Fin Min Kotecki commented that volatility in
Zloty currency remained too high to enable acceptance to ERM at current time
and reiterated the view that the currency remained undervalued. The official
maintained that Poland could meet the projected target entry date of Jan 2012
|| Swedish Fin Min Borg stated that he expected Sweden's economy to contract by
4.2% this year with unemployment rising to 8.9%. Additionally, he forecasted
that the Swedish budget deficit would rise above 3% for both 2010, 2011
periods. He commented that Sweden would likely have to lower economic forecasts
again and cited the 'vast' imbalances towards Baltic States || ECB completed
Gold sales of 35.5 tons on March 31st || ECB's Kranjec commented that the
Slovenian economy would contract by 2% in 2009, and grow by 1.9% in 2010. Slovenia
was likely to breach EU's budget limit. || Irish PM Cowen stated that the March
unemployment rate was seen at 10.9% versus 10.4% in the prior month. He did not
see jobless claims declining in coming months
- In Currencies: - Dealers were eyeing key hourly support at the 1.3130 level
in the EUR/USD. The level was where the pair was trading prior to the Fed's
Quantitative Easing announcement on Mar 18th. It also corresponds to the the
100-day moving avg. The pair seen consolidating in a 1.3130 top 1.3330 ahead of
the ECB rate decision and g20 summit on Thursday. The EUR/USD was holding above
the 1.32 handle despite the higher Euro-Zone unemployment data.
- the GBP was firmer against its major pairs during the European morning. A
better-than-expected UK PMI reading helped push cable above 1.44 against the
USD and at 0.9150 versus the Euro. It noted that the move was in full
compliance with the Central Banks' Gold Agreement of September 2004.
- In Energy: Iraq Government has selected 9 companies in second round of
bidding for oil rights ||Russian gas transit to Balkans halted due to pipeline
explosion in Moldova ||
- Credit Crisis: G20 Summit taking place in London on Thursday || Fitch:
Emerging Europe Economic Outlook "Dire" with 2009 GDP seen -3.1%;
will suffer its steepest fall in real GDP since the collapse of the Communist
planned economic system in the early 1990s
- In fixed income, trade has been relatively muted amidst the commencement of
G-20 proceedings in London, with Goverment bonds in modestly positive territory.
In a strong auction, the UK
sold Â£3.5B in 2015 Gilts, with a bid-to-cover of 2.23 higher than the previous
1.5. In corporate issuance news, Germany's BASF announced plans to issue â‚¬500M
in 2012 Bonds, with pricing indicated at between 160 and 170bps over swaps
*** NOTES ***
- April Fools Day and the global economic recovery seem to be the main target.
- China Manufacturing PMI declines again bringing into question whether China
can be the engine of economic growth. In Japan
the quarterly Tankan was simply dismal as its economic conditions remain
severe. German retail sales were worse than expected. European PMI remained at
or near all-time levels. Feb Euro-Zone unemployment level climbed to its
highest level since may 2006 with its 8.55 reading.
- However, Asian equities began the month on a positive note with dealers
attributing the gains to new quarterly money allocations. European bourses
softer but off their worst levels. .
- G20 summit focus. Overall markets expect a lot of photo ops, lots of rhetoric
and little decisive action to address the global economic
- Looking Ahead:
- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e March 27th: No expectations v 32.3%
- 7:30 (US) March Challenger Job Cuts Y/Y: No expectations v 158.4% prior
- 8:15 (US) March ADP Employment Change: -663k expected v -697k prior
- 10:00 (US) March ISM Manufacturing (last 35.8), March ISM Prices Paid (last
29), Feb Pending Home Sales m/m (last -7.7%), March Construction Spending m/m
- 10:30 (US) DoE Crude Oil/Gasoline/Distillate Inventories
- 1:00 (US) Fed's Pianalto speaks at banking event in Columbus
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