- Equities: Anglo American [AAL.UK] confirms pricing of $2.0B bond offering
(11% of market cap). The offering comprises US$1.25B 9.375% senior notes due
2014 and US$750M 9.375% senior notes due 2019. The miner expects the offering
to close on 8 April 2009,
subject to customary closing conditions. ||RBS [RBS.UK] released a statement
ahead of shareholder meeting: The struggling bank stated that its core business
remains excellent, intends to resume dividend payments as soon as possible and
that it will cut jobs further. CEO state that the group had ÂŁ16.2B of goodwill
relating to previous acquisitions, most notably ABN AMRO in FY08 and that all
costs going forward are to be scrutinized. Chairman stated that its not
appropriate to pay dividend at this time and it remains unclear how many more
jobs will be cut. RBS continues to seek costs by ÂŁ2.5B/year while exepcting to
return to full strength in 3-5 years. ||BritishLand [BLND.UK] announced the sale
of its Abbey headquarters for ÂŁ115M, this sale is in line with strategy. ||For
Continental [CON.GE], reportedly Pirelli is looking to acquire Continental's
truck wheel business for approx â‚¬500M -Platow. ||For BMW [BMW.GE], Moody's
downgrades long and short term ratings by one notch to A3/P-2 from A2/P-1;
outlook Negative. The includes approximately â‚¬ 38.3B of debt. Moody's stated
that the downgrade to A3/P-2 reflects the severe and rapid downturn in demand
for BMW''s vehicles which resulted in a significant deterioration in financial
metrics in 2008, the short debt maturity profile of BMW group as well as our
expectation of a further worsening of financial flexibility in the current
fiscal year due to the global decline in auto demand. ||For Deutsche Bourse
[DB1.GE], It has been speculated that with activist positions in the group
being limited, Deutsche Bourse may be more aggressive in its
expansion/acquisition policies; Targets in Eastern Europe and the Middle East
have been floated. Reminder: On April 1 -TCI lowers its stake to approx 10.26%.
Reminder: On April 1 - Update: Atticus Capital has cut stake from 9% to less
than 3%. ||
BASF [BAS.GE] had obtained clearance from Chinese competition authority for
CIBA purchase. Note: Earlier in session saw comments from US FTC noting that
BASF would be forced to sell some CIBA assets, including property rights
regarding pigments to an approved buyer within 6-month period -WSJ. ||German
truck maker Man's[MAN.GE] CEO stated that he continues to see no signs of
rebound in truck market but Co. is well positioned to
deal with downturn. Stated that the business units Diesel and Turbo machines
continue to have a more stable order intake and that MAN in its current
structure focused on transport-related engineering is prepared to deal with the
sharp market downturn due to its strong capital base. The group sees no need to
renegotiate major new credit lines in next two years and confirmed plans to
push for cost savings at the commercial vehicles operations, its largest unit
by far, by â‚¬500M in 2009. ||Austrian Bank Raiffeisen [RIBH.AS] finalized its
â‚¬1.75B state-aid deal. The bank noted that the deal will boost the Tier 1 ratio
to 10.4% from 8.4% and the loan will carry an interest of 8.00%. || Russian gas
giant Gazprom [GAZP.RU] has had its rate cut at Moody's. Moody's downgrades
senior issuer and debt ratings one notch to Baa1 from A3; Outlook Stable. ||
For Google [GOOG], reportedly it is in advanced discussions over potential
purchase of Twitter (private). Note: Twitter is a privately owned social
networking/blog service that has recently signed mainstream contracts with
Brazilian names and has been reportedly in talks with Disney regarding JV
operations. Twitter stated that in Feb of 2009 it had raised an additional $35M
in capital from private sources. ||
- Speakers: EU's Juncker: G-20 decisions are moving in 'right direction' ||
Chancellor Darling: Was agreed in yesterdays G20 that it was imperative to
discuss banks toxic assets ||Czech Central Bank: Weakening of currency in H2
will likely help exporters || German Fin Min: Lack of flexibility in Chinese
currency a reason for global imbalances and saw little chance of synthetic lead
currencies emerging || ECB's Nowotny commented that there was still room to
make additional rate cuts and that yesterday's 25bps cut was made with a medium
term view. He noted that the market reacted positively to the ECB decision. ||
ECB's Mersch commented that recent US
statements regarding the economy have an positive outlook. || IMF stated that
no additional gold sales were discussed above 403 tons
- In Currencies: European market to focus on the positives after yesterday's
increase in sentiment following the G20 measures. The USD and JPY remains tied
to equity price movements for the most part. During the European morning, the
Sterling-related were the big movers. GBP was aided by the better PMI services
data. GBP/USD tested the 1.48 handle for the first time since early Feb.
GBP/JPY hovering around the 148.00 neighborhood.
- SNB has previously expressed concern over the prospects of deflation and the
Mar CPI proceeded to fall for the first time in 5 years by the largest amount
seen in 50 years. EUR/CHF cross at 1.5265
- USD/JPY retested the 100 level that it broke during the Asian session.
- In fixed income: The German yield curve is flatter this morning, , with the
short end under pressure after yesterday's lower than expected ECB rate cut
pushing 2s10s back below 170bps for the first time since January. The 2y Schtaz
is yielding 1.46%, about 4bps higher on the session, whilst traders noted 6M
Euribor fixed higher for the first time since October. Some bids have moved
into long dated Gilts this morning, with investors reaching for yield and
buoyed by yesterday's successful auction results. 20y gilts are 6bps lower at
4.20%. Global resources giant Anglo American confirmed the pricing of $2B in 5
and 10y bonds both to yield 9.375%, or in the case of the 10y roughly 650bps
over Treasurues . For comparison, BHP (admittedly rated three notches higher) paid
400bps over treasuries in its USD denominated 10y note offering earlier last
- In Energy: China
March Power Output declined 0.7% y/y with power output declining by 2% in H2 of
March. Power generation climbed 1% in the first half of March, but reversed to
drop by 2% in the second half of the month. ||
- Again, the question lurks whether the rally is simply a â€śBear-marketâ€ť
retracement as bank results, larger write-downs, higher loss provisions, and
disappointing earnings results are just around the corner. Will the US Non-Farm
payroll data derail this momentum? White House Spokesman Gibbs commented prior
to the data release that the March report would probably indicate 'severe job
- ECB proves they excel at gradualism. Hints at maybe 1 more measured cut, and
hangs the further measures carrot out there.
- NYT: GM willing to consider bankruptcy if cannot restructure out of court.
- Some tech related merger chatter. GOOG: Reportedly in advanced stage discussions
to purchase Twitter (private); IBM is in talks with Sun to pay $9.55/share,
talks are in final stages
- 10:00 (US) March ISM Non-Manufacturing (last 41.6)
- 12:00 (US) Fed Chairman Bernanke speaks at credit conference
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