Wall Street Breakfast: Global Payments: 1.5M Account Numbers Stolen

by: Wall Street Breakfast
Wall Street Breakfast
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Top Stories
Global Payments: 1.5M account numbers stolen. Thieves stole account numbers and other information from up to 1.5M North American accounts in the security breach at Global Payments (NYSE:GPN), the company said last night. The hackers "exported" the information, although they didn't obtain cardholder names, addresses and Social Security numbers. Following the breach, which was reported on Friday, Visa (NYSE:V) has removed Global Payments from its list of "compliant service providers."

Eurozone unemployment hits 15-year high, PMI contracts again. The Eurozone jobless rate edged up to 10.8% in February - the highest in 15 years - from 10.7% in January, with 17M people out of work. There was further gloom in the final manufacturing PMI reading, which fell to 47.7 in March from 49 in February. That was the eighth consecutive month of contraction, with the malaise spreading to Germany and France as well.

Roche could let $6.7B Illumina bid go dark. Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) may drop its $6.7B bid for Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN), SonntagsZeitung reports. Sources say that Roche may run out of patience soon, and views Illumina as a "nice-to-have" but not a "must-have."

Top Equities News
Singapore's DBS bids $7.2B for Indonesian lender. DBS Group (OTCPK:DBSDF) has offered to buy PT Bank Danamon Indonesia for $7.2B in what would be the biggest takeover by a Southeast Asian lender. The Singapore-listed company wants to tap Bank Danamon’s 3,000-branch network to expand in fast-growing Indonesia.

GS eyes $3B property debt fund. Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) private-equity arm is looking to launch a $3B property debt fund to take advantage of a growing shortage of real estate financing across the U.K. and Europe, Britain's Times newspaper reports. The fund would provide senior and mezzanine loans to property investors, targeting higher-risk, higher-reward loans.

Pinnacle hits trough with Chapter 11 filing. Pinnacle Airlines (PNCL) has joined AMR in seeking bankruptcy protection, becoming the 43rd U.S. carrier to do so since the September 11 attacks. Pinnacle, which has assets of $1.5B and liabilities of $1.4B, will halt its United Express services by Aug. 1, but its Continental Express and Delta Connection units will continue to operate.

Telefonica reduces debt by €1.3B in Colombia deal. Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) has shaved €1.3B off its debt mountain, which stood at €56B at the end of 2011, with a deal to merge its Colombian fixed-line and wireless units. The Colombian government - owner of 48% of the fixed-line ops - is taking on 48% of the unit's debt, and will receive 30% of the combined company in return.

Some DirecTV customers lose access to Tribune. DirecTV (DTV) subscribers in 19 markets, including New York and Chicago, lost satellite access to Tribune (OTC:TRBCQ) TV stations over the weekend after the firms failed to renew a content deal. This was despite DirecTV saying they had reached an agreement, only for Tribune to say they hadn't. Affected programs include "American Idol" and Major League Baseball.

Argentina to take over YPF. Argentina is hardening its intentions regarding YPF, with the Pagina 12 newspaper reporting the government has decided to take over the oil giant. The debate is now over whether to expropriate YPF, which is 57%-owned by Spain's Repsol YPF (OTCQX:REPYF), or buy a large enough stake to control its management.

LSE nears $1B takeover of Clearnet. LSE (OTCPK:LDNXF) has moved closer to completing its $1B takeover of LCH.Clearnet, saying today that a majority of shareholders have approved the deal. The purchase is expected to close in Q4 2012.

Top Economic & Other News
Chinese factory activity shows mixed picture. Official Chinese PMI, which highlights larger factories, rose to 53.1 in March from 51 in February, although the HSBC index, which measures smaller factories, signalled continued contraction with a drop to 48.3 from 49.6. Factory activity was also weak in Australia and fell in India, although it expanded in the latter country. Meanwhile, Japanese manufacturers remained pessimistic, the Tankan Confidence Index showed.

Clinton skeptical as date set for Iran talks. Talks between Iran and world powers are due to take place on April 13-14, Hillary Clinton confirmed over the weekend while in Riyadh, although she expressed skepticism about Iran's intentions and warned that the window "will not remain open forever." Clinton also discussed with Saudi Arabia and other oil producers ways to ensure stable prices.

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Today's Markets:
In Asia, Japan +0.3%. Hong Kong -0.2%. China closed. India +0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt +0.1%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.1%. S&P flat. Nasdaq flat. Crude -0.5% to $102.46. Gold -0.3% to $1666.80.

Monday's economic calendar:
10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
10:00 Construction Spending
12:35 PM Fed's Pianalto: 'The Fed and the Economy: Striving for Balance'