Standard Chartered shares plunge after allegations over Iran. Standard Chartered (SCBFF.PK) has denied accusations from the State of New York that it hid over 60,000 illegal Iranian transactions totaling at least $250B over a 10-year period. The U.K.-listed bank, which was described as a "rogue institution" and could lose its license to operate in New York, said the total value of the transactions that breached U.S. regulations was less than $14M. The allegations have sent shares plummeting 24% in London.
GM: $3B lawsuit threatens bankruptcy overhaul. GM (GM) has said a $3B lawsuit between creditors of the old, bankrupt part of the company, now called Motors Liquidation, and various hedge funds that include Fortress Investment Group (FIG) "threaten to disturb" an important transaction over inter-company loans that helped save the car maker. The deal averted a separate bankruptcy for GM Canada and therefore liquidation for the group as a whole. The lawsuit is set to go to trial today.
Chesapeake asset sales on track as net profit doubles. Chesapeake Energy (CHK) expects to complete asset sales of $7B in Q3 after divesting $4.7B worth in H1 as the company strives to cover a $10B funding gap and restore its reputation following damaging corporate-governance allegations. In Q2, Chesapeake's net profit almost doubled to $929M, boosted by the divestiture of Chesapeake Midstream Partners. Revenue edged up 2.1% to $3.39B and beat consensus, although adjusted EPS of $0.06 missed Street forecasts. Shares were +2.9% premarket.
Top Stock News
DreamWorks dreams of $3.1B theme park in Shanghai. DreamWorks Animation (DWA) and its Chinese JV partners plan to build a 20B yuan ($3.14B) theme park in Shanghai, which is due to open in 2016, and a $350M movie studio. DreamWorks is hoping to exploit the success of its Kung Fu Panda series and the high growth in the country's film market. For China, the deal is part of its attempts to promote more consumer activity.
Filing reveals FAA concern over AMR's safety. The FAA is claiming a record $162.4M in proposed and potential fines from AMR (AAMRQ.PK) over multiple breaches of safety and maintenance rules. The claims were disclosed in AMR's bankruptcy filing and reveal the extent of the FAA's concerns about the airline's maintenance.
Kodak patent bids fall well short of hopes. Opening bids for Eastman Kodak's (EKDKQ.PK) patent portfolio came in at $150-250M, well below the $2.6B the bankrupt company said they could be worth, the WSJ reports. The bids came from two consortia, one of which includes Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT), and the other Google (GOOG) and Samsung. The auction, which is set for tomorrow, is crucial to helping Kodak emerge from bankruptcy protection.
Navistar mulls layoffs to cut costs. Navistar (NAV) has told employees that it's considering job cuts as it looks to reduce costs, Chicago Business reports. Navistar shares rose 10% yesterday, clawing back most of last week's big declines following the company's disclosure that it was going to log a big Q3 loss and that it's suspending guidance while it digs itself out from its disastrous engine strategy.
Top Economic & Other News
Tempers flare as Monti warns Germany over debt policies. German-Italian relations have sunk to a new low after Mario Monti warned that Bundestag control over EU debt policies could cause the "disintegration" of the whole project. "Germans will not shut down our democracy to pay Italian debts," said one German legislator, while in Italy, Il Libero published a front-page picture of Angela Merkel alongside the headline, "Fourth Reich."
Italian recession continues. Just to make matter worse in Italy, Q2 GDP fell to -0.7% on quarter from -0.8% in Q1 for the fourth decline in a row. The contracting economy will increase concerns about Italy's ability to cut public debt, which stands at 123% of GDP.
Eurozone gets ever tougher with Greece. The eurozone has rejected a request from Greece for a bridge loan to pay back a €3.2B bond to the ECB, which then turned down a proposal to delay the repayment by a month. Greece will therefore auction €6B of short-term paper to local banks this week. Those banks of course rely on emergency liquidity assistance from the Greek Central Bank.
Californian schools look to kick can 20 years down the road. Needing money and loathe to raise tax rates, California school districts are turning to capital appreciation bonds - a 40-year loan, for example, where no payments are made for 20 years (no mortgage firm even tried that). Banned in Michigan 20 years ago for its toxicity, the scheme is the ultimate in shifting the burden of today's spending onto future generations.
In Asia, Japan +0.9%. Hong Kong +0.4%. China +0.1%. India +1.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt +0.3%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude +0.2% to $92.40. Gold +0.15% to $1618.70.
Today's economic calendar:
7:45 ICSC Retail Store Sales
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
1:00 PM Results of $32B, 2-Year Note Auction
2:30 PM Bernanke Press Conference
3:00 PM Consumer Credit
Notable earnings before today's open: AKRX, AMRC, APU, ARCC, ARCO, BPI, CHD, CRZO, CVC, CVS, DWRE, EBIX, EMR, ENDP, EXPD, FE, FOSL, GTE, HL, HPT, KITD, KWK, MEA, MGM, MMC, MNKD, MPEL, NIHD, ODP, PCG, POM, SIRI, SOL, STWD, TAP, THC, TIE
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