Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Saturday, May 30, 2015

  • 3:41 PM
    • A multi-band spectrum auction ongoing in Germany is drawing heaviest bids from Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) so far, with the former monopoly assembling bids close to €761.9M.
    • The auction overall has gotten a total of €1.95B after round 32. Deutsche Telekom is bidding across all four bands offered -- 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz and unpaired 1.5 GHz -- as is Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), which has bid €656.9M. The other player, Telefonica Deutschland (NYSE:TEF), is skipping the 1.5 GHz sale and has bid €534.9M.
    • The stakes are higher than usual at this auction, the first in Europe to sell off the low-frequency 700 MHz band, useful for beaming to rural/industrial areas. It's been in use by terrestrial TV but is being freed up for mobile use and has drawn €450M in bids; winners will be obligated to cover 98% of the population with a minimum speed at the household level of 10 MBps.
    • The 900 MHz band is more popular, with €715.6M in bids.
    | Comment!
  • 11:49 AM
    • Grupo Modelo will invest $325M in a new brewery for Mexican and U.S. brands as well as a large aluminum can plant in Mexico.
    • The Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) unit will break ground on the facilities later this year and expects to start production in 2017.
    • The brewery will have a capacity of 5M hectoliters per year, while the can factory will be able to produce a billion cans a year.
    • A-B bought Grupo Modelo for $20.1B two years ago.
    | 1 Comment
  • Friday, May 29, 2015

  • 3:32 PM
    • "Price drives research and analysis, not the other way around," writes BAML's Ajay Singh Kapur, with a line anyone in the business should tape to the top of their Bloomberg terminal.
    • What was for a long time a sizable underweight position in Chinese equities by money managers, has now likely become a small overweight, says Kapur. "Our hedge fund clients seem to be very engaged on the long side. Bull markets create their own narrative, as do bear markets."
    • But what about Chinese stocks being cheap on a price-to-earnings basis? Focus on enterprise value instead, says Kapur. Corporate debt of $12.5T is 125% of Chinese GDP vs. 101% in Japan, 67% in the U.S., and 45% in India. Using enterprise value to earnings (enterprise value would incorporate debt), the valuation of Chinese A-shares is the highest in the world on an absolute basis.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:58 PM
    • Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF) announces it will advance its stationary energy storage business in a partnership with one of its subsidiaries and utility firm EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg.
    • New energy storage systems designed for business or home use will be sold under the Mercedes-Benz brand name.
    • Daimler sold its stake in Tesla Motors last year in advance of a deeper push into lithium-ion battery production.
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  • 11:26 AM
    • Even though the move by the State Department has been widely expected, the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (CUBA +3.8%) pops nicely higher on the news.
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  • 8:41 AM
    • It's the first quarterly contraction in Canada's economy in four years, and the largest decline since the 2009 recession. Economists had forecast an expansion of 0.3%.
    • Alongside this weak print, Q4's 2.4% expansion was revised down to 2.2%.
    • Behind Q1's disappointing number is a 9.7% plunge in business gross fixed capital formation as companies reacted to the crash in oil prices. Support activities for mining and oil/gas extraction fell 30%.
    • The loonie (NYSEARCA:FXCsinks 0.5% on the news, now buying just eight-tenths of an American dollar.
  • 6:30 AM
    • Japan +0.06%
    • Hong Kong -0.11%.
    • China -0.18%.
    • India +1.17%.
    • London +0.10%.
    • Paris -1.13%.
    • Frankfurt -1.00%.
    | Comment!
  • 4:46 AM
    • "A Greek exit is a possibility," IMF Chief Christine Lagarde told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview due to be published Friday.
    • Such an eventuality would "not be a walk in the park," she added, but would "probably not" mean the end of the euro.
    • Although cash-for-reform talks between Greece and its creditors have dragged on for months now, many see June 5 - the date when Athens will have to repay €1.5B to the IMF - as a coming deadline.
    • ETFs: GREK
  • 3:24 AM
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  • 2:39 AM
    • Switzerland's economy contracted the most since the financial crisis in Q1 as the strong franc took a toll on exports.
    • Gross domestic product fell by 0.2% in the first three months of 2015 compared to revised growth of 0.5% in the prior period.
    • The outlook for the economy suffered a blow in January when the Swiss National Bank removed its currency cap, causing the franc to rally 15% vs. the euro during the quarter.
    • ETFs: FXF, EWL, SWZ, FSZ
  • 2:19 AM
    • The Japanese economy limped into the second quarter, as household spending declined, people left the job market and the central bank's key inflation gauge registered zero.
    • Consumer prices excluding fresh food and effects of last year’s sales-tax increase were unchanged in April, while household spending unexpectedly fell 1.3%. Consumption has now been in decline for 13 straight months.
    • Weakness in the economy is raising the stakes for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as efforts by the central bank fail to spur inflation. The yen has lost a quarter of its value against the dollar since the BOJ boosted asset purchases in April 2013, and fell this week to its lowest since 2002.
    • The Nikkei closed up 0.1% following the flurry of data, barely extending its winning streak to an 11th day.
  • Thursday, May 28, 2015

  • 12:44 PM
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU -0.4%) recalls over 4M vehicles in the U.S. due to the massive Takata airbag issue.
    • The recall action for 4,066,372 cars covers different models manufactured between 2004 and 2011.
    • Previously: The Takata recalls continue (May 28)
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:04 PM
    • Argentina is clearing a path for a Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY) stake in Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI), after it OK'd the breakup of Telco, TI's largest investor.
    • Telco -- a holding pact created eight years ago as Telecom Italia fought off a takeover attempt from AT&T and America Movil -- owns 22.4% of TI, and will be dissolved through a transfer of its holdings to four new shareholder-owned companies. The breakup, orchestrated by Argentine regulator CNDC, is the last step allowing investors to sell.
    • Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) -- the leading investor in Telco, and purchaser of Vivendi's Brazil broadband unit GVT -- will be replaced by Vivendi as part of that deal.
    • Previously: Telecom Italia: We welcome Vivendi investment (May. 20 2015)
    | Comment!
  • 11:10 AM
    • Mexico's domestic airline market has seen 12% passenger growth through the first four months of the year, according to CAPA.
    • International passenger traffic was up 18% for the same period.
    • Both Volaris (NYSE:VLRS) and Aeromexico (OTC:GRPAF) have been active in adding routes into the U.S. and Central America this year, while taking a cautious stance with domestic capacity.
    • Shares of the Mexican carriers are flying high with VLRS +33.0% YTD and GRPAF +32.1%.
    | Comment!
  • 7:48 AM
    • Opel (NYSE:GM) CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann thinks the automaker should find scale within GM instead of seeking out a merger partner.
    • The European car brand has reduced the number of projects it partners with Peugeot on as it look to its Detroit parent for a deeper level of cooperation.
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has been quite vocal this year on the need for automobile industry consolidation in order to share costs ahead of new emission standards rules.
    • Previously: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles peers through the looking glass (Apr. 30 2015)
    • Previously: GM passes on merger offer from Fiat Chrysler (May. 23 2015)
    | Comment!
  • 6:45 AM
  • 6:30 AM
    • Japan +0.39%
    • Hong Kong -2.23%.
    • China -6.50%.
    • India -0.21%.
    • London +0.12%.
    • Paris -0.54%.
    • Frankfurt -0.50%.
    | Comment!
  • 6:20 AM
    • The ECB will have to be "very careful" when it unwinds its trillion-euro bond-buying program, a leading member of the central bank's governing council has warned.
    • "We watch with great interest the American experience," ECB board member Ewald Nowotny noted, saying he believes "the Fed is doing quite a good job in being very cautious with its policy of tapering."
    • Since the ECB's QE program began in March, unexpectedly good economic data from the euro zone has led to some speculation that it might end earlier than its planned September 2016 deadline.
    | Comment!
  • 4:13 AM
  • 3:52 AM
    • Hopes for a deal between Greece and its international creditors were quickly raised and dashed Wednesday when Greece's optimism for an agreement was extinguished by European officials - who denied a deal was near.
    • Not only did European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis say the two sides still had some way to go before any agreement could be concluded, but German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also poured cold water on any hopes, saying he was surprised by Athens' upbeat tone.
    • FTSE 100 -0.2%; DAX -0.4%; CAC 40 -0.6%; Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%
    • ETFs: GREK
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