Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

  • 12:14 PM
    • "Investors are watching election polls very closely, and people are betting that Dilma’s support is losing momentum," says one fund manager as the Bovespa jumps 3.5%. The latest polls suggest opposition candidate Marina Silva has a 70% chance of winning, says Nomura's Tony Volpon.
    • Individual names: Petrobas (PBR +8.1%), Vale (VALE +1.5%) - even amid the "End of the Iron Age", Itau Unibanco (ITUB +5.6%).
    • The iShares Brazil MSCI Index (EWZ +4%).
    • Brazil ETFs: EWZ, BRF, BRXX, EWZS, BRAQ, BRZU, BRAZ, BZQ, BRAF, UBR, BRZS, DBBR, FBZ
    • The iShares S&P LatAM 40 Index (ILF +3.1%)
    • Broad LatAm ETFs: ILF, LBJ, GML, EEML, FLN
    • Broad emerging markets: EEM +1.5%, VWO +1.6%
    | Comment!
  • 11:13 AM
    • Air France-KLM (OTCQX:AFLYY) cancels over half of its flights after a pilot strike goes into its second full day.
    • The carrier is hearing from the SNPL union over wages and working conditions.
    • What to watch: The labor turmoil could halt Air France-KLM's goal of competing more directly with Ryanair Holdings (NASDAQ:RYAAY) and EasyJet (OTCQX:ESYJY).
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:52 AM
    • Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD -0.8%) are lower after some of the buzz over a potential merger with SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY) wears off. In Europe, shares of SBMRY are also tilting lower.
    • Analysis of the combination of the two beer giants is nearly evenly split. Some analysts think the regulatory hurdles are too high to clear, while others maintain that outside of the U.S. and China there's not a huge amount of overlap that would draw in regulators.
    • Stifel Nicolaus and Buckingham Research have both raised their price target on BUD, moving to $130 and $137 respectively.
    • MillerCoors (TAP -1%) is in a holding pattern. If the mega-merger goes through, the company is nearly assured of a new owner.
    • The wildcard: There's also still the chance that A-B could have the rug pulled out from under it if SABMiller improves its offer to Heineken (OTCQX:HEINY) to a level which wins over the controlling family.
    | Comment!
  • 9:12 AM
    • Macau casino operators will see revenue drop 5% Y/Y for the June-to-August period, according to an estimate by Macau Business Daily.
    • A more aggressive stance by Beijing against corruption and lavish spending is viewed as changing the mindset of gamblers in Macau.
    • Morgan Stanley issued a report on Macau last night in which it noted a fact-finding mission to Macau left it with the impression that a floor hasn't been found yet for the revenue slide. A labor shortage in the territory could also have an impact, note analysts.
    • Shares of Macau-related stocks are lower in premarket trading: Melco Crown (NASDAQ:MPEL) -2.7%, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) -3.0%, Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) -2.2%, MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) -2.9%, Galaxy Entertainment (OTCPK:GXYEF) -1.9%.
    | 3 Comments
  • 8:05 AM
    • Mitsubishi Motors (OTCPK:MMTOF) says it will invest $600M to build a factory in Indonesia.
    • The automaker plans to use the facility to build multi-purpose vehicles to meet local demand and for export.
    • Capacity at the plant of 240K vehicles per year is slated for 2017.
    | Comment!
  • 7:34 AM
    • A four-year low in foreign direct investment - which fell 14% Y/Y in August to $7.2B - makes for a convenient excuse for Shanghai's 1.8% decline overnight. Hong Kong fell 0.9%. Combined with the slow economic data is a continuing rush of IPOs which investors fear will suck up funds - eleven more were approved yesterday.
    • FDI's 14% drop in August follows June's 17% decline - it's the first back-to-back double-digit losses for the gauge since 2009.
    • FXI -0.3% premarket
    • ETFs: FXI, EWH, PGJ, GXC, YINN, FXP, ASHR, YANG, MCHI, PEK, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, CN, EWHS, FCHI, FCA, CNXT, ASHS, CHNA, KBA, FHK
    | Comment!
  • 7:25 AM
    • Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF) will build two new factories in China, sources tell Reuters.
    • The Japanese automaker currently has three factories in Beijing.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:59 AM
    | Comment!
  • 6:00 AM
     
    • Japan -0.23%.
    • Hong Kong -0.91%.
    • China -1.82%.
    • India -1.24%.
    • London -0.39%.
    • Paris -0.55%.
    • Frankfurt -0.40%.
    | Comment!
  • 4:39 AM
    • Hedge funds are cutting their long positions on cable, as the gap between "yes" and "no" votes for Scottish independence narrows.
    • According to French asset management group Lyxor, investors on average have cut their positions from from 5% of their net assets at the end of May to -1.3% in early September.
    • Last week, the pound fell to $1.60, its weakest level in nearly a year, due to the uncertainty of Scotland's future.
    • Sterling is lower by 0.4% vs. the dollar to $1.6168. FTSE -0.4%.
    • Pound ETFs: FXB, GBB
    • British equity ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK, QGBR
    | Comment!
  • 4:07 AM
     
    • President Barack Obama will announce an expansion of military and medical resources to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa later today.
    • The new plan involves as many as 3,000 U.S. forces to help organize, train new health care workers and build treatment clinics. The Department of Defense will direct $500M for the effort.
    • The World Health Organization's latest count estimates that 4,784 people have been infected with the virus, while 2,400 have died.
    | Comment!
  • Monday, September 15, 2014

  • 2:56 PM
    • Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) says it might look to buy electric vehicle batteries from LG Chem as part of an initiative to lower battery manufacturing costs.
    • Though CEO Carlos Ghosn backs the plan, other Nissan insiders want to see the Japanese automaker stay more active in battery production.
    • A decision on the company's battery plants in England and Tennessee is expected within a month.
    | Comment!
  • 1:59 PM
    • Electronic cigarettes companies have their eyes on Hollywood with product placement spots in movies seen as a way to boost recognition for e-cig brands.
    • Traditional tobacco sellers have been shut out by regulators from paid placement ads for over 20 years.
    • Vapor Corp. (VPCO -7.2%) might be a step ahead of its peers. The firm has Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh on its board and already pays for a "viral" campaign with Relativity.
    • Related stocks: MO, BTI, LO, PM, OTCQB:ECIG, OTCQB:VAPE, OTCPK:HPNN, OTCQB:MCIG, OTCQB:NTRR, OTCPK:VAPR, RAI, OTCQB:AHII.
    | 1 Comment
  • 1:06 PM
    • India investors waiting for a confirmed upturn in the economy following Narendra Modi coming to power in May, will have to wait a bit longer as the most recent data is decidedly mixed.
    • While inflation has slowed to 7.8% vs. the central bank's target of 8% by the start of next year (target is 6% for 2016), industrial production grew just 0.5% Y/Y in July, down sharply from June's 3.4% and May's 5%.
    • The most recent data show exports in August of $26.96B, up 2.35% Y/Y, and imports of $37.8B up 2%.
    • The Sensex dipped 0.9% last night, but remains one of the globe's biggest gainers this year. EPI +30.6%, PIN +26% YTD.
    • ETFs: EPI, SCIF, INDY, PIN, INDL, INP, INXX, INDA, SCIN, SMIN, INCO
    | Comment!
  • 11:29 AM
    • Marina Silva has a better than 50% chance of defeating incumbent Dilma Rousseff in the presidential election, says Brown Brothers Harriman after last week's boost in the polls for Rousseff sent the Bovespa lower by 6%.
    • Fluctuations in the polls at the moment aren't a big deal because the first round of elections won't produce a winner. Instead, the election will be decided in the 2nd round (October 26). "We prefer to fade the first round volatility and position for the second round dynamics."
    • Bouncing a little from last week, the Bovespa is higher by 0.6% this morning. EWZ +0.25%.
    • ETFs: EWZ, BRF, BRXX, EWZS, BRAQ, BRZU, BRAZ, BZQ, BRAF, UBR, BRZS, DBBR, FBZ
    | Comment!
  • 11:18 AM
    • Many China-related ETFs rely on a quota system - the renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor (RQFII) scheme - through which China allows access to its stocks traded on the mainland. High inflows into RQFII funds - AUM have nearly doubled this year to $12.6B - are rapidly exhausting the quotas, and Deutsche Bank is rationing U.S. access to those China ETFs - ASHR and ASHS - using the RQFII, and has temporarily closed similar funds to new money from European clients.
    • Synthetic ETFs which track Chinese stocks using derivatives have not been affected.
    • Hong Kong-based CSOP Asset Management says more than 96% of its quota has been used up and it's no longer taking money for its flagship China equities fund, the largest RQFII ETF.
    • China A-shares ETFs: ASHR, PEK, CNXT, ASHS, CHNA, KBA
    • Broad China ETFs: FXI, PGJ, GXC, YINN, FXP, YANG, MCHI, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, CN, FCA
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:27 AM
    • TRW Automotive (TRW -0.9%) is acquired by ZF Friedrichshafen for $105.60 per share in a deal valued at $13.5B.
    • ZF plans to run TRW as a separate business under its umbrella.
    • A deal closing is expected in the first half of 2015.
    | Comment!
  • 9:55 AM
    • Shares of SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY) are ripping in London trading with reports out that Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD +3.2%) is talking to banks about coming up with financing for a bid.
    • SABMiller is more vulnerable after Heineken (OTCQX:HEINYrejected its buyout overture.
    • A deal between the beer giants would require significant divestiture massaging, possibly including SABMiller shedding its interest in MillerCoors (NYSE:TAP) in the U.S.
    • What to watch: A-B has to decide before the end of the year if its wants to renew a soft-drink bottling contract with PepsiCo. If the brewer declines, it could be an indication that it has its eyes on SABMiller's deal with Coca-Cola in Africa.
    • SBMRY +12.2%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:28 AM
    • Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) is talking to banks on financing an offer to purchase SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY), according to The Wall Street Journal.
    • A deal price for the long-rumored combination would be in the neighborhood of $122B.
    • Beer watch: Over the weekend, Heineken confirmed it rejected a takeover offer from SABMiller.
    • BUD +2.3% premarket to $113.50.
    | 2 Comments
  • 3:39 AM
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is continuing its international expansion this week, launching service in in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
    • "This is the biggest international launch we’ve ever done,” says CEO Reed Hastings. "It represents nearly 80M broadband households and about 200M people."
    • International expansion is critical to Netflix's growth prospects. The company's current international investments, such as Latin America and the U.K., are on track to be profitable by the fourth quarter.
    | 1 Comment
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