Seeking Alpha
  • Friday, November 27, 2015

  • 5:01 PM
    • Germany's Supreme Court handed a victory to Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY +0.8%) and Telefonica (TEF +0.7%) in a rights case, but left the door open for holding Internet service providers responsible for blocking sites offering illegal music downloads.
    • The court dismissed a pair of cases -- one brought by musical-rights society GEMA against Deutsche Telekom, the other brought by music companies against Telefonica's German unit O2 Deutschland -- saying the plaintiffs hadn't done enough to halt copyright violations in the first place.
    • But it went on to rule: "The company that offers Internet access will only be held responsible for blocking the site when the copyright holder has first made reasonable efforts to take action against those who have themselves infringed their rights, like the website operators, or those who have enabled the infringement, like the Web hosting providers."
    • This summer, a German court had ruled that YouTube was only responsible for blocking infringing videos when they had been brought to its attention, and wasn't expected to scan every video.
    | 5:01 PM | Comment!
  • 2:08 PM
    | 2:08 PM | 7 Comments
  • 1:33 PM
    • In the holiday lull, Chinese game maker KongZhong (KZ -0.4%) said it's approved a sale of most of its stake in Ourgame International to Glassy Mind Holdings, for $30.9M.
    • The deal involves selling 39.2M shares of Ourgame at a price of HK$6.1062 -- coming to about $30.9M with about 80% in immediate cash, and the remainder in cash on Sept. 30, 2016.
    • KongZhong had held the shares since before Ourgame went public in Hong Kong in June 2014. It will retain a stake of about 2.6% (20.74M shares).
    | 1:33 PM | Comment!
  • 12:58 PM
    • Turkcell (TKC -2.7%) says it has launched voice and video calls on BiP, its IP-based messaging app.
    • BiP has been downloaded for free more than 3.3M times (by Turkcell subscribers and otherwise) in more than 166 countries. The app also features disappearing messages a la Snapchat.
    • The voice and video addition is coming along with 1 GB of free data for Turkcell's subscribers, though. The company plans to launch it in Ukraine and Belarus, in local languages with local content.
    | 12:58 PM | Comment!
  • 12:44 PM
    • Abertis (OTCPK:ABRTY) tower spinoff Cellnex has been widely expected to put in bids for Infrastrutture Wireless Italiane, the cell-site spinoff form Telecom Italia (TI +4.7%), but despite a formal launch to the sale, TI says it's gotten no offers.
    • "The process is still in an early phase and no offer has been received by Telecom Italia at this moment," the company said.
    • Price may become an issue. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Cellnex (and partner F2i SGR) were near a $1.2B bid for an Inwit stake, though that could come in the second week of December.
    • Telecom Italia has a 60% stake in Inwit and would likely aim to keep about 20% along with one board seat.
    | 12:44 PM | Comment!
  • 11:45 AM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is down 1.9% with firms coming in for price target cuts on the Russia-focused telecom.
    • Barclays has reduced its price target to $4.82; ADRs closed yesterday at $3.60 and are trading at $3.53 today. Meanwhile, HSBC lowered its price target to $6.40.
    • HSBC has a Buy rating on the stock, while Barclays holds an Equal Weight rating.
    • The company also announced it's combining its Pakistan mobile business, Mobilink, with Global Telecom Holding's Warid Telecom in a large consolidation. Mobilink will first acquire 100% of Warid's shares in consideration for Dhabi Group shareholders acquiring about 15% of Mobilink, before the two companies are fully merged.
    • The combination will serve more than 45M customers and the two companies logged combined revenue of $1.4B over the past 12 months. VimpelCom and Global Telecom expect synergies of $500M in the tie-up.
    | 11:45 AM | Comment!
  • 11:31 AM
    • Warren Buffett in 2008 famously made a $1M wager with hedge fund Protege Partners that the S&P 500 would outperform a basket of hedge funds (net of fees) for the 10-year period beginning on Jan. 1, 2008 - a bet The Oracle is well on his way to winning.
    • A fan of Buffett (BRK.A, BRK.B) and an investor alongside him for as long as he can remember, Seeking Alpha contributor Chris DeMuth suggests the problem with the bet (at least for Protege) was fund selection. He proposes a new bet of $1M with Buffett that his Rangeley Capital outperforms the S&P 500 over the 10-year period starting on Jan. 1, 2016.
    | 11:31 AM | 20 Comments
  • 11:22 AM
    • News Corp. (NWS -1.6%, NWSA -1.3%) says its Australian unit has secured five-year rights to the National Rugby League in an $1.8B deal.
    • In conjunction with Nine Entertainment and Telstra (TLSYY +0.4%), Fox Sports secured the rights to show all games ad-free in 2016, and in 2017 will launch a dedicated NRL channel.
    • Fox Sports package subscribers will also have access to the games and related coverage on tablets and smartphones.
    | 11:22 AM | Comment!
  • 6:00 AM
    • Japan -0.30%.
    • Hong Kong -1.87%.
    • China -5.48%.
    • India +0.65%.
    • London -0.09%.
    • Paris +0.13%.
    • Frankfurt +0.24%.
    | 6:00 AM | Comment!
  • 5:12 AM
    • Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's austerity program is in trouble again and she may face new calls for an impeachment after her point man in the Senate was arrested in a widening corruption scandal.
    • "The arrest felt like a nuclear bomb here in the presidential palace," said a Rousseff aide.
    • Delcidio do Amaral is the ruling Workers' Party's most senior figure in Congress, and is charged for allegedly trying to bribe Petrobras' (NYSE:PBR) former international director, Nestor Cervero.
    | 5:12 AM | 8 Comments
  • 4:05 AM
    • The World Trade Organization remains deeply divided over its flagship global trade pact ahead of a key conference in Nairobi next month, with some members suggesting negotiations should start from scratch.
    • The Doha round of talks aimed at liberalizing trade has faced endless obstacles since the process began in 2001.
    • Biggest potential winners from the WTO's 161 member-states would be the world's poorest countries, most of whom are excluded from regional trade talks going on elsewhere, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
    | 4:05 AM | 1 Comment
  • 3:34 AM
    • French President Francois Hollande met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday and agreed to cooperate in the fight against ISIS, although the two remained at odds over the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
    • The news comes after Russia targeted Turkey's economy with a range of sanctions - such as checks on Turkish food imports and cutting military/tourism ties - three days after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on its border with Syria.
    • However, some sanctions are still up for discussion, including closing Russian airspace and ports to Turkish companies, suspending investment agreements/joint projects, and barring cultural exchanges.
    | 3:34 AM | 3 Comments
  • 3:01 AM
    • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered Cabinet ministers to prepare an extra spending package (likely over ¥3T), including cash handouts for the poorest pensioners, to boost the country's stalling recovery.
    • The measures reflect a new focus for Abenomics, which has been criticized for benefiting mostly big businesses instead of the average Japanese.
    • Data for October released Friday: Japan's jobless rate fell to a 20-year low of 3.1%, but household spending fell 2.4% and average incomes fell 0.9%.
    • Nikkei -0.3% to 19,884.
    | 3:01 AM | 7 Comments
  • 2:25 AM
    | 2:25 AM | 13 Comments
  • Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • 8:58 AM
    • President Vladimir Putin has ordered tighter control on Turkish agricultural products, including additional checks at the border and production sites, two days after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on its border with Syria.
    • The retaliatory measure is not new to Russia. The country banned European food products last year in response to Western sanctions over interventions in Ukraine.
    • Where else can Russia take aim at Turkey? Bilateral trade and infrastructure deals, the tourism industry, and energy (including a gas pipeline being built between the two countries, as well as the Akkuyu nuclear power plant).
    • Previously: Russia turns on Turkey after downed jet (Nov. 25 2015)
    | 8:58 AM | 46 Comments
  • 6:10 AM
    • European stocks are climbing higher on what was expected to be a quiet trading day with U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
    • Shares across the region rallied on Wednesday following a report about the European Central Bank's considerations for expanding eurozone stimulus measures.
    • What about the euro? The currency is down a touch against the dollar at $1.0615.
    • London +0.5%. Paris +0.9%. Frankfurt +1.3%. Euro Stoxx 50 +1%
    | 6:10 AM | Comment!
  • 5:30 AM
    • North Korean and South Korean officials met in a demilitarized village on their border today to hold talks aimed at initiating sustainable communication and cross-border cooperation.
    • The meeting is the first intergovernmental interaction since August when the two sides met to defuse a crisis that had pushed them to the brink of an armed conflict.
    • Although the talks may fail to produce a deal, they represent a continued focus on diplomacy instead of military might.
    • Previously: Kim Jong Un: Korean relations on 'track of reconciliation' (Aug. 28 2015)
    • Previously: Korean border heats up (Aug. 21 2015)
    | 5:30 AM | 1 Comment
  • 4:34 AM
    • China's "national team" owns at least 6% of the mainland stock market following the summer rescue to prop up prices, putting even more of the $4.2T bourses into state hands, FT reports.
    • Government rescue funds were corralled into buying shares when the equity markets went into meltdown over summer. The intervention seems to have succeeded so far - the Shanghai Composite has since recovered by 28% from its last low point in late August.
    • Top ten purchases in Q3 by China Securities Finance Corp: Bank of China (OTCPK:BACHY), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (OTCPK:IDCBY), Agricultural Bank of China (OTCPK:ACGBY), China Construction Bank (OTCPK:CICHY), Bank of Communications (OTCPK:BCMXY), China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (NYSE:SNP), China Everbright Bank (OTC:CBVHY), China Minsheng Banking (OTCPK:CMAKY), BOE Technology Group and PetroChina (NYSE:PTR).
    • Shanghai -0.3% to 3,636.
    | 4:34 AM | Comment!
  • 3:03 AM
    • Happy Thanksgiving! Traders are enjoying their time off today with an upcoming week packed with major announcements, decisions and financial drama.
    • Monday - The IMF is expected to grant China's yuan reserve currency status. The decision will elevate the renminbi and China's influence in the global economy. An open central bank meeting will also determine how the Fed operates under new Dodd-Frank rules governing its emergency powers.
    • Wednesday - Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will speak before the Economic Club of Washington.
    • Thursday - The Governing Council of the ECB meets in Frankfurt, where it is expected to expand its easing program. Janet Yellen is also scheduled to testify before the Joint Economic Council.
    • Friday - The U.S. November jobs report is the highlight of the week since it's the last big piece of data before the Fed's policy meeting on Dec. 15-16. The figures will come as OPEC convenes in Vienna, which will likely set the future climate for oil prices.
    • More than a half-dozen Fed officials are also scheduled to speak during the week, including Charles Evans, Dennis Lockhart, John Williams, Loretta Mester, Patrick Harker, James Bullard and Narayana Kocherlakota.
    | 3:03 AM | 7 Comments
  • 2:19 AM
    | 2:19 AM | Comment!
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