Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Today's Headlines

- BlackRock Inc.(BLK), the largest publicly traded US asset manager, is considering buying minority stakes in hedge-fund managers to raise profit from one of the fastest growing areas of asset management. BlackRock plans to start buying into startup managers within 12 months, said Howard Berkowitz, head of the hedge-fund group.
- Google Inc.(GOOG) outlined a strategy for reducing its energy use and investing in environmental technology.
- Canadian inflation, excluding volatile items such as energy, slowed more than economists forecast last month, which may allow the central bank to limit interest rate increases.
- Corn is falling 4.7%, the most in five weeks in Chicago, and soybeans are falling 3% on forecasts for rain in the US Midwest that may moisten soils and improve prospects for recently seeded crops. The Goldman Sachs Ag Commodity spot index is falling 3.2% today.
- Blackstone Group LP(BX) moved up its $4.75 billion IPO to this week, signaling strong investor demand for the shares.
- BC Partners, a London-based buyout firm, agreed to buy Intelsat Ltd., the world’s largest commercial-satellite operator, for $5.03 billion to profit from growing demand for high-definition television broadcasts and video-conferencing.
- Shares of Expedia Inc.(EXPE), the world’s largest Internet travel agency, rallied the most since the company went public after it announced plans to buy 42% of its common stock for $3.5 billion.
- US 10-year Treasuries are rising for a third consecutive day, their longest rally since April, after a government report showed builders broke ground on fewer homes last month and agricultural commodity prices fell. The 10-year yield is down 24 basis points in 5 trading days.
- GE(GE) and Pearson Plc, weighing a bid for Dow Jones(DJ), may struggle both to top a $5 billion offer from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and to agree on a proposed structure for the combined business.
- Home Depot(HD) agreed to sell its contractor-supplies unit to three buyout firms for more than $10 billion.
- Boeing co.(BA) won an $8.8 billion order for 63 airliners from International Lease Finance Corp.

Wall Street Journal:
- Delta Air Lines may buy as many as 125 of Boeing’s(BA) new 787 jetliners before end of this year.
- The Center for Audit Quality, a US accounting group, came out in support of proposals that would require companies to stop providing analysts with quarterly earnings guidance and to link executive pay with long-term corporate growth.
- Big US companies are now carrying a total of $764 billion in excess working capital due to inefficient bill collection and supplier payments, citing a Hackett-REL survey.
- A SEC meeting today about mutual bunds’ 12b-1 fees, receipts from which are used to compensate intermediaries such as brokers, is likely to turn into a review of funds’ distribution channels in general.

NY Times:
- Each of the 24 types of toys recalled over safety concerns this year in the US was made in China, raising concerns among consumer advocates and others.
- IBM(IBM) plans to introduce a high-performance computer system that provides fast data handling and analysis for business and science information.

NY Post:
- Blackstone Group LP will present to creditors a plan to save a Bear Stearns Cos.(BSC) hedge fund that likely includes a cash infusion and a margin call moratorium.

Financial Times:
- Foreigners have been boosting their investments in Japanese stocks, but they may not end up happy with their investment, the “Lex” column said. By the end of March, foreigners had accumulated a record 28% of Japanese shares.

- Russia is preparing to deliver fighter jets to Syria after halting weapons deliveries to the Middle East during last year’s conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Iran is financing the purchase.

South China Morning Post:
- Beijing Perfect World Co. plans an IPO on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange(NDAQ) by as early as next month.

- Iran will grant a $268.5 million loan to Cuba, citing Iranian Ministry of Industries and Mines. The two countries also recently signed cooperation agreements on agriculture projects, construction of dams and the delivery of spare parts for industrial machines.

Gulf News:
- United Arab Emirates’ cement production capacity will rise to 50 million tons per year by 2009, almost 300% higher than forecasted demand, citing a government official.

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