Frontrunning: May 12


  • World stocks ease off record highs, Fed rate hopes boost dollar (Reuters)
  • Trump Escalates FBI Fight With Comey Attack. The FBI Fights Back (BBG)
  • Trump attacks on fired FBI chief meet resistance (Reuters)
  • China Stocks Are Tumbling Again. This Time, the World Doesn’t Care (BBG)
  • Yuan Becomes Oasis of Calm in China’s Volatile Markets (WSJ)
  • U.S., China agree to first trade steps under 100-day plan (Reuters)
  • Home Capital Says Reputational Hit Casts Doubt on Survival (BBG)
  • Indonesian Islamist leader says ethnic Chinese wealth is next target (Reuters):
  • It Just Got Harder to Move Staff to Frankfurt After Brexit (BBG)
  • U.S. airlines meet with Homeland Security on expanding laptop ban (Reuters)
  • Attorney General Revives Policy of Tougher Sentences for Drug Offenders (WSJ)
  • Mexican Billionaire’s 168% Stock Surge Stokes Derivatives Debate (BBG)
  • Whole Foods Faces Specter of Long Investor Fight (WSJ)
  • At G7, world finance chiefs are trying to gauge Trump’s plans (Reuters)
  • SEC Turns to Big Deals Lawyer to Spur More Public Companies (WSJ)
  • U.S. judge calls for criminal probe into trade secrets theft raised in Uber case (Reuters)
  • Talk About Big-Box Retailing: Amazon Pushes to Sell Furniture (WSJ)
  • Tillerson gives nod at Arctic meet to climate change action (Reuters)
  • Refugee Agencies in U.S. Face Funding Crunch (WSJ)
  • Trucking Industry’s Tale of Woe: Too Many Big Rigs (WSJ)


Overnight Media Digest


– After months of bashing China for its trade practices, the Trump administration said it had agreed with Beijing on measures aimed at improving the access of American beef producers, electronic-payments providers and natural-gas exporters, among others, to the world’s second-largest economy. (

– U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco called for an investigation of Uber Technologies Inc and one of its engineers for the potential theft of trade secrets from Google, heightening the stakes of a legal battle between Uber and Google parent Alphabet Inc over driverless-car technology. (

– Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pressed White House counsel Don McGahn to correct what he felt was an inaccurate depiction of the events surrounding FBI Director James Comey’s firing. (

– McDonald’s Corp is ponying up a big chunk of money in an effort to get franchisees to help change everything from the way customers order their food to the way employees provide service. (

– A Delaware judge freed health insurer Cigna Corp to abandon its proposed $48 billion merger with Anthem Inc , declining to give Anthem more time to try to salvage the deal, which federal courts have blocked on antitrust grounds. (

– Improbable, a London-based maker of virtual worlds and real-world simulations, has raised $502 million in a funding round led by the Japanese telecommunications and internet giant SoftBank Group Corp. (

– Representatives of the three top U.S. airlines met with national security officials in Washington to discuss threats to aviation security and possible pre-emptive measures, according to people familiar with the matter. (



An adviser to the European Union’s top court said ride-hailing app Uber Technologies Inc should be regulated as a transport company and be subject to the same rules as normal taxis.

Improbable is raising $502 million from Japan’s SoftBank in a deal that will value the UK virtual simulation start-up at more than $1 billion.

BT Group Plc will cut 4,000 jobs and replace the boss of its global services business in a plan to tackle the source of an Italian accounting scandal that stunned Britain’s biggest telecoms group in January.

Executives at Wells Fargo & Co doubled its cost-cutting target after seeing expenses soar in the aftermath of a sales scandal that the third-largest U.S. bank is still trying to recover from.



– The United States has reached a set of narrow trade deals with China covering areas like electronic payment services, beef and poultry while leaving untouched bigger issues that could still complicate relations between the two major trading partners.

– In a setback for Uber, a federal judge denied a motion to move a legal showdown between Uber and Waymo into private arbitration. Uber has been accused of stealing valuable technology from Waymo in the lawsuit.

– SoftBank said on Thursday that it was leading a $502 million investment in Improbable, a British start-up focused on creating expansive virtual worlds. The investment for a a minority stake will value Improbable at more than $1 billion.

– Sony Pictures Entertainment, bedeviled in recent years by movie misfires, a devastating cyber-attack and executive ejections, on Thursday named Tony Vinciquerra its chairman and chief executive.




** Bombardier Inc executive chairman Pierre Beaudoin is relinquishing his management role and taking a major pay cut after an unprecedented revolt by taxpayers and investors against what the company’s biggest outside shareholder called a “lapse of governance” at the beleaguered Canadian plane maker.

** Metrolinx has struck a deal with another manufacturer to provide dozens of vehicles for key Toronto-area transit projects, a sign of how much confidence the agency has lost in problem-plagued Bombardier.

** Magna International Inc has developed several technologies that can be used in electric and autonomous vehicles, and whose value could exceed the value of parts the company has on many vehicles now on the road, executives told shareholders at Magna’s annual meeting on Thursday.


** Canada’s largest capital markets regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission, is determined to go-it-alone in introducing a best-interest standard to govern the relationship between investment advisers and the clients.

** Enbridge Inc announced plans Thursday for a C$1 billion ($729.4 million) expansion of its British Columbia natural gas pipeline system, as a result of booming domestic natural gas production.

** Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose warned the Liberal Infrastructure Bank plan for giving “billions of dollars to billionaire bankers.”



The Times

Britain’s households are facing the first squeeze on incomes since 2014 as wage growth drops behind inflation this year, the Bank of England has warned.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc is set to pay millions of pounds in compensation to thousands of customers who were mis-sold investment products as “low risk” that turned out to be highly complex.

BT Group Plc has unveiled a near halving of profits and thousands of job cuts and has stripped its chief executive of his annual bonus as the company grapples with the fallout from an accounting scandal in Italy and a big fine from Ofcom for overcharging rivals for access to its broadband network.

The Guardian

Diageo Plc, the drinks company behind Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, is to pay HMRC 107 million pounds under the “Google tax” crackdown aimed at multinationals. The FTSE 100 business said HMRC was preparing to demand additional tax and interest of 107 million pounds for 2015 and 2016.

The Telegraph

Production of Minis could be moved out of Britain if Brexit talks do not deliver a favourable result, the boss of the German car giant BMW has hinted. Speaking at the car maker’s annual meeting in Munich, Chief Executive Officer Harald Krueger appeared to ratchet up the pressure on Westminster and Brussels to settle a deal which does not harm the car industry.

The chief executive of Barclays Plc, Jes Staley, has fallen victim to an email prankster pretending to be the bank’s chairman.

Sky News

Ovo Energy has agreed to buy Corgi HomePlan, which installs and maintains boilers, thermostats and other domestic technology. The deal is expected to be announced on Friday, according to people close to the talks.

Deliveroo, the food delivery service whose soaring revenues have turned it into one of Britain’s biggest technology firms, has bowed to political pressure to overhaul the terms on which thousands of riders work for the company.

The Independent

The Bank of England sent a mixed message on the future pace of interest rate rises on Thursday ahead of next month’s general election, with a modest downgrade of its 2017 growth forecast and a majority vote to keep rates this month on hold at 0.25 percent.

Uber Technologies Inc’s expansion plans were dealt a major blow on Thursday, after a senior legal adviser to the European Union’s top court said that the ride-sharing company provides a transport service and is not merely a digital enabler as Uber had argued, meaning that it must be licenced in order to operate.