Frontrunning: March 20

  • Stock futures lower after G20 drops free-trade pledge (Reuters)
  • U.K. to Trigger Brexit on March 29, May’s Spokesman Says (BBG)
  • Comey to Testify on Hill About Russia, Wiretap Allegation (WSJ)
  • Germany, Japan Push Trade Deal as Merkel Seeks Anti-Trump Allies (BBG)
  • North Korea engine test may be prelude to partial ICBM flight (Reuters)
  • Regulators Said to Weigh Appraisal Change That May Spur Lending (BBG)
  • Gorsuch to restore conservative tilt to US court (FT)
  • White House installs political aides at Cabinet agencies to be Trump’s eyes and ears (WaPo)
  • Canada Committed to Lower Debt Ratio, Morneau Says Before Budget (BBG)
  • Deputy to Uber CEO Abruptly Exits, Adding to Management Turmoil (WSJ)
  • Almost half of Canadians want illegal border crossers deported (Reuters)
  • Deutsche Bank Says Revenue to Stay ‘Broadly Flat’ This Year (BBG)
  • What’s Attacking the Web? A Security Camera in a Colorado Laundroma (WSJ)
  • French financial prosecutor’s office evacuateda (Reuters)
  • A Six-Figure Income May Not Shield You From a Shock (BBG)
  • It’s Good to Be a CEO, Again: Stocks Rise, and So Does Pay (WSJ)
  • Norway unseats Denmark as world’s happiest country (Reuters)
  • Rent or Buy in New York? Compare the Costs (BBG)
  • No plans for early election, says UK PM May’s spokesman (Reuters)
  • Visco Says ECB Could Shorten Break Between QE Exit And Rate Hike (BBG)
  • China says preparatory work for Xi-Trump meeting has begun (Reuters)
  • Polls in Austria show erosion of far-right Freedom Party’s lead (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


– Uber Technologies Inc said a prominent retail executive it hired as president just six months ago is leaving, the most senior in a string of executive departures as the ride-hailing giant reels from an escalating series of controversies.

– Pay raises are back in style in the corner office, wiping out cuts from a year earlier and pushing CEO compensation to new highs amid a surging stock market.

– Walt Disney Co’s “Beauty and the Beast” was a monster at the box office this weekend, opening to $170 million from Thursday night through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates.

– Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s standoff with Indonesia over the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine is entering a new phase, as the company scales back operations while trying to force a resolution to the dispute.

– Music mogul Irving Azoff and a business partner, Tim Leiweke, recently purchased Venues Today, and are in talks to buy Pollstar, people familiar with the matter said. Both outlets cover the live-music business.

– Canadian mining company Dominion Diamond Corp received a $1.1 billion bid from a privately held conglomerate in Montana, but the two sides are at a negotiating impasse, setting the stage for a public takeover fight.

– The Italian government on Saturday made a series of nominations for the top management of large listed companies it controls, including confirming the chief executive of oil major Eni SpA for a second three-year term.

– Apple Inc’s Chief Executive Tim Cook defended globalization in a rare public speech in China, as his company faces political pressure in the U.S. to bring back factories.



British Prime Minister Theresa May will begin her tour of the UK in order to unite the country before she enters formal Brexit negotiations by the end of the month.

The UK defence ministry has said it is in talks with Germany to sign a new defence co-operation agreement after the country launches Brexit.

SNC-Lavalin of Canada and UK’s Petrofac Ltd are eyeing John Wood Group Plc and Amec Foster Wheeler Plc for picking up assets and contracts.

The Children’s Investment Fund wrote a letter to Safran SA’s board in a push to its campaign to block Safran’s takeover bid for Zodiac Aerospace SA .



– Jeff Jones, Uber’s president of ride sharing, has left the company after just six months, Uber said on Sunday. In addition, Brian McClendon, Vice-President of maps and business platform at Uber, also plans to leave at the end of the month.

– German officials included the offices of both Volkswagen’s chief executive and the head of the Audi division when they raided company premises last week as part of an investigation into emissions fraud, according to a copy of the search warrant.

– A senior Chinese official on Sunday defended his country’s push for greater self-sufficiency in computer chips, electric cars and other industries, calling it a necessary strategy in the face of Western countries’ controls of certain high-tech gear.



The Times

* A senior director of MI5, Jeremy Fleming, is coming out of the shadows to become the new head of intelligence eavesdropping service GCHQ.

* Shareholders could win the legal right to block excessive pay deals for company bosses, as part of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attack on large executive pay.

The Guardian

* Google executives are bracing for a two-pronged inquisition from the advertising industry and the government over the company’s plans to stop ads being placed next to extremist material.

* Former British ambassador to Washington, Peter Westmacott, has issued a withering criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump and his inner circle, accusing them of making absurd claims about UK’s involvement in alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower that he warns could damage close ties between the two countries.

The Telegraph

* Billions of pounds’ worth of water contracts will be awarded to utilities in the coming weeks ahead of the opening of the business supply market. The first major framework contract is expected to be awarded by Crown Commercial Services on behalf of UK’s public sector which is understood to be worth between 800 million pounds to 900 million pounds.

* British housebuilder Crest Nicholson Holdings is facing an embarrassing investor backlash over generous share awards for its top executives as the government weighs radical reforms to rein in excessive pay.

Sky News

* A man named David Hempseed has been charged after a member of staff at a NatWest bank in Birmingham was held hostage, police say.

* Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted to a rapturous crowd at her party’s conference that “there will be an independence referendum”.

The Independent

* Theresa May is expected to visit Wales this week as she commences a tour of the devolved nations ahead of triggering Article 50 within the next fortnight.


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