Knight Capital set for $400M lifeline. Knight Capital (KCG) will reportedly receive $400M from a consortium that includes Blackstone (BX), TD Ameritrade (AMTD), Stifel Nicolaus (SF) and Jefferies Group (JEF). The investors are expected to receive convertible preferred stock that give them 70%-75% of Knight Capital. Meanwhile, the SEC rejected pleas from Knight Capital to cancel many of the trades it had erroneously made due to its software disaster last week, the WSJ reports.
ECB helps Greece stave off bankruptcy. Greece’s government will be able to access an extra €4B of financing after the ECB acceded to a Bank of Greece request to increase to €7B from €3B the amount of T-Bills that the latter can accept as collateral for emergency liquidity assistance, Die Welt reported over the weekend. The money should tide Greece over until the Troika decides on whether to disburse its next tranche of aid in September.
U.S. set for largest IPO week since Facebook. Six companies are due to carry out public listings that they hope will raise a collective $1.1B this week as the IPO market continues to recover from its post-Facebook (FB) slump. Among those set to debut, Manchester United and Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN), the operator of the Outback Steakhouse restaurants, plan to raise $300M each, and hamburger chain CKE $200M.
Top Stock News
ING set to carve up Asian ops. ING (ING) is likely to sell its Asian life-insurance operations in parts after no bid emerged for the whole unit that would have been likely to win regulatory approval, the WSJ reports. Separate deals could still probably bring in over $7B, but they’re more complicated. Those slugging it out for various ING units include KB Financial (KB), Manulife (MFC), and Blackstone (BX).
Taiwan Semiconductor joins Intel with major investment in ASML. Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg (TSM) is pouring $1.4B into Dutch chip-equipment maker ASML (ASML), an investment that follows one from Intel worth $4.1B. Like Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg will receive equity (€838M for a 5% stake) and it’s making an R&D commitment (€276M). The goal is to ensure the continuation of Moore’s Law by commercializing EUV lithography, and to lower chip costs by speeding up the arrival of 450mm wafers.
Feds add another probe of Las Vegas Sands. Federal investigators are looking at whether Las Vegas Sands (LVS) breached money-laundering laws by not informing authorities about millions of dollars transferred to its casinos by a Mexican who was later accused of drug trafficking and a former California executive who was subsequently convicted of taking illegal kickbacks, the WSJ has reported. The probe comes as LVS is being scrutinized for allegedly bribing Chinese officials.
SEC probes Teva over anti-bribery compliance. Teva (TEVA) has received a subpoena from the SEC over its compliance with U.S. anti foreign bribery laws in Latin America, the company said in a regulatory filing last week. A Reuters investigation has found that eight of the world’s top 10 drug firms have warned of potential expenses connected to possible corruption overseas.
eBay sets out to prove Amazon wrong. Want same-day delivery on an eBay (EBAY) purchase? It’s now possible for San Franciscans placing $25+ orders with certain local stores, courtesy of eBay’s Now iOS app. Presumably, more cities and platforms will be added in time. eBay’s move is aimed not only at Amazon (AMZN), which has said same-day isn’t economical "on a broad scale," but at Groupon (GRPN) also.
Top Economic & Other News
Monti warns that infighting could tear eurozone apart. "The tensions that have accompanied the eurozone in the past years are already showing signs of a psychological dissolution of Europe," Italian PM Mario Monti told Der Spiegel in an interview published yesterday. Francois Hollande, meanwhile, is reportedly pressing Monti and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy to request aid to help ease markets and protect France.
CFTC poised to abandon silver probe. After conducting dozens of interviews and analyzing 100,000 documents, the CFTC looks set to drop a four-year probe into the possible manipulation of the silver market, as it doesn’t have enough evidence to go to court, the FT reports. JPMorgan (JPM) is likely to be relieved, having been the subject of various accusations, although it still faces a class-action lawsuit.
SEC’s revolving door strengthens enforcement – study Despite anecdotal evidence and criticism to the contrary, the revolving door at the SEC strengthens enforcement rather than weakens it, a new study of former agency lawyers has found. Lawyers who joined private practice as SEC experts after leaving the commission tended to be more aggressive when working at the agency, such as with higher penalties.
S&P downgrade, one year on. Yesterday marked one year since S&P cut the U.S.’s AAA rating to AA. Since then, Treasury prices have soared as U.S. debt has anyway become a safe haven from the dysfunction that is the eurozone, with 10-year bonds yielding 1.575% late Friday vs. 2.4% prior to the downgrade. The S&P 500 closed at 1,390.99, up from 1345.02 on July 22, 2011.
Texas town enjoys its latest oil rush. Signing on bonuses of $5,000 for truckers, new tracks and rail-yard facilities to handle increased traffic, and more hotels, houses and industrial parks – it’s boom time in Odessa, West Texas, which is enjoying its latest oil rush. Companies that are benefiting include Union Pacific (UNP) and Apache Corp. (APA), while Texas’ tax revenue climbed 14% to $36.4B through June.
Regulators shut 40th bank of the year. Regulators closed Waukegan Savings Bank of Waukegan in Illinois on Friday, making it the 40th U.S. bank failure of the year. The cost to the FDIC’s insurance fund is estimated at $19.8M.
Senior Greek banker joins the capital flight. Theodoros Pantalakis, who was CEO of Greece’s ATE Bank until last month, is in hot water after it was revealed he very much took part in the capital flight out of the country. Pantalakis transferred €8M of his own savings to acquire a property in London while ATE, which was a major state bank, was spiraling towards bankruptcy.
In Asia, Japan +2%. Hong Kong +1.7%. China +1%. India +1.3%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris +0.6%. Frankfurt +0.6%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude -0.4% to $90.99. Gold +0.15% to $1611.70.
Today’s economic calendar:
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