The (early) Lunch Wrap | FT Alphaville

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning, New York…


Italy has raised its deficit- and debt-to-GDP targets for 2012. However, Paul took a look at JP Morgan’s forecasts of the sovereign’s budget numbers and it doesn’t look like this will be the last revision.

The proposed pay packet for Citi’s executives was voted down by shareholders. The result took many by surprise as compensation proposals are rarely voted down in the US . See Joseph’s post for the exact proposal that was voted down.

VTB is acquiring its own shares for its pension fund. Since the company’s flotation five years ago its share price has halved. Evidently, the idea to buy up the shares was suggested by Prime Minister Putin earlier this year. Paul has all the details.

Concerns about France going into the election: a substantial list courtesy of Andrew Garthwaite from Credit Suisse. Among which, “limited de-regulation and corporate tax reform, labour costs are the highest among the large Euro-area economies, France is the second most closed economy in the Euro-area after Greece…” And it continues here.


Warren Buffett disclosed on Tuesday that he has stage-one prostate cancer. The 81-year-old business magnate told shareholders in a letter that his condition was “not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way”, the FT reports.

Mark Carney, the governor of Canada’s central bank, has been informally approached as a potential candidate to replace Sir Mervyn King as head of the Bank of England in June next year, reports the FT.

Automakers are scrambling to avert a shock to their global supply chain caused by a shortage of a critical resin used in car parts, says the FT. The impact of the shortage is serving to highlight the negligible margin for error right now in the global automotive supply chain.

Facebook’s board was only alerted to the company’s acquisition of Instagram on the day it was announced.Rather than involving armies of investment bankers and lawyers, the deal was negotiated between the two companies’ CEOs at Mr Zuckerberg’s home over a few days, according to the WSJ.

Apple and Samsung have been ordered by a federal court to discuss their patent disputes with each other in a conference. Apple alleges that Samsung’s 4G smartphone and Galaxy tab, along with other devices, infringe on its patents, reports Bloomberg.

Hedge fund manager John Paulson is shorting German government bonds in a wager that the eurozone debt crisis will significantly deepen in the coming months, according to the FT.

Intel and IBM each topped earnings expectations in the first quarter despite weak demand in some parts of their developed-world operations, while also issuing stronger revenue forecasts for the rest of the year, the FT reports.

Plans to strengthen supervision of the oil markets and increase penalties for market manipulation have been unveiled by the Obama administration in a bid to show that the White House is acting to curtail high petrol prices, the FT says.

A White House spokesman said that the president would veto a bill proposed by Republicans that gives firms with fewer than 500 employees a tax break for one year. Democrats oppose it as research examining which groups would benefit most from the proposed a 20 per cent deduction on taxes would largely go to taxpayers such as lawyers and consultants who are earning more than $1m a year, Reuters reports.

Markets: Major asset benchmarks are trading in relatively narrow ranges a few hours into the European session as investors look to consolidate and await further catalysts after the previous session’s strong equity gains, says the FT. US index futures are relatively flat, says Bloomberg.