Opening Bell: 05.07.09

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Barclays Posts First Quarter Earnings (BBC)
The bank has posted their first quarter numbers; it looks like their efforts to shed holdings were in line with their potential for write downs - they just had the common sense to do it as they encountered expenses.
"Profits before tax came in at £1.37bn ($2.07bn), up by 15% compared with the same period last year.
Total income almost doubled to a record £8.15bn because of strong performance at the group's investment banking arm.
[...]
The strong results were achieved despite losses from write downs of £2.61bn and increased costs related to the bank's acquisition of parts of US bank Lehman Brothers last year."
KKR To Buy South Korean Brewer (DealBook)
"Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the giant private equity firm, said on Thursday that it is buying Anheuser-Busch InBev's South Korean brewery for $1.8 billion in cash, in one of the largest leveraged buyouts announced this year.
K.K.R. beat out two other private equity firms, MBK Partners and Affinity Equity Partners, for the AB-InBev brewery, Oriental Brewery, according to a person briefed on the matter."
Société Générale Posts Loss (WSJ)
"For the three months ended March 31, SocGen posted a net loss of €278 million ($370.6 million) compared with a net profit of €1.1 billion a year earlier. Revenue slid 14% to €4.91 billion from €5.68 billion. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast, on average, a €381 million profit on revenue of €5.61 billion.
Most of the damage came from the corporate and investment-banking division where SocGen took €1.5 billion in write-downs on high-risk exposures, including monolines and exotic credit derivatives. Fluctuations in the value of other items took a further toll of €340 million. These elements drowned out improved performances at the unit's equities and fixed-income trading businesses."
The Emergence Of A Bull Market? (Bloomberg)
""The most likely scenario is that we've entered a new bull market," said John-Paul Smith, the London-based chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management, which oversees about $103 billion. "Investors are being dragged kicking and screaming into the market.""
Sallie Mae Looking For Ways To Survive (Bloomberg)
Sallie Mae has decided they're not going to put up a fight so much as suggest how to make the President's plan better; the latter includes them still being able to touch student loans, of course. There's been an ongoing argument about the role of Government in private enterprise - one built largely on perceived roles - that's fallen somewhat by the wayside given recent actions of the administration; we have to wonder if given the recent bull-run (and if it continues) if government intervention plans will continue to gain support.
"Sallie Mae may lose as much as 40 percent of its revenue if Congress passes Obama's plan without modifications, said Matt Snowling, an analyst with Friedman Billings Ramsay Group Inc. in Arlington, Virginia. Sallie Mae's revenue totaled $1.78 billion last year, and most of the rest came from private loans and from services such as collecting on defaulted loans."
Ban Lifted, Oil Companies Allowed Back In Iraq (FT)
"International oil companies are preparing to go back into Iraq by the end of the year, in spite of Baghdad's failure to pass an oil law and continuing concerns over security.
BP and Royal Dutch Shell are among companies expected to bid for oil service contracts in June, with the long-term objective of being allowed to develop the world's third-largest oil reserves""
Chrysler Creditors Harassed For Asserting Legal Rights (FT)
The clusterfuck that is the Chrysler bailout is still causing waves through the legal system as senior creditors (junior-senior creditors, at that) are the last to intimate they've got the testicular fortitude to do the right thing: fight for their money. We can understand that it's a tough position: the government is breathing down your neck to take the deal; they have seemingly unlimited power - you just have wonder what the end game is when good men do nothing.

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