Opening Bell: 05.06.11

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Goldman BRIC Fund Among Most Hurt in ‘Panic’ Commodities Selling (Bloomberg)
The $831 million Goldman Sachs BRIC Fund (GBRAX) and the $825 million Templeton BRIC Fund (TABRX), which focus on Brazil, China, India and Russia, both fell 5.7 percent in the week ended yesterday. The funds, from New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and San Mateo, California’s Franklin Resources Inc., lost the most among diversified equity funds with more than $500 million in assets and at least 20 percent in energy or basic materials stocks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Glencore IPO Orders Continue To Roll In (WSJ)
Glencore on Wednesday set the price range for the offer at 480 pence to 580 pence, valuing it at around $61 billion, including the new money being raised. Around $10 billion in shares will be sold, plus a $1 billion overallotment. Most of the offer is in the form of new shares. Bankers said the order book was covered after the first day of subscriptions. One on Friday said a "material" amount of orders were added to the total on Thursday, even as oil and silver prices slid sharply.

Paulson’s Biggest Fund Said to Be Down in 2011 After April Gain (SFGate/Bloomberg)
Paulson’s Advantage Plus Fund, which uses strategies designed to profit from corporate events such as takeovers and bankruptcies, is down 1.7 percent in 2011 after gaining 0.1 percent last month, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the returns are private. The fund’s gold- denominated share class rose 6.3 percent in April and 4.9 percent this year.

Bank of America Had Positive Trading Revenue Every Day of First Quarter (Bloomberg)
Trading-related revenue was positive every day and exceeded $25 million on 98 percent of days during the year’s first three months, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2010, it had gains on 90 percent of trading days, with perfect records in that year’s first and third quarters, according to previous filings.

AIG quarterly net income drops 85% (MarketWatch)
First-quarter net income attributable to AIG was $269 million, compared with $1.8 billion a year earlier, the company said. On a per-share basis, AIG reported a net loss of 35 cents, versus a profit of $2.66 a share in the first quarter of 2010…AIG expected to make 34 cents a share, according to a FactSet survey of three analysts. A Thomson Reuters survey of three analysts came up with a consensus estimate of a loss of 15 cents a share.

JPMorgan Chase Said to Be Subpoenaed by SEC Over Mortgage Debt Documents (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over failed mortgages, a person familiar with the investigation said, as the agency probes banks including Credit Suisse Group AG for allegedly failing to share refunds from sellers of faulty debt.

RBS core operating profit jumps 25 pct (Reuters)
RBS, which is majority-owned by the British government, made a first quarter loss of 528 million pounds ($841.5 million) after it racked up 1.3 billion pounds in bad debts at Ulster Bank… RBS said Irish loan losses would stay high this quarter before "gradually declining" in the second half of the year. The bank's core business - namely its main retail and investment banking arms and excluding its insurance unit which is due to be sold off or floated on the stock market in 2012 - had an operating profit of about 2 billion pounds a quarter.

Schumer Tilts Toward Offer by Germans for Big Board (WSJ)
Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, remains publicly neutral on the competing proposals: a roughly $10 billion bid from Deutsche Börse AG, which agreed in February to buy NYSE Euronext, and a hostile, $11 billion offer from Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. But Mr. Schumer is favoring the German deal as the best way to protect New York, according to the people who have spoken with him. Mr. Schumer focuses on the question so much that he tracks the number of Bloomberg terminals sold in major financial capitals.

Coffee, Sex, Blowing Nose May Increase Risk of a Stroke, Dutch Study Finds (Bloomberg)
Researchers from University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands, analyzed 250 patients who survived such a stroke and identified eight risk factors tied to the event. They included drinking a cup of coffee, which carried the highest risk, having sex, physical exercise, nose blowing, straining to defecate, drinking cola and being startled or angry.

Carlyle faces questions over China investments (FT)
Carlyle, the US private equity group, is facing questions over its investments in two Chinese companies that have been accused of fraud and suspended from trading on stock exchanges in Hong Kong and New York. The scrutiny comes at an unwelcome time for Carlyle, as the manager of some $106bn in funds seeks to burnish its reputation ahead of a planned initial public offering. China Forestry, a Hong Kong-listed plantation operator in which Carlyle has an 11 per cent stake, and China Agritech, a Nasdaq-listed fertiliser maker in which Carlyle has a 22 per cent stake, have both had their shares suspended from trading in recent months.

CME launches London clearing house (FT)
CME Group is considering offering clearing services to exchanges in Europe as the largest US futures exchange establishes a beachhead in the region by launching a new clearing house in London on Friday.
The move into clearing in Europe highlights the Chicago-based operator’s ambitions to expand into Europe, where CME’s two biggest rivals, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and Deutsche Börse, have established clearing businesses.

US Lawmaker Wants To Require Whistleblowers To Report Internally (DJ via WSJ)
A U.S. House Republican lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would require whistleblowers to report wrongdoing to their employer to be eligible for a Securities and Exchange Commission bounty program, Dow Jones reported.

Indonesia Imposes More Sanctions on Citigroup (WSJ)
Bank Indonesia on Friday announced a raft of additional sanctions against Citigroup Inc. as investigations continue into the alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars and the death of a debtor…[Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Budi] Rochadi said, the central bank imposed a number of restrictions on Citi's operations in Indonesia, including a one-year ban on the local unit signing new clients to its Citigold wealth-management unit and a two-year ban on it issuing new credit cards. The central bank also forbade Citi's local unit from opening new branches in Indonesia for one year and imposed an offshore travel ban on some of the unit's executives, effective from Friday, while investigations continue.

Allen Stanford Indicted Again as Prosecutors Drop 7 of 21 Criminal Charges (Bloomberg)
The original indictment contained 21 criminal counts. The new one contains 14, including conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruction of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, wire fraud and mail fraud. Two wire-fraud counts were dropped as were five mail-fraud charges. Stanford, 61, still faces five of each count, conviction for any one of which could result in a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

A wide-open Derby field of odds (USA Today)
With so many unknowns among local 3-year-olds, it might pay to take a chance on Master of Hounds, a new face shipping in from afar — Ireland, via Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Trained by perpetual Irish champion Aiden O'Brien and owned by the imposing Coolmore partnership, Master of Hounds has never raced on dirt, but the same can be said for several other leading Derby contenders. Bred to stay every yard of the 1¼-mile Derby distance, Master of Hounds was beaten by a nose in his last start, the UAE Derby run on a synthetic surface in March. Master of Hounds stalked the leaders, burst to the front in the stretch and was just caught after battling gamely all the way to the finish.

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