Opening Bell: 09.19.14

Alibaba Group Said to Raise $21.8 Billion in Record U.S. IPO (Bloomberg)
The company and shareholders including Yahoo! Inc. sold 320.1 million shares for $68 each, according to a statement, after offering them for $66 to $68. The sale -- which values Alibaba at $167.6 billion -- is already the largest by any company in the U.S. and has the potential to break the global record if additional shares are sold to underwriters.

After IPO, Alibaba plans to pour cash into movies (NYP)
Studio heads are expecting an influx of investment dollars from Asia, thanks to the Chinese e-commerce giant, which is poised to pull off the biggest public stock sale in history on Thursday. Japan’s Softbank — which owns more than a third of Alibaba Group Holdings and is sitting on a large pile of cash as a result — has been visiting the bamboo-decorated executive suites of film studios with an eye toward winning a role in the movie business, sources said. “The Japanese have started to take an interest,” one source said. “They’ve talked to Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation.”

Regulators Probe Goldman's Internship for Brother of Libyan Ex-Official (WSJ)
The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the New York-based bank's decision in June 2008 to hire as an intern the brother of Mustafa Zarti, then deputy chief of the Libyan Investment Authority, the people said. The move came after Goldman entered into more than $1 billion worth of trades with the authority, and just as the firm's relationship with the Libyan fund had begun to sour. The investigators are also reviewing why the brother, Haitem Zarti, was allowed to remain at the firm for almost a year, long after most Wall Street internships last, the people added. A Goldman spokesman confirmed that Haitem Zarti had interned for the firm's investment-banking arm and said his hiring wasn't related to its dealings with the Libyan authority. Mr. Zarti was allowed to remain at Goldman for almost a year because he had performed well, the spokesman added. Mustafa Zarti has previously said there was nothing wrong with the internship. Haitem Zarti couldn't be reached for comment, and an SEC spokesman declined to comment. Mustafa Zarti couldn't be reached for comment.

Scotland Rejects Independence as U.K. Wins Reprieve (Bloomberg)
Scotland voted to stay in the U.K. in a referendum on independence, stepping back from a breakup of the 307-year-old union while wringing promises of more financial power from Prime Minister David Cameron. After a count through the night, 55.3 percent of Scottish voters supported the “no” campaign against 44.7 percent who backed independence. The pound surged overnight as the Better Together campaign posted a wider margin of victory than suggested in opinion polls, before falling back. There was a record turnout of more than 90 percent in some of the 32 regions.

RBS and Lloyds Surge as Scotland Votes to Stay in U.K. (Bloomberg)
RBS jumped 3.1 percent to 368.2 pence at 9:21 a.m. in London trading, extending its weekly gain to 5.3 percent. Lloyds gained 2.1 percent to 77.43 pence, and TSB Banking Group Plc climbed 2.3 percent to 293 pence...Contingency plans to move to England are “no longer required,” RBS said in a statement today. RBS and Lloyds, both domiciled in Edinburgh, said last week they would move to England if Scots chose to dissolve the 307-year-old union. Analysts estimated a move south may have cost each lender as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion).

Gold iPhones at $3,600 as China Delay Fuels Black Market (Bloomberg)
Liu Min stands a few feet from an Apple Inc. store in Beijing hawking something that can’t be bought inside: the new iPhone 6. While the device debuted today in the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, there is no release date set for the world’s biggest smartphone market. That creates an opportunity for Liu, who promises two-day delivery of a 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 for 8,000 yuan ($1,303) -- almost double the price on Apple’s Hong Kong website. “It’s going to be a while before the new iPhone comes to China officially, so if you want it now, you have to pay up,” Liu said, pacing outside the Sanlitun district store selling screen protectors. “Give me a call if you want one.” Liu, who wouldn’t discuss his supply chain, wasn’t alone. Four vendors nearby offered the 128-gigabyte iPhone 6 for delivery on Sept. 20 at the equivalent of about $2,441, compared with the Hong Kong price of about $927.

Cops: Customer Pointed Gun At Drive-Thru Worker And Demanded A Hamburger (TSG)
“Give me a hamburger or I’ll shoot you.” That is what Dechazo Harris, gun in hand, allegedly said to a Florida drive-thru worker with whom he quarreled over an order. According to police, Harris, 27, ordered a midnight meal via a drive-thru speaker at a Checkers in West Palm Beach earlier this year. When he drove to the pick-up window, he sought to submit a second order. However, Checkers manager Rontavious Tarver, 20, explained to Harris (seen below) that if he wanted to place another order, he would have to drive around to the speaker and place it there. In response to that direction, Harris, cops charge, pulled out a gun and pointed it at the Checkers employee. As he began to exit his vehicle, Harris threatened the worker, “Give me a hamburger or I’ll shoot you.” He added, “Bro, you don’t know who I am.”

Larry Ellison to Step Aside as Oracle CEO (WSJ)
It is unclear how Oracle will fare long-term with Mr. Hurd and Ms. Catz at the helm. The duo effectively have run day-to-day operations at Oracle for several years with Mr. Ellison tending to focus on technology, a role he will continue to play. As executive chairman and the owner of a quarter of the company's shares, worth $48 billion, Mr. Ellison won't be walking away from its Redwood City, Calif., headquarters.

U.S. Treasury Market Goes Off Script (WSJ)
The softness of longer-term yields highlights concerns shared by many analysts and policy makers about the uneven growth of the U.S. economy and falling expectations for inflation. Investors broadly expect the Fed to raise the fed funds rate next year for the first time since 2006. But many analysts say that even a small uptick in rates could slow the economy and send already-low inflation further below the Fed's target.

Citigroup Tells Appeals Court of Its Argentina Quandary (Dealbook)
Argentina is holding a gun to the head of Citigroup, a lawyer for the bank told a three-judge panel in Manhattan on Thursday. The bank has found itself in an awkward position: It must decide between defying a New York court order or a sovereign government, a move that it says would result in “grave sanctions” from Argentina. “We’re going to obey, and if we obey, we have a gun to our head and the gun will probably go off,” Karen Wagner, a lawyer representing Citigroup, said. The bank is the latest financial group to be caught in the battle between a group of bondholders and Argentina that prompted the country’s default this summer and threatens to engulf financial institutions which have until now watched from the sidelines. Standing before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Ms. Wagner argued that the bank would suffer “serious and imminent hazard” if it obeyed a ruling from United States court judge that blocks it from making payments to bondholders.

Costumed characters blow-off NYPD’s summit (NYP)
A police summit with Times Square’s costumed menaces to help keep them out of handcuffs was a total bust — with just nine characters showing up and refusing to have a dialogue, sources told The Post. The plan was to meet with and educate the aggressive Elmos, Batmen and Cookie Monsters who prey on tourists in the Crossroads of the World to prevent more arrests. “But the meeting was a waste of time. They were in their little costumes, [and] they didn’t give a s–t about what we had to say,” a source said of the meeting. Instead, they played hardball with New York’s Finest — bringing an unidentified lawyer with them to the meeting Wednesday evening on the Duffy Square bleachers. The NYPD took the meeting far more seriously, with its contingent including Susan Herman, deputy commissioner of collaborative policing, and other NYPD brass. “They said, ‘We have nothing to say. Talk to her, [our] rep,’ ” the source said of the characters.


Opening Bell: 3.21.16

Goldman probed in alleged Treasury rig; Valeant CEO will step down; Florida woman fights to keep potty-trained pet alligator; and more.