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Opening Bell: 6.13.16

Asian equities desks face the ax; Jennifer Lawrence to play Elizabeth Holmes; Anonymous donor pays $3,456,789 for lunch with Warren Buffett; and more.
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By Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

Dan Gilbert, AT&T Each Bid $5 Billion for Yahoo, Patents (Bloomberg)
Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans Inc. and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, and AT&T Inc. each bid about $5 billion for Yahoo Inc.’s core business, patents and real estate assets, people with knowledge of the matter said. Verizon Communications Inc. made an offer between $3.5 billion to $4 billion for only Yahoo’s core business, according to two people familiar with that situation, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Trading Floors Go Quiet Across Asia as Equity Desks Face the Ax (Bloomberg)
At this time last year, the industry was riding high as China’s stock market soared, volumes jumped to records and some of the biggest names in finance boosted hiring. Now, turnover is shrinking at the fastest pace since at least 2006 and banks are under growing pressure to either downsize their Asian equity desks, or exit parts of the business altogether.

Why Are So Many Bankers Committing Suicide (NYP, video)
Three bankers in New York, London and Siena, Italy, died within 17 months of each other in 2013-14 in what authorities deemed a series of unrelated suicides. But in each case, the victim had a connection to a burgeoning global banking scandal, leaving more questions than answers as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

Regulators to Banks: We’ll Size Up Your Risks (WSJ)
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is considering a series of rule revisions as part of their effort to finalize postcrisis capital rules. Regulators agreed to spend this year addressing weaknesses spotlighted by the financial crisis, including minimizing the variance in how banks weigh their own risk in three key areas: credit risk, market risk, and operational risk.

Jennifer Lawrence to play Silicon Valley’s broke beauty on big screen (NYP)
Producer Adam McKay of “The Big Short” fame has gotten the “Hunger Games” star to sign on to play the 32-year-old Theranos boss, whose fall from grace to the silver screen could not have been quicker. Her medical testing company was worth about $9 billion a year ago. But it has been mired in controversy since an explosive report questioned the effectiveness of its blood-testing system, and the company is in the midst of several federal probes.

Anonymous donor pays $3,456,789 for lunch with Warren Buffett (UPI)
It isn't clear what's on the menu, but an anonymous bidder paid $3,456,789 to have lunch with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett as part of a charity auction on eBay. Bidding for Buffett's annual "power lunch" charity auction closed Friday after a week of escalating offers. Bidders were required to prequalify with a pledge of $25,000. The beneficiary is Glide, an organization that assists homeless people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Buffett pledged he will dine with the winner and up to seven guests at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York City on a mutually agreed upon date.

Libya SWF trial against Goldman Sachs set to start at London High Court (Reuters)
Libya's $67 billion sovereign wealth fund will go head-to-head with Goldman Sachs in London's High Court this week over claims that the U.S. investment bank exploited the fund by encouraging it to make risky and ultimately worthless investments. In what will be one of the most closely watched cases in the City of London, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is attempting to claw back $1.2 billion from the Wall Street giant from nine disputed trades carried out in 2008.

HSBC Backs Its Asia Ambitions, Despite Rumblings (WSJ)
HSBC Holdings PLC’s big bet on China in the past year has recently been questioned by some investors, but Chairman Douglas Flint says he is “confused” by the concerns about the bank’s Asia growth strategy. In a rare interview, Mr. Flint said, “I find it difficult to see why people would doubt the strategy, because over the medium and longer term this is a huge opportunity, and we’re a natural investor in that opportunity.”

Lotte Signals It’s Shelving $4.5 Billion Hotel IPO After Probes (Bloomberg)
Lotte Group indicated it will shelve what may have been a $4.5 billion initial public offering for its hotel unit, the world’s biggest so far this year, after widening investigations pushed the South Korean conglomerate deeper into crisis.

Police Need Your Help In Capturing New Haven’s Notorious Pen!s Painter (TSG)
Vexed by a perpetrator who has been painting pen!ses in public for several months, Connecticut police today sought the public’s help in identifying the male vandal. According to New Haven cops, the suspect--armed with spray paint--has been drawing pen!ses across the city, home to Yale University. In some instances, he has included the word “pen!s” next to his crude artwork...Police report that the suspect painted six pen!ses during his travels Wednesday evening. Investigators have described the wanted man as a “member-marking-mischief-maker.”

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