Friday, July 3, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - July 3

Office Closed for July 4th - Rollins Financial Counseling, Inc. and Rollins & Associates, P.C. will be closed on Friday, July 3rd in observance of the July 4th holiday. We will reopen on Monday, July 6th for normal business hours.

Additionally, the stock market will be closed on Friday, and all banks will be closed on Saturday, July 4th.

GM Gets Offer for Opel from Beijing Auto - GM said on Friday morning that it's received a proposal from China's Beijing Automotive for its European Adam Opel unit. A spokeswoman from GM also said that they are in talks with RHJ, a Belgian industrial holding company, about a separate potential deal for Opel.

GM signed a memorandum of understanding with Magna International, a Canadian company, over a proposed deal for Magna to take a majority of the European business in May, but they are still busy trying to workout all of the issues. The memorandum was non-exclusive, so GM has been able to discuss potential deals with other companies wishing to purchase the unit. Reuters reported Thursday that Magna's board is due to meet early next week to approve the business plan for the acquisition of Opel.

China to Invest $1.5 Billion in Canadian Mine Company - The state-run China Investment Corp (CIC) is investing $1.5 billion Teck Cominco which will give the CIC a 17% equity stake with 6.7% voting interest in the company. The miner said the deal will have a "very positive effect" on its balance sheet and give it a deeper understanding of China, its top consumer. CIC plans to be a "long-term passive financial investor" and hold the stake for at least one year with the understanding that it will not sell it to any other rival or material customer of Teck.

Tuesday's Jump in Oil Prices Blamed on Rogue Trader - Unauthorized trading in oil futures by a single employee resulted in a nearly $10 million loss for brokerage PVM Oil Futures and is being blamed for a dramatic spike in futures prices earlier this week, according to news reports.

"As a result of a series of unauthorized trades, substantial volumes of futures contracts were held by PVM. When this was discovered, the positions were closed in an orderly fashion," PVM Managing Director Robin Bieber told The Wall Street Journal. Bieber told The Journal that the company had met its margin call and was conducting business "as normal."

A broker at PVM's London office was said to have purchased between 7 million to 10 million barrels of ICE Brent crude futures early Tuesday. Brent crude futures on the ICE exchange, as well as crude futures at the NYMEX, jumped more than 2% within a minute early Tuesday. The spike drove ICE Brent to an eight-month high of $73.50.

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