Monday's Early Headlines
- NABE Expects Fed Rate Hike in Next Six Months -- The National Association of Business Economists' semiannual survey shows that most respondents believe that current Federal Reserve monetary policy is appropriate, although a majority believes that a rise in interest rates is both "likely and appropriate" in the next several months. The report showed that 63% of respondents expect that the fed funds target will be increased in the next six months, with most expecting a 25- or 50-basis-point rise
- AIG To Sell Alico to MetLife for $15.5 Billion -- American International Group (AIG) reached an agreement to sell its foreign life insurance unit, American Life Insurance, to MetLife (MET) for about $15.5 billion, including $6.8 billion in cash and $8.7 billion in equity securities of MetLife. AIG said the cash portion of the proceeds from this sale will be used to reduce the preferred shares in Alico held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- EU Commission Ready to Propose Rescue Fund -- The European Commission is considering a plan for a monetary fund to aid highly indebted eurozone nations such as Greece, according to several media reports, including The Financial Times. "Basically the Commission is ready to propose such a European instrument for assistance which will require the support of all euro area member states," Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told a daily news briefing, according to Reuters. "There is a clear sense of determination to improve economic governance of the euro area."
- McDonald's Same-Store Sales Up 4.8% in February -- McDonald's (MCD) said Monday that it saw global comparable sales growth of 4.8% in February, which was better than analysts had predicted. U.S. sales were up only 0.6%, while Europe saw a 5.4% increase. Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa saw the biggest increase in sale, up 10.5%.
- Morgan Hires Citigroup's Shedlin: Report -- Morgan Stanley (MS) has hired investment banking veteran Gary Shedlin from Citigroup (C), according to a report in The New York Post. Shedlin, the chairman of Citigroup's global Financial Institutions Group, plans to join Morgan Stanley as a vice chairman, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
- Bank of New York Makes German Purchase -- Bank of New York Mellon (BK) is set to acquire BHF Asset Servicing of Germany for about $343 million. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. The purchase will be funded internally and the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings, Bank of New York said in a statement.