Monday's Early Headlines
- U.S. Treasury to Sell Citigroup Stake -- The U.S. Treasury confirmed its plan to sell 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup common stock "over the course of 2010 subject to market conditions." While further details weren't discussed, the government is planning is to sell between 8% and 10% of average daily volume each day, with sales set to commence after Citigroup reports its next earnings on April 19, according to a CNBC report. Morgan Stanley (MS) was named the underwriter and advisor on the sale
- Greece Selling Seven-Year Bonds -- Greece plans to issue a new seven-year bond and has appointed five banks to handle the offering. The sale of the bonds is Greece's first debt offering since pledges of support last week from the European Union and International Monetary Fund for the debt-laden country. The bond issue comes due on April 20, 2017.
- FDIC Balks at WaMu Repayment to JPMorgan: Report -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is not in agreement with Washington Mutual's (WAMUQ.PK) bankruptcy reorganization plan, which includes a $1.4 billion tax refund to JPMorgan Chase (JPM), according to a Wall Street Journal report. The FDIC has reversed its stand on supporting the refund as a U.S. law that created the tax refund forbids companies that received bailout funds from receiving such a payment, the newspaper reports. Washington Mutual Friday filed a Chapter 11 reorganization plan, although the bankruptcy court has yet to set a date for a hearing on the plan.
- Verizon, Vodafone Talking Merger: Report -- Verizon (VZ) and Vodafone (VOD) are in talks for a full merger as they discuss plans for their Verizon Wireless joint venture that is on the brink of generating cash, according to the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph. Talks for a merger come as Verizon questions cash distributions from the Verizon Wireless joint venture, preferring use cash to pay down debt as opposed to paying dividends. The Telegraph report says that Vodafone "believes a merger should be 60:40 in Vodafone's favor."
- Wal-Mart Reportedly Targets Asia Growth -- Wal-Mart (WMT) is eyeing a launch of its e-commerce operations in China and Japan, as it looks to drive sales by expanding its online presence into new global markets, The Financial Times reports. A Wal-Mart job advertisement for a "product localization manager" for Japan and China lists responsibilities that cover preparing for the launch of an e-commerce business, the newspaper reports.
- RBS Sells Factoring Unit to GE Capital -- Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) agreed to sell its factoring business to GE Capital, a unit of General Electric (GE). The transaction is expected to be completed by the third quarter. Terms of the sale weren't disclosed. RBS Factoring GmbH, located in Germany, had gross assets of about 169 million euros ($226 million) as of Dec. 31, 2009, RBS said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.