* ECB RATES: Jean-Claude Trichet left the door open for further interest-rate increases to tame inflation after raising borrowing costs for the first time in almost three years.
* PORTUGAL: the country will need as much as €90bn, including €10bn in June, under a bailout package from the EU and the IMF, people familiar with the situation said yesterday. Terms of the rescue package will be discussed in more detail at an EU FM’s meeting in Hungary starting today. (WSJ)
* RIO TINTO: the co. has effectively taken control of Riversdale Mining, the Africa-focused coal miner worth $4bn, although Rio remains half a percentage point shy of owning a majority of its shares (FT).
* HSBC: U.S. tax authorities are seeking authorization to go after information from HSBC Holdings Plc that might identify account holders in India who evaded taxes, the Justice Department said in a statement (FT).
* METRO: Billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, owner of Karstadt department stores, told FAZ he is on the lookout for takeover opportunities in Germany but is not eyeing rival chain Kaufhof, a unit of Metro.
* SALZGITTER: BHP Billiton Ltd. now wants customers to accept monthly contracts for coking coal delivery, instead of quarterly, which is likely to mean higher costs for buyers, the steelmaker’s CEO said in an interview with FTD.
* AIR FRANCE: the company said it will resume direct flights to Tokyo.
* BARCLAYS: Barclays Bank SA, the U.K. lender’s Spanish unit, said in a filing its board agreed to propose a capital increase of as much as 600 million EUR and a boost to capital of as much as 700 million EUR via buying back debt.
* SANTANDER: the bank is currently negotiating the acquisition of some of the activities of the private bank Pioneer Global, the asset management division of the Italian Group UniCredit. However the Spanish bank has declared that it’s only interested in acquiring the group’s largest assets.
* LAFARGE: the company has mandated BNP Paribas and Citi to study a sale of its plaster unit. The European arm of the plaster division has attracted bid interest from private equity funds, Reuters said.
* VEOLIA: the company signed a 2.5 billion-euro multi-currency syndicated five-year loan with a group of 31 banks and 500 million-euro three-year loan in eastern European currencies, both to refinance existing debt.
* AMEC: AMEC Earth and Environmental, a subsidiary of AMEC Plc, and a closely held California company protested a $500 million Navy contract to clean hazardous sites awarded to six companies, including units of Aecom Technology Corp.) and Arcadis NV.
* ACCIONA: yesterday, the company extended by 18 yrs their €1.575bn debt used to invest in Endesa. Acciona have signed a syndicate loan of €1.421bn under the category of ‘project finance’. (Cinco Días)
* ABERTIS: the company has commissioned the investment bank, AZ Capital, to carry out the sale of their carpark subsidiary, Saba. The deal is estimated to reach around €1bn.
* ABENGOA: the company will develop, from 2011-2013, a €4.356bn investment plan. The majority will go towards solar projects (€2.264bn) and to electricity transmission (€1.332bn). The aim is to double in 2013 the company’s 2009 EBITDA, intending to raise up to €1.5bn.
* DOWNGRADES: bwin.party, Carpetright, easyJet, Halfords Group, (UBS). Siam (Kasikorn). Magnitogorsk (Citi). Clorox (JPM). Fortum (Citi). Reinsurance Group (Wells Fargo).
* CORP. DIARY: Air France – KLM Traffic Statistics, Givaudan Q1 Sales, John Lewis Weekly Sales Data, Merck KGaA AGM, Mota Engil AGM, Novartis AGM, Raiffeisen Bank Intl Q4 Results, Telecom Italia AGM, Vedanta Resources Q3 Production Results, VZ Holding AGM
* MACRO DIARY: US – Wholesale Inventories (15:00), UK PPI (9:30), Speakers: FED’s Lockhart (13:00), FED’S Fisher (15:15).