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Frontrunning: November 5

  • BOE Stays Cautious on Rate-Hike Timing as Inflation Outlook Cut (BBG)
  • China Enters Bull Market (WSJ)
  • Britain says Islamic State likely brought down Russian plane (Reuters)
  • Dollar jumps as markets fix on December rate expectations (Reuters)
  • Activist Investor Bill Ackman Plays Defense (WSJ)
  • BOJ Survey Data Reveals Signs of Growing Inequality in Japan (BBG)
  • UAW Warns of General Motors Strike If Workers Fail to Approve Contract (WSJ)
  • VW told to rip up governance model as emissions scandal deepens (FT)
  • German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Decline for Third Month (BBG)
  • China seeks quantum leap to a new economic model (FT)
  • Big Banks Lock Horns With Personal-Finance Web Portals (WSJ)
  • Mexico court ruling sparks high hopes for marijuana legalization (Reuters)
  • Toyota Cuts Global Sales Outlook as Quarterly Profit Rises (WSJ)
  • France to miss agreed deficit targets - EU Commission (Reuters)
  • France Plans HFT Fines for Alleged Euronext Manipulation in 2009 (BBG)
  • Maersk Line to Cut 4,000 Jobs as Market Deteriorates (WSJ)
  • China Signals Reserve Ratios May Be Used to Discipline Banks (BBG)
  • VW Scandal Widens as India Says Vehicles Exceeded Emission Rules (BBG)
  • Google Will Tell Us What We’re Thinking (BBG)
  • How Richard Nixon Created Hillary Clinton (BBG)
  • Workers trapped in collapsed Pakistan factory plead for help on mobile phones (Reuters)
  • Whole Foods Shares Tumble After Results Miss Analysts' Estimates (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard military force hacked email and social media accounts of Obama administration officials in recent weeks in attacks believed to be tied to the arrest in Tehran of an Iranian-American businessman, U.S. officials said. (http://on.wsj.com/1Ha91PA)

- Federal financial regulators have generally done more to hire minority workers and promote women than the companies they oversee, but most of the agencies haven't yet fully implemented requirements to increase racial and gender diversity included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, according to a new report. (http://on.wsj.com/1SqtnWc)

- U.K. authorities said they fear that a bomb could have brought down the Russian jetliner that crashed in Egypt Saturday, becoming the first government to publicly raise the specter of terrorism. The Airbus A321 jetliner, which was operated by a Russian carrier, crashed in the Sinai Peninsula after taking off from Sharm El Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board. (http://on.wsj.com/1Rwczw9)

- Activist investor William Ackman, with about $2 billion in losses on Valeant Pharmaceuticals, is struggling to salvage his big bet on the drug maker. For years, Ackman had put management on the hot seat, first as a short seller and more recently as an activist investor. Now he is on the receiving end. (http://on.wsj.com/1Wxfmfd)

- Danish conglomerate Maersk said its Maersk Line container-shipping unit would cut 4,000 jobs. It is also canceling options to buy six Triple-E vessels and pushing back plans to purchase smaller vessels as it copes with the deepest market downturn in the shipping industry since the 2009 global financial crisis. (http://on.wsj.com/1Hqpmuy)

- JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co are snarling the flow of data to popular websites that help consumers manage their finances, according to people familiar with the matter. Banks, facing increasing competition from these companies, are becoming more protective of their customer information and are limiting how much data they pass on. (http://on.wsj.com/1Ha8woJ)

- United Auto Workers leaders are pressing members to ratify a proposed contract from General Motors Co after a handful of factories turned it down in initial rounds of voting, with union officials saying a costly strike is likely unavoidable if the deal fails, according to several people familiar with the matter. (http://on.wsj.com/1OpG8lo)

 

FT

Germany's Volkswagen AG has been asked to overhaul its governance structure which may involve the controlling families, state government and sovereign wealth fund to give up their supervisory boards on the company's board.

Bitcoin's price rose to its highest in more than a year after Chinese investors flocked to MMM, a "social financial network" founded by Sergey Mavrodi, a jailed Russian parliamentarian. The price of the virtual currency surged to above $490 on Wednesday.

Facebook has tied up with The Washington Post, CBS , Vogue and other partners to launch a standalone news app called Notify that will alert users to content and news from professional news organizations.

Deutsche Bank has reached a $258 million settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services, in connection with a case that accused the German bank of breaching sanctions pointed at countries including Iran, Libya, Syria and Sudan.

 

NYT

- Expedia Inc said it had agreed to acquire HomeAway Inc for $3.9 billion, adding vacation rentals to its wide swath of online travel booking options. (http://nyti.ms/1MdPtXu)

- Facebook Inc on Wednesday posted another quarter of robust revenue growth - up 41 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, to $4.5 billion - fueled by its mobile advertising business and an increase in daily users. (http://nyti.ms/1GMEMyi)

- A Senate committee has started an investigation into the large drug price increases by Turing Pharmaceuticals and three other companies such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc, responding to public concern about escalating prices for critical medicines. (http://nyti.ms/1OpOV6D)

- After a long period of quiet, the price of the virtual currency Bitcoin is surging again as signs of interest from China and Wall Street have helped kick off a new speculative frenzy. (http://nyti.ms/1Sq3Uwa)

- The U.S. Federal Reserve could raise its benchmark interest rate in December as long as economic growth continues, two senior Fed officials said on Wednesday, hammering that message in repeated public remarks. (http://nyti.ms/1Wxp9Sq)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Seeking an end to solitary confinement for juvenile criminals, lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit on Wednesday against the Ontario government, saying the practice is always cruel and harmful.

The $125-million lawsuit is the latest in a growing legal fight against the practice of segregation in Canada. (http://bit.ly/1Sr80nE)

** As the sale process for Allstream continues, Manitoba Telecom Services Inc's CEO is also shaking up the company's provincial communications business by trimming its work force and investing in a customer-service overhaul. (http://bit.ly/1iES0Sd)

** A group of 45 brokers suspended by Home Capital Group Inc for alleged mortgage fraud generated nearly $2 billion worth of outstanding mortgages for the lender, twice as much as executives originally estimated, the company revealed on Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/1NQQK9E)

NATIONAL POST

** BCE Inc announced late on Wednesday that Bell has become Canada's largest television provider, clocking more than 2.7 million total subscribers in its third quarter, at a time when more consumers of media are streaming or downloading video content on the Internet rather than watching the old-fashioned way. (http://bit.ly/1RX5PXW)

** Kraft Heinz Co is closing a plant in southwestern Ontario and six others in the United States over the next two years as part of a downsizing that will eliminate 2,600 jobs, the newly merged food company announced on Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/1Pb8Ia3)

** Despite posting record profits, WestJet Airlines Ltd says it is eliminating free checked bags on all economy fare flights to Europe and sun destinations starting early in the new year.

The Calgary-based airline announced on Tuesday that a C$25($19) baggage fee will apply to new economy bookings for flights as of Jan. 6. (http://bit.ly/1GLt2Mw)

 

China

SECURITIES TIMES

- The authorities will reform state-owned companies and avoid direct intervention in the market, China finance ministry said in a statement on Wednesday to illustrate the State Council's earlier announcement on state-enterprise reform.

- China stock investors' confidence index rose 7.8 percent to 55.3 in October from the previous month, according to China Securities Investor Protection Fund Co Ltd.

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

- A group of Chinese navy ships arrived on Tuesday at U.S. Naval Station Mayport for the first time, kicking off a five-day visit which is part of a global voyage, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

21ST CENTURY BUSINESS HERALD

- Chinese producers and overseas buyers at the autumn Canton Fair, which ended on Wednesday, signed contracts worth $27 billion, down 7.4 percent from last fall and the lowest since 2004, according to Canton Fair's official data.

- China's online retail sales rose 36.2 percent year-on-year to 2.6 trillion yuan ($410.37 billion) in the period from January to September, accounting for around 12 percent of the country's total retail sales, said Shen Danyang, the spokesman of Ministry of Commerce.

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission has been inspecting the financials of state-owned companies directly controlled by the central government, it said on its website on Wednesday.

CHINA DAILY

- The upcoming meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou will send a powerful message of common commitment to peace even if it does not produce anything tangible, and it may pave the way for similar meetings in the future, an editorial said.

Britain

The Times

Leaving the European Union would plunge Britain back into recession, damage the country's long-term growth potential and drive up government borrowing, Morgan Stanley has warned. In a comprehensive review of the economic impact of an exit vote at the referendum, the American investment bank said that Britain would collapse into a full-blown slump if there were difficulties in "resolving post-referendum uncertainties". (http://thetim.es/20vjZWt)

Countrywide issued a profit warning, sending its shares plummeting and raising fears that the housing market is heading for a serious downturn. Britain's biggest estate agent said that fewer house sales were going through the books, hitting profits. (http://thetim.es/20vk8tb)

The Guardian

JCB has announced up to 290 job cuts in a move that leaves more than 10 percent of the workforce at one of Britain's biggest manufacturers facing redundancy. The construction equipment company blamed a rapid slowdown in machine orders worldwide, with the cuts taking place across JCB's eight Staffordshire factories and in Wrexham. (http://bit.ly/1NQBvNU)

National Grid has for the first time used "last resort" emergency powers to tell companies to reduce their electricity usage in an effort to avoid the risk of blackouts. It asked firms to reduce their power demand immediately, issuing a so-called demand-side balancing reserve notice to companies that have signed a contract to say they will take part in the demand reduction scheme. (http://bit.ly/1NQBGsH)

The Telegraph

The investigation into the state of the banking market failed to find out key information on the cost of current accounts, the British Treasury Select Committee says. The Competition and Markets Authority is studying the market to see why so few customers switch banks, and last month ordered banks to prompt customers to switch to a rival whenever a special offer runs out.(http://bit.ly/1H9Sr2v)

Sky News

Germany is to re-test all Volkswagen car models to gauge their genuine emissions levels after the latest revelations from the car maker, weeks after it admitted to cheating on tests for diesel cars. The company now says it has understated the level of carbon dioxide emissions in around 800,000 cars sold mainly in Europe. (http://bit.ly/1NQBgm8)

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $258 million to U.S. regulators to settle sanctions-busting allegations. As part of its settlement, Deutsche will dismiss two managing directors, two directors and two vice presidents. It will also ban three other staff from duties involving U.S. operations and install an independent monitor, New York's Department of Financial Services said. (http://bit.ly/1NQBpGg)

The Independent

Marks and Spencer said wet weather and its decision to focus on full-price sales contributed to falling sales of clothing, shoes and homeware in the summer months. Like-for-like sales in its general merchandise arm slipped 1.9 percent in the 13 weeks to Sept. 26, more than the average analyst forecast for a fall of 1.2 percent and the 0.4 percent decline it saw in the previous quarter. (http://ind.pn/1NQEt4Z)