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Frontrunning: August 27

  • Virginia TV journalists killed by suspect with 'powder keg' of anger (Reuters)
  • Policeman shot to death and three women stabbed, one fatally, in Louisiana (Reuters)
  • China Intervened Today to Shore Up Stocks Ahead of Military Parade (Reuters)
  • Margin Calls Bite Investors, Banks (WSJ)
  • "Computer glitch" is preventing dozens of mutual funds, ETFs from promptly pricing their securities (WSJ)
  • Oil prices rise more than 4 percent as equities rally (Reuters)
  • Oil Industry Needs Half a Trillion Dollars to Endure Price Slump (BBG)
  • The New Orleans Economy 10 Years After Katrina (WSJ)
  • Jihadi Trails: The Circuitous Routes Foreigners Take to Syria and Iraq (WSJ)
  • Wal-Mart to stop selling AR-15, other semi-automatic rifles (Reuters)
  • Dozens of Amazon engineers who worked on failed smartphone are laid off as company retrenches (WSJ)
  • Up to 50 refugees found dead in truck in Austria: Krone newspaper (Reuters)
  • China detains 12 over Tianjin blasts, accuses officials of dereliction (Reuters)
  • Nielsen starts tracking Netflix (WSJ)
  • Will the Next Recession Be Made in China? (BBG)
  • How Eric Holder's Corporate Law Firm Is Turning Into a 'Shadow Justice Department'  (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Some lenders, including Bank of America Corp, are issuing margin calls to clients after the global market drubbing of the past week, forcing investors to choose between either putting up more money or selling some of the securities underlying the loans backed by investment portfolios. (http://on.wsj.com/1KlNumW)

- Measurement specialist Nielsen is cracking open the tight lid that Netflix Inc and other video streaming services keep on viewership data. By tracking some 1,000 shows, Nielsen could give studios more leverage in content-licensing talks.(http://on.wsj.com/1KlNHX5)

- Amazon Inc is scaling back its efforts to develop consumer devices, laying off dozens of engineers at its secretive Lab126 hardware-development center and trimming or halting other projects, including a large-screen tablet.(http://on.wsj.com/1KlOVSo)

- The U.S. fund industry was in turmoil Wednesday as executives scrambled to respond to a computer glitch that prevented dozens of mutual and exchange-traded funds from promptly pricing their securities.(http://on.wsj.com/1KlP5ZO)

- Providence Equity Corp said it reached an agreement to sell the Ironman triathlon series of races to China's Dalian Wanda Group for about $650 million plus the assumption of debt. (http://on.wsj.com/1KlPoE0)

 

FT

U.S. agribusiness leader Monsanto Co on Wednesday abandoned pursuit of Swiss rival Syngenta AG, which had rejected a recently sweetened $47 billion offer.

Betfair Group Plc and Irish rival Paddy Power Plc have agreed in principle on a 5 billion pound ($7.74 billion) merger to stake a claim to leadership of the online gambling market in Britain.

Rovio Entertainment OY <IPO-RVEY.N>, maker of mobile phone game Angry Birds, said it would cut 260 jobs as it plans to restructure and focus on primary business areas such as games, media and consumer products. The Finnish company said the planned reductions would apply to the whole organisation, excluding those working on the Angry Birds movie in the United States and Canada, and most of the cuts will hit its operations in Finland.

 

NYT

- The U.S. stock market soared in late trading on Wednesday, shrugging off earlier declines in China and Europe. The powerful rally, which came after several days of severe plunges in the world's major stock markets, was inspired by soothing words from an influential Federal Reserve policy maker. (nyti.ms/1EVj19a)

- Monsanto Co said on Wednesday that it was abandoning its $47 billion takeover bid for the Swiss agricultural chemical manufacturer Syngenta AG after the company rebuffed a newly sweetened offer. (nyti.ms/1LCajnP)

- William Ackman's multibillion dollar hedge fund has lost all of its gains so far this year, he told investors on Wednesday. The billionaire chief of Pershing Square Capital Management LP (IPO-PERS.L) cited the declines in global stocks and the fear that slowing growth in China will have repercussions around the world. (nyti.ms/1EXUctb)

- A U.S. federal judge decided that Vitaly Korchevsky, suspect in insider trading, was unlikely to flee the country because his family lives here and he is a pastor at his church and ordered him to post $2 million in a bond secured to property and $200,000 in cash, and to be placed under home detention, with certain exceptions. (nyti.ms/1EXUxfj)

- Facebook Inc announced on Wednesday that it is testing a new service called M, an artificially intelligent digital assistant that helps a person do simple tasks, like ordering flowers or making reservations at a restaurant. The service will go live inside Facebook Messenger, the company's popular communication app used by more than 700 million people. (nyti.ms/1PVbc9Y)

 

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- China and Thailand plan to sign a railway building contract in September, with a groundbreaking ceremony expected to be held at the end of October, said Zhu Xijun, general manager at China Railway Construction Corp.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

- Foreign funds invested over 23.8 billion yuan ($3.71 billion) into China's stock market via the "Shanghai and Hong Kong stock connect" this week after China's stock index dived to an eight-month low, according to the newspaper.

SECURITIES NEWS

- BYD Co Ltd posted a 29 percent profit increase to 466 million yuan ($72.70 million) in the first half of this year, the company said in its earnings report.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- China's regulators should use legal means to protect investors and create a positive market order to win the trust of investors, the newspaper said in a commentary.

 

Britain

The Times

* Paddy Power Plc and rival Betfair Group Plc have announced a potential merger that would create one of the largest public online betting and gambling companies in the world. (thetim.es/1EjHSIE)

* Banks and building societies handed out mortgages in July at the fastest pace in almost 18 months. (thetim.es/1El40Tk)

The Guardian

* The first rise in UK interest rates could be delayed until autumn 2016, according to City expectations, as market turmoil in China raises the prospect of historically low borrowing costs staying in place for longer than expected. (bit.ly/1EizCJ0)

* The boss of McDonald's Corp in the UK has defended the company's continued use of zero-hours contracts for about 80,000 employees in its British restaurants. (bit.ly/1EXfHKF)

The Telegraph

* Barclays Plc has won a significant legal battle after a judge ruled the bank will not face a lawsuit by investors over claims it favoured certain traders in its "dark pools". (bit.ly/1i2QNV0)

* Strong demand for summer clothing pushed up UK retail sales in August, as expectations for employment growth climbed to a 15-year high, according to data from the Confederation of British Industry. (bit.ly/1JndP1W)

Sky News

* The chief executive of HSBC Holdings Plc's $500 billion fund management arm, Sridhar Chandrasekharan, is moving from London to Hong Kong in a further sign of the group's "Asian pivot" even as turmoil engulfs Chinese equity markets. (bit.ly/1KN8GOz)

The Independent

* A survey by MoneySavingExpert.com found that 20 percent of Barclays Plc's bank customers rated the service as poor (up from 18 percent in February). Forty-two percent described the account as "ok" and 38 percent thought it was "great". (ind.pn/1MOEBT5)