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Frontrunning: July 28

  • ‘Skinny’ Repeal of Obamacare Fails (WSJ)
  • Bad News If You Make $150,000 to $300,000: Higher Taxes for Many (WSJ)
  • Senators Move to Block Trump From Ousting Sessions (WSJ)
  • Amazon’s Expansion Takes Toll (WSJ)
  • Japan Slaps 50% Tariff on Some U.S. Beef (WSJ)
  • Tesla Model 3 Arrives as Elon Musk Tries to Manage Expectations (WSJ)
  • Musk Risks Missing the Mainstream If Model 3 Strays From $35,000 (BBG)
  • UBS Shares Drop Most Since January as Capital Ratio Declines (BBG)
  • Wall Street braces for end of Snap share lockup (Reuters)
  • Car Prices Are Still Falling But the Sky Isn’t as Lender Profits Rise (BBG)
  • Swiss Banks’ Focus on Wealth Pays (WSJ)
  • Venezuela crisis tips into showdown (France24)
  • U.S. orders Venezuela embassy families out, crisis deepens (Reuters)
  • China will take measures to get more foreign investment, boost private investment (Reuters)
  • Killing the Border Tax Solved One Problem. It May Create Several (BBG)
  • Cheap Eggs Flood U.S. Grocery Stores (WSJ)
  • BNP Shows Europe Can Still Build Investment-Bank Champions (BBG)
  • Elliott Tries a Texas Charm Offensive to Outdo Berkshire's Oncor Bid (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


- GOP leaders struggled to overcome tensions between House and Senate Republicans that threatened to derail a slimmed-down health-law repeal, the party's last-ditch effort to deliver on their promise to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the text of the bill late Thursday and a vote was expected around midnight.

- The Senate approved new sanctions to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election, gaining tentative support from the White House before its passage.

- Senate Republicans moved to block every path the U.S. President Donald Trump might try to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a step they worry would disrupt the independence of the probe of Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

- SpaceX has raised as much as $350 million in a new round of financing that boosted the company's valuation, a vote of confidence for founder Elon Musk who is seeking to prove the rocket maker can become a major satellite operator.

- A freight railroad regulator called on CSX Corp to address "serious issues" causing delays, congestion and other problems, the latest setback for the railway as it attempts to revamp its operations.

- A federal court in Virginia ruled that a local politician, Phyllis Randall, violated the free-speech rights of a constituent she banned from her Facebook page, in a case the judge said raises "important questions" about the constitutional restrictions that apply to social media accounts of elected officials.



Deutsche Bank AG has finally managed to recoup 38.4 million euros of deferred bonuses from its pre-crisis management, offering a sliver of good news on a day when the lender's shares fell 6.5 percent on disappointing earnings.

Richard Branson is giving up control of Virgin Atlantic, the airline he founded in 1984, as part of a wide-ranging shake-up of the industry that will see Air France KLM SA, Delta Air Lines Inc and China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd deepen their alliances.

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International Plc has increased its stake in the loss-making retailer French Connection Group Plc to 27 percent, just below the point at which it would be required to make a takeover offer.

Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex posted a $1.8 billion profit for the second quarter, its third straight quarter in the black.



- Meg Whitman, chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise , said she would not become the next chief of Uber , amid a flurry of reports about who might assume leadership of the troubled ride-hailing company.

- More than 800,000 people who took out car loans from Wells Fargo were charged for auto insurance they did not need, and some of them are still paying for it, according to an internal report prepared for the bank's executives.

- Rocket maker SpaceX founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has raised up to $350 million in new financing and is now valued at around $21 billion, making it one of the most valuable privately held companies in the world.

- Discovery Communications is in advanced talks to buy Scripps Networks Interactive now that Viacom is out of the competition. Discovery is closing in on a bid of around $90 per share, or about 34 percent higher than where Scripps's stock was trading before reports about a potential sale emerged



The Globe and Mail

** British Columbia Premier John Horgan is optimistic that Canada can cut a deal to end the latest softwood-lumber battle with the United States ahead of the contentious renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement that starts next month.

** Canadian employers are not on a wild hiring spree after all, according to new data. Employers created an average of 11,000 new jobs a month for the first five months of the year, according to Statistics Canada's Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) for May, released on Thursday.

** Edward Gong, a Chinese-Canadian businessman who attended one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial cash-for-access fundraising dinners last year, is now fighting accusations by prosecutors in China that he played a key role in a massive pyramid scheme that took in more than C$350 million ($279.00 million).

National Post

** Canadian officials are praising a U.S. decision to drop a contentious border tax proposal, suggesting its death signals an open-mindedness in the Trump administration on open borders and free trade. Canada is pleased to see the decision, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday, noting that both economies prosper together.

** Suncor Energy Inc's dispute with French oil major Total SA over costs at the nearly completed Fort Hills oilsands mine marks a new twist in hasty departure of international oil companies from the Alberta deposits. Total SA is now refusing to pay its bills for the nearly finished project, whose capital cost was revised to a range of C$16.5 billion to C$17 billion in February.



The Times

Dave Ramsden has been appointed as the new deputy governor for markets and banking at the Bank of England, a role that has been vacant since the resignation of Charlotte Hogg.

Britain is likely to keep existing migration rules immediately after Brexit with European Union nationals allowed to enter so long as they register, Interior Minister Amber Rudd revealed Thursday.

The Guardian

Richard Branson announced he is selling 31 percent of Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd, relinquishing his controlling interest in the airline he founded in 1984.

The controversial skyscraper called 20 Fenchurch Street is being bought for 1.3 billion pounds by the property arm of Lee Kum Kee Health Products Group, a conglomerate that makes condiments and healthcare products and also develops property.

The Telegraph

Two activist investors who declared war on French Connection Group Plc's corporate governance have sold their entire stakes to Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International Plc in a move that gives the sportswear giant a 27 percent grip on the fashion retailer.

Mining group Anglo American Plc has surprised investors by restarting its dividend six months early, boosted by a surge in profits that helped it pay off more debt than it planned.

Sky News

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world's biggest auditor, is facing fresh questions over its independence after proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services warned of a possible conflict of interest in its relationship with Vodafone Group Plc .

Michel Barnier, who leads the EU side of the Brexit talks, has warned of a possible delay in discussions aimed at defining future ties between London and Brussels because of lack of progress in the current phase, focusing on the divorce.

The Independent

Britain's second-biggest tour operator Thomas Cook Group Plc is set to run package holidays to Tunisia "towards the spring," according to the company's boss.

UK households could face "considerable and unpredictable" fluctuations in food prices after Brexit thanks to increased trade barriers and a weak pound, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.