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Frontrunning: September 22

  • Pressure builds on Volkswagen CEO as emissions-cheating probe spreads (Reuters)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Relates to 11 Million Cars (WSJ)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Investigations Should Widen to Entire Auto Industry, Officials Say (WSJ)
  • Germany's Bosch makes VW's U.S. diesel components (Reuters)
  • Volkswagen scandal will have personnel consequences - state economy minister (Reuters)
  • Glencore Falls to Record as Mining Shares Lead Stock Losses (BBG)
  • Despite Slump, China’s Xi Jinping Pledges Economic Reforms (WSJ)
  • Hacking Allegations Threaten to Overshadow Xi-Obama Summit (BBG)
  • Five Things on the Agenda When China's Xi Goes to Washington (BBG)
  • China SOE default warning highlights urgency of reform (FT)
  • Jeb Bush to Propose Rollback of Regulations (WSJ)
  • Islamic State Threatens Cyber-Attack Against U.K., SITE Says (BBG)
  • Facebook’s Restrictions on User Data Cast a Long Shadow (WSJ)
  • American Muslims fear a new wave of Islamophobia (Reuters)
  • Asian Currencies Slide After Fed Officials Signal Rate Increase Possible in 2015 (WSJ)
  • 'Putin's banker' Pugachev files 7.7 billion pounds claim against Russia (Reuters)
  • India turns to Israel for armed drones as Pakistan, China build fleets (Reuters)
  • Former peanut company CEO sentenced to 28 years for salmonella outbreak (Reuters)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- In his first interview with foreign media since Chinese stocks skidded this summer, President Xi Jinping defended his government's economic stewardship and said slowing growth and market fluctuations won't deter needed reforms. (http://on.wsj.com/1itYDH6)

- Pope Francis' six-day visit to the United States that begins on Tuesday ushers in a week of unprecedented logistical challenges for delivery companies, railroads, the U.S. Postal Service and many shippers as cities ramp up their security and close down roadways. (http://on.wsj.com/1gIC9kl)

- A year after the Treasury Department tightened its rules, U.S. companies continue to pursue tax-driven "inversion" deals or accomplish similar benefits by being taken over by a foreign company. (http://on.wsj.com/1iK8Qjn)

- Apple Inc is accelerating efforts to build an electric car, designating it internally as a "committed project" and setting a target ship date for 2019.(http://on.wsj.com/1NPb7Xr)

- Rules that Facebook Inc imposed in May restricting outsiders' access to its user data are having ripple effects in academia, business and presidential politics. (http://on.wsj.com/1V6QHI8)

- Differences between the United States and China over cyberattacks and human rights won't be "papered over" during a meeting this week between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, though it's unclear whether the administration will be able to strike a new agreement on either issue. (http://on.wsj.com/1FYr8lV)

- The Securities and Exchange Commission will step up Tuesday its campaign to cut risk in the $60 trillion asset-management industry, amid calls by other regulators for tighter monitoring. (http://on.wsj.com/1Fcq42X)

 

FT

Germany's Berenberg Capital Markets is planning a big push in the UK and U.S. as part of a global expansion drive at its parent, Berenberg bank.

Businesses in the UK have been urged by the government to protect themselves from a growing cyber threat, with Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, promising extra funds of 500,000 pounds ($775,300.00) to help universities and colleges develop cyber security skills.

Volkswagen shares plunged by nearly 20 percent on Monday after the German carmaker admitted it had rigged emissions tests of diesel-powered vehicles in the United States, and U.S. authorities said they would widen the probe to other automakers.

 

NYT

- The embattled prime minister of Malaysia, facing mounting political turmoil and a parade of inquiries at home and abroad into a sovereign wealth fund that he oversees, is now coming under the scrutiny of American investigators as well. (http://nyti.ms/1FZtTTP)

- Volkswagen AG executives told environmental regulators repeatedly that discrepancies on pollution tests were not a deliberate attempt to deceive Washington officials. But this month, they made a startling admission: The diesel vehicles the company sold in the United States used software meant to cheat on the tests. Volkswagen made the admission only when the Environmental Protection Agency took the extraordinary action of threatening to withhold approval for its 2016 Volkswagen and Audi diesel models. (http://nyti.ms/1MFQHQl)

- The chill on the Chinese economy has eroded some of the sheen attached to President Xi Jinping, and some analysts say he may want to project an especially strong image when holding talks in the United States. (http://nyti.ms/1V6Vhf0)

- Brian Williams is expected to return to the air on MSNBC on Tuesday in his new role as a breaking news anchor, four months after he was suspended from his position as anchor of "Nightly News." NBC News executives hope he can help MSNBC reverse its fortunes. (http://nyti.ms/1NIumQO)

- China's coal consumption weakened last year and through the first half of this year, largely because of a slowing economy, but this could mean brighter prospects for worldwide efforts to slow global warming. (http://nyti.ms/1L26IQp)

- As Greece grapples with a continued downturn, bartering is gaining traction at the margins of the economy, part of a collection of worrisome signs for Prime

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Volkswagen Canada Inc has halted sales of diesel car models amid a scandal over falsified U.S. emissions tests that risks tarnishing its image in North America. Volkswagen's troubles began last week when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said software for Volkswagen and Audi cars equipped with diesel engines deceived regulators measuring toxic emissions. (http://bit.ly/1Kx9xCw)

** AltaGas Ltd is buying three gas-fired power plants in California for $642 million, expanding its presence in the state and allowing it to increase its dividend. Calgary-based AltaGas said it was issuing C$300 million ($226.4 million) worth of shares to help pay for the acquisition of the generating stations from Highstar Capital IV LP. (http://bit.ly/1Kxa9b9)

** One of Canada's largest owners of apartment buildings is beefing up its portfolio, a deal that adds more signs of life to a commercial real estate sector that had largely gone quiet. Canadian Apartment Properties REIT is acquiring a portfolio of apartment buildings in Montreal for $490 million. The real estate investment trust also launched a $250 million bought deal to help pay for the purchase. (http://bit.ly/1KxalXV)

NATIONAL POST

** The Caisse de depot is partnering with Mexican institutional investors as the Quebec pension fund manager pursues its goal of doubling infrastructure investments by 2018. The Caisse says it will invest $1.43 billion on infrastructure projects in Mexico after teaming up with a newly created consortium that manages 62 percent of that country's pension fund assets. (http://bit.ly/1KxbL4O)

** Delays in approving and building liquefied natural gas export projects will cost British Columbia $20 billion a year in lost revenue from 2020 onwards, according to a study by the Fraser Institute. "As a result, British Columbians will invariably forgo higher levels of job growth and billions of dollars in tax revenues which could pay for things like health care or public education," said Ken Green, co-author of the report and senior director of natural resource studies at the Fraser Institute.

 

Britain

The Times

Luxury retailer, French Connection Group Plc delivered a nasty surprise by announcing a first-half, pre-tax loss of 7.9 million pounds. (http://thetim.es/1FbS7PW)

The Guardian

The emissions-fixing scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen AG in the U.S. could extend to other companies and countries, one of the officials involved in uncovering the alleged behaviour has told the Guardian. (http://bit.ly/1FbSpq1)

Rich western countries and the world's leading developing nations are spending up to $200 billion a year subsidising fossil fuels, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. (http://bit.ly/1FbSAlb)

The Telegraph

Britain's "robust" recovery has not caused price pressures to build in the economy, according to the Bank of England's deputy governor, Jon Cunlife, who suggested that disinflationary forces from abroad meant there was no immediate need to raise interest rates. (http://bit.ly/1FbSM3X)

China's central bank, People's Bank of China, will start to issue short-term debt in London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced on Monday at the end of high-level talks with Chinese leaders. (http://bit.ly/1FbTbTX)

Sky News

Tesco will decide within days whether to abandon the sale of its data arm after financing concerns led all but one of the bidders to withdraw from the sale process. (http://bit.ly/1FbULFr)

Channel 4 is in talks with the media regulator and Government ministers about extending the tenure of its chairman, Terence Burns, amid heightened speculation about the state-owned broadcaster's future. (http://bit.ly/1FbUNNu)

The Independent

Kickstarter has voluntarily entered into a contract to promise it will consider the social impact of its decisions. The crowdfunding website is now a Public Benefit Corporation and has changed its name from Kickstarter Inc to Kickstarter PBC to reflect this. (http://ind.pn/1FbTAWw)

The average house prices in the UK could hit 300,000 pounds in the next three months, according to the property agent Rightmove, after cheap borrowing and poor supply has fuelled another record breaking month for property prices. (http://ind.pn/1FbTIp0)