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Frontrunning: August 11

  • China Rattles Markets With Yuan Devaluation (BBG)
  • China Move Sparks Wave of Yuan Selling (WSJ)
  • China's devaluation raises currency war fear as Greece strikes deal (Reuters)
  • Protests return to Ferguson streets, state of emergency declared (Reuters)
  • Heavily armed 'Oath Keepers' inject new unease to riot-hit Ferguson (Reuters)
  • Greece Secures Bailout Deal After All-Night Talks in Athens (BBG)
  • U.S. Identifies Insider Trading Ring With Ukraine Hackers (BBG)
  • Islamic State attacks Syrian rebels near Turkish border (Reuters)
  • OPEC Output Reaches 3-Year High as Iran Pumps Most Since 2012 (BBG)
  • M&A Deal Activity on Pace for Record Year (WSJ)
  • Chevron Takes Harder Punch From Low Oil (WSJ)
  • Google Creates New Company Called Alphabet, Restructures Stock (BBG)
  • Another Minimum Wage Backfire (WSJ)
  • Trump's Republican support holds strong post-debate - Reuters/Ipsos poll (Reuters)
  • Carlyle Group to Buy Veritas From Symantec for $8 Billion (BBG)
  • Old Doubts About a Cherished Soviet War Legend Resurface, Unleashing Firestorm (WSJ)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* U.S. authorities are preparing to unseal sweeping charges as early as Tuesday against a group of traders and computer hackers who allegedly schemed to get early access to press releases about mergers and acquisitions and trade on them before the deals were made public. (http://on.wsj.com/1MlONUx)

* Google Inc said Monday it had created a holding company, Alphabet Inc, that will manage each of its growing cast of businesses. Alphabet will be run by Google's current leaders, including Chief Executive Larry Page, co-founder Sergey Brin and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat. (http://on.wsj.com/1J0dGCx)

* China's central bank moved to devalue its tightly controlled currency as the world's second-largest economy continues to sputter. (http://on.wsj.com/1P2tKUF)

* Chevron Corp is struggling harder than its peers, the victim not just of low crude prices but also of its unique growth strategy gone awry. (http://on.wsj.com/1N5gvUs)

* International Business Machines Corp's planned acquisition of Merge Healthcare Inc, which sells systems that help doctors store and access medical images, is a crucial step in its plan to put artificial intelligence to use in medicine. (http://on.wsj.com/1TiCOeu)

 

FT

Baxalta Inc's chief executive, Ludwig Hantson, has said there is no reason to negotiate with Shire Plc after describing Shire's $30 billion hostile takeover offer as a "lowball valuation."

Gazprom's 30-year contract with China for gas supplies does not offer protection for a scenario in which there is a prolonged period of low prices and was based on a very positive view of oil market.

Companies in Poland have been forced to cut production due to power cuts and restrictions on energy supply. Companies such as ArcelorMittal and chemical major Grupa Azoty were part of those hit by power cutbacks, the first such restrictions since the country emerged from under communism.

The Russian economy contracted by 4.6 percent in the second quarter versus the same period a year ago, representing the country's first recession since the 2009 financial crisis.

 

NYT

* The majority of Spain's new jobs are part-time and offer low wages, experts say, and some employees are expected to do hours of unpaid work. (http://nyti.ms/1PhLgF2)

* Google Inc is reorganizing under a new name - Alphabet - and separating its moneymaking businesses from the moonshot ones. (http://nyti.ms/1TiGqx2)

* Warren Buffett's $354 billion industrial empire, Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said on Monday that it would buy Precision Castparts Corp for $32 billion. (http://nyti.ms/1IVc4Wm)

* The investment arm of Guggenheim Partners has agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it failed to disclose a $50 million loan by a client to one of its senior executives. (http://nyti.ms/1UzYU9p)

* Shake Shack, one of the many upstart burger chains that are redefining the American fast-food hamburger, reported quarterly sales on Monday that surpassed Wall Street's expectations. The company's same-store sales, or what it calls "same-shack sales," grew 12.9 percent compared with 4.5 percent in the same quarter last year. (http://nyti.ms/1IGwpiN)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** K+S AG said its shareholders oppose Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc's $8.7-billion bid, the German company's latest attempt to thwart a takeover from the world's largest fertilizer producer. (http://bit.ly/1HDyDO9)

** Gildan Activewear Inc's founder and CEO is once again selling a big block of his shares in the apparel manufacturer. Glenn Chamandy has entered into a plan with a Canadian financial institution to sell up to 4 million of his common shares in the Montreal-based company over the next year. (http://bit.ly/1L27U2Q)

** A Calgary-based real estate trust will control one the largest collections of rental apartments in Canada. Under the friendly deal announced on Monday, Northern Property Real Estate Investment Trust of Calgary will acquire True North Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust of Toronto. (http://bit.ly/1gvLcpg)

NATIONAL POST

** Vancouver-based Telus Corp said that Darren Entwistle, 52, who served as chief executive and president for 14 years until relinquishing the job in May last year to become executive chairman, would replace the man who succeeded him, Joe Natale, 51, effective immediately and on a long-term basis. (http://bit.ly/1P3b9ru)

** Rather than build a deposit-taking bank from the ground up, as previously planned, Home Capital Group Inc said it would buy CFF Bank for about $15 million. (http://bit.ly/1TjTi5Y)

** More than half of the CSeries orders Bombardier Inc is scheduled to fill over the next three years face some degree of risk that could result in delays or outright cancellations, according to a new analysis by Leeham Co. (http://bit.ly/1UAl2R0)

 

Hong Kong

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

- China Fiber Optic Network System Group Ltd has become the third Hong Kong-listed firm in two weeks to have been accused of cooking its books. The Hebei province-based firm requested the stock exchange halt trading of its shares on Monday morning after anonymous company researchers and short-seller Emerson Analytics published a report targeting China Fiber Optic. (http://bit.ly/1We3lsg)

- The amount of bad loans in China's commercial banking sector increased by 11 percent in the second quarter of the year, the country's banking regulator China Banking Regulatory Commission said on Monday, as a slowing economy continued to weigh on lenders. (http://bit.ly/1HCR4m9)

THE STANDARD

- The People's Bank of China will issue 100 yuan notes with improved security features in November, 10 years after it released the current note to challenge counterfeiters packing new technology. But the overall design will be largely unchanged even as authorities face an increase in fake 100 yuan notes. (http://bit.ly/1We3ImP)

- Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Chairman Raymond Lee said the firm plans to launch its self-branded tissue paper "Hanky" in western China in the fourth quarter. Tissue paper output in China is about seven million tonnes per annum and it is expected to double in the next eight years, according to chief executive Edmond Lee. (http://bit.ly/1P2kAYj)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

- Online direct sales company JD.com Inc's Chairman Liu Qiangdong and another director had subscribed for about 10 percent stake of Yonghui Superstores Co Ltd in a share placement for an aggregate 4.3 billion yuan ($682.8 million). Yonghui also said it would team with JD.com in sourcing.

 

Britain

The Times

The Co-op Bank is set to dodge financial penalties over the failings that led to its near collapse and a 1.5 billion pounds ($2.34 billion) bondholder-funded bailout after regulators concluded that fines would threaten the lender's turnaround. The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority are expected today to announce the closure of their joint investigation into the bank.(http://thetim.es/1hu5sbm)

BT Group proudly proclaimed that it had scored a goal when it knocked Sky Plc and ITV out of the bidding for European football rights, but it still found itself on the wrong end of the regulator's whistle. Ofcom said yesterday that it had intervened after BT customers had cried "foul", having found that they were paying 5 pounds a month for European football games they didn't want. (http://thetim.es/1UzFIZC)

The Guardian

Farming is in a "state of emergency" and a "seismic change" is needed to the way food is sold in Britain, agriculture leaders have warned after a crisis summit on falling milk prices. Farming unions called on the government to introduce long-term contracts between farmers, distributors and supermarkets and to force retailers to clearly label whether their products are British or imported. (http://bit.ly/1hu5Yq0)

Amazon has moved a step closer to launching a grocery service in the UK, taking over the lease on a warehouse previously used by Tesco. The U.S. online retailer is to use the site in Weybridge, Surrey, which used to be a Tesco distribution centre and is ideally positioned just inside the M25, to deliver fresh food to London shoppers. (http://bit.ly/1hu62Ga)

The Telegraph

Hackers bombarded Carphone Warehouse with online traffic as a smokescreen while they stole the personal and banking details of 2.4 million people, according to sources with knowledge of the incident. The retailer revealed at the weekend that its security had been breached in a "sophisticated" attack. (http://bit.ly/1hu6iox)

Network Rail faces a 2 million pounds fine after the transport regulator found on Monday that recent travel chaos had been caused by a host of failings at the troubled infrastructure group and constituted a breach of its licence. (http://bit.ly/1TmDGJH)

Sky News

Esure Group has warned it plans to increase the cost of car insurance premiums this year, after rising numbers of personal injury claims dented half-year profits. The company had a trading profit of 3.3 million pounds for motor insurance underwriting between January and June - a fall of 80.7 percent compared to the same period 12 months ago. (http://bit.ly/1hu6B2N)

Campaigners will gather at a Pizza Express branch later to protest against an 8 percent administration fee the restaurant chain levies on staff tips paid by card. The Unite union has accused the chain of "pocketing a cool 1 million pounds" from the practice, and claims many customers have been appalled to learn that gratuities are not being paid to waiters and backroom staff in full. (http://bit.ly/1hu6Drk)