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Frontrunning: August 28

  • Stock Halts Added to Monday’s Market Chaos (WSJ)
  • Fed Up Investors Yank Cash From Almost Everything Just Like 2008 (BBG)
  • Drop in Stock Futures Signal Halt to S&P 500's Relief Rally (BBG) - at least until the BOJ ramps USDJPY up again
  • Hacker Killed by Drone Was Islamic State’s ‘Secret Weapon’ (WSJ)
  • Greece's Syriza to win election but face setback, poll shows (Reuters)
  • Puerto Rico Spends More Than $60 Million on Debt Restructuring (BBG)
  • China’s Moves Won’t Help U.S. Tech Firms (WSJ)
  • How the IMF’s misadventure in Greece is changing the fund (Reuters)
  • Japan inflation stalls and spending slides, keeps BOJ under pressure (Reuters)
  • Hundreds die as desperate migrants head for Europe (Reuters)
  • Best president ever! How Trump's love of hyperbole could backfire (Reuters)
  • Greece’s Economy Surged as Tsipras Fought With EU Over Aid Deal (BBG)
  • Can Netflix Become Must-See TV in Japan? (BBG)
  • The Fed's Goldilocks Problem (El-Erian)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- U.S. stocks charged higher for a second straight session amid signs of strong domestic growth and a rally in Asia and Europe, marking the latest big move in a tumultuous week (on.wsj.com/1LF6sXi)

- That Islamic State's Junaid Hussain was targeted directly by the U.S. and UK shows the extent to which digital warfare has upset the balance of power on the modern battlefield. Hussain, a British citizen in his early 20s, had risen fast to become a chief in Islamic State's electronic army. (on.wsj.com/1LF6Bd6)

- U.S. President Barack Obama marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a speech Thursday in New Orleans calling the storm, in part, a man-made disaster fueled by poverty and government inaction. (on.wsj.com/1LF6I8t)

- After months of forewarning by the U.S. Federal Reserve that it is preparing to raise short-term interest rates, some international officials have a message: Get on with it already.(on.wsj.com/1LF6QFg)

- The Chinese affiliate of Uber Technologies Inc is close to securing about $1 billion in new funding from investors in the region to help finance its battle with deep-pocketed Chinese rival Didi Kuaidi. (on.wsj.com/1LF6Wwx)

- Activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed an 8.5 percent stake in mining-and-energy giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc on Thursday, saying its shares are undervalued and that he plans to talk with management about costs. (on.wsj.com/1LF8pCQ)

 

FT

Google Inc has rejected EU antitrust charges that it abused its market power, exposing the company to the risk of a hefty fine if it does not alter its business practices.

French oil major Total SA has agreed to sell some of its gas pipeline assets in the UK's North Sea to North Sea Midstream Partners, an affiliate of U.S.-based private equity firm ArcLight Capital, for 585 million pounds ($901 million).

Britain's largest music copyright collective PRS for Music has sued SoundCloud for copyright infringement, saying the online audio-streaming firm did not agree on a licensing deal.

 

NYT

- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Amgen Inc's Repatha, the second drug in a novel class of powerful cholesterol-lowering medications intended for people with heart disease who cannot sufficiently lower their cholesterol levels with statins and other therapies. (http://nyti.ms/1NKUue1)

- Google Inc on Thursday rejected claims from the European Union's top antitrust official that the company favored some of its own search results over those of rivals, saying there was significant competition in the region's online search market and that the company's services increased choice for local consumers. (http://nyti.ms/1NKYxHq)

- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warnings to the makers of Natural American Spirit, Winston and Nat Sherman cigarettes, saying that the brands could not be marketed as "additive-free" or "natural." (http://nyti.ms/1NL08wK)

- A Delaware judge found on Thursday that David Murdock, Dole Company's chief executive, and a top lieutenant fraudulently drove down the company's stock price so Murdock could buy the business at a cheaper price in its 2013 leveraged buyout. (http://nyti.ms/1NL0P9l)

- The National Labor Relations Board, in a long-awaited ruling, made it easier on Thursday for unions to negotiate on behalf of workers at fast-food chains and other companies relying on contractors and franchisees. (http://nyti.ms/1NL0YcV)

 

Hong Kong

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

- Two more top Citic Securities executives were named as having been taken away by mainland police as part of an investigation into illegal securities trading, as Beijing toughens its stance on what it calls "malicious short-selling". Two sources revealed that in addition to managing director Xu Gang, two other members of its executive committee were "asked to assist in the investigation". (bit.ly/1hIZFiF)

- Investors from Hong Kong's biggest trade partner in Europe were not put off by last year's Occupy protests, Germany's top envoy to the city said. A politically active youth contingent was "good for Hong Kong", said Consul General Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff, who believes some protest leaders could use their skills to become successful in business. (bit.ly/1ImDq70)

- The number of visitors to Ocean Park has dropped about 15 percent so far this summer holiday amid concerns that an increasing number of mainlanders are opting for other Asian destinations such as Japan and Singapore, according to the park's sales and marketing executive director, Vivian Lee. (bit.ly/1ImDOmf)

THE STANDARD

- A deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office has met with Democratic Party leaders in a surprise ice-breaking lunch in Admiralty. Feng Wei, with his two assistants, met party chairwoman Emily Lau, vice-chairmen Lo Kin-hei and Andrew Wan Siu-kin, chief executive Lam Cheuk-ting and lawmaker Wu Chi-wai. Lau denied the meeting was a closed-door talk. (bit.ly/1LEMY4U)

- Chinese carmaker BYD said it could sell 60,000 new-energy cars this year after sales in the first half hit 20,000. Chairman and president Wang Chuanfu expects sales in the new-energy-vehicle industry to continue to grow sharply in the second half. (bit.ly/1hjksZr)

- China Mengniu Dairy chief executive Sun Yiping said the industry in the mainland faces challenges of excess supply of raw milk, but added the firm will keep its prices stable. The company will also strive to develop its online marketing and products to tap young consumers in the second half, Sun said. (bit.ly/1Jphtsa)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

- PetroChina said it will trim its capital expenditure to deal with the low-oil-price environment, which would also bring opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, while the depreciation of the yuan will aid earnings.

MING PAO DAILY

- Emperor Watch & Jewellery Ltd posted a HK$54.1 million ($7 million) loss for the first half of 2015 with revenue falling 21.1 percent from a year ago to HK$2.4 billion amid weak retail sentiment and increasing rental expenses. It said sales of watches fell 21.9 percent and jewellery was down 17.6 percent.

 

Britain

The Times

* The first British bank to float since the financial crisis, OneSavings Bank Plc, has doubled its shareholders' money in just over a year after posting surging profits from buy-to-let mortgages. (http://thetim.es/1i5B5Zp)

* The world's largest advertising group, WPP Plc, has soothed concerns that its full-year targets were at risk after reporting a bounce in like-for-like revenue for July. (http://thetim.es/1JpaS0B)

The Guardian

* The best performance in 17 years from companies in areas such as accountancy, law and marketing has helped Britain's dominant services sector bounce back after a weak start to the year, according to the Confederation of British Industry. (http://bit.ly/1MYrdNY)

* The annual rate of house price growth was the weakest for two years in August, said Nationwide, despite a 0.3 percent monthly rise in prices. (http://bit.ly/1UeMmCu)

The Telegraph

* Hungry but health-conscious Britons are munching their way through variety nibbles such as popcorn, lentil crisps and kale chips, which are growing faster than the overall savoury snacks market. (http://bit.ly/1Ly8XaW)

* Terra Firma moved a step closer to a long-awaited blockbuster sale of the Odeon & UCI cinema chain after superheroes, fast cars and dinosaurs pushed the business back into profit. (http://bit.ly/1MYryjI)

Sky News

* Luke Johnson, the serial entrepreneur, is backing the London-based folding-bike manufacturer Brompton as it strives to meet growing international demand. (http://bit.ly/1LEEFWZ)

The Independent

* David Cameron, the UK prime minister, has pledged to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the European Union before holding an in-out referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017. (http://ind.pn/1JzZdNO)