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Frontrunning: November 4

  • Euro zone growth weak in October, China services rally (Reuters)
  • Stocks Rise With European Bonds on Stimulus Outlook; Euro Falls (BBG)
  • VW Sinks Deeper Into Crisis as Scandal Spreads to More Cars (BBG)
  • Republicans ask IRS to audit Clinton charity's finances (Reuters)
  • PBOC Inadvertently Boosts Stocks With Dated Zhou Comments (BBG)
  • As China’s Economy Slows, Consumers Pick Up Some of the Slack (WSJ)
  • Plane crashes in South Sudan, witnesses say dozens killed (Reuters)
  • Houston Equal Rights Ordinance Rejected by Voters (WSJ)
  • Probe Widens Into Treasury Debt Auctions (WSJ)
  • Greece May Win 2 Billion-Euro Payout by Monday, EU Official Says (BBG)
  • Sen. Bob Corker Profits on Quick Stock Trades (WSJ)
  • Japan Post Bank May Shift Some of Its Investments to Stocks (BBG)
  • Shrinking Financial Aid Curbs Impact of Slowing College Tuition Increases (WSJ)
  • Lonmin Says May 'Cease Trading' If $400 Million Share Sale Fails (BBG)
  • China Southern Chairman Si Probed for 'Serious' Violations (BBG)
  • Turing Commits to Modest Price Reduction on a Drug (NYT)
  • Obama's counterterrorism chief takes fresh stab at closing Guantanamo (Reuters)
  • Iceland Raises Key Rate as Exit From Capital Controls Looms (BBG)
  • Chipotle now linked to 35 confirmed E. coli cases (Reuters)
  • Merkel Ally Says Government Will Survive Refugee Turmoil (BBG)
  • Saudi Wells Running Dry -- of Water -- Spell End of Desert Wheat (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


- Blackrock Inc fund manager Evy Hambro's wager on Congo gold shows how conservative investors, once averse to such plays, took more risk during the commodities boom - at their peril. (

- Honda Motor Co won't use Takata Corp air-bag inflaters for the driver or front passenger side in new Honda and Acura vehicles worldwide. (

- China's economic slowdown has pummeled global suppliers of raw materials and industrial equipment, but business has remained surprisingly brisk for companies that cater to the country's growing upper-middle class. (

- In a victory for social conservatives, voters in Houston on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure to extend nondiscrimination protections to gay and transgender people. The defeat of the bitterly contested ordinance represents a rare recent win for social and religious conservatives. (

- Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to extend Bud Light's sponsorship of the NFL, which was set to expire after the 2017 Super Bowl, for another six years. The deal is valued at more than $1.4 billion, a more-than-15 percent increase over AB InBev's current six-year agreement with the league, according to people familiar with the sponsorship. (

- The Justice Department and CFTC have asked banks to turn over information in connection with a broad investigation into whether their traders rigged sales of government debt. (



Anthony Allen and Anthony Conti, two ex-Rabobank traders who have been accused of manipulating the Japanese yen and U.S. dollar Libor rates, could face upto 30 years in jail if convicted of bank and wire fraud.

Standard Chartered Plc's new chief executive Bill Winters announced a rights issue to raise about 3.3 billion pounds ($5.09 billion) and also announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan to save $2.9 billion.

South Africa-listed telecoms operator MTN said that it has not reached any settlement with the Nigerian Communications Commission over a $5.2 billion fine imposed on the operator.

U.S. auto safety regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday imposed a $70-million fine on air-bag supplier Takata Corp in relation to ruptures that caused seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries in the United States.



* Verizon Communications Inc has signed an exclusive content and marketing partnership with the National Basketball Association that will bring daily league highlights, new original series and access to some live games to its new mobile video streaming service Go90. (

* Honda Motor Company Ltd dropped the embattled manufacturer Takata Corp as its airbag supplier, concluding that the company, its longtime partner, had "misrepresented and manipulated test data." (

* The public debut of Japan Post Holdings Co, the largest initial public offering in the world so far this year, is providing a major test of a government effort to energize the stock market and the broader economy. (

* Turing Pharmaceuticals, which ignited a firestorm by acquiring a 62-year-old drug and increasing its price 50-fold overnight, said it would lower the price somewhat by the end of the year and take steps to broaden financial support to patients. (




** Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau will elevate women such as Chrystia Freeland and Catherine McKenna to his cabinet, leaving high-profile MPs such as former Toronto city councillor Adam Vaughan and retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie on the sidelines as he tries to put a fresh face on his new government, sources said. (

** The Ontario government has finalized a C$9.1 billion ($6.96 billion) contract with a private consortium to finish construction of the Eglinton Crosstown light-rail project and maintain it for a generation. (

** In a recent regulatory filing, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc disclosed that it received a "voluntary request letter" from the Federal Trade Commission two weeks ago. The letter is related to the FTC's investigation into Valeant's purchase of Paragon Vision Sciences, an acquisition the company completed in May. (


** Canadian startup Flixel has signed an exclusive partnership with Shutterstock Inc, making its cinemagraphs - still images with an element of movement - available to the New York-based stock photography company. (

** Noront Resources Ltd has warned both the Ontario government and First Nations communities in recent days that it will stop working unless it can demonstrate some tangible progress to investors, according to sources. (




- The China Insurance Regulatory Commision has asked insurance companies to settle at least 80 percent of their small claims within five days after customers submit applications, the regulator said in a statement on its website.

- Twelve land trades were dealt in Beijing from Oct. 20 to Oct. 30, totalling 29.4 billion yuan ($4.64 billion), equal to nearly one-third of the total value of land traded in the city from January to September, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources said Tuesday.


- The revenue and net profit of mainland-listed real-estate stocks grew 12.1 percent and 6.4 percent year-on-year respectively over January to September, according to a report from CITIC Securities. The lower growth in net profit than revenue indicated a decline in the stocks' profit margins.

- Outstanding bad loans in 16 listed banks in China increased by 239.6 billion yuan ($37.81 billion) during January to September, nearly the same as the increase for entire 2014, according the paper's calculation.


- China's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has increased to about $7,800 by November 2015, according to the World Bank.


- State-owned China National Nuclear Corp is considering taking a minority stake in the French Nuclear firm Areva SA, the company said.

- Court cases involving the Shanghai Free Trade Zone from November 2014 to October 2015 rose six-fold over the same period the year before, according to a white paper released by the Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court on Oct. 28.



The Times

GlaxoSmithKline has set out its stall as an independent company by revealing a surge in the number of new drugs close to approval. Andrew Witty, chief executive of Britain's biggest pharmaceuticals group, claimed the company could have up to 20 new medicines awaiting final approval from regulators by 2020, seven of which have the potential to be on the market before then. (

Royal Bank of Scotland has been accused of using secret, flawed documents that could have influenced some compensation payouts to victims of the interest rate swaps mis-selling scandal. An investigation by The Times has discovered documents that indicate the bank supplied erroneous customer records that could have flattered its own position in the more than 2 billion pound Financial Conduct Authority redress scheme. (

The Guardian

Burberry is to invest at least 50 million pounds ($77.10 million) in a new factory to produce its trademark trenchcoats, creating 200 extra jobs in Yorkshire. (

Standard Chartered is asking shareholders to stump up 3.3 billion pounds while axing 15,000 jobs after reporting its first quarterly loss in 15 years. The bank also warned it faced further potential penalties on top of the 415 million pounds fine imposed in 2012 by U.S. authorities for breaching sanctions against Iran. (

The Telegraph

The merger with BG Group will save Shell an extra $1 billion a year, the company has said, as it shores up its case for pressing ahead with the $70 billion combination. Reductions in operating costs plus a cut in the exploration budget would deliver savings of $3.5 billion a year by 2018, Shell said. (

Activision Blizzard, the American developer behind hit video game franchises World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, has bought Candy Crush Saga creator King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion. Under the terms of the deal, King will operate as an independent unit of Activision Blizzard, and will continue to be led by Chief Executive Riccardo Zacconi. The deal is expected to close by spring 2016. (

Sky News

Volkswagen says it has found "inconsistencies" in carbon dioxide emission levels which could affect around 800,000 cars. The German car giant said the "unexplained" anomalies found by an internal probe raised a new problem that could cost it around 2 billion euros ($2.19 billion).(

Paul Walsh, former chief executive of Diageo, is being lined up to join the board of Europe's largest bank as it finalises a decision about whether to move its headquarters from the UK. Walsh, who currently serves as chairman of Compass, is expected to be named by HSBC Holdings as a non-executive director within weeks. (

The Independent

Michelin has told staff at its tyre factory in Ballymena that the plant will close by 2018 with the loss of 860 jobs. The company said the machines at the plant were outdated and that it could not afford to invest in upgrading the equipment given current demand, according to local reports. (

The quality of customer service at the tax office - which currently answers only half of the calls from the public - is so dismal that it could be costing the country money, MPs have warned. In a damning report, the Public Accounts Committee said HM Revenue and Customs responded to just 72.5 percent of telephone calls in 2014-15, with the rate falling to 50 percent in the first half of this year. (