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Frontrunning: August 13

  • China central bank tries to soothe global markets, says no reason for yuan to fall further (Reuters)
  • Huge blasts at Chinese port kill 44, with hundreds injured (Reuters)
  • China efforts to slow yuan fall hoist Europe shares, bond yields (Reuters)
  • Greek Economy Unexpectedly Surged Before Capital Controls (BBG)
  • Joe Biden Is Sounding Out Allies About a 2016 Bid (WSJ)
  • U.K. Tries to Kick-Start Shale Gas With Planning Speedup (BBG)
  • Crude Prices Seen Staying Below $70 A Barrel Over The Next Year (WSJ)
  • Former President Carter says he has cancer (Reuters)
  • Who’s Crazy Now? Yuan Bears Vindicated by Tumble See More Pain (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank Employees Charged in Emissions Trading Case (WSJ)
  • Lenovo faces Motorola hangover, cuts 3,200 jobs as sales slide, profit tumbles (Reuters)
  • Fractures Form Inside Russia’s Central Bank as Recession Deepens (BBG)
  • Bang & Olufsen Sinks as Car-Stereo Retreat Weighs on Profit (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Vice President Joe Biden this week is sounding out friends and family about a presidential bid, as some Democrats press him to enter the race and give the party another option in the face of lingering controversies involving Hillary Clinton.(http://on.wsj.com/1DOqD1U)

* Apple Inc, grappling with swooning sales of the once-blockbuster iPad and sensing an opening in the changing ways of work, is making its broadest assault to date on business computing. (http://on.wsj.com/1Eog3tw)

* AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson launched a robust defense of the DirecTV acquisition that has been criticized as ill-timed in the face of rapid declines in cable television subscriptions. (http://on.wsj.com/1JUXcwd)

* Months after its blockbuster U.S. IPO, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth in more than three years, while its transactions with Chinese consumers also disappointed. (http://on.wsj.com/1WjjMUb)

 

FT

Richard Buxton, the UK equity fund manager, is to replace Julian Ide to become the chief executive officer of Old Mutual Global Investors while continuing to run his UK equity funds. OMGI runs 22 billion pounds ($34 billion) on behalf of investors and its parent company.

Pearson Plc shares have fallen by one-fifth since the end of March and attempts to reverse this trend, like selling FT Group and the Economist Group stake for more than most analysts' valuations, has failed. Some investors are questioning Pearson's ability to benefit from this after four years without organic revenue growth.

Dick Durbin, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate, has called CF Industries Holdings Inc decision to move its corporate tax base to the United Kingdom as "simply wrong" and urged it not to do so. Last week, CF Industries bought its Dutch-listed rival OCI NV for $8 billion including debt. ($1 = 0.6407 pounds)

 

NYT

* Federal prosecutors have asked the courts to refuse bail to all five men arrested in connection with a scheme that enabled securities traders to benefit from confidential corporate information in news releases stolen by hackers in Ukraine before the documents were made public. (http://nyti.ms/1L7eyEO)

* News Corp, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said on Wednesday that it would take a $371 million write-down on its education division, Amplify, and would move to wind down the production of tablets for school children, a key part of the unit's offering.(http://nyti.ms/1J0M6Rf)

* In a move that starts a new chapter in the battle over the bailout of the American International Group during the financial crisis, the Justice Department formally appealed a court ruling on Wednesday that said the government's terms for saving the company had been too harsh. (http://nyti.ms/1UEauQZ)

* Germany softened its resistance to a third bailout package for Greece on Wednesday, raising the chances that a draft plan could be approved in time for the country to make a crucial debt payment next week. (http://nyti.ms/1Mp5AWO)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Moody's Investors Service downgraded Barrick Gold Corp's credit to the lowest investment grade rating, a blow to the company that is on track to reduce its debt by $3 billion this year. (http://bit.ly/1KiUuMQ)

** The City of Vancouver has fired another salvo in its long-running dispute with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, applying for an order that would force the company to put its Arbutus corridor up for sale at a reduced price. (http://bit.ly/1gCXgF1)

** Transporting oil and gas by rail is more dangerous than moving it by pipeline, a new study has found. Oil shipments by rail are four-and-a-half times more likely to have a spill or incident than those pumped through a pipeline, says a report from the Fraser Institute, which examined data from Canada's Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada between 2003 and 2013. (http://bit.ly/1HIlraT)

NATIONAL POST

** More than 600 people have signed an online petition asking Quebec's toponymy commission to immediately change the names of 11 geographic sites in the province that include the N-word or the word Negre. (http://bit.ly/1P8QF0D)

** The Conservatives pledged to let first-time buyers withdraw as much as C$35,000 from their registered retirement savings plan accounts to buy a home, in a yet another election move aimed at the housing market. (http://bit.ly/1N3EZOT)

** Canadian banks could see their forecast earnings decline if the oil downturn spills over into the wider economy. Oil and gas companies defaulting on their loans could shave off as much as 4.3 percent of estimated earnings at major Canadian banks next year, according to a stress-test report by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. (http://bit.ly/1J5U2Fj)

 

China

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- There is currently no basis for a sustained depreciation trend for the yuan, according to a statement released Wednesday by the People's Bank of China.

China's economy is still growing relatively fast, the trade balance remains favourable, yuan internationalisation and financial sector opening have accelerated this year, foreign currency reserves are plentiful, and markets have already priced in the Federal Reserve's likely interest rate hike, the central bank said.

CHINA DAILY

- More than 60 people are missing after being buried in a landslide at a mining site in Shaanxi province on Wednesday, according to the information office of Shanyang county.

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

- Fiscal expenditures grew much faster than tax revenue in July, according to data released on Wednesday by the Ministry of Finance. Expenditures grew 24.1 percent year on year, while revenue only increased 12.5 percent.