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Frontrunning: October 23

  • China's central bank cuts rates for sixth time since November (Reuters)
  • Global stocks hit two-month high on dovish Draghi message (Reuters)
  • $6.5 Billion in Energy Writedowns and We're Just Getting Started (BBG)
  • Alphabet, formerly Google, sets share buyback, shares jump (Reuters)
  • Hurricane Patricia, Stronger Than Katrina, Nears Mexico (BBG)
  • TVA Cleared to Start First New U.S. Nuclear Power Plant in Nearly 20 Years (WSJ)
  • U.S. Attorney Aims to Dismiss Insider Trading Charges in SAC Capital Advisors Case (WSJ)
  • Clinton deflects Republican criticism in marathon Benghazi hearing (Reuters)
  • Why Miners Keep Expanding, as Prices Collapse (WSJ)
  • Tax Collectors Are Going After Netflix, Airbnb, and Burning Man (BBG)
  • The ‘Short’ Who Sank Valeant Stock (WSJ)
  • Plenty of diplomacy but slim hope for new Middle East peace push (Reuters)
  • Credit Suisse, Barclays Could Pay up to $150 Million to Settle ‘Dark Pool’ Claims (WSJ)
  • Bill Gross Could Make Money for His Old Investors Before His New Ones (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Plunging currencies in mineral-rich nations are helping some companies cut production costs and expand output of commodities such as iron ore and coal, contributing to gluts that are driving prices down. (http://on.wsj.com/1MGXrYQ)

- Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said his office would move to dismiss insider trading charges against a former senior employee of SAC Capital Advisors and six analysts, in response to an appeals court ruling last year that said prosecutors had stretched the limits of the law. (http://on.wsj.com/1LQvVfd)

- Google parent Alphabet Inc reported big gains from searches on mobile phones, tight controls on expenses and its first stock buyback, sending its shares up 9 percent to a record. (http://on.wsj.com/1QZnONx)

- The United Auto Workers, fresh from securing member approval of a labor contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV , is turning its attention to wage negotiations at General Motors Co where union leaders believe they have the best chance of hammering out a quick deal. (http://on.wsj.com/1KsEo2P)

- Credit Suisse Group AG and Barclays Plc are in discussions to pay as much as $150 million combined to end several investigations and one lawsuit alleging improprieties related to their "dark pools," according to people familiar with the matter. (http://on.wsj.com/1GX1IFv)

 

FT

Liberty Global Plc is in talks with Cable & Wireless Communications Plc about a potential deal to unite two companies backed by billionaire cable pioneer John Malone and extend Liberty's reach in the Caribbean.

British broadband supplier TalkTalk warned 4 million customers that private customer data, including credit card and bank details, may have been stolen in a "significant and sustained" cyber attack on its website.

Debenhams, Britain's second-largest department store group, said on Thursday Chief Executive Michael Sharp would step down sometime next year, following media reports that investors wanted a change at the top of the company.

 

NYT

- Officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Thursday that the agency has expanded its investigation of potentially defective Takata Corp airbags to include side airbags. (http://nyti.ms/1NWPTHs)

- Pandora Media Inc, the Internet radio service, announced that it had reached a $90 million settlement over royalties for older songs. The settlement resolves one aspect of a dispute over an obscure legal point - Federal copyright protection applies only to recordings made after 1972, with a patchwork of state laws applying to earlier recordings. (http://nyti.ms/1MHAnJx)

- Google, now called Alphabet, reported strong growth in the third-quarter and said that it would give investors some of their money back by buying back shares of its own stock. (http://nyti.ms/1MWlXd5)

- Amazon.com Inc reported on Thursday that it made $79 million in the third quarter, or 17 cents a share. That is pocket change, considering the size of Amazon, but it was an unexpected development as analysts had been forecasting a small loss. (http://nyti.ms/1PKffYq)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** An "industry-wide state of depression" is weighing heavily on Canada's oilfield service sector as Precision Drilling Corp and Mullen Group Ltd kicked off earnings season this week. (http://bit.ly/1LK9FjB)

** A new study shows Canada's big family-controlled public companies have a better track record for investors than widely held corporations, and the study's authors say the findings prove that lingering investor bias against family firms should be buried once and for all. (http://bit.ly/1KtfQqp)

** Ontario's Liberal government did not ask to see receipts for the expenses of three teachers' unions before secretly paying them $2.5 million to cover their costs during contract talks. Education Minister Liz Sandals admitted on Thursday that there are no itemized accounts of exactly what taxpayers' money paid for. (http://bit.ly/1hZRFsM)

NATIONAL POST

** Allegations of fraud involving Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and its relationship with specialty pharmacies risks further damaging the foundations of a company model that some forensic accountants say is already built on shaky ground. (http://bit.ly/1Lrb1Si)

** The Canadian media industry now has a whole different way to measure audiences for magazine and newspapers. Media analysis firms NADbank and the Print Measurement Bureau launched on Thursday an amalgamated organization called Vividata, releasing its first set of results aimed at reflecting the shift of consumer reading habits across print and digital platforms for magazines and newspaper brands. (http://bit.ly/1S0r8bL)

** Jason Kenney is a wizard in a scrum. Intellectually nimble, rhetorically agile, reflexively partisan, the Conservatives' former "Mr. Fix-it" is everything one could ask for in a future party leader, yes? Of course yes. Kenney is also, it turns out, a comedian. (http://bit.ly/1LRdhUt)

 

China

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

- According to reports from 19 Chinese provinces, mega-city Chongqing is showing fast economic growth, with gross domestic product (GDP) of 1.13 trillion yuan ($177.74 billion) for Jan-Sept, up 11 percent against 2014.

21ST CENTURY BUSINESS HERALD

- The Tianjin free trade zone is expected to see 6.5 trillion yuan ($1.02 trillion) of import-export in 2016, with growth exceeding 30 percent over the next few years, according to the zone's administrative committee.

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- Companies listed on China's Growth Enterprises Market (GEM) saw Q3 profits rise over 90 percent against the same period in 2014, according to filings by 138 firms.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES TIMES

- China should accelerate the development of energy-saving and new energy vehicles to help upgrade the country's automobile sector and give local firms a more competitive edge in the international market, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

CHINA DAILY

- E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd told the newspaper it will expand its Nov. 11 "Singles' Day" shopping event into offline stores for the first time this year. The event last year saw $9 billion worth of sales on its platforms.

 

Britain

The Times

- Liberty Global PLC, is in talks to acquire Cable & Wireless Communications PLC in a deal worth nearly 4 billion pounds ($6.16 billion), which would help to bolster the group's presence in South America and the Caribbean. (http://thetim.es/1QYSkH9)

- Guy Hands's Terra Firma is buying back a renewable energy company it floated two years ago after the shares failed to make headway on the stock market, partly because of subsidy cuts. Monterey Group, owned by the private equity group, is offering 185p a share for the 31.5 percent it does not own in Infinis Energy PLC, which operates generating plants using landfill gas and had promised to expand into wind power.(http://thetim.es/1OVbCOD)

The Guardian

- Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has stunned markets by signalling that he is prepared to cut interest rates and step up quantitative easing to stave off the risk of a renewed economic slump in the euro zone. (http://bit.ly/1MHlwP6)

- Police are investigating a "significant and sustained" cyber attack on the website of TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc . The attack, which took place on Wednesday, could have compromised customers' credit card and other personal details. (http://bit.ly/1W7u3jn)

The Telegraph

- Leading figures from the steel industry have been called to give evidence to MPs next week about the crisis engulfing the sector. Members of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee will take evidence from senior staff at Tata Steel United Kingdom and other leading steel makers to try to understand the causes behind the industry's problems. (http://bit.ly/1KseyvI)

- British investors could soon begin legal action against banks accused of rigging foreign exchange markets, after Barclays Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc paid a combined total of almost $1 billion to settle claims in the United States. The trio agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars each to end civil claims in New York brought by global companies, pension funds and hedge funds. (http://bit.ly/1LQc281)

Sky News

- Vauxhall is considering recalling some of its Zafira models after a problem with the dashboard caused dozens to burst into flames. Drivers of more than 130 of the cars, made between 2005 and 2014, have reported the issue that originates behind the glovebox causing the area to heat up. (http://bit.ly/1Lpjjdo)

- Volkswagen AG is checking whether more of its diesel cars are fitted with software designed to cheat emissions tests. The company, which is already facing a huge task to recall and fix 11 million cars caught up in the scandal worldwide, said it was trying to determine if another engine was fitted with the so-called 'defeat device'. (http://bit.ly/1GXOGYz)