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Frontrunning: August 7

  • July job gains may favor September interest rate rise (Reuters)
  • It's all about Trump at raucous Republican debate (Reuters)
  • The 5 Most Important Takeaways From the First Debate of 2016 (BBG)
  • Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina wins the Web (Reuters)
  • Hedge Fund Losses From Commodity Slump Sparking Investor Exodus (BBG)
  • Winners and losers from the first Republican presidential debate (WaPo)
  • Bush turns in workmanlike debate performance, but will it be enough? (Reuters)
  • ‘You Wake Up and Think, I’m in Prison:’ Ex-Con’s Wisdom to Hayes (BBG)
  • China’s Stock Crash Is Spurring a Shakeout in Shadow Banks (BBG)
  • Apple Helps Push U.S. Watch Sales to Biggest Drop in Seven Years (BBG)
  • China’s Tighter Grip on Stock Market Strangles Shareholders (WSJ)
  • Wall Street Banks Amass Treasuries Amid Slow Fed Rate Increases (BBG)
  • EU officials to review progress in Greek bailout talks (Reuters)
  • Levy Weathers Impeachment Storm and Dismisses Brazil Downgrade (BBG)
  • Pimco Over ‘Gross Effect’ as Break-Even Nears, Allianz Says (BBG)
  • Why It’s So Difficult to Turn Down the Volume at Popular Restaurants (BBG)
  • China’s Stocks Advance Amid Speculation of More State Support (BBG)
  • ‘Frack now, pay later,’ top services companies say amid oil crash (Reuters)
  • Donald Trump: Fox anchor ‘Megyn [Kelly] behaved very badly’ (WaPo)


Overnight Media Digest


* Donald Trump kicked off the first Republican presidential debate by refusing to promise not to run against the eventual party nominee if he doesn't clinch the nomination, an unpopular stance with GOP voters that could threaten his perch atop the primary field. (

* Yodlee Inc, a provider of personal finance tools, tracks transactions and sells the data to investors, who mine the information for clues about trends that can move stock prices. The details are so valuable that some investment firms have paid more than $2 million apiece for an annual subscription to Yodlee's service, according to people familiar with the matter. (

* Does it make sense to reunite the old Kraft Foods business that activists helped split apart just three years ago? In the topsy-turvy world of today's U.S. food industry, some observers say the answer is yes, if the price is right. (

* U.S. President Barack Obama's pursuit of congressional support for his Iran deal has hit turbulence in New York, with Sen. Chuck Schumer saying he must oppose the deal. (

* Despite all their spending cutbacks and idle drilling rigs, American energy producers are finding it hard to turn off the taps that have helped lead to a global glut of oil. (

* Officials said they would deploy ships, helicopters and a military plane to look for wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the waters around Réunion Island. (

* Under pressure from New York regulators, Abercrombie & Fitch Co is ending a controversial scheduling practice for workers. The company will cease using on-call scheduling-which requires workers to make themselves available for shifts that may be canceled at the last minute-at its New York stores by the end of 2015, according to a letter sent Thursday to the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (



Three of Europe's main bottlers of Coca-Cola products are to join in a $27 billion agreement to simplify manufacturing as the beverage maker tries to cut costs. Coca-Cola Enterprises , the U.S.-based bottler with exclusive Coke licences in many Western Europe countries, will merge with its Iberian and German counterparts.

Vimpelcom and Hutchison have agreed to combine their Italian mobile operations in a long-awaited deal that would cut the number of players in Europe's fourth-largest telecom market to three from four.

Britain's competition watchdog has accused Pfizer and Flynn Pharma of breaching UK and European law by ramping up the cost of an epilepsy drug, given to more than 50,000 British patients.

U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc said on Thursday it will buy OCI NV's North American and European plants in an $8 billion deal including debt, making CF one the world's largest nitrogen companies.



* The American fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc said on Thursday that it had agreed to acquire several European and North American operations and a global distribution business from OCI NV of the Netherlands for $8 billion, including debt. (

* As Informatica Corp closes its $5.3 billion sale to private equity on Thursday, the enterprise software maker would count two of its big technology partners as new investors as well. Joining Permira and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in buying Informatica are Microsoft Corp and Salesforce Ventures. The two will join the biggest leveraged buyout of the year to date, taking ownership stakes in the company, whose products combine and analyze customers' data. (

* IBM Corp said on Thursday morning that it was buying Merge Healthcare Inc, a medical-imaging software company, for $1 billion. When IBM set up its Watson health business in April, it began with a couple of smaller medical data acquisitions and industry partnerships with Apple Inc , Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic Plc. (

* The activist hedge fund Elliott Associates has sold shares in Samsung C&T Corp, the South Korean construction company, after Elliott failed to block an $8 billion merger with another Samsung affiliate, Cheil Industries Inc. (




** At the first election debate of the 2015 campaign Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and New Democratic Party chief Tom Mulcair tried to paint Stephen Harper as an out-of-touch leader who's frittered away government revenue on tax breaks and remains insulated from the weakening economy. (

** Alberta's NDP government took heat from the oil patch for its corporate tax hike as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd blamed it for a deep quarterly loss. Canadian Natural, among early vocal critics of the new provincial government's fiscal policies, said it took a C$579-million non-cash charge in the second quarter to account for future tax liability. (

** After years of hesitation, Barrick Gold Corp is making it clear to investors that its executives are weighing every single option available. Their immediate goals: to slash the company's crippling debt load and to cut everyday costs. (


** A research paper out of the University of Alberta is calling for more information on foreign investment in Canadian housing and raises the spectre that money laundering may be part of the residential real estate market. (

** In a bizarre election vow ahead of the campaign's first debate Thursday night, Prime Minister Stephen Harper implied that the Conservatives were the only party without designs on taxing the streaming website Netflix. (


Hong Kong


- Veteran journalist Leung Ka-wing has been named by the government as the new director of broadcasting, avoiding a repeat of the storm over the last appointment of a career bureaucrat, to lead RTHK as the public broadcaster faces critical challenges ahead. (

- Customs and police officers made their biggest seizure of counterfeit products in 10 years when they closed down two fake-goods showrooms and a storage centre in Hong Kong. Officers believe they have smashed a racket with the seizure of more than 30,000 counterfeit brand-name products and arrest of three people in the joint operation mounted last week. (

- Four water samples taken from flats in phases one and two of Wah Fu Estate in Hong Kong contained heavy metal nickel, a skin irritant, at well above the World Health Organisation standard, the Democratic Party said. The 20 samples taken were all clear of lead and cadmium but four of them had a nickel content above WHO guidelines of 70 micrograms per litre of water. (


- The Let's Go Korea campaign website crashed for five hours on Thursday after an overwhelming number of people attempted to book cut-price return tickets to South Korea. A spokeswoman for the Hong Kong office of Korea Tourism Organization said due to the rush, would-be travellers were redirected to Facebook, where the campaign had posted a list of airlines and their offers. (

- The world's first ever ant map showing the distribution of the tiny creature around the globe was launched by the University of Hong Kong in a bid to shed more light on the insect world. The interactive online map,, displays the geographic locations of nearly 15,000 species of ants. Hong Kong has 170 species on the map. (

- Developers are pumping out a fresh supply of new homes ahead of a probable interest rate hike in the United States. More than 2,000 flats, mostly small-sized units, will come to the market in the near future, including at least 50 studio and one-bedroom apartments from Henderson Land's Parker 33 in Shau Kei Wan. (


- MTR Corp said its train delayed for an aggregate 227 minutes during the first half of the year, about 50 percent less than the same period last year, of which five cases of delay lasted for more than 31 minutes. It said it would be fined HK$6 million ($774,063) for the delay and the fines would be returned to passengers through discount programme.



The Times

The Bank of England has dashed savers' hopes for an interest rate rise this year, signalling that the first move was unlikely to come until around May. The Bank's latest economic outlook pointed to no change until well into 2016. (

Two large pharmaceutical companies are to be investigated for allegedly charging "excessive and unfair" prices for anti-epilepsy drugs used by more than 50,000 people in Britain. Pfizer Inc and Flynn Pharma are being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority for allegedly overcharging for phenytoin sodium, in a breach of UK and EU law. (

The Guardian

The owner of British Airways, IAG, has placed an order for 31 Airbus aircraft valued at $5.2 billion in a deal that the aircraft manufacturer said would sustain thousands of British jobs. IAG is to buy 11 long-haul aircraft destined for BA's Spanish sister airline Iberia, as well as 20 short-haul planes to be used for fleet replacement across the group, which includes the low-cost carrier Vueling. (

The RSA boss, Stephen Hester, said the ball was in Zurich's court over any potential bid for the UK insurer as he reported better-than-expected half-year results. But shares in RSA dropped as Zurich warned it would not overpay. (

The Telegraph

Sky Plc is being formally investigated by the communications regulator Ofcom over concerns that it does not allow customers to cancel at the end of their contracts. Ofcom's investigation, which could run into next year, will consider whether Sky breached its obligations to ensure that contract termination procedures do not act as a disincentive for customers to change provider. (

Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottling group, has unveiled a three way merger with two of its counterparts, in the biggest European consumer deal this century. The group has announced a deal to combine with Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and the German bottling business of the Coca-Cola Company. (

Sky News

Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman, two of the world's biggest buyout firms, are joining forces in a bid to derail a blockbuster 6 billion pound ($9.31 billion) flotation by Worldpay, the payments processing group. Two of the private equity giants are in talks about a joint bid for Worldpay that is expected to be proposed within weeks. (

Discount supermarket Aldi has announced plans to hire 8,000 more staff and open 130 new stores as part of a 600 million pound UK expansion. The supermarket is aiming to increase its UK workforce to 35,000 by 2022. (

The Independent

Owners of London City airport are about to find out just how much it is worth, after they put it up for sale. Growing demand for air travel is said to have prompted Global Infrastructure Partners to appoint advisers to work on a deal. The fund, which also owns Edinburgh airport and 75 percent of Gatwick, wants to complete a deal by the end of the year, the Financial Times reported, and they expect to get around 2 billion pounds for it. (