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Frontrunning: August 3

  • Deadline Draws Near for Puerto Rico (WSJ)
  • U.S. to defend Syrian rebels with airpower, including from Assad (Reuters)
  • Alpha Natural Resources to Seek Chapter 11 (WSJ)
  • Iran’s Rouhani Says Nuclear Deal ‘More Than What Was Imagined’ (BBG)
  • Cables Show Hillary Clinton's State Department Deeply Involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership (IBTimes)
  • Win or Lose, U.S. Stocks Get Biggest Earnings Bang Since ’12 (BBG)
  • Weaker China factories argue for more policy support as stocks swoon (Reuters)
  • French riot police disperse migrants at Channel Tunnel (AP)
  • Stock Guru Bill Miller Is Back But the Questions and Pain Linger (BBG)
  • Dole and Other Companies Sour on Delaware as Corporate Haven (WSJ)
  • Misery deepens for those in Puerto Rico who can't escape economic crisis (USNews)
  • California Has a Plan to End the Auto Industry as We Know It (BBG)
  • China wants no talk of South China Sea at upcoming ASEAN meeting (Reuters)
  • Deadbeat Ex-Billionaire Batista Daring Bondholders to Seize Ship (BBG)
  • Manhunt under way for killer of Memphis police officer (Reuters)
  • Hunt for MH370: Australia Won’t Extend Search Effort Without New Clues (WSJ)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the use of air power to defend a new U.S.-backed fighting force in Syria should it come under attack from Syrian government forces or other groups. (http://on.wsj.com/1HjRYDX)

* Delaware, the most popular state for corporate registrations, now has challengers who say it doesn't offer enough protections against shareholder lawsuits. (http://on.wsj.com/1IT1sNO)

* A new rule mandating the first-ever federal limits on power-plant carbon emissions aims to change the way Americans make and consume electricity, accelerating a shift already under way toward cleaner fuels, renewable energy and consumer-generated power. (http://on.wsj.com/1MGHruI)

* Coal Miner Alpha Natural Resources is expected to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday to cut its more than $3 billion debt load. (http://on.wsj.com/1eMiRJZ)

* China's answer to Airbnb Inc, Tujia.com, raised $300 million in its latest funding round, underscoring strong investor demand for Chinese startups despite volatility in the country's domestic stock market. The fundraising valued the Chinese home-rental site at more than $1 billion, just a fraction of the $25.5 billion valuation Airbnb achieved in June. (http://on.wsj.com/1IFpZ7d)

 

FT

US hedge fund ValueAct, which has become Rolls-Royce's largest shareholder, is urging the British manufacturer of aerospace engines to speed up cost cuts in its core business, according to people familiar with the fund's thinking.

Japanese police arrested the founder and former head of Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles over allegations of manipulating the exchange's computer system to inflate his own company account. Mt. Gox, one of the world's biggest Bitcoin exchange in its days, filed for bankruptcy last year after it admitted it didn't know the whereabouts of 850,000 Bitcoins valued at about $500 mln.

Italian bank UniCredit's Chief Executive Federico Ghizzoni is exploring strategic options to boost profit and address investor concerns. UniCredit's CFO Marina Natale maybe given more powers that may sideline the bank's chief risk officer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Swift growth in LEDs has attracted aggressive new low-cost competitors from Asia, giving traditional players Philips , Siemens and General Electric a run for their money. Philips said last year, it will break up to create a standalone lighting company while Siemens, the German engineering group, spun off its Osram lighting unit in 2013.

 

NYT

* On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to unveil his signature climate change policy, a set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations designed to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the nation's power plants. If the plan survives legal challenges, it could lead to the closing of hundreds of polluting coal-fired power plants, freeze future construction of such plants and lead to an explosion in production of wind and solar energy. (http://nyti.ms/1E4i39X)

* AT&T Inc is making a new nationwide offering, the first of its kind, that combines television and wireless phone service for $200 a month for the first 12 months. The announcement of this package, available to customers starting Aug. 10, came a little more than a week after AT&T closed its $48.5 billion takeover of satellite company DirecTV, forming the country's largest television distributor, with about 26 million subscribers. (http://nyti.ms/1KKU2MV)

* Microsoft Corp has agreed to invest in Uber Technologies Inc, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as part of a funding round that values the ride-hailing company at around $51 billion. (http://nyti.ms/1MFzl4x)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** For the first time since 1993, a large number of federal seats in Alberta are up for grabs. Polling suggests that support in the province for the federal Conservatives has decreased by more than 15 percentage points since the previous election. These Conservative polling woes closely follow the shock NDP provincial win in May. (http://bit.ly/1IemcfG)

** Greece's stock market plunged nearly 23 percent on Monday when it opened after a five-week shutdown brought on by fears the country was about to be dumped from the euro zone. (http://bit.ly/1Ijs6Kh)

** As federal political parties start campaigning for the upcoming federal election, small business owners and advocates are waiting for more detailed platforms to see which parties will offer the most supportive policies, says Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) (http://bit.ly/1KLk6HO)

NATIONAL POST

** It's time Quebec took its rightful place at the table of power instead of continuing a 22-year tradition of sending opposition MPs to Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Sunday. (http://bit.ly/1SAAj6P)

** Liberal leader Justin Trudeau kicked off his federal election campaign in Vancouver by promising to fight for the middle class, while cutting perks for the richest Canadians. (http://bit.ly/1gDKqqT)

 

China

SECURITIES TIMES

- Citic Securities no longer owns a stake in the fund with Citadel LLC, the U.S.-based hedge fund which had its trading restricted by China's securities regulator on Friday, the firm told Securities News. The company sold its stake in the fund last year, a company representative told the paper.

CHINA DAILY

- The average PM 2.5 air pollution concentration in 10 polluted Chinese cities improved by 11.9 percent in 2014, according to a report from the Clean Air Alliance of China, a Beijing think tank.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- Looking ahead to the economy for the second half of the year, it will be important to maintain strategic direction, push forward strategic economic institutional adjustment, control risks, and discover and address potential contradictions in the economy, the newspaper said in a front-page editorial.

 

Britain

The Times

Intercontinental Hotels Group is weighing bids for rivals Fairmont and Movenpick after ruling itself out of a multibillion-pound merger with America's Starwood last week. (http://thetim.es/1IEkDZZ)

British Airways has pushed out the Chairman of its pension scheme Paul Spencer, after a row over an investment switch that could have seen the plan's deficit soar. His departure shocked pensions experts. (http://thetim.es/1IEiOMu)

The Guardian

At least two, perhaps three, of the nine members of the Bank of England's interest rate-setting committee are expected to cast their votes for a rate rise. Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty, who voted for rate rises throughout the second half of 2014 before changing their minds as inflation plunged to zero earlier this year, have signalled they could soon be ready to see borrowing costs rise. (http://bit.ly/1E3IDjB)

Greek investors expect a tumultuous day's trading when Athens' stock market reopens on Monday after a five-week shutdown. (http://bit.ly/1E3IPPQ)

The Telegraph

James Galbraith, a professor of government at the University of Texas and long-time friend of ex-Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has denied being involved in a "criminal gang" intent on bringing the drachma back to Greece. The clandestine plans were made public last week following the airing of a private conversation between Varoufakis and international investors in London. (http://bit.ly/1E3GoNg)

Former Conservative leader Michael Howard is to be questioned by the Britain's Serious Fraud Office as part of its criminal investigation into Soma Oil and Gas in relation to allegations of corruption in Somalia. (http://bit.ly/1E3Gwwe)

Sky News

HSBC Holdings plc, Europe's largest bank will disclose in its interim results that it is adding a substantial sum to the $550 mln provision it has already allocated to resolve a number of investigations on both sides of the Atlantic. (http://bit.ly/1Iy941T)

Business groups are warning that the Calais migrant crisis is "a threat to the long-term viability" of British companies - as firms begin to count the cost of delays to travel through the Channel Tunnel. (http://bit.ly/1E3HbxL)

The Independent

Britain's shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie has attacked the anti-austerity agenda of the Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, warning it would hurt poor people the most. Leslie issued a wake-up call to Labour members to reject what he called a "starry-eyed, hard left" economic strategy, amid growing signs that Corbyn could pull off a shock victory next month. (http://ind.pn/1E3HTeg)

British Airways said it is set to change its hand baggage allowance this summer with a new, reduced policy which may require fliers to fork out money for a new holdall or suitcase for upcoming journeys. (http://ind.pn/1E3I8Gg)