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Frontrunning: July 24

  • Kushner, Russian Ambassador Had Undisclosed Contact (WSJ)
  • Democrats take aim at big companies in economic blueprint (Reuters)
  • Trump open to signing Russia sanctions legislation (Reuters)
  • Schumer Predicts Trump Firing Mueller Would Be GOP Tipping Point (BBG)
  • Senate GOP Unsure of What Health-Care Measure They Will Vote On (WSJ)
  • Japan PM Abe denies favors for friend amid falling support (Reuters)
  • Britain’s Economy Is Almost Flatlining (BBG)
  • Wall Street Outlasts Congress on Banker Pay, But Still Loses (WSJ)
  • An Obscure Nafta Chapter Could Be Canada’s Deal-Breaker Again (BBG)
  • Investors Lose $22 Billion as Sweden's Benchmark Stocks Founder (BBG)
  • German private sector growth slows more than expected in July-PMI (Reuters)
  • Oil rises after Saudi vows to cap crude exports next month (Reuters)
  • Saudi calls OPEC members to stick to limits, sees oil demand up (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Exports (WSJ)
  • IMF Sees U.S. Fading as Global Growth Engine (BBG)
  • Singapore Startup Takes Bitcoin Into Real World With Visa (BBG)
  • ‘They All Deserve to Die’: Caracas Militants Vow to Take Up Arms (BBG)
  • South China Sea: Vietnam halts drilling after 'China threats' (BBC)
  • Traders Fear Hard Landing in Emerging Markets (BBG)
  • This Hedge Fund Is Betting $280 Million on a 34-Year-Old Guy (BBG)
  • UK government to discuss Brexit implementation period later this year (Reuters)
  • Welcome to Xi's Net: Where Politics, Porn and Pooh Are Forbidden (BBG)
  • WebMD Agrees to Be Bought by Buyout Firm KKR for $2.8 Billion (BBG)
  • EPA chief spent almost half of spring in home state of Oklahoma (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


- U.S. Senate Republicans are expected to vote as early as Tuesday to begin debate on their sweeping health-care legislation—but they don't know yet what measure they will be voting on.

- Private equity firm KKR & Co is nearing a deal to buy WebMD Health Corp, according to people familiar with the matter.

- Singapore-based ride-hailing firm GrabTaxi Holdings Pte expects to raise $2.5 billion a round of startup fundraising as it seeks to battle Uber Technologies Inc across the populous region, the company said. Japan's SoftBank Group Corp and Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing Technology Co will lead the current round of investment, pouring up to $2 billion into Grab.

- The White House indicated U.S. President Donald Trump was likely to support legislation that would punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, after months of questioning assertions about Moscow's involvement.

- German luxury car maker BMW AG denied it had cooperated with rivals to manipulate diesel engines for reducing nitrogen-oxide emissions, after the European Commission confirmed that Volkswagen AG asked the region's antitrust watchdogs to scrutinize decades of possible coordination efforts by the country's main auto manufacturers.

- Private attorney Mike Moore is encouraging U.S. states to sue pharmaceutical companies, alleging they helped spark an addiction crisis by misrepresenting the benefits and addiction risks of opioid painkillers. Moore pressed Mississippi and Ohio to sue drugmakers and is helping them with the suits they have since filed.



Flavio Cattaneo, chief executive of Telecom Italia SpA , is thought to be seeking an exit payout of about 30 million euros amid reports of a clash with majority shareholder Vivendi SA, as he becomes the second head to leave the company in less than two years.

British advisory boutique DuCanon has arranged its first deal by helping to seal the 600 million pound buyout of an exhibitions organiser Clarion Events by Blackstone Group Lp .

Acacia Mining Plc, which is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar dispute with the Tanzanian government over tax and royalties, is facing renewed pressure to address long-running alleged human rights violations at one of its mines in the east African country.

A new EU competition investigation into Germany's top carmakers threatens the credibility of the entire industry, a German minister has warned, after Brussels confirmed it was probing suspected collusion on technology.



- Chinese regulators have become increasingly concerned that some of the biggest Chinese conglomerates have borrowed so much that they could pose risks to the financial system. Banking officials are ramping up scrutiny of companies' balance sheets.

- BMW AG, responding to claims that it formed a cartel with Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG to hold down the prices of crucial technology, denied that the German carmakers had agreed among themselves to install emissions equipment that was inadequate to do the job.

- Time Warner Inc CEO Jeffrey Bewkes is expected to resign if regulators approve AT&T Inc's $85.4 billion bid and the Time Warner name is likely to be eliminated, as AT&T subsume the company's assets, including HBO, Turner cable network brands and Warner Bros film and television studios.

- The White House indicated that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation curtailing his authority to lift sanctions on Russia on his own, after a broad revolt by lawmakers of both parties about his approach to Moscow.



The Globe and Mail

** Ontario will dispatch up to 20 additional mental-health workers to a remote First Nations community where at least four youths took their own lives this month as government and Indigenous leaders meet Monday to discuss a health-care overhaul on Northern Ontario reserves.

** New privacy regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in Europe next year are calling into question whether Canada's approach to privacy is keeping up with its global peers. Chantal Bernier, former interim privacy commissioner of Canada said, "we cannot take for granted that Canada would be recognized as adequate under the GDPR, because it is very different from our current legislation, and very different from the previous European legislation under which we were deemed adequate."

** Ontario is preparing to hand over control of its gambling operations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to a private operator as the government seeks to drive a gambling boom in the province. Within a few weeks, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp will select a business to run its casino and thousands of slot machines in the GTA for the next two decades.

National Post

** Visitors to Canada are still getting scammed by fake websites as they apply for mandatory electronic travel authorization, with officials receiving hundreds of complaints in the past year. The number is now up to almost 950, and immigration officials tell this week there has been "no change" in the status of the problem.



The Times

Bakkavor, one of the biggest suppliers of ready meals to Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, is exploring plans for a stock market float that could value it at up to 1.5 billion pounds.

The top management at Paysafe Group Plc are in line for a 70 million pound shares-based windfall if the payment processor becomes the latest technology company to be sold to foreign bidders.

The Guardian

Asda, the British supermarket arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc , is considering a move for the discount chain B&M European Value Retail SA, in what would be the latest attempt by a major supermarket to diversify in the face of growing competition from cheaper rivals.

Liam Fox has conceded Britain is likely to seek a transitional deal until 2022 after leaving the European Union, but said the arrangements should not "drag on" until after the next general election.

The Telegraph

Under-pressure mining group Acacia Mining Plc is facing a lawsuit in the UK from relatives of people who died at one of its mine sites.

The BBC is planning to take men off radio and television programmes and replace them with women in an attempt to close the gender pay gap.

Sky News

The boss of the UK pensions lifeboat, Alan Rubenstein, is to step down early next year after a near-nine-year tenure.

Blackstone Group LP has acquired Clarion Events from rival Providence Equity Partners for a deal valued at just under 600 million pounds.

The Independent

At least 15 Conservative MPs have reportedly agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in Theresa May.