November 28, 2013 / 4:07 AM / in 4 years

Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Nov 28 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* The U.S. Justice Department is probing Morgan Stanley for its hiring practices in China as part of an industry-wide investigation by the government into whether banks’ employment of politically connected Chinese breached U.S. bribery laws, according to people familiar with the matter.

* Sinopec , China’s biggest oil refiner, is in talks with Apache Corp to buy a stake in the Kitimat LNG export project on Canada’s Pacific coast, according to an industry executive with direct knowledge of the matter.

* Charter Communications is arranging $25 billion in debt financing to help it fund a bid for Time Warner Cable , the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.

* Orange Chief Executive Stephane Richard faces a hearing in a French administrative court over his role as a government aide in a 2008 arbitration case in which the state awarded a large pay-out to businessman Bernard Tapie, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

* An advisory panel set up by Japan’s financial regulator will consider stripping oversight for setting Tibor, the yen benchmark interest rate, from the banking group now responsible for its administration, said people with knowledge of the potential supervisory overhaul.

* Two more Alitalia shareholders, tyre maker Pirelli and Finanziaria di Partecipazioni e Investimenti, part of construction firm Gavio, are expected to subscribe to the Italian airline’s 300 million-euro ($400 million) share issue rights offer that ends on Wednesday, sources close to the matter said.

* Venezuela is evaluating a swap agreement involving gold reserves as a way to fortify dollar supplies in the OPEC nation, a senior government source told Reuters on Wednesday, amid chronic product shortages and inflation close to 55 percent.

* Npower, the UK arm of Germany utility RWE, is expected on Thursday to announce it is moving 1,000 back-office jobs to India from Britain and axing another 400 in the UK, a source familiar with the matter said.

* Deutsche Bank is in exclusive talks with private equity firm Permira to sell the loss-making part of its wealth management business in the UK, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing three people familiar with the negotiations.

* Credit Agricole, France’s third-biggest bank, plans to close about 50 branch offices in the Paris region by 2015, French daily Les Echos said.

* China’s Shuanghui International Holdings plans to launch a counterbid for Spanish meat processor Campofrio, newspaper El Mundo said on Wednesday, citing sources close to a major financing deal for the Chinese group.

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