PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - May 23

Thu May 23, 2013 1:48am EDT

May 23 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Hundreds of JPMorgan Chase & Co employees have been redeployed to help the bank resolve its mounting regulatory troubles, said people familiar with the effort. The number of people devoted to the task is likely to double by year end as the largest bank in the United States responds to heightened scrutiny from its regulators, according to people familiar with the effort. ()

* General Electric Co is thinking more seriously about selling off large parts of its financial business, which by itself would be the country's fifth-largest bank and which investors want to shrink. ()

* Ford Motor Co said it would stop producing cars in Australia in 2016, foreshadowing hefty job losses in a setback for a government that has invested heavily in propping up the country's automobile industry. ()

* Some of the biggest U.S. companies, including Google Inc and FedEx Corp, have quietly removed hundreds of offshore subsidiaries from their publicly disclosed financial filings over the past several years. The vanishing subsidiaries don't stem from asset sales or corporate restructuring. Companies across industries say they are taking advantage of Securities and Exchange Commission rules that demand disclosure only when subsidiary operations are "significant." ()

* U.S. automakers are accelerating production lines and in some cases, even canceling the North American industry's traditional summer factory shutdowns to meet strong demand. The plans highlight the Detroit Three automakers' recent market share gains against Japanese rivals and the auto industry's prime position in the U.S. economic recovery. Car sales have roared ahead this year even as retail spending on clothing and other goods remains tepid. ()

* The landscape for proxy advisers is getting rockier. Big firms that sell recommendations on how to vote in corporate elections are losing some of their relevance, as companies more aggressively court key investors ahead of big votes and those investors handle more of the voting analysis themselves. ()

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