PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - June 17

June 17 Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:29am EDT

June 17 (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.

* The United States and Europe plan to push for nuclear talks with Iran following the surprise victory of centrist Hassan Rohani in presidential elections.

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* Airbus is on track to more than double its profit margin by 2015 through greater efficiency and restructured management, said Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier.

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* Large banks are pushing back against regulators' plans to toughen rules on short-term, high-interest consumer loans.

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* Starboard Value LP, a large activist investor in Smithfield Foods Inc, is pressuring the company to explore a break-up rather than go ahead with a planned $4.7 billion takeover by Chinese meat producer Shuanghui. ()

* Home-improvement retailer Lowe's Cos Inc agreed to buy Orchard Supply Hardware Stores for $205 million, potentially throwing a lifeline to the struggling West Coast hardware-and-garden chain. ()

* Co-op Bank is expected to unveil plans this week to fill a capital hole, estimated at 1.25 billion pounds ($1.96 billion), by imposing losses on bondholders and selling loan portfolios, a person familiar with the plans said. ()

* General Electric Co is expanding its ability to produce ceramic-based parts for its jet-engine business, betting that the risks of using a novel material are outweighed by the expected fuel savings. ()

* Liberty Media Corp Chief Executive Greg Maffei recently met with Time Warner Cable Inc Chief Executive Glenn Britt to discuss the benefits of mergers in the cable sector, said a person familiar with the situation, the latest sign that Liberty is interested in sparking consolidation in the industry. ()

* Congress is gearing up to tackle an issue that Washington has mostly ignored for nearly five years: What to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bailed-out but now-profitable mortgage companies. ()

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