PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Aug 13

Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:06am EDT

Aug 13 (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.

* Janet Yellen, a top contender to lead the U.S. Federal Reserve, has evolved in her own words from a slightly "docile" regional bank regulator, into a proponent of hard and clear rules designed to make banks less risky. While some bankers overseen by Yellen describe her as a determined regulator, critics note that she had a front row seat for some of the turbulence that sent the economy into a tailspin and could have done more to prevent rampant real estate speculation. ()

* Mexico moved to end the country's 75 year-old monopoly on oil and gas production, potentially opening up some of the world's biggest remaining untapped oil reserves to private companies and setting the stage for a new energy boom on the U.S. doorstep. ()

* BlackBerry Ltd has formed a board committee to consider options including a sale of the company, as the smartphone pioneer struggles to turn around a market-share slide despite recently launching new devices. ()

* Blackstone Group LP has agreed to buy majority stakes in about 80 apartment complexes from the financing arm of General Electric Co in a deal that values the portfolio at $2.7 billion. The apartment buildings, with roughly 30,000 units, are in Dallas, Atlanta and other parts of Texas and the Southeast. ()

* The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the government's audit industry regulator, is pushing the accounting industry to disclose more about its views on a company, which some say will make annual audit reports more useful. Regulators and industry critics say investors need more information from auditors about matters such as whether a company's accounting is aggressive, and what auditors think are the most important features of a company's finances. ()

* The looming merger of AMR Corp's American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc could lift fares at some of the combined carrier's hub cities, if past mergers are an indication. But reduced competition doesn't always boost ticket prices. ()

* Chesapeake Energy Corp's new chief executive shook up the natural gas giant's top ranks on Monday, saying four senior executives would leave, including longtime chief operating officer Steve Dixon, who served as interim CEO earlier this year. ()

* New York Times Co Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sold 50,000 shares in the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in a deal just one day after the Ochs-Sulzberger family declared the company's namesake newspaper was "not for sale." ()