Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Wed Jan 8, 2014 11:15pm EST

Jan 9 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* Independent U.S. refiner PBF Energy has begun talks with half a dozen of its rivals to consider jointly lobbying Washington against lifting a decades-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports, sources said on Wednesday.

* Singapore Airlines' new Indian joint venture with Tata Sons has chosen Airbus A320 aircraft over Boeing's 737 to launch its operations in the country, sources familiar with the decision said.

* Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil to at least two Asian term buyers in February, unchanged from January, industry sources familiar with the matter said.

* Apollo Global Management LLC is looking to cash out on its investment in the owner of Lighthouse Investment Partners LLC, three years it after it backed the fund-of-hedge-funds manager, according to people familiar with the matter.

* Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International has decided not to sell its Hungarian unit at this stage, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday, after media reports that such a deal could be imminent.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co, the world's biggest dealer in over-the-counter metals derivatives, has added its metals futures brokerage to the sale of its physical commodities business, sources familiar with the matter said.

* Italy's stock market regulator has asked Monte dei Paschi di Siena whether it intends to challenge in court a decision by its top shareholder to delay a rights issue, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

* The Philippines, one of Asia's most active sovereign bond issuers in the overseas debt market, has launched an offer for a 10-year benchmark global bond, with initial guidance at 4.5 percent area, sources close to the deal said on Thursday.

* Rolls-Royce is in talks to buy the marine propulsion unit of Finnish power plant and ship engine maker Wartsila, Bloomberg reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.

* Novartis AG is in talks with Merck & Co Inc MRK.N to exchange its animal-health and human vaccines businesses for the drugmaker's over-the-counter health-products unit, Bloomberg reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.

* Three consortia, including Middle Eastern funds, are bidding for Royal Dutch Shell's Australian service stations in a A$3 billion ($2.68 billion) auction, the Australian Financial Review reported Thursday, citing sources close to Shell.

For the Morning News Call-EMEA newsletter click on