Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:59pm EST

Jan 15 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* Nasdaq OMX Group is prepared to walk away from running the data processor that was at the center of a three-hour trading halt in August, in a sign of its frustration with the pace of talks over implementing fixes for the system, according to documents seen by Reuters.

* Royal Dutch Shell could look to sell $15 billion worth of assets over the next two years including some North Sea fields, said a media report on Tuesday, expanding on its existing guidance that divestments would accelerate this year.

* Wall Street traders may be manipulating a key derivatives market and front-running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , hurting the U.S.-owned mortgage giants in the process, according to an FBI intelligence bulletin reviewed by Reuters.

* Drugmakers Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , Actavis Plc and Mylan Inc have all expressed interest in buying Pfizer Inc's branded generics business, but no active discussions are going on at this time, according to three people close to the matter.

* The Spanish government is considering selling part of its stake in bailed-out Bankia as soon as the first quarter of this year, official and banking sources said, hoping to recoup part of the multi-billion euro rescue under favourable market conditions.

* Swedish utility Vattenfall, which is selling assets to reduce debts, may have to sell its stake in Polish energy producer Enea at a big discount, market sources said.

* The chairman and the chief executive of Italy's Monte dei Paschi di Siena will remain in their jobs despite being forced to delay a capital increase by the bank's top investor, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

* A French-German joint initiative in the energy sector announced by President Francois Hollande is likely to focus on renewable energy but is not aimed at forging alliances between major utilities firms, political and industrial sources said.

* Apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc, under pressure from investors to sell itself, reached out to at least two private equity firms as it explores strategic options, Bloomberg said on Tuesday, citing sources.

* Wells Fargo & Co has called finance executives, virtual currency experts and U.S. government representatives to discuss "rules of engagement" with Bitcoin amid concern about the money laundering risk of the currency, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing persons familiar with the matter.

* Private equity firms Permira and Ardian are considering listing shares in online travel group Odigeo in Madrid this year, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

* Forbes Media, the company known for its namesake magazine and ranking the world's richest people, has caught the attention of six different companies including Germany's Axel Springer , according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

* The Attorney General of India has cleared the way for government to offload its residual stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd through auction, saying it is no longer a public sector company, the Economic Times reported Tuesday, citing official sources. ()

* India's JSW Steel Ltd, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Aditya Birla Group unit Essel Mining and Industries Ltd are considering the possibility of jointly bidding for the Indian assets of debt-laden UK steel trader Stemcor Holdings Ltd, Mint newspaper reported citing two people familiar with the development. ()

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