PRESS DIGEST- Financial Times - March 20

March 20 Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:39pm EDT

March 20 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Financial Times. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Headlines

JPMORGAN SELLS PHYSICAL COMMODITIES UNIT TO MERCURIA FOR $3.5 BLN

(link.reuters.com/jak77v)

JEROME KERVIEL'S 4.9 BLN EUR SOCGEN REPAYMENT STRUCK DOWN

(link.reuters.com/zyj77v)

BP SIGNALS U.S. RETURN WITH $42 MLN GULF OF MEXICO BIDS

(link.reuters.com/xyj77v)

HITACHI TO MAKE LONDON ITS GLOBAL RAIL HQ

(link.reuters.com/fak77v)

STARBUCKS SEEKS TO DOUBLE MARKET CAP TO $100 BLN

(link.reuters.com/cak77v)

Overview

JPMorgan Chase & Co, America's largest bank, said it would sell its physical commodities business to Geneva-based trading house Mercuria for $3.5 billion, becoming the latest investment bank to scale back its activities in that sector.

A French court released rogue trader Jerome Kerviel from an unpayable 4.9 billion euro ($6.82 billion) fine given to him for making the risky bets that brought his former employer Societe Generale to the brink of disaster.

BP Plc was one of the most active bidders for exploration and production rights in the Gulf of Mexico, after the U.S. government lifted a ban on it winning new federal contracts last week.

Japan's largest electronics conglomerate Hitachi plans to make London the headquarters of its global rail business, in a bid to expand in the UK and to make Europe its biggest market.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz said the U.S. coffee chain wanted to almost double its market capitalisation to $100 billion, as the company looks to expand its digital business and dominate the $90 billion global tea market.

($1 = 0.7189 Euros) (Compiled by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)