PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - May 15

Thu May 15, 2014 2:24am EDT

May 15 (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.

* Global bond rates dropped to their lowest levels of the year Wednesday, as central bankers signaled their determination to jolt the world's largest economies out of their malaise. Investors piled into U.S., German and British government bonds, used to price everything from mortgages to car loans, driving down their yields. (r.reuters.com/faw39v)

* Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Michael Corbat said in a memo Wednesday that the bank had fired 11 employees in its Banamex unit in connection with the loan losses from Mexico's Oceanografia SA de CV that the bank has blamed on fraud. (r.reuters.com/raw39v)

* AT&T Inc's internal merger team is active again with talks to buy satellite-television provider DirecTV in a deal that could be valued at nearly $50 billion, people familiar with the matter said. AT&T has hired investment bank Lazard Ltd for advice on the deal, the people said. (r.reuters.com/gew39v)

* French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has signed a decree giving him extended authority to block foreign takeovers of companies deemed strategic, a move that could strengthen the government's hand in the battle for Alstom SA's energy assets, sought by General Electric Co. (r.reuters.com/tew39v)

* In a significant move to streamline its process for dealing with counterfeits, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-ALIB.N this month began automatically removing from its biggest shopping site products that some brands have flagged as fake. (r.reuters.com/huw39v)

* Richard Perry's Perry Capital increased its stake in Herbalife Ltd, the nutritional supplements maker that hedge-fund manager William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management has been campaigning against since December 2012. (r.reuters.com/kuw39v)

* AerCap Holdings N.V. on Wednesday established itself as the world's second-largest jet leasing company by assets, completing its $7.6 billion purchase of the aircraft leasing unit of American International Group Inc. (r.reuters.com/muw39v) (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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