PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Aug 12

Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:26am EDT

Aug 12 (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.

* Iraq's president appointed a candidate to replace Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki but the longtime leader refused to step aside, setting up a confrontation as the government struggles to combat a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency. (on.wsj.com/1pKUqOv)

* As Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-BABA.N heads towards what could be the biggest-ever initial public offering, its bankers are homing in on one of their biggest challenges: keeping the shares aloft once they start trading.(on.wsj.com/1sKDWq0)

* Ukraine agreed to dispatch humanitarian aid, including supplies from Russia, to a separatist stronghold that has been blasted by fighting in recent weeks, after pressure from Moscow and Western capitals to do more to ease civilian suffering.(on.wsj.com/1nKfWij)

* Banks are lending to companies and individuals at the fastest pace since the financial crisis, helping propel profits to near-record levels. U.S. banks posted $40.24 billion in net income during the second quarter, the industry's second-highest profit total in at least 23 years, according to data from research firm SNL Financial. (on.wsj.com/XdcZ4M)

* UniCredit SpA said Monday a nine-year-old dispute over its purchase of banks in Austria and Germany could last several more years and result in additional payouts to former shareholders of the acquired banks. (on.wsj.com/1oFAUUz)

* After four days of pounding targets in northern Iraq, U.S. officials warned Monday that the campaign was unlikely to inflict serious damage to the militant group now controlling large parts of Iraq and Syria.(on.wsj.com/1mEfPVK)

* Vascular Biogenics Ltd, which went public last week and traded for 6 days, announced on Friday that it wasn't issuing shares due to failure of key investors to follow through on a commitment to buy stock. (on.wsj.com/1swzHBu)

* Along with a creeping Islamist threat on Iraqi Kurdistan and the plight of thousands of Iraqis trapped on a mountainside, there was a scientific calculation behind the U.S. decision to intervene in Iraq: the potential for a 65-foot wave to engulf the northern city of Mosul, and even flood the central capital Baghdad.(on.wsj.com/1vA8gsT)

* Price isn't the only issue keeping "Maleficent" and "Captain America" off Amazon.com Inc's virtual shelves. Walt Disney Co's dispute with Amazon also encompasses promotion and product placement on the Amazon website, as well as questions over who makes up the difference when Amazon loses money to match the prices of competitors.(on.wsj.com/1kYdRVy)

* Kinder Morgan Inc's $44 billion plan to consolidate its pipeline companies was greeted with excitement by Wall Street, which expects the new streamlined company to snap up other pipeline partnerships. But some investors in Kinder's master limited partnerships may not be happy as the consolidation could leave them with big, unexpected tax bills, tax experts said.(on.wsj.com/1pLlM7i)

* J.P. Morgan Chase & Co reached a long-awaited deal to sell roughly half its stake in the portfolio of its buyout arm, One Equity Partners LLC. (on.wsj.com/1r6ePBu)

* Intel Corp provided details of its latest advance in manufacturing technology, a milestone that arrived after a delay of more than six months due to technical problems. (on.wsj.com/1ulk6FC)

* Former American International Group Inc executive Joseph Cassano cited his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating himself more than 200 times while declining to answer questions posed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009. This is among the disclosures included in 12 transcripts released by the SEC in response to public-records requests from The Wall Street Journal.(on.wsj.com/1lQlIPM)

* Anadarko Petroleum Corp wants to build one of the biggest projects ever attempted by a Western energy company in Palma, Mozambique. But Anadarko isn't here for oil. The company is after something more abundant, albeit less lucrative: natural gas located about 30 miles offshore. (on.wsj.com/1sKIdd3) (Compiled by Shivam Srivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)