PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Aug 13

Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:41am EDT

Aug 13 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Iran is finding a way around Western sanctions to export increasing amounts of an ultralight oil to China and other Asian markets, expanding the value of its trade by potentially billions of dollars a year. (nyti.ms/1p3Hsfn)

* Scholars are exhilarated by the prospect of tapping into the vast troves of personal data collected by Facebook Inc , Google Inc, Amazon.com Inc and a host of start-ups, which they say could transform social science research. (nyti.ms/1sAp0xT)

* European companies rated below investment grade have turned to issuing junk bonds, following the lead of American businesses. For many companies, the high-yield junk bond market has become essential for raising money now that their local banks are making fewer corporate loans. (nyti.ms/1q7vHkX)

* Syncora Guarantee Inc said Detroit's exit strategy had been tainted by what it called the biases of its chief mediator, whose job it was to impartially negotiate out-of-court settlements of as many of the city's outstanding debts as possible. (nyti.ms/VhJLA8)

* Audi AG said that in one province, the dealership network of its Chinese joint venture had broken national antitrust rules and would be punished by the government. The Chinese authorities have been looking at many automakers this summer. The focus of the review has been whether automakers have compelled their dealers to set high, standardized prices for replacement parts that the carmakers produced. (nyti.ms/1mGWyTI)

* An important reading on the health of the eurozone economy is expected to show that growth stagnated in the recent quarter as German output faltered, confirming the assessment of many analysts that a lasting recovery remains out of reach for the region. (nyti.ms/1sQkdoF)

* In a new report, Moody's says banks have remained "conservative" in their lending. The report acknowledged rising auto loan balances, but it concluded that "consumers owe less now than they did during the recession so they can afford to take on more debt." (nyti.ms/1ytJWF1)

* Even as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-BABA.N, the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut, moves closer to one of the most anticipated initial public offerings in recent history, potential investors are wondering about the future of its ties to its online payments affiliate Alipay. (nyti.ms/Y2PlYB)

* As Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Pershing Square Capital Management try to take over Allergan Inc , each side appears to be consumed with outmaneuvering the other. (nyti.ms/1nNBomH)

* Carlyle Group LP has been searching for unusual investment opportunities and has shown a willingness to take small stakes in companies. Carlyle said on Tuesday it had minority investment in ad site Ganji.com and within the last year, Carlyle bought a minority stake in Beats Electronics and then roughly doubled its investment when the company was sold to Apple Inc. (nyti.ms/1ppuzwJ)

* A bidding battle for Australia's Treasury Wine Estates Ltd has called into question the case for standalone wine companies. The company, which owns Penfolds and other global wine labels, could be better managed. But a fragmented market and low brand loyalty also suggests it may not be suitable for public company treatment. (nyti.ms/1roW8EF) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bangalore; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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