PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Aug 15

Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:29am EDT

Aug 15 (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.

* Coca-Cola Co announced that it had acquired a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage Corp for $2.15 billion. The deal unites the biggest soda maker in the world with the largest energy drink brand in the United States. (nyti.ms/XlqFuy)

* Trading linked to congestion on New York State's electric grid, a market intended to protect power companies and ultimately benefit consumers, has made big profits for trading firms. (nyti.ms/1m023gq)

* Financial regulators are pushing for an arcane but crucial modification to the contracts that stand behind the $700 trillion global market for derivatives. The change is part of the regulators' efforts to avoid the sort of systemic chaos that occurred after Lehman Brothers Holding Inc crashed. (nyti.ms/1l7Ne0l)

* Lenders to Puerto Rico's big electric power authority gave it a breather on Thursday instead of enforcing a looming deadline on the lines of credit the company uses to buy fuel for its power plants. The banks that provide the credit line gave the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority until March 31 to make good on principal repayments that originally came due at the end of July. (nyti.ms/VqZhJN)

* The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining whether Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Pershing Square Capital Management have broken any laws while pursuing a hostile takeover of Allergan Inc. The inquiry is in its early stages and may not lead to a formal investigation, according to a person briefed on the matter. (nyti.ms/1pdJlpN)

* Starbucks Corp announced revisions on Thursday to the way the company schedules its 130,000 baristas, saying it wanted to improve "stability and consistency" in work hours week to week. The company intends to curb the much-loathed practice of "clopening," or workers closing the store late at night and returning just a few hours later to reopen, wrote Cliff Burrows, the group president in charge of American stores, in an email to baristas across the country. (nyti.ms/1sZbQZX)

* Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has purchased SmartThings, a start-up that makes accessories that connect home appliances to the Internet. With its expansion, Samsung will be competing with Apple Inc and Google Inc. Google acquired Nest, also a smart home appliance maker, for $3.2 billion this year. In June, Apple introduced HomeKit, a set of software tools to make iPhones more integrated with the smart home. (nyti.ms/1BiDbKp) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bangalore)

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