December 20, 2013 / 4:01 AM / 4 years ago

Market Chatter- Corporate finance press digest

Dec 20 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:

* Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is in early-stage talks over a possible 300 million euro ($413 million) investment in Alitalia, a political source close to the matter said, which could help rescue the loss-making Italian airline.

* A committee reviewing Guinea’s mining contracts has set a January deadline for BSG Resources and Brazilian partner Vale to provide more information on their disputed mine deal, according to a source present at a hearing this week.

* Spain could kick off a sale process for nationalised lender Catalunya Banc in January, a source at bank restructuring fund FROB said on Thursday.

* Spain’s nationalised NCG Banco, set to be taken over by Venezuela’s Banesco, faces potential losses of 1 billion euros ($1.38 billion) that are not covered by provisions, a source at bank restructuring fund FROB said on Thursday.

* Austrian energy group Verbund has hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the potential sale of two gas-fired power plants in France, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

* The central European joint venture of Switzerland’s Ringier and Germany’s Axel Springer is negotiating to sell its Czech media operations to businessman Daniel Kretinsky, a source close to the talks said on Thursday.

* Liberty Media Corp’s top executives estimate that a merger between Charter Communications Inc and Time Warner Cable Inc could generate roughly $700 million in annual synergies, according to people close to the matter.

* Deutsche Bank AG is holding preliminary talks with potential buyers of its uranium trading business - the first sign since announcing it was largely exiting commodities trading that parts of the operation are now on the block.

The bank has had a number of expressions of interest in its uranium business, and expects to start a formal sales process early in the first quarter, sources familiar with the discussions said.

* Carlyle Group and KKR have advanced in the sale of Transpacific Industries Group Ltd’s waste management unit, in a deal that could fetch around NZ$880 million ($725.5 million), people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

* Chilean bank CorpBanca, which has been in takeover talks in recent weeks, is close to selling a 50.1 percent stake that may be worth as much as $6 billion, according to newspaper reports on Thursday. Chile’s El Mercurio newspaper, citing sources close to the sale process, said that in the sale of a 50.1 percent stake, billionaire Alvaro Saieh would retain control via the presidency of the new locally merged business.

* German chemicals maker BASF is preparing a bid for DEA, the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) unit put up for sale by Germany’s No.2 utility RWE , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported. Sources familiar with the matter have said that a deadline for initial bids for DEA was now mid-January, after previously targeting end-December.

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