- Greece pleads cash running out, told to hasten reforms (Reuters)
- ECB Cash Said Likely to Fall Short of Greek Request This Week (BBG)
- Chinese Stock Buying Frenzy Sweeps Into Hong (WSJ)
- Shell’s $70 Billion BG Deal Meets Shareholder Skepticism (BBG)
- Yemen's Houthis seize provincial capital despite Saudi-led raids (Reuters)
- Iran Nuclear Deal Gives Syria’s Bashar al-Assad Reason to Worry (WSJ)
- Slow apps, low battery life limit appeal of Apple Watch (Reuters)
- Gilead’s $1,000 Pill Is Hard for States to Swallow (WSJ)
- The Oil Industry's $26 Billion Life Raft (BBG)
- Ukraine Creditor Group Has Plan to Avoid Writedown in Debt Talks (BBG)
- GM Unplugs First Generation Volt (WSJ)
- Blankfein’s Bet on Goldman Sachs Bond Trading Seen Reaping Gains (BBG)
- Central Banks at Zero Failing to Turbocharge Effect of Cheap Oil (BBG)
- Iran will only sign nuclear deal if sanctions lifted 'same day' (Reuters)
Overnight Media Digest
* Like Israel and Saudi Arabia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has his own reasons to be worried about Iran's framework nuclear agreement with the United States and other world powers. (http://on.wsj.com/1DmvPaP)
* Iran dispatched a naval flotilla to the Gulf of Aden, a move that could raise tensions between the Islamic Republic and a Saudi-led coalition conducting a military campaign in Yemen, which borders the waterway. (http://on.wsj.com/1Gr8V4I)
* Zynga Inc founder Mark Pincus is returning as CEO, replacing the person who had replaced him, Don Mattrick, at the maker of "FarmVille" and "Words With Friends." (http://on.wsj.com/1GNmlqa)
* Veteran CBS Washington reporter and host of the Sunday news magazine "Face the Nation" Bob Schieffer is retiring this summer after more than 40 years with the network. (http://on.wsj.com/1CiH4NB)
* Mylan said it is interested in buying rival Perrigo for $28.9 billion in a deal that would be the latest tie-up among midsize drug companies, if the rivals can reach agreement. (http://on.wsj.com/1FBW2BQ)
* Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy BG Group for about $70 billion in a deal that would create the world's largest independent producer of liquefied natural gas. (http://on.wsj.com/1NSQDrZ)
* Royal Dutch Shell's Ben van Beurden and BG Group's Helge Lund both find themselves in unfamiliar positions following Shell's decision to buy its smaller, UK-based rival. (http://on.wsj.com/1FiDjhn)
* General Motors Co next month will halt production of the Chevrolet Volt for the summer to whittle down seven months of unsold inventory and smooth the way for the next generation of its plug-in hybrid sedan. (http://on.wsj.com/1a7K1Zp)
* AT&T agreed to pay $25 million to resolve a probe by the FCC over consumer privacy violations at call centers, where workers leaked information so resellers could unlock used smartphones. (http://on.wsj.com/1Oby6sT)
* Vivendi said it will propose an additional dividend, boosting its cash return to shareholders as part of an agreement to quell a public spat with a minority shareholder, hedge fund P. Schoenfeld Asset Management. (http://on.wsj.com/1yeLEAt)
Chief Executive of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon said the next financial crisis should see "more volatile" markets and a "rapid decline in valuations" as the industry regulators have hamstrung the banks.
One of the world's largest generic drug makers Mylan NV has offered to buy Perrigo, a maker of cough medicines and allergy remedies, for about $28.9 billion. The unsolicited offer values Perrigo at $205 per share.
Google is planning to launch a YouTube subscription service so that subscribers can skip online ads in exchange for a monthly fee. In an email sent to original content creators, Google said it is taking "another bold step in favour of choice."
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has fined AT&T $25 million for failing to prevent leaks of private consumer data that affected 280,000 of its subscribers. The private data, which included Social Security numbers, was used to unlock stolen cellphones so that they could be resold.
* Energy companies have spent months in a state of strategic paralysis, wary of making big moves with oil prices plunging. Now, the mind-set is shifting, as the industry giants look to capitalize on the weakness. On Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed to buy the BG Group Plc for $70 billion. It is the first major deal for an oil and gas producer since prices started falling last summer. (http://nyti.ms/1DmwyZI)
* Disconcerting forecasts showing aging populations and increasing burdens on social services are weighing on governments throughout Europe. (http://nyti.ms/1aMdedN)
* Wall Street's oversight of cybersecurity measures at outside firms it does business with remains a work in progress, according to a review by New York State's top financial regulator. A survey of 40 banks found that only about a third require their outside vendors to notify them of any breach to their own networks, which could in turn compromise confidential information of the bank and its customers. (http://nyti.ms/1yXsRUR)
* Minutes of the March policy meeting, and recent comments by Federal Reserve officials, reflect concern that job and inflation goals are unmet. (http://nyti.ms/1CrwXVN)
* When Mark Pincus hired a new executive to run Zynga Inc , the online game company he founded, he wrote on Twitter, calling the executive, Don Mattrick, an "Internet treasure." Now, less than two years later, Zynga's Internet treasure has left the company, and Pincus has returned as chief executive. (http://nyti.ms/1Pmbk3c)
* Battered by a scandal over delays in approving groups for tax-exempt status and plagued by a backlog tens of thousands of cases long, the Internal Revenue Service unveiled a strikingly stripped-down online application last year to speed the process. But to critics, the IRS's version of "don't ask, don't tell" is fraught with problems. (http://nyti.ms/1DLjrTT)
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
** Indo-Canadian organizations preparing for a landmark visit from Narendra Modi next week say they want the Indian prime minister to include Canada in a visa-on-arrival program that has already been extended to 43 other countries.(http://bit.ly/1H72DWV)
** Toronto high schools may be due to start locking their doors more often, the way elementary schools already do, according to a new report inspired by the stabbing death of a student last September. After asking for a report into school safety, the Toronto District School Board heard Wednesday that it should consider tightening the controls on secondary school visitors, and should research new electronic locking systems that would allow faster school-wide lockdowns.(http://bit.ly/1H736bG)
** Rising greenhouse emissions from Alberta's oil sands would swamp Ontario's effort to fight climate change through a carbon-pricing plan, says a report issued in advance of the provincial climate summit to be held in Quebec City next week.(http://bit.ly/1H73l6G)
** Canadian warplanes have bombed their first targets in Syria, Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced online late Wednesday. Kenney said on Twitter that two CF-18s struck an ISIL garrison in Ar-Raqqah, which is about 160 kilometres east of the embattled city of Aleppo.(http://bit.ly/1H73zuv)
** The violent Egyptian faction that prompted Canada to close its embassy in Cairo last year has been added to the government's list of outlawed terrorist groups, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney announced on Wednesday.(http://bit.ly/1H749sc)
** Bombardier Inc's third-biggest CSeries customer is rethinking its order, blaming mounting delays and the lack of financing available for Russian companies. Moscow-based Ilyushin Finance Co said Wednesday it is "re-evaluating" its order for up to 49 of the jetliners.(http://bit.ly/1H74BXr)
CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL
- China's Ministry of Finance is developing a loans cancellation policy, said Song Xianping, director of risk management of Agriculture Bank of China, with analysts expectation that China is expected to relax the policy of bad loans.
- Baoshan Iron and Steel will invest 10 billion yuan ($1.61 billion) to improve its Shanghai company's energy conservation and environment protection levels in the next three year, its general manager said.
- An investors confidence index of China's securities market jumped 36.6 percent in March from a year earlier to 70.5, data from China Securities Investor Protection Funds showed.
SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS
- Foreign enterprises will be allowed to freely choose the timing of their foreign exchange capital settlements beginning from June 1 this year, according to new rules from China's foreign exchange regulator.
- China is exploring extending the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to its border with Nepal, rail expert Wang Mengshu told the newspaper.
- The fifth and sixth units of the Fuqing nuclear power plant has received the green light from the National Development and Reform Commission, moving China one step closer to exporting its nuclear technology, industry sources told the newspaper.
'BACKSTABBER' MILIBAND ATTACKED OVER TRIDENT
David Cameron will challenge Ed Miliband today to match a commitment to replace all four of Britain's nuclear submarines as the Tories mount their most personal attack so far on the Labour leader. (http://thetim.es/1ChOAZ9)
MEGABUCKS MERGER AS BG AGREES TO 47 BLN STG SHELL BUYOUT
The man who took charge of the troubled BG Group two months ago stands to earn up to 32 million stg after the FTSE 100 oil and gas company agreed to a takeover by Royal Dutch Shell. (http://thetim.es/1H5VjuL)
UK BUSINESSES REPORT SLOWER GROWTH IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2015
Britain's businesses experienced a slowdown in economic expansion in the first three months of 2015, with both manufacturers and services hit, according to the latest quarterly survey by the British Chambers of Commerce. (http://bit.ly/1ItZS3u)
ED MILIBAND'S NON-DOM CRACKDOWN IS 'CATACLYSMIC'
Tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and business leaders will leave Britain because of Labour's "cataclysmic" plans to scrap the "non-dom" tax status, experts have warned. (http://bit.ly/1capJQL)
RISKY MORTGAGES ARE BACK ON THE RISE
Risky mortgages are back on the rise, just months after the Bank of England capped home loans, as bank profit margins are squeezed by a glut of supply and falling housing demand. (http://bit.ly/1y5kQC8)
FTSE-100 GIANTS POISED TO WARN OVER EU VOTE
Some of Britain's biggest companies will begin issuing formal warnings about uncertainties associated with an exit from the European Union if the outcome of the General Election triggers a timetable for a referendum on the issue. (http://bit.ly/1FDci5s)
LABOUR WOULD ABOLISH 'NON-DOM' TAX STATUS
Ed Miliband has defended his policy to abolish non-dom status after it emerged the shadow chancellor recently said scrapping the tax rule would cost the country money. (http://bit.ly/1CkRc7z)
ITV EYES BILLION-DOLLAR TAKEOVER OF WEINSTEIN TV ARM
ITV is reported to be in talks to add the maker of Marco Polo, the television arm of the Weinstein Company, to its rapidly growing stable of home-grown production companies in a deal worth almost $1 billion (670 million stg). (http://ind.pn/1DlLRli)
PUTIN TEMPTS TSIPRAS WITH PROMISE OF LUCRATIVE GAS DEALS
Alex Tsipras, the Greek premier in charge of brokering a deal with the EU over the country's debt woes, has met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, prompting fears that he might be abandoning the EU deal in favour of another offer from the Kremlin. (http://ind.pn/1y69w8Q)