These are the stocks posting the largest moves before the bell.Market Insiderread more
Mnuchin tells CNBC he's confident President Trump and China's Xi Jinping can make progress in stalled trade talks.World Economyread more
JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon says student lending "is a disgrace and its hurting America," he told Yahoo Finance Tuesday.Economyread more
U.S. stock index futures jumped Wednesday morning after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that the U.S. and China were close to reaching a trade deal.US Marketsread more
A small group of companies have gotten so big that they are essentially becoming the market, and when they do well, the markets do well.Trader Talk with Bob Pisaniread more
Democrats want Mueller's testimony on his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump's efforts to influence it.Politicsread more
Trump is willing to talk with Iran, but he's "also determined to enforce the U.S. and our allies' interests in the region," Mnuchin tells CNBC.Politicsread more
Livongo, a digital health company, is announcing an integration with the leading smartwatch makers ahead of its rumored IPO.Technologyread more
Mortgage application volume was 40% higher than a year ago, largely because lower rates are strengthening the refinance market.Real Estateread more
Stocks should rally if the U.S. and China agree to new negotiations and a ceasefire in the trade war, but the economic impact of tariffs will continue.Market Insiderread more
(Adds details, background)
FRANKFURT, Jan 8 (Reuters) - BASF is looking to shed a sizeable portfolio of assets to try to salvage a deal it struck in 2017 to buy Belgian chemicals group Solvay's polyamide business, people close to the matter said.
The German company is working with investment bank Lazard to find a buyer for the plastics assets, which could be valued at about 450 million euros ($515 million), including debt, the people said.
Information packages were sent out to potential buyers just before Christmas, and first-round bids are expected by the end of the month, they added.
BASF and Lazard declined to comment, while Solvay was not immediately available for comment.
To try to allay concerns raised by European Union antitrust regulators, BASF offered in October to exclude parts of Solvay's European polyamide business, including innovation capabilities, from the list of assets it plans to acquire.
It also offered to exclude manufacturing assets of Solvay's intermediate and engineering plastics business.
The European Commission has set a provisional deadline of Jan. 25 for its ruling on the planned deal.
According to people close to the matter, BASF is marketing the assets to companies that also took part in the 2017 auction for the Solvay business, including South Korea's SK Innovation , China's KingFa, and private equity group SK Capital, which owns peer Ascend.
The assets, with estimated core earnings of about 60 million euros and an expected enterprise value (equity plus debt) of 7-8 times that, also include engineering plastics that have whet the appetite of peers such as Lanxess, they added.
BASF is seeking to strengthen its nylon business and enhance its access to key growth markets in Asia and South America with the Solvay deal. The purchase would boosts its activities in nylon, or polyamide 6-6, a heat-resistant engineering plastic that is used in textiles and also industrial parts such as tube fittings, cooling fans and engine air ducts.
For Solvay, the sale is part of its drive to divest high-volume products and focus on specific applications in aerospace, automotive and the oil and gas industries where it can achieve higher margins.
EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said last year that as only a few manufacturers provide essential inputs to produce different nylon products, a careful assessment was needed whether the proposed acquisition would lead to higher prices.
A main precursor material for polyamide 6-6 is ADN. The main suppliers of this material are Ascend as well as Butachimie, a joint venture of Solvay and Invista, a former DuPont business now held by Koch Industries.
($1 = 0.8744 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Mark Potter)