PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Oct 12

Oct 12 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Japanese phone and internet company Softbank Corp

is in talks to buy a significant stake in Sprint Nextel Corp , the ailing U.S. wireless carrier said. A deal would offer a multibillion-dollar lifeline that could help Sprint finance future mergers of its own and better compete with its much bigger and richer rivals.

* Vice President Joe Biden and Republican rival Paul Ryan engaged in a confrontational debate Thursday night that included interruptions, flippant asides and pointed accusations over a wide range of economic, foreign policy and social issues.

* Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Co , the biggest company by value on the Greek stock market, will move its headquarters to Switzerland and switch its main market listing to London, in the biggest sign yet of southern European companies pulling away from the troubled region.

* Spanish officials voiced defiance on Thursday after a credit downgrade left the country's rating close to junk status at two firms, saying the surprise move wouldn't affect their plans to raise money on financial markets.

* A group of bondholders that specialize in buying debt of distressed companies has, among other proposals, offered to provide between $1 billion and $2 billion in financing in exchange for big ownership stakes in a restructured AMR Corp.

* Best Buy Co is planning to match the prices of internet competitors such as Inc this holiday season, even as it plays down its concerns over shoppers browsing gadgets in stores only to buy them for less online.

* Siemens AG said it is planning to cut costs and simplify its business in an overhaul of Germany's flagship industrial group that may include asset sales.

* International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Greece should be given an extra two years to meet its budget targets, publicly wading into euro-zone officials' politically sensitive bailout discussions.

* A onetime Goldman Sachs Group Inc computer programmer has asked a state judge to throw out criminal charges against him, saying he shouldn't be prosecuted a second time over the alleged theft of the investment bank's secret computer code.

(Compiled by Bangalore Newsroom)

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