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    Hong Kong stock exchange in talks to buy London counterpart

    ENERGY

    Veolia wins case over taxing its steam pipes

    Energy giant Veolia won a major victory against the city of Boston over whether its steam pipes through the city should be taxed when the state Supreme Judicial Court sided with it on Wednesday. The dispute began when the city assessed $2 million in property taxes on Veolia pipes for the 2014 fiscal year. The issue in contention: whether a state exemption for manufacturing property should apply to Veolia’s pipe network. City assessors cited a line in state law stating “wires and pipes” do not benefit from this exemption. Veolia appealed, and the state Appellate Tax Board sided with Veolia in 2016, saying the pipes are an essential part of Veolia’s steam-production machinery, and not just a delivery mechanism. The SJC, in its decision, agreed with the state tax board, as well as the company. A spokesman for Veolia said the company has been making partial payments to the city since 2014, and expects to seek reimbursement now from the city for those partial payments. — JON CHESTO

    INTERNATIONAL

    Owner of Hong Kong Stock Exchange offers to buy London exchange

    The owner of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange said on Wednesday that it had offered $36.6 billion to buy the London Stock Exchange, making a bid to create a global trading giant that would combine a European institution with fast-growing Asian economies. A deal is far from assured, however. It depends on the London exchange abandoning its own deal, struck just weeks ago, to buy a data company called Refinitiv. On Wednesday, the London exchange said that it would consider the unsolicited offer from Hong Kong, but that it remained committed to completing the deal for Refinitiv. — NEW YORK TIMES

    BOARD GAMES

    New Monopoly game to focus on women, amid claims original game was created by one

    Throughout history, women’s contributions have routinely been overlooked, forgotten, or erased by men eager to take credit for their ideas. That’s one of the guiding premises behind Ms. Monopoly, the new version of the classic board game from Hasbro. Featuring a bright-eyed, coffee-clutching #Girlboss in a sharp-fitted blazer, the game starts female players off with more money than men, and pays them more for passing go. It also ‘‘celebrates women trailblazers’’ and ‘‘spotlights women who have challenged the status quo,’’ according to Hasbro. Instead of buying up properties, the company explained in a Tuesday news release, players will have the opportunity to purchase ‘‘groundbreaking inventions and innovations made possible by women throughout history.’’ But to those familiar with Monopoly’s history, it seemed like one trailblazing woman was conspicuously absent. ‘‘If @Hasbro actually wanted to celebrate women’s empowerment with their new ‘Ms. Monopoly’ game, why not *finally* acknowledge that a woman invented Monopoly in the first place?’’ tweeted Mary Pilon, the author of ‘‘The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind The World’s Favorite Board Game.’’ That would be Lizzie Magie, who introduced the world to a groundbreaking innovation of her own more than a century ago. It was called the Landlord’s Game — but since the man who claimed the idea for his own and sold it to Parker Brothers changed the name, we know it today as Monopoly. That man, Charles Darrow, would ultimately make a fortune off the board game, while Magie reportedly earned just $500 — likely less than it cost her to patent the concept in the first place. Hasbro still maintains that Darrow was the creator of Monopoly. —WASHINGTON POST

    INTERNATIONAL

    Broker who had witch’s hat left on her desk wins discrImination suit

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    A broker at BNP Paribas SA who complained about being paid less than male colleagues won her lawsuit after a London judge ruled that she suffered sexual discrimination. Stacey Macken, a prime brokerage product manager who still works at the bank, said the judgment “proves that pay discrimination is occurring in the banking industry.” On one occasion, Macken came into work to find a witch’s hat on her desk. “Leaving a witch’s hat on a female employees desk, in a predominantly male working environment, was an inherently sexist act,” Judge James Tayler said in a ruling published Tuesday. The episode “potentially reflects on the nature of working environment” at BNP “and the approach that was taken to women.” A spokeswoman for BNP Paribas declined to comment. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    VIDEO GAMES

    GameStop continues to struggle

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    GameStop Corp. fell nearly 10 percent after the video-game retailer posted a wider second-quarter loss and issued a forecast that was far below analysts’ estimates. Comparable-store sales, a key measure of performance, will slump in the low teens this year, GameStop said Tuesday, more than an earlier forecast of 5 to 10 percent. Even after a recent rally, the stock was down 60 percent this year through Tuesday’s close. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    TOYS

    The smartphone, Care Bears, and the coloring book up for induction in toy hall of fame

    The smartphone is being considered for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year in recognition of its impact on how people play and interact. The other finalists announced Wednesday are: Care Bears, the coloring book, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Magic the Gathering, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox cars, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, and the top. The smartphone earned a place among the 12 finalists because of its status as a platform for countless mobile games and playful interactions, hall of fame officials said. The winners will be inducted Nov. 7. Last year’s honorees were the Magic 8 Ball, pinball, and Uno. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    ECONOMY

    Prices up slightly in August as inflation remains in check

    US wholesale prices edged up a slight 0.1 percent in August as energy prices took a big plunge, a further sign that inflation is remaining tame. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the gain in its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, followed a modest 0.2 percent rise in July. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose a stronger 0.3 percent. After bigger gains in April and May, driven by a surge in energy costs, wholesale inflation has returned in the past four months to the tiny increases seen during much of this record-long economic expansion, now in its 11th year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    AUTOMOTIVE

    GM to recall nearly 3.8 million pickups and SUVS over brake problem

    Under pressure from the federal government, General Motors is recalling nearly 3.8 million big pickup trucks and SUVs in the US and Canada to fix a brake problem. The recall covers the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickups from the 2014 through 2018 model years. Also included are the Cadillac Escalade from 2015 to 2017, and the GMC Yukon and Chevy Suburban and Tahoe from 2015 through 2018. GM says that as it ages, the pump in the power-assist brakes can put out less vacuum power than needed, increasing stopping distance and the risk of a crash. — ASSOCIATED PRESS