Nov 16 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
- Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's leasing arm and Shinsei Bank will both continue discussions with General Electric Co to buy its Japanese commercial-lending business, after submitting binding bids this month, according to a person familiar with the situation. The bids valued the GE commercial-lending and leasing operation at nearly $5 billion, the person said. (on.wsj.com/1kYjvrf)
- Deutsche Bank AG named James McMurdo head of its corporate and investment bank for Asia Pacific, the bank said on Thursday. McMurdo is currently chief executive of Australia and New Zealand for Deutsche, and will remain chief executive of Australia "until further notice," according to an internal memo from the German lender viewed by The Wall Street Journal. (on.wsj.com/1kYjDae)
- France launched airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, responding to terror attacks on its capital, as investigators pieced together a chilling picture of Europe's security: a continent at a loss to foil, let alone detect, such a coordinated plot. (on.wsj.com/1kYjKTe)
- Lawmakers and the Obama administration are ratcheting up efforts to target pharmaceutical companies over high-priced drugs, a sign that legislators are trying to bridge partisan differences to tackle a key driver of rising health care costs. The Health and Human Services Department is considering new steps to protect consumers.(on.wsj.com/1kYk7xb)
- Japan's economy contracted 0.8 percent on an annualized basis in the third quarter, marking the latest setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his "Abenomics" policies. Consumer spending remained soft and businesses cut back on investment during the quarter as stock-market turmoil and a slowdown in China spread jitters across the globe. (on.wsj.com/1kYl2xs) (Compiled by Mansi Goenka in Bengaluru)