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Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:49am EST

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TOP STORIES

ECB's Weidmann says need for Greek haircut open

It is an open question whether Greece may need another writedown on its debt, but if such a step is taken it would be best once Athens has implemented structural reforms, European Central Bank Governing Council member Jens Weidmann says. (ECB/WEIDMANN (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Annika Breidthardt, 700 words)

+ See also:

- IMF-LAGARDE/ (UPDATE 2, PIX), moving shortly, 450 words

Positions harden before U.S. 'fiscal cliff' talks

WASHINGTON - As President Barack Obama and congressional leaders prepare for budget and tax talks aimed at preventing the U.S. economy from falling back into recession, a top Republican vows to overhaul the U.S. tax code next year. (USA-FISCAL/ (WRAPUP), moved, by Richard Cowan, 800 words)

Banks seen shrinking for good as lay-offs near 160,000

LONDON - Major banks have announced some 160,000 job cuts since early last year and with more lay-offs to come as the industry restructures, many will leave the shrinking sector for good as redundancies outpace new hires by roughly two-to-one. (BANKS-JOBS/, moved, by Sarah White, 780 words)

Growth, U.S. fiscal worries hit shares

LONDON - European shares fall for a third day as the weak economic outlook, uncertainty over U.S. budget talks and an upsurge of violence in the Middle East weighs on investors. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5, GRAPHIC), moved, by Richard Hubbard, 600 words)

ECONOMY

French officials furious at Economist "time-bomb" taunt

PARIS - French officials angrily reject a charge by Britain's The Economist weekly that France is the "time-bomb at the heart of Europe" and a danger to the euro single currency, accusing the magazine of sensationalism. (EUROZONE-FRANCE/ECONOMIST (UPDATE 2), moved, by Mark John, 800 words)

Weak industry growth confirms Russian slowdown

MOSCOW - A slowdown in Russian industry continued in October, adding to concerns that the economy is losing momentum as domestic demand fails to compensate for a cooling global economy. (RUSSIA-OUTPUT/ (TABLE, UPDATE 1), moved, by Jason Bush, 200 words)

China's new leaders could have reform thrust upon them

BEIJING - However ploddingly China's new leaders might like to reform the world's second-largest economy and the way they govern, pressures set to build over the next decade will likely force great change upon them.(CHINA-CONGRESS/ (PIX), moved, by Jason Subler and John Ruwitch, 1,350 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-ECONOMY/FX (UPDATE 1), moved, 650 words)

COMPANIES

BP agrees to record criminal penalties for US oil spill

Reckitt trumps Bayer with $1.4 bln bid for Schiff

NEW YORK/LONDON - Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc has trumped Bayer AG's agreed deal to buy Schiff Nutrition International Inc with a higher offer of $1.4 billion for the U.S. vitamin maker.(SCHIFFNUTRITION-RECKITTBENCKISER/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Michael Erman, Soyoung Kim and Ben Hirschler, 600 words)

China pushes exports, flags ambitions at arms fair

ZHUHAI - China is flexing its muscles as an arms exporter with a growing array of indigenous weaponry, offering something for most budgets in the global arms bazaar and revealing its wider ambitions to strategic rivals and watchful neighbours. (CHINA-AIRSHOW/ARMS, moved, PIX, TV, GRAPHIC, by Tim Hepher, 1,200 words)

Trafigura latest to profit from metals storage queues

LONDON - Manufacturers must wait up to nine months to obtain metals from warehouses in Antwerp controlled by commodity trader Trafigura, which has in recent months joined Glencore and Goldman Sachs in profiting from storage backlogs, industry sources say (METALS-WAREHOUSING-TRAFIGURA/ (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Eric Onstad, 950 words)

Man Group sells Lehman estates exposure for $456 mln

LONDON - Hedge fund manager Man Group has sold claims to the estate of defunct U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in a $456 million deal that will boost its cash position and see it book a tidy gain. (MANGROUP/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Sinead Cruise, 520 words)

Henkel lifts bet on emerging markets as Europe slows

LONDON - German consumer goods group Henkel is ramping up investment in emerging markets in a bid to lift sales over a quarter by 2016 and counter deteriorating markets in Europe. (HENKEL-RESULTS/(UPDATE 3), moved, by Victoria Bryan, 700 words)

Overseas Union-led group, Thais battle for control of F&N

SINGAPORE - A consortium led by Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd launches a S$13.1 billion ($10.7 billion) bid for Fraser and Neave Ltd, challenging a takeover offer from Thailand's third-richest man for the Singapore conglomerate. (OUE-FRASERANDNEAVE/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Eveline Danubrata and Saeed Azhar, 900 words)

FEATURE

Banned at home, Pakistan brewery seizes Hollywood moment

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - What have Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, underage drinking and Pakistan's only beer maker got in common? (PAKISTAN-BREWERY/ (FEATURE, PIX), moved, by Randy Fabi, 900 words)