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Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:58am EST

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TOP STORIES

Greece says lenders closer to compromise on debt viability

ATHENS - The International Monetary Fund has relaxed its debt-cutting target for Greece and only a 10 billion euros ($13 billion) gap remains to be filled for a vital aid tranche to be paid, Greece's finance minister says. (GREECE-BAILOUT/(UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Harry Papachristou and Lefteris Papadimas, 770 words)

UK, Germans say deeper cuts or no deal in EU budget

BRUSSELS - Britain and Germany warn there will be no summit deal on the European Union's proposed 1 trillion euro long-term budget without deeper spending cuts, after the latest compromise plan ignores their calls for further restraint. (EU-BUDGET/ (UPDATE 1, TV, PIX), expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Charlie Dunmore, 400 words

German business sentiment surprises with November rise

BERLIN - German business morale surprises with its first rise in seven months in November as exports outside the euro zone and the prospect of strong Christmas sales offers hope Europe's largest economy can regain some momentum. (GERMANY-ECONOMY/IFO (UPDATE 2), moved, 545 words)

+ See also:

- GERMANY-ECONOMY-GDP/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Annika Breidthardt and Michelle Martin, 335 words

EXCLUSIVE-BP to restructure oil production unit - sources

LONDON - BP planS to announce a reorganisation of its oil and gas production operations, three sources familiar with the matter say, the second significant restructuring of its main cash generator since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. (BP-RESTRUCTURING (UPDATE 2), expect by 1500 GMT/10 AM ET, by Tom Bergin, 500 words)

MARKETS

Euro, shares gain as Greek deal seen closer

LONDON - The euro hits a three-week high on signs of progress in negotiations to get fresh aid cash to Greece and after an influential German survey finds business sentiment has improved. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/(WRAPUP 6), moved, by Richard Hubbard, 770 words)

+ See also:

- INVESTMENT-FOCUS, expect by 1600 GMT/11 AM ET, by Sujata Rao, 800 words

ECONOMY

Early start to U.S. 'Black Friday' shopping frenzy

NEW YORK/BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota - The U.S. shopping frenzy known as "Black Friday" kicks off at a more civilized hour, with shoppers welcoming decisions by retailers such as Target Corp and Toys R Us Inc to move their openings to Thursday night. (USA-RETAIL/(UPDATE 2, PIX, TV), moved, by Martinne Geller and Dhanya Skariachan, 980 words)

German states reject Swiss tax deal in slap to Merkel

BERLIN - Germany's upper house of parliament rejects a deal with Switzerland to tax assets stashed by German citizens in Swiss bank accounts, dashing Chancellor Angela Merkel's hopes of having the lucrative agreement in place by 2013. (GERMANY-SWITZERLAND/TAX (UPDATE 2), moved, by Alexandra Hudson, 475 words)

Investors dump Argentine bonds; US court raises default risk

LONDON - Fears of a looming default on Argentine bonds are sending even the most risk-loving investors to the exits after a U.S. judge ruled against the country's government in a decade-old dispute over sovereign debt. (ARGENTINE-BONDS/INVESTORS, moved, by Sujata Rao, 700 words)

UK lawmakers consider radical overhaul of banking IT

LONDON - British lawmakers are considering an overhaul of banks' IT systems to stimulate competition by making it easier to switch accounts, a member of an inquiry into banking standards tells Reuters. (BANKREFORM-GARNIER/ (INTERVIEW), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 800 words)

COMPANIES

Autonomy founder says HP allegations don't add up

LONDON - Mike Lynch, mathematics whiz and former boss of Autonomy, says he can't see how accusations levelled by Hewlett-Packard Co of dodgy accounting add up to a $5 billion writedown on the software business he sold them last year. (HP-RESULTS/ACCOUNTING, moved, by Anjuli Davies, 985 words)

Volkswagen to invest 50 bln euros over next three years

FRANKFURT - Germany's Volkswagen plans to invest 50.2 billion euros ($64.7 billion) in its automotive business in the coming three years as it strives to become the world's largest car maker this decade. (VOLKSWAGEN-INVESTMENTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, 460 words)

Repsol eyes deeper Mexican ties after losing YPF

MADRID/MEXICO CITY - Spain's Repsol wants to patch up frayed ties with Mexican state oil monopoly Pemex after the bruising loss of its Argentine business but a deeper alliance depends on Mexico's new government. (REPSOL-PEMEX/, moving shortly, by Tracy Rucinski and David Alire Garcia, 890 words)

Russia drops lawsuit against Telenor

MOSCOW - Russia's competition watchdog has dropped its case against Norwegian group Telenor for raising its stake in Vimpelcom, paving the way for the Russian mobile firm to resume dividend payments. (RUSSIA-TELENOR/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 340 words)

Sony at greater risk than Panasonic in downturn - Fitch

TOKYO - Panasonic Corp has a better chance than rival Sony Corp of surviving Japan's consumer electronics slump because of its unglamorous but stable appliance business of washing machines and fridges, credit rating agency Fitch says (SONY-PANASONIC/FITCH (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 590 words)