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TOP STORIES

Credit Suisse ups effort to offload investment bank assets

ZURICH - Credit Suisse is stepping up efforts to scale back riskier fixed income areas squeezed by strict new regulation.(CREDITSUISSE/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Katharina Bart, 500 words)

+ see also;

- CREDITSUISSE-MORTGAGEPROBE/, moved, 455 words

European shares hold firm after Asia hits 4-month low

LONDON - European shares keep their head above water as fresh falls leave Asian stocks at a near-four month low and disappointing U.S. data weighs on Wall Street. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

Euro zone inflation seen stuck in deflationary danger zone

BRUSSELS - The European Union's Statistics Office releases its first estimate of euro zone inflation for December with price growth likely to have stayed in the deflationary danger zone below one percent, economists polled by Reuters say. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/INFLATION, expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Martin Santa, 500 words)

Yellen punches through 'glass ceiling' at U.S. Fed

WASHINGTON - Janet Yellen -- a skilled economist and gifted communicator who likes to hike and cook -- makes history as the U.S. Senate confirms her to be the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history. (USA-FED/YELLEN-CEILING (UPDATE 1), moved, by Thomas Ferraro, 650 words)

+ See also:

- USA-CONGRESS/JOBS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Thomas Ferraro, 600 words

ECONOMY

Cash crunch signals policy dilemma for China's central bank

BEIJING - China's central bank looks set to risk another cash crunch at the end of January, barely a month after the last market squeeze, as policymakers press ahead with a crackdown on shadow financing and other risky bank lending. (CHINA-ECONOMY/POLICY (ANALYSIS, PICTURE), moved, by Kevin Yao, 1,250 words)

German unemployment falls unexpectedly in December

BERLIN - German unemployment unexpectedly falls on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, the Labour Office says, and the jobless rate stays close to its lowest since Germany reunified more than two decades ago. (GERMANY-UNEMPLOYMENT/, moved, 100 words)

UK firms report strong growth in fourth quarter - BCC survey

LONDON - British businesses reports strong growth and rising confidence in the fourth quarter of 2013, suggesting the country's economic recovery will pick up speed, a survey shows. (BRITAIN-BCC/, moved, 380 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-AUTOS/SMMT, moved, 200 words

COMPANIES

Samsung Electronics pays out huge bonus sparking div debate

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has reignited shareholder calls to pay higher dividends or buy back stock after splashing out on a special employee bonus estimated at $1 billion. (SAMSUNG-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Miyoung Kim, 840 words)

+ See also:

- MOBILE-DEVICES/GARTNER, moved, 315 words

- CES-4K/, moved, 400 words

Novartis and Roche pit it out in crowded lung cancer field

ZURICH - Swiss pharma group Novartis is pitting itself against local rival Roche to develop a treatment for a specific type of lung cancer as drugmakers crowd into the research areas where the science is most advanced. (NOVARTIS-ROCHE/LUNGDRUGS expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Caroline Copley, 900 words)

Maersk sells 49 percent of Denmark's biggest retailer

COPENHAGEN - In a bid to focus on its core shipping and oil activities Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk has agreed to reduce its ownership in two Danish retail chains, generating cash proceeds of about 17 billion Danish crowns ($3.11 bln). (MAERSK/DIVEST (UPDATE 1), expect 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Teis Jensen and Ole Mikkelsen, 325 words)

Ex-UBS bank executive to enter plea in tax fraud case

MIAMI - A former high-ranking UBS banker charged with helping Americans dodge taxes through secret Swiss bank accounts is expected to plead not guilty on Tuesday to tax fraud conspiracy in federal court in Florida. (UBS-TAX/BANKER, moved, by Zachary Fagenson, 560 words)

Cable group Altice plans IPO to raise 750 mln euros

PARIS - Altice, which owns French and Belgian cable companies as well as mobile operations in Israel, plans to list its shares on Amsterdam's NYSE Euronext with the aim of raising 750 million euros ($1 billion) to cut debt and fund its development. (ALTICE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 335 words)

French Goodyear workers hold 2 executives in 'bossnapping'

LILLE, France - Hard line trade unionists at a tyre plant in northern France hold two executives against their will overnight in a blockaded meeting room in an attempt to extract better layoff terms for 1,170 workers. (FRANCE-BOSSNAPPING/, expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Pierre Savary, 500 words)

Intel shows off wearable gadgets as chipmaker expands

LAS VEGAS - Intel CEO Brian Krzanich shows off wearable computing devices, including earbuds that monitor your heart rate and a smart headset, as the world's largest chipmaker tries to get back on track after missing out on smartphones. (CES-INTEL/, moved, by Noel Randewich, 550 words)

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