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TOP STORIES

HSBC warns of choppy markets as profits fall short

LONDON - HSBC misses market expectations with a 9 percent increase in annual profit and warns of greater volatility in emerging markets this year, sending shares in Europe's biggest bank to a 15-month low. (HSBC-EARNINGS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham, 865 words)

Volkswagen shares drop on profit outlook, Scania bid

FRANKFURT/STOCKHOLM - Volkswagen shares drop after Europe's biggest carmaker says its operating profit margin is likely to miss analyst forecasts this year and it will ask shareholders to help fund a buyout of Swedish trucks arm Scania. (VOLKSWAGEN-SHARES/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Christoph Steitz and Sven Nordenstam, 745 words)

G20 growth pledge easier in the making than the execution

SYDNEY - The Group of 20's proposal to lift economic activity by 2 percent over the next five years has so many holes in it, there's no wonder it is the first official target that all members feel happy to agree on. (G20-AUSTRALIA/GROWTH, moved, by Wayne Cole, 850 words)

Europe shares, euro rise as German morale brightens

LONDON - European stocks rise and the euro strengthens against the dollar as a surprise improvement in German business morale adds to optimism over the euro zone's recovery, although worries over credit tightening in China keep investors wary. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 7), expect by 1430 GMT/9.30 AM ET, by Nigel Stephenson, 740 words)

ECONOMY

German business morale reaches highest level in 2 1/2 years

BERLIN - German business morale rises in February to its highest level since July 2011, suggesting Europe's largest economy will grow faster in the first quarter after expanding only modestly last year. (GERMANY-IFO/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Michelle Martin, 600 words)

German govt sources-Claudia Buch to be named Bundesbank vice president

BERLIN - Economist Claudia Buch will be named vice president of the Bundesbank, two German government sources say, replacing Sabine Lautenschlaeger who moved to the European Central Bank. (GERMANY-BUNDESBANK/BUCH (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Matthias Sobolewski, 315 words)

Euro zone inflation shows biggest monthly fall in January

BRUSSELS - Euro zone consumer prices fell in January at their fastest ever pace on a monthly basis, dragged down by a slump in the cost of non-energy industrial goods, keeping annual inflation well below the European Central Bank's target. (EUROZONE-INFLATION/, moved, by Martin Santa and Robin Emmott, 415 words)

Euro zone inflation to offer clues on ECB action

BRUSSELS - Euro zone inflation due on Friday will be firmly in the sights of financial markets eager to establish whether the European Central Bank (ECB) has enough ammunition to ease monetary policy in the following week. (GLOBAL-ECONOMY/, moved,

by Philip Blenkinsop, 890 words)

Greece resumes protracted bailout talks with lenders

ATHENS - Greece resumes bailout talks with its international lenders, hoping to end six months of wrangling over the release of new rescue loans it needs to avoid default. (GREECE-TROIKA/, moved, by Harry Papachristou and Lefteris Papadimas, 770 words)

British oil and gas industry should pay for new regulator -government review

LONDON - Britain's oil and gas industry should pay for the creation of a new regulator which will help companies extract as much oil and gas as possible from North Sea fields, a government-commissioned report says. (BRITAIN-OIL/REVIEW (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Karolin Schaps, 660 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-SCOTLAND/OIL (UPDATE 1), moved, by Andrew Osborn, 595 words

COMPANIES

GE to spend another $10 bln on energy research by 2020

General Electric Co plans to intensify research focusing on complex energy projects such as waterless fracking and gas turbine efficiency by earmarking an additional $10 billion through 2020 for its "ecoimagination" budget. (GE-SPENDING/ (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Ernest Scheyder, 650 words)

Vivendi and Altice discuss SFR-Numericable tie-up

PARIS - French media group Vivendi confirms it has been approached by cable group Altice over a tie-up between mobile operator SFR and cable firm Numericable, but says it has not yet received any formal offer. (SFR-NUMERICABLE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Leila Abboud and Gwénaëlle Barzic, 655 swords)

Bayer clinches $2.9 billion deal for Norway's Algeta

OSLO/FRANKFURT - German drug firm Bayer has clinched a $2.9 billion deal to take over Norwegian cancer drug maker Algeta after being tendered 92.17 percent of the shares in a cash offer, the companies says. (BAYER-ALGETA/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 175 words)

Avincis owners ask banks to pitch for 2 bln stg IPO-sources

LONDON - The owners of helicopter transport services firm Avincis have invited banks to pitch for an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the firm at up to 2 billion pounds ($3.3 billion), three sources familiar with the situation says. (AVINCIS-IPO/ (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Anjuli Davies and Sophie Sassard, 300 words)

Nokia succumbs to Android appeal in low-cost phone battle

BARCELONA - Nokia, soon to be acquired by Microsoft Corp, is turning to software created by arch-rival Google for a new line of phones it hopes will make it a late contender in the dynamic low-cost smartphone market. (MOBILEWORLD/NOKIA-ANDROID (UPDATE 1), moved, by Paul Sandle, 1,130 words)

+ See also:

- MOBILE-WORLD/ENCRYPTION, moved, by Harro Ten Wolde, 700 words

- MOBILE-WORLD/WHATSAPP (UPDATE 1, PICTURE), moved, by Leila Abboud, 260 words

- MOBILE-WORLD/HUAWEI (PICTURE), moved, by Kate Holton, 525 words

- MOBILE-WORLD/DEUTSCHE TELKOM, moved, 200 words

Primark owner AB Foods maintains year guidance

LONDON - Associated British Foods maintains full-year earnings expectations as a strong first-half performance from its Primark discount fashion chain offset more weakness in its sugar business. (ABF-SALES/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 380 words)

Tesco in talks on future of Turkish business

ISTANBUL/LONDON - Tesco, the world's No. 3 retailer by sales, is in talks with several companies over a possible restructuring of its struggling business in Turkey. (TESCO/TURKEY (UPDATE 2), moved, by Daren Butler and James Davey, 515 words)

Nedbank sees leaner 2014 on weak S.Africa economy

JOHANNESBURG - Weak economic activity is expected to depress earnings this year at Nedbank, South Africa's fourth-largest banking group, after it posts a better than expected 15 percent rise in 2013 profit. (SAFRICA-NEDBANK/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura, 580 words)

UK's Dixons, Carphone Warehouse in merger talks

LONDON - Britain's Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse are in merger talks that could create an electrical goods and mobile-phone group with a market capitalisation of more than 3.4 billion pounds ($5.84 billion). (DIXONS-CARPHONE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by James Davey, 550 words)

FEATURE

Beyond cute cats: How BuzzFeed is reinventing itself

NEW YORK - BuzzFeed has come a long way from cat lists. This month one of its journalists was on the ground in Kiev reporting on the crisis in Ukraine, and last December it published an in-depth article on a Chinese dissident living in Harlem, New York. (USA-MEDIA/BUZZFEED (FEATURE, PICTURE), moved, by Jennifer Saba, 1,490 words)