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TOP STORIES

Russian govt admits economy in crisis as Ukraine weighs

MOSCOW - Russia's government acknowledges for the first time its economy is in crisis, undermining earlier attempts by officials to suggest weakening growth could weather sanctions over Ukraine. (RUSSIA-ECONOMY/CRISIS (UPDATE 1), moved, by Darya Korsunskaya and Lidia Kelly, 775 words)

+ See also:

- UKRAINE-CRISIS, moved, by Aleksandar Vasovic and Adrian Croft, 1,150 words

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/DEBT, moved, by Marc Jones, 1,025 words

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/UKRAINE (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Jason Bush and Vladimir Abramov, 770 words

Stocks rise, yen slips after peaceful Crimea vote

LONDON - World stocks rise from a one-month low and the yen slips as risky assets bounce, relieved that Sunday's referendum in Crimea passes without major violence but waiting to see whether Western powers will impose sanctions on Russia. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 565 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-EMERGING/, moved, by Sujata Rao, 650 words

Vodafone agrees 7.2 bln euro deal to buy Spain's Ono

LONDON - Vodafone Group Plc has agreed to buy Spain's largest cable operator Ono for 7.2 billion euros ($10 billion), in the latest move by the British group to rebuild its European operations with a broadband offering. (VODAFONE GROUP-ONO/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Kate Holton, 820 words)

+ See also:

- VODAFONE-ONO/ (TIMELINE), moved, 485 words

RWE to sell DEA to Russian-led investors for $7.1 bln

FRANKFURT - Shares in troubled utility RWE rise after it reaches a deal to sell its oil and gas production arm to investors led by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman for 5.1 billion euros ($7.10 billion), a high price but the group will lose one of its main profit drivers. (RWE-RWE DEA/STOCKS (UPDATE 1), moved, by Christoph Steitz, 615 words)

+ See also:

- PIRELLI-ROSNEFT OIL CO/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Agnieszka Flak and Paola Arosio, 480 words

INSIGHT

Damage control at Pimco after Gross, El-Erian clash

NEW YORK - In mid-February, a group of current and former Pimco employees were invited to a private farewell party for Mohamed El-Erian on March 10, to mark his impending departure as chief executive of the world's largest bond fund. (PIMCO-MANAGEMENT/ (INSIGHT), moved, by Jennifer Ablan and Luciana Lopez, 1,715 words)

Swedes tire of tax cuts as welfare state shows strains

STOCKHOLM - To glimpse Swedish angst under its picture postcard prosperity, look no further than film director Lisa Ohlin, who has enjoyed years of tax cuts in an economy the envy of Europe. Homes in her Stockholm neighbourhood cost around $1 million. (SWEDEN-ECONOMY/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Daniel Dickson and Alistair Scrutton, 1,190 words)

INVESTMENT

Sovereign funds off to a slow M&A start in 2014

LONDON - Sovereign wealth funds have made $155 million of merger and acquisitions deals in public markets so far this year, less than a tenth of the value from the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters data. (FUNDS/SOVEREIGN-DEALS (GRAPHIC), moved, by Natsuko Waki, 500 words)

ECONOMY

U.S. manufacturing output posts largest gain in six months

WASHINGTON - U.S. manufacturing output rebounded more than expected in February and recorded its largest increase in six months, in the latest sign that economic activity is gaining momentum after being dampened by severe weather. (USA-ECONOMY/OUTPUT, moved, 260 words)

China's yuan dips in new band, scope for big swings limited

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG - China's yuan eases against the dollar after the central bank doubles the currency's daily trading band as part of its commitment to let markets play a greater role in the economy. (MARKETS-CHINA-YUAN/ (WRAPUP 2), moved, Lu Jianxin and Saikat Chatterjee, 960 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-YUAN/BAND (ANALYSIS) , moved, by Pete Sweeney, 1,000 words

Euro zone inflation drops back to rate-cut level

BRUSSELS - Euro zone annual inflation drops back in February to the level that triggered a surprise cut in interest rates in November, revised data shows, underlining deflation risks in the bloc. (EUROZONE-INFLATION/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 595 words)

BoE's Cunliffe says too big to fail banks still a challenge

LONDON - The world's biggest banks still could not be dismantled safely more than five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Bank of England's Deputy Governor for Financial Stability Jon Cunliffe says. (BOE-REGULATIONS/CUNLIFFE (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Huw Jones, 420 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-BOE/DEPUTY, moved, 180 words

Japan govt remains upbeat on economy despite exports worry

TOKYO - Japan's government upgrades its view on factory output while leaving its overall economic assessment unchanged, sounding upbeat on the world's third-largest economy. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/REPORT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Tetsushi Kajimoto, 450 words)

Coal, gas or nuclear? Power-hungry S.Africa must decide now

JOHANNESBURG - On paper, South Africa's long-term energy plans look solid, with coal, nuclear, gas and renewables all viable options. (SAFRICA-POWER/ (ANALYSIS, GRAPHIC), moved, by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, 970 words)

COMPANIES

CBS Outdoor seeks up to $3.36 bln valuation in IPO

Outdoor advertising company CBS Outdoor Americas Inc is seeking a valuation of about $3.36 billion as it looks to raise up to $560 million in an initial public offering of its common shares. (CBSOUTDOOR-IPO/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 300 words)

Numericable's Drahi plans fixed-mobile champion with SFR

PARIS - Numericable backer Patrick Drahi promised to create a national champion, and a leader in fixed and mobile bundled offers by marrying his French cable company with Vivendi's SFR telecom unit. (NUMERICABLE GR-SFR/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 435 words)

German court dismisses $1.9 bln Porsche investor lawsuit

STUTTGART, Germany - A German court has dismisses a lawsuit by hedge funds seeking 1.36 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in damages from investment company Porsche SE, in a ruling that bodes ill for other claimants pushing damages claims against Porsche. (PORSCHE-HEDGEFUNDS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words)

UniCredit may sell or float Pioneer Investments unit -FT

Italy's biggest bank by assets UniCredit SpA may sell or float its Pioneer Investments asset management unit, valued at over 2 billion euros ($2.79 billion), as part of a wider disposal programme, the Financial Times reports. (UNICREDIT-PIONEER/DISPOSAL (UPDATE 1), moved, 345 words)

As U.S. IPO nears, Alibaba's China e-commerce crown slips

SHANGHAI - Alibaba's dominance of online retail in China faces its biggest-ever challenge as the firm founded by Jack Ma in a one-room apartment 15 years ago lines up a U.S. initial public offering that could value the firm at around $140 billion. (CHINA-ECOMMERCE/ (GRAPHICS, PICTURE), moved, by Adam Jourdan, 1,400 words)

Renault-Nissan key appointments step up integration

PARIS/TOKYO - Renault and alliance partner Nissan unveils plans to integrate key operations and pursue economies of scale to keep up with rival auto giants like Volkswagen. (RENAULT-NISSAN/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Laurence Frost and Yoko Kubota, 600 words)

Bourbon shares soar on offer from main shareholder

PARIS - Bourbon shares jump 24 percent after the French ship supplier says its main shareholder, Jaccar Holdings, is planning to make an offer to buy the company. (BOURBON-JACCAR/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 260 words)

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