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TOP STORIES

European shares rise; Putin wants no further Ukraine split

LONDON - European shares rise and the safe-haven yen pares gains after President Vladimir Putin, while approving plans to make Crimea part of Russia, says his country did not want Ukraine to split further. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), moved, by Nigel Stephenson, 600 words)

Central bank says Russia will not impose capital controls

MOSCOW - Russia will not impose capital controls, the central bank says, easing concerns that restrictions could be introduced to stem capital flight that has accelerated since the Ukrainian region of Crimea was seized by Russian forces. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/CAPITAL (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Oksana Kobzeva and Lidia Kelly, 800 words)

+ See also:

- UKRAINE-CRISIS/PRIVATISATION (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, 675 words

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Jason Bush, 800 words

Pressure on EU leaders to raise the pressure on Russia

BRUSSELS - The European Union has taken the first step in imposing sanctions on Russia over Crimea, but the measures have been widely dismissed as lacking bite. It is now up to EU leaders to decide on more meaningful measures when they meet on Thursday. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/EU-ESCALATION (ANALYSIS), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Luke Baker, 700 words)

German court confirms euro zone bailout scheme is legal

KARLSRUHE, Germany - Germany's Constitutional Court confirms the legality of the euro zone's bailout fund, upholding a preliminary ruling from the height of the debt crisis in 2012 that gave an initial green light to the European Stability Mechanism. (GERMANY-EUROZONE/COURT (UPDATE 2, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Michelle Martin and Ilona Wissenbach, 800 words)

+ See also:

- GERMANY ZEW/, moved, by Eva Taylor and Kirsti Knolle, 450 words

ECONOMY

U.S. inflation muted despite food rises, housing starts slip

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer inflation is muted and housing starts fall for a third straight month, but the weak data probably will not dissuade the Federal Reserve from dialling back its monetary stimulus. (USA-ECONOMY (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Lucia Mutikani, 735 words)

ECB watchdog tells Europe: prepare to shut 'zombie' banks

BRUSSELS - Euro zone countries need a back-up plan for failed banks, the bloc's top watchdog warns, underscoring the need for a joint effort to shutter 'zombies' rather than lumbering individual countries with the cost. (EU-REGULATOR/, moved, by John O'Donnell, 500 words)

Greece, lenders clinch deal on new aid after review

ATHENS - Greece and its international lenders strike a deal to unlock the next tranche of rescue loans, ending six months of negotiations that Athens calls its "toughest" review since being bailed out. (GREECE-BAILOUT/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Harry Papachristou and Lefteris Papadimas, 670 words)

Currency market inches towards electronic fix

LONDON - Work is moving forward on a new way for the foreign exchange market to set its "fixing" benchmarks, senior bankers say, after another week of revelations in the row over alleged market manipulation which has rocked the industry. (FOREX-FIXING/, moved, by Patrick Graham and Anirban Nag, 1,380 words)

UK shakes up Bank of England with three new appointments

LONDON - Britain shakes up the Bank of England, appointing two new deputy governors, breaking the all-male grip at the top, and a chief economist who has been critical of the banking industry. (BRITAIN-BOE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by David Milliken, 670 words)

Property firm's default risk exposes China fault lines

HONG KONG - The looming bankruptcy of a Chinese developer owing billions of yuan to domestic banks has raised worries that a softening property market is heightening risks for the financial system. (CHINA-BANKRUPTCY/PROPERTY (UPDATE 2), moved, by Umesh Desai and Clare Jim, 725 words)

Africa's rush to borrow stirs concern

JOHANNESBURG - Nearly a decade after Nelson Mandela and anti-poverty activists Bono and Bob Geldof persuaded the rich world to forgive Africa's crushing debts, many countries' debt levels are creeping up again, which could undermine the region's growth boom. (AFRICA-DEBT/SUSTAINABILITY (ANALYSIS, GRAPHIC), moved, by Tosin Sulaiman, 1,340 words)

+ See also:

- SAFRICA-STRIKES/, moved, by Ed Stoddard and Zandi Shabalala, 870 words

COMPANIES

Barclays cuts share awards to top bosses by 20 percent

DUBLIN - Barclays has given its top dozen executives nearly 32 million pounds in share awards, 20 percent lower than a year ago, partly due to a drop in its stock price. (BARCLAYS-AWARDS/, moved, 300 words)

+ See also:

- SOCIETEGENERALE-BOURSORAMA/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Lionel Laurent, 540 words

Inditex quietly grooms cut-price brand for budget battle

ARROYOMOLINOS, Spain - At the Xanadu shopping mall in Madrid's suburbs, the indoor ski slope is busy with children but the designer stores are quiet. In this former mecca for high spenders, discount shop 'Lefties' looks like just another post-recession pop-up budget brand. (INDITEX/SPAIN, moved, by Sarah Morris, 950 words)

+ See also:

- ASOS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Neil Maidment, 450 words

Hertz to spin off equipment business to raise $2.5 bln

Hertz Global Holdings Inc says it will spin off its equipment rental business, aiming to raise $2.5 billion to repay debt and focus on its car rental business. (HERTZ GLOBAL-DIVESTITURE/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 420 words)

Scania board members turn cold shoulder to VW bid

STOCKHOLM - Scania board members responsible for assessing a bid by Volkswagen for outstanding shares in the truckmaker recommend that shareholders reject the offer, underlining a deep rift within the Swedish company. (SCANIA-VOLKSWAGEN/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Niklas Pollard and Andreas Cremer, 700 words)

Sainsbury's nine-year run of sales growth ends

LONDON - British grocer J Sainsbury's nine-year run of quarterly sales growth comes to an end, underlining the pressure on the industry as a battle over prices intensifies in a fragile economic recovery. (SAINSBURY'S-SALES/(UPDATE 2), moved, by James Davey, 650 words)

Google, Viacom settle YouTube copyright lawsuit

NEW YORK - Google Inc has settled a landmark copyright lawsuit in which Viacom Inc accused the Internet search company of posting its programs on the YouTube video service without permission. (GOOGLE-VIACOM/LAWSUIT (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 270 words)

Bearings maker SKF sees services driving record margins

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - SKF, the world's biggest bearings maker, believes its services business which includes monitoring and maintaining equipment can tap customers' focus on cost savings and productivity improvements to help drive its profit margins to record highs. (SKF-SERVICES/ (INTERVIEW), moved, by Johannes Hellstrom, 770 words)

Rivals race to develop new biotech asthma drugs

LONDON - Rival firms are racing to develop injectable biotech asthma drugs for patients with severe disease who don't respond well to traditional inhalers, opening up a potential $7.5 billion new market. (PHARMACEUTICALS-ASTHMA/ (PICTURE), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 870 words)