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TOP STORIES

Novartis transforms drugs business with GSK and Eli Lilly

ZURICH/LONDON - Swiss drugmaker Novartis announces a radical revamp of its business through deals with rivals GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly worth a combined $27 billion, which will simplify its structure and strengthen its cancer business. (NOVARTIS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Caroline Copley and Paul Sandle, 600 words)

Philips outlook grows gloomy as currency effects hit Q1

FRANKFURT - Philips warns it will be difficult to post an earnings improvement this year after unfavourable currency effects wipe out first-quarter sales growth and demand from China and Russia slows. (PHILIPS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Maria Sheahan and Anthony Deutsch, 500 words)

M&A talk lifts European shares, euro dips to two-week low

LONDON - M&A talk in the pharmaceutical sector lifts European shares, but fails to support the euro, which holds at two week lows against the dollar on rising expectations of further policy easing by the European Central Bank. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Marius Zaharia, 700 words)

INSIGHT & INVESTMENT

Wage cuts make Spain's recovery a long, painful path

MADRID - Carmen Collado has laundered hospital linen in Madrid for 11 years. Now, almost half her colleagues have been fired and the 61-year-old grandmother is cleaning the same bed sheets, nurses' scrubs and towels as before for half the pay. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/WAGES (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Paul Day, 1,170 words)

New EU law to help investors pick good corporate citizens

LONDON - Investors looking for companies with good environmental, social and governance track records will find the job easier after European politicians ruled that thousands of firms must reveal their performance as corporate citizens. (INVESTMENT/ETHICAL, moved, by Simon Jessop and Jemima Kelly, 740 words)

Bankers win friends again in Europe with lure of easy money

BRUSSELS - Jacques de Larosiere says he is an isolated and modest man. Yet the 84-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund is one of the most influential voices in European and global finance. (EU-LOBBYING/BANKS (PICTURE), moved, by John O'Donnell, 1,390 words)

Consumer firms adapt to win emerging market middle classes

LONDON - From chocolate and dumplings to toothpaste, consumer goods companies are adapting to new spending habits as incomes rise in emerging markets while protecting profits in places where they can be volatile. (FOOD-EMERGINGMARKETS/ (PICTURE), moved, by Martinne Geller, 935 words)

ECONOMY

Japan overhauls its public pension fund, the world's biggest

TOKYO - Japan overhauls the world's biggest public pension fund, appointing new committee members, in a push toward Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's goal of a more aggressive investment strategy. (JAPAN-PUBLICFUND/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Chikafumi Hodo and Takaya Yamaguchi, 660 words)

China's state enterprise overhaul quietly moves forward

BEIJING - Far from the spotlight, in secretive high-level meetings and company boardrooms, Beijing is drawing up one of the country's thorniest reforms: an overhaul of China's hugely inefficient state-owned industry. (CHINA-REFORM/ENTERPRISES (ANALYSIS), moved, by Matthew Miller and Yan Huang, 1,200 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-ENVIRONMENT/, by David Stanway, 350 words

COMPANIES

AstraZeneca cancer pipeline seen as draw for Pfizer

LONDON - Pfizer Inc may come back to bid for British drug company AstraZeneca Plc after its reported 60 billion pound ($101 billion) takeover approach was rejected, since a deal could make sense for the U.S. pharmaceuticals giant as it seeks to build up its cancer franchise. (ASTRAZENECA-BID/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 1,100 words)

Pork giant WH Group slashes IPO, delays pricing - sources

HONG KONG - WH Group Ltd, the world's biggest pork company, is slashing its proposed Hong Kong IPO and will delay the pricing of the deal to next week, sources say, a move that could see the Chinese company garner less than $2 billion. (WH GROUP-IPO/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 375 words)

Russian steelmaker MMK posts $2.2 bln Q4 net loss

MOSCOW - Russian steel major MMK says its fourth-quarter net loss widened to $2.2 billion due to impairment charges and forecast higher steel sales in the first quarter of 2014. (RUSSIA-MMK/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 215 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MAGNIT/RESULTS (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words

S.Africa platinum talks resume in bid to end 3-month strike

JOHANNESBURG - The chief executives of the world's top platinum producers are to meet again with the leaders of the AMCU union for wage talks in a bid to end the longest and most costly strike on South Africa's mines in living memory. (SAFRICA-STRIKES/, expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Ed Stoddard, 450 words)

Moyes departs Man Utd after less than a season

LONDON - David Moyes's short and disastrous reign at Old Trafford came to an abrupt end when Manchester United announced he was leaving the club following a hugely disappointing 10-month spell as manager since replacing Alex Ferguson last July. (SOCCER-ENGLAND/UNITED (UPDATE 2), moved, by Mike Collett, 915 words)

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