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TOP STORIES

Pfizer presses AstraZeneca case as CEO faces UK grilling

LONDON - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer presses the scientific case for its controversial plan to acquire AstraZeneca as its chief executive prepares for a grilling from British lawmakers. (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 700 words)

+ See also:

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/GLOBAL, moved, by Ben Hirschler, 840 words

BSkyB confirms talks with Fox over assets in Germany, Italy

FRANKFURT/LONDON - British Sky Broadcasting says it is in early talks with Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox over the possible acquisition of its pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. (BSKYB-DEUTSCHLAND/TALKS (UPDATE 1), moved, 480 words)

EU moves cautiously to raise pressure on Russia over Ukraine

BRUSSELS - European Union ministers are set to step up pressure on Russia by taking a first cautious step towards extending sanctions to companies, as well as people, linked to Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/EU (UPDATE 1, TV, PICTURE), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Adrian Croft and Justyna Pawlak, 600 words)

Shares cautious on Ukraine anxiety; China, India lead gains

LONDON - Shares advanced cautiously as investors brace for a possible escalation in Ukraine's civil conflict after anti-Kiev rebels declare victory in a referendum on self-rule. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/(WRAPUP 5), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 700 words)

INSIGHT

Once Europe's preacher of prudence, Finland loses glow

HELSINKI - Vesa Vihavainen is worried. Merivaara, his Finnish-based hospital bed-making business, is struggling - just like the economy that Finns once held up to debt-laden Greeks as a model of what national thrift can achieve. (FINLAND-ECONOMY/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Sakari Suoninen and Jussi Rosendahl, 1,065 words)

How Japan's Marubeni stumbled in China after rapid expansion

TOKYO/BEIJING - A year after spending $3.6 billion to buy grain trader Gavilon to expand in China, Japan's Marubeni Corp has been shaken by defaults on soybean sales and faces an investigation into alleged tax evasion in the world's top food consumer. (MARUBENI-CHINA/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by James Topham and Niu Shuping, 1,200 words)

ECONOMY

Ukraine casts shadow as investors take pulse of economy

BRUSSELS - U.S. and euro zone data will help investors take the pulse of the global economy this week, but the crisis in Ukraine threatens to spoil any improvement. (GLOBAL-ECONOMY/WEEKAHEAD, moved, by John O'Donnell, 695 words)

Weak Japanese exports could shake Bank of Japan into action

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan is increasingly confident that the economy is weathering a recent tax increase and is on its way out of deflation, but another threat to that optimistic scenario is lurking - weak exports. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/BOJ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Leika Kihara, 1,065 words)

Tough bank rules could spur shadow banking - Nowotny

VIENNA - Stepped-up supervision of the banking sector could drive some risky activity into the shadow banking sector, European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny says. (EUROPE-ECB/REGULATIONS, moved, 130 words)

UK lobby sees brighter outlook, boosted by investment

LONDON - Britain's top business lobby upgrades its economic growth forecasts for this year and next and says it expects to see marked improvements in British business investment and productivity. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/CBI, moved, 300 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-ECONOMY/EMPLOYMENT, moved, 360 words

Franco-German show of unity masks policy divide

BERLIN - When leaders need to go out of their way to show the world they are united, it is usually a sign that all is not well. Ruegen, a windswept island off the Pomeranian coast of Germany where Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande met for a boat tour and stroll on a pier late last week, is about as out of the way as it gets. (GERMANY-FRANCE/ (ANALYSIS, PICTURE), moved, by Noah Barkin, 1,000 words)

Boom times for bank trading have gone, may never come back

LONDON - The boom years of financial market trading, when banks made unprecedented profits from bonds, currencies and commodities, may be over for good as financial firms realise there will be no cyclical upswing on their dealing desks. (BANKS-TRADING/, moved, by Jamie McGeever, 985 words)

COMPANIES

As big ad deal falls apart, firms start thinking small

NEW YORK/LONDON - The collapse of the $35 billion merger of New York-based Omnicom with France's Publicis is likely to lead the world's biggest ad agencies to think small as they try to counter the challenge from internet giants like Google. (OMNICOM GROUP-PUBLICIS GROUPE/NEXT (ANALYSIS), moved, by Jennifer Saba, Kate Holton and Pamela Barbaglia, 1080 words)

Workers killed at Lonmin mine in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers says two of its members are killed as they report for work at Lonmin's strike-hit platinum mine, threatening the firm's plans to end the industrial action this week. (SAFRICA-STRIKE/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Ed Stoddard and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, 500 words)

+ See also:

- LONMIN/STRIKE (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Silvia Antonioli, 475 words

Nissan forecasts profit growth but margins remain weak

YOKOHAMA, Japan - Nissan Motor Co expects profit to grow at a slower rate than analysts forecast this year and an operating margin that will be the lowest of its compatriots, weighed down by the costs of aggressive expansion. (NISSAN MOTOR-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Yoko Kubota, 540 words)

Georgia's TBC Bank set for London share listing

LONDON - Georgian lender TBC Bank plans to list on the London Stock Exchange by the end of June, it says. The bank says the flotation will comprise an offering of both existing and new shares in the form of global depository receipts (GDRs), and that it aims to raise around $100 million for the company. (TBC BANK/IPO (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

UniCredit's Polish arm Pekao Q1 net profit below forecast

WARSAW - Bank Pekao, the Polish arm of Italy's UniCredit, reports a 5 percent fall in net profit in the first quarter as an economic upturn fails to fully offset the negative impact of record-low interest rates. (POLAND-PEKAO/RESULTS, moved, 100 words)

Ageing warehouses lure global investors in e-commerce race

HONG KONG - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's plans for a giant initial public offering in New York highlight vast potential for e-commerce in China - and the weak link the logistics industry must fix if explosive growth projections are to be reached. (CHINA-WAREHOUSE/ (PICTURE, GRAPHICS), moved, by Stephen Aldred and Clare Jim, 1200 words)

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