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TOP STORIES

Pfizer hints at new Astra offer as CEO heads into grilling

LONDON - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer hints it could make a higher offer for Britain's AstraZeneca as the New York-based group's boss goes into a meeting with UK lawmakers at which he is expected to be grilled over promises on British jobs. (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/ (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Ben Hirschler and William James, 750 words)

Credit Suisse deal with U.S. could top $2 bln - sources

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON - New York state's banking regulator is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from Credit Suisse in its probe of potential tax evasion involving the Swiss bank, according to sources close to the matter, which could push an eventual settlement with U.S. authorities over $2 billion. (CREDITSUISSE-INVESTIGATION/ (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Karen Freifeld and Aruna Viswanatha, 435 words)

Court rules people have right to be forgotten on Internet

BRUSSELS - People can ask Google to delete sensitive information from its Internet search results, Europe's top court says. (EU-GOOGLE/DATAPROTECTION (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Foo Yun Chee, 300 words)

Strong results hoist European shares to 6-year high

LONDON - European shares rally with a key index hitting a six-year highs as a strong performance in U.S. equities and upbeat updates from some blue-chip companies boosts appetite for riskier assets. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Emelia Sithole-Matrise, 600 words)

INSIGHT

North Sea tax change to end drillers' 20-year tax holiday

LONDON - A planned change in the way Britain taxes North Sea drillers exposes the loophole in a system that allowed an industry with annual revenues of 2 billion pounds to pay almost no corporation tax for two decades, prompting accusations that the UK tax authority is falling down on the job. (BRITAIN-TAX/NORTHSEA (GRAPHIC), moved, by Tom Bergin, 745 words)

From black to green: U.S. billionaire's "Road to Damascus"

BOSTON/JAKARTA/MELBOURNE - Billionaire Tom Steyer has rapidly become one of America's most visible environmental advocates, vowing to punish lawmakers who don't oppose climate change and pledging to spend up to $100 million to put the issue centre stage in the November elections. (USA-STEYER/COAL (INSIGHT, PICTURES, GRAPHIC), moved, by Richard Valdmanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, 1,680 words)

ECONOMY

BoE's Cunliffe: prepare for post "too big to fail" world

LONDON - Britain's banks should start adjusting their balance sheets to a world where they are no longer "too big to fail", Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe says. (BOE-BANKS/CUNLIFFE, moved, 100 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-ECONOMY/RETAIL, moved, 300 words

U.S. would need dramatic change to pause taper - Lockhart

RIYADH - Economic conditions in the United States would need to change dramatically for the Federal Reserve to pause or reverse the pace of winding down its money printing quantitative easing programme, a top official at the central bank says. (USA-FED/LOCKHART (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Angus McDowall, 300 words)

China data underscores economy still losing steam

BEIJING - Chinese investment, retail sales and factory output growth all disappointed in April by hitting multiyear lows, suggesting the world's second-largest economy is still losing steam despite government efforts to shore up activity. (CHINA-ECONOMY/ACTIVITY (UPDATE 1), moved, 400 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-PROPERTY/LOANS (UPDATE 2), moved, 620 words

- CHINA-ECONOMY/PROPERTY (UPDATE 1), moved, 520 words

- CHINA-CARBON/, moved, by Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev, 1,000 words

Reuters quarterly UK housing market poll

LONDON - Reuters has polled around 30 market watchers for their views on the outlook for British and London house prices and asks whether the Bank of England will act to restrain the market. (PROPERTY-BRITAIN/POLL, expect by 1320 GMT/9.20 AM ET, by Jonathan Cable, 600 words)

Bank of Italy to channel more ECB funding to small firms

MILAN - The Bank of Italy aims to improve financing conditions for small businesses through new measures that will enable domestic banks to use their current account facilities to secure European Central Bank funding, banking sources say. (ITALY-BANKS/COLLATERAL, moved, by Valentina Za and Francesca Landini, 615 words)

COMPANIES

Airbus sparks relief rally as Q1 profits beat forecasts

PARIS - Airbus Group posts better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, sparking a relief rally in its shares as it dodges the impact of higher support costs for its new A350 jet, which remains on track for a late-2014 debut. (AIRBUS GROUP-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Tim Hepher and Cyril Altmeyer, 530 words)

VW's Scania buyout bid clears acceptance hurdle

HANOVER, Germany - Volkswagen clears a major hurdle on its way to forging a heavy-truck alliance capable of competing with global leaders Daimler and Volvo AB after minority shareholders at its Swedish truck division Scania accept a 6.7 billion-euro ($9.22 billion) buyout offer. (VW-SCANIA/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, By Andreas Cremer, 300 words)

ThyssenKrupp raises annual operating profit forecast

FRANKFURT - Germany's ThyssenKrupp raises its forecast for full-year operating profit as it cut costs and takes back parts of a stainless steel business it had sold to Finland's Outokumpu. (THYSSENKR-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 470 words)

SocGen aims to raise profitability, grow revenues 3 pct

PARIS - Societe Generale, France's second-largest listed bank, aims to grow revenues by 3 percent over the next three years and return more cash to shareholders helped by retail banking in Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa and acquisitions. (SOCGEN-TARGETS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthias Blamont, 700 words)

Telecom Italia Q1 profit down, expects profit recovery

MILAN - Telecom Italia says it expects a gradual recovery in earnings this year after posting an 8.4 percent fall in first-quarter core profit reflecting declining sales in Italy and a weaker currency in Brazil. (TELECOMITALIA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 315 words)

E.ON calls for plant compensation as sector crisis bites

FRANKFURT - Germany's biggest utility E.ON calls for compensation for its loss-making gas-fired power stations after posting a 12-percent fall in first-quarter earnings. (E ON-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Christoph Steitz, 440 words)

Swiss Life Q1 income slips as wealth division hit

ZURICH - Swiss Life, Switzerland's biggest dedicated life insurer, says premium income fell by 1 percent in the first three months of 2014, with its division managing wealthy people's money declining by more than 40 percent. (SWISS LIFE HLDG/RESULTS (UPDATE 1), moved, 270 words)

BlackBerry aims to reverse emerging slump with budget phone

JAKARTA/TORONTO - BlackBerry launches a low-cost touchscreen device in Jakarta, the Z3, as the embattled smartphone maker looks to revive sales in emerging markets like Indonesia where its once-fervent following has shrivelled. (BLACKBERRY-LAUNCH/ (UPDATE 1, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Randy Fabi and Euan Rocha, 600 words)

Rusal sees aluminium market emerging from doldrums

MELBOURNE - Top aluminium producer United Company Rusal Plc posts a net loss for the first quarter, missing analyst forecasts, but says it is optimistic that the depressed aluminium market is starting to turn. (RUSAL-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Sonali Paul, 500 words)

Australia's PanAust reveals $1 bln bid from China

SYDNEY - Australian copper miner PanAust says it has received a A$1.1 billion ($1 billion) takeover offer from China's state-owned Guangdong Rising Assets Management, but that the bid materially undervalues the company. (AUSTRALIA-PANAUST/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Byron Kaye and Sonali Paul, 520 words)

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