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Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:36am EDT

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TOP STORIES

GE to submit improved Alstom offer Thursday - source

PARIS - General Electric will unveil to the French government and unions an improved offer for the energy businesses of Alstom, a source close to the U.S. conglomerate says of renewed efforts to fend off a rival proposal. (ALSTOM-OFFER/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Natalie Huet, Benjamin Mallet and Matthieu Protard, 335 words)

Fed keeps faith in recovery, bumps up expected rate-hike path

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve expresses confidence the U.S. economic recovery is on track and hinted at a slightly more aggressive pace of interest rate increases starting next year.

(USA-FED/ (WRAPUP 5, PICTURE, TV, GRAPHICS), moved, by Howard Schneider and Jason Lange, 940 words)

UBS, Credit Suisse urged to improve leverage ratios

ZURICH - Switzerland's central bank has urged UBS and Credit Suisse to further improve their capital strength, even after good progress made in recent years, due to the "substantial" risks still faced from economic and legal issues. (SWISSBANKS/SNB (UPDATE 2), moved, by Katharina Bart, 644 words)

Fed-fueled stocks fly, dollar sags; oil 9-mo high on Iraq

LONDON - Global stocks and emerging market assets rally after the U.S. Federal Reserve signals that rising inflation won't trigger an interest rate rise any time soon, while crude oil futures rise to a high for the year on fears that the turmoil in Iraq could disrupt oil supply. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), moving shortly, by Jamie McGeever, 800 words)

ECONOMY

UK retail sales fall in May for first time since January

LONDON - British retail sales fell last month for the first time since January despite strong sales of replica football shirts ahead of the World Cup, official data shows. (BRITAIN-RETAIL/, moved, 300 words)

Japan business mood defies economic headwinds, backs BOJ optimism

TOKYO/AKITA - Confidence of Japanese manufacturers holds steady in June while the service-sector mood rebounds from the prior month, a Reuters poll shows, further signs of resilience in the economy despite the pain of a sales tax hike. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/TANKAN (UPDATE 2), moved, by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara, 800 words)

+ See also:

- JAPAN-ECONOMY/BOJ, moved, by Leika Kihara, 195 words

SNB ready to act as needed after ECB easing

BERNE - The Swiss National Bank says it will stick to its almost three-year old policy of capping the franc at 1.20 per euro, saying it stood ready to take further measures if the recent easing in the euro zone made it necessary. (SWISS-SNB/RATES (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 450 words)

Norway delays rate hike, raises prospect of a cut

OSLO - Norway's central bank delays a planned interest rate hike and warns that a further weakening of the economy could even trigger an interest rate cut. (NORWAY-RATES/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 425 words)

Profit growth at China's state firms jumps in Jan-May

BEIJING - Annual profit growth at China's state firms quickens in the first five months of 2014, official data shows, indicating the world's second-largest economy may be stabilising after a weak start to the year. (CHINA-ECONOMY/PROFITS, moved, 300 words)

COMPANIES

Rolls-Royce to return 1 bln stg, no acquisitions planned

LONDON - Britain's Rolls-Royce plans to launch a 1 billion pound ($1.7 billion) share buyback, saying that with no major acquisitions on the horizon, it will return to investors the proceeds from a recent disposal. (ROLLS-ROYCE HLDG/BUYBACK (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Sarah Young, 375 words)

Connectivity to buy U.S. sensor maker for $1.7 bln

Swiss electronics company TE Connectivity says it will buy U.S.-based sensor maker Measurement Specialties Inc for about $1.7 billion, including debt, to grab a bigger slice of the high-growth global sensor market. (MEASUREMENTSPECIALTIES-OFFER/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 440 words)

BT shares rise after TalkTalk complaint rejected

LONDON - Britain's BT Group Plc receive a double boost, as the telecoms regulator rejects one complaint over how it prices its flagship superfast broadband product and suggests manageable remedies to avoid disputes in future. (BT-FIBRE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Kate Holton, 360 words)

Swiss fund Gottex plans Chinese and U.S. growth

LONDON - Swiss-based hedge fund group Gottex Fund Management Holdings is targeting a $6.5 billion boost to its assets, around half of which will come from acquisitions in Asia and the United States, its chief executive says. (GOTTEX-EIM/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Chris Vellacott, 335 words)

Man Group buys Numeric Holdings for initial $219 mln

LONDON - Man Group has bought U.S. asset manager Numeric Holdings for an initial $219 million to broaden the British hedge fund's U.S. and computer-driven fund activities. (NUMERIC-MANGROUP/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 400 words)

Hard choice for British business - risk of EU exit or tougher regulation

LONDON - When Britain elects a new government in May next year, business faces a difficult choice: Conservatives who could pull the country out of the European Union, or Labour waving the threat of tougher regulation. (EU-BRITAIN/BUSINESS, moved, by William James, 1,085 words)

Private equity buyouts in Asia take old risks with new money

HONG KONG - In Asia, private equity firms amass a record stash of capital from investors seeking high returns from buyout deals amid low yields around the globe. The firms have $138 billion in unspent capital, or "dry powder" as it is known in the industry, according to management consulting firm Bain & Co. (PRIVATEEQUITY-ASIAPAC/LEVERAGE (DEALTALK), moved, by Stephen Aldred and Denny Thomas, 1,050 words)

COMMODITIES

China's Chongqing launches pilot carbon market

CHONGQING - China's southwestern city of Chongqing launches the country's seventh and final pilot carbon scheme, in line with Beijing's plans to set up market mechanisms to cut carbon intensity. (CHINA-CARBON/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 660 words)