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TOP STORIES

Vivendi faces choice in GVT bidding war

PARIS/MILAN - The battle over Brazil's telecoms market ratchets up as European competitors Telecom Italia and Telefonica make rival offers for Vivendi's Brazilian broadband unit GVT. (GVT-OFFER/ (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, by Leila Abboud and Lisa Jucca, 645 words)

UK to enjoy fastest growth since 2007 - Chambers of Commerce

LONDON - Britain's economy looks set to grow at its fastest rate since 2007 this year, but the rapid pace is unlikely to be sustained, the British Chambers of Commerce says after nudging up its growth forecasts for this year and next. (BRITAIN-ECONOMY/BCC, moved, 285 words)

German CPI data may show pick-up in inflation

BERLIN - German consumer price data for August may show a pick-up in the inflation rate, with figures from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, a bellwether for the national inflation rate, showing an acceleration. (GERMANY-ECONOMY/INFLATION, expect 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Michelle Martin, 500 words)

+ See also:

- GERMANY-ECONOMY/UNEMPLOYMENT, moved, 100 words

MARKETS & INVESTMENT

Bruised euro holds ground ahead of inflation test

LONDON - The euro clings to modest gains and the rally in the region's share and bond markets cools as investors put bets on possible fresh ECB stimulus next week on hold ahead of German inflation data. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Marc Jones, 800 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 500 words

Euro zone bond yields hold at record lows

LONDON - Euro zone bond yields hold at record lows as a drop in Spanish inflation in August keeps pressure on the European Central Bank to ease policy further. (MARKETS-BONDS/EURO, moved, by Marius Zaharia, 600 words)

Mega-IPO to rekindle the 'bromance' behind Alibaba's rise

BEIJING - Masayoshi Son's nose for an investment has turned a $20 million start-up punt on Alibaba into a stake worth maybe $50 billion or more as the Chinese e-commerce giant co-founded and led by Jack Ma heads to what could be the biggest U.S. tech IPO of all time. (ALIBABA-IPO/BOARD (INSIGHT, PICTURE, GRAPHICS), moved, by Paul Carsten, 1,608 words)

ECONOMY

Spanish economy grows faster, consumer prices fall

MADRID - The Spanish economy grew between March and June, with recovering domestic demand driving the fastest pace of growth since before the financial crisis, data shows, even while consumer prices continue to fall. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 300 words)

Cameron to tell business world Scotland should stay in UK

GLASGOW - British Prime Minister David Cameron will make the case for the economic benefits of Scotland staying in the United Kingdom as a divided business community publicly take sides. (SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE/BUSINESSES, moved, 500 words)

Steepest fall in Portuguese bank lending on record

FRANKFURT - Lending to companies and households in Portugal fell at the fastest rate since records started in January 2004 in July, data from the European Central Bank shows, highlighting one of the impediments to growth in the euro zone. (ECB-M3/LENDING, moved, 250 words)

China property launches to deepen inventory overhang

HONG KONG - Property launches in China are set to surge in the latter half of the year with developers sticking to their schedules despite mounting inventories, spelling double trouble for a market hammered by months of falling prices. (CHINA-PROPERTYSUPPLY/, moved, by Clare Jim, 913 words)

Global renewable energy expansion to slow to 2020 - IEA

LONDON - Growth in global renewable energy capacity will slow to 2020 if uncertain government policies continue to threaten investment, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says. (RENEWABLES-IEA/, moved, by Nina Chestney, 330 words)

Reuters poll on key African economies

JOHANNESBURG - Reuters has polled around 20 specialists on their outlook for the economies of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia. (ECONOMY-POLL/AFRICA, expect by 1420 GMT/10.20 AM ET, by Vuyani Ndaba, 600 words)

COMPANIES

Qantas looks past record loss, open to foreign investors

SYDNEY - Qantas Airways is looking past its record annual loss and predicting blue skies ahead, as a landmark change in Australian laws opens the door to foreign investment in the airline's international arm - its biggest headache. (QANTAS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 3, PICTURE, GRAPHICS), moved, by Jane Wardell, 940 words)

Bouygues warns on 2014 sales as telecoms price war weighs

PARIS - French diversified group Bouygues lowers its sales forecast after it posts weaker than expected first-half operating profit, hit by its aggressive pricing strategy in telecoms and a slump in its French road-building business. (BOUYGUESRESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Natalie Huet, 500 words)

Russia's Sberbank Q2 net profit up 13 pct

MOSCOW - Sberbank, Russia's biggest lender by assets, says its second-quarter net profit rises 13 percent to 170.4 billion roubles ($4.7 billion), beating analyst forecasts thanks in part to revenues from its foreign exchange operations. (SBERBANK-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 250 words)

Online retailer Zalando reports first profit as eyes IPO

BERLIN - Zalando, Europe's biggest online fashion retailer, reports first-half sales rose 29.5 percent and it made its first-ever profit, laying the groundwork for an expected imminent initial public offering. (ZALANDO-IPO/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Emma Thomasson, 400 words)

Essilor forecasts higher sales, margin in 2014

PARIS - Essilor forecast full-year revenue growth of more than 13 percent excluding currency effects after first-half sales rose 7.9 percent. (ESSILOR-RESULTS/, moved, 100 words)

Lombard Odier shows $69 mln profit in 1st published results

ZURICH - Lombard Odier becomes the second Swiss private bank this week to break with over two centuries of tradition and publish results for the first time. (LOMBARD ODIER-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Katharina Bart and Josh Franklin, 800 words)

Pernod Ricard cautious as China weakness weighs

PARIS - French spirits maker Pernod Ricard says it expects sales to gradually improve in a still challenging economic climate, notably in its key Chinese market, and vows to push ahead with cost savings it plans to partly reinvest to support its brands and long-term growth. (PERNOD-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 365 words)

Veolia H1 net profit doubles as industrial focus pays off

PARIS - French water and waste group Veolia Environnement says first-half 2014 net profit more than doubled as its focus on waste treatment for industrial clients over municipal water customers begins to pay off. (VEOLIA-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 345 words)

Bitcoin shows power as merchants chase digital sparkle

NEW YORK - Bitcoin is catching on at U.S. online merchants, including Overstock.com and Expedia, as customers use a digital currency that just a few years ago was virtually unknown but is now showing some staying power. (USA-BITCOIN/RETAILERS (ANALYSIS, GRAPHICS), moved, by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Michael Connor, 1,185 words)

Pilots up pressure on Lufthansa with Friday strike call

FRANKFURT/BERLIN - Pilots at Lufthansa's budget unit say they will walk off the job on Friday if an agreement on an early retirement scheme is not reached, upping the pressure on the airline's management for talks planned on Thursday. (GERMANY-STRIKE/LUFTHANSA (UPDATE 2), moving shortly, 430 words)

China's baijiu king navigates shoals of anti-luxury drive

SHANGHAI - Chinese premium liquor maker Kweichow Moutai Co is winning over investors with a sales strategy that shows other top-end brands how to survive Beijing's anti-luxury drive.(KWEICHOW MOUTAI CO LTD-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1, GRAPHICS, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Adam Jourdan, 700 words)

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