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BUSINESS-NEWS-SCHEDULE AT 0830 GMT / 4.30 AM ET
May 15, 2014 / 9:26 AM / 3 years ago

BUSINESS-NEWS-SCHEDULE AT 0830 GMT / 4.30 AM ET

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TOP STORIES

German growth puts stagnant France and Italy in shade

BERLIN/PARIS - Germany posts strong growth in the first quarter of the year in stark contrast with France: the euro zone’s second largest economy fails to expand at all and Italy goes into reverse. (ECONOMY/EUROZONE (WRAPUP 3), expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Annika Breidthardt and Ingrid Melander, 775 words)

+ See also:

- FRANCE-ECONOMY/, (UPDATE 2) expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, Ingrid Melander, 650 words

- JAPAN ECONOMY/, moved, by Stanley White and Tetsushi Kajimoto, 600 words

- EASTEUROPE-GDP/ (WRAPUP), moved, by Krisztina Than, 580 words

ECB says ready to act as forecasters lower inflation outlook

BERLIN/FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank is determined to act swiftly if needed, its vice president says as professional forecasters surveyed by the bank cut their medium-term inflation projections. (ECB/POLICY, expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Michelle Martin and Paul Carrel, 500 words)

+ See also:

- GERMANY-SCHAEUBLE/INTEREST RATES, moved, 100 words

UK’s Dixons and Carphone agree $6.38 billion retail merger

LONDON - Britain’s Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail agree a 3.8 billion pounds ($6.38 billion) all-share merger, seeking to tap into the increasing convergence of smartphones and consumer electronics products in peoples’ lives. (DIXONS RETAIL/CARPHONE-MERGERS (UPDATE 3), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by James Davey, 700 words)

France boosts say on Alstom with foreign takeover law

PARIS The French government issues a decree allowing it to block foreign takeovers of French firms in “strategic” sectors, throwing up a potential roadblock to General Electric’s $16.9 billion bid for Alstom’s energy assets (FRANCE-TAKEOVERS/, (UPDATE 3), moved, by Jean-Baptiste Vey and Benjamin Mallet, 650 words)

MARKETS

Stocks inch higher; euro falls on ECB easing bets

LONDON - European stocks follow Asia higher while the euro falls as investors bet central banks in developed markets will continue their monetary support, with the European Central Bank poised to cut interest rates next month. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 3), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 430 words)

More OPEC oil needed to balance market this year - IEA

LONDON - OPEC needs to raise oil output significantly in the second half of 2014 to meet global demand as China builds its strategic reserves and stocks in industrialised countries remain low, the International Energy Agency says. (IEA/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 370 words)

SPECIAL REPORT

Despite deaths, crackdown, Sahara migrant trail thrives

AGADEZ - Niger’s government says it has ended large-scale migrant smuggling. Migrants, smugglers and officials tell a different story. (EUROPE-IMMIGRATION/NIGER, by David Lewis, expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, 2,000 words)

ECONOMY

Bank of England’s Broadbent sees no UK mortgage boom

LONDON - Bank of England policymaker Ben Broadbent says it is not surprising that Britain’s housing market is recovering along with the rest of the economy and he does not see troubling levels of credit growth. (BRITAIN-BOE/HOUSING (UPDATE 1), moved, 275 words)

Job market debate rages at Fed, likely keeping rates on hold

SAN FRANCISCO - Economists within the Federal Reserve are struggling to size up the strength of the U.S. labour market but can’t even agree what yardstick to use. (USA-FED/EMPLOYMENT (ANALYSIS), moved, by Ann Saphir, 750 words)

China firms slow payments, file lawsuits, as debt weighs

BEIJING/BANGALORE - As China’s economy continues to cool, companies are waiting longer and finding it harder to get paid for goods and services they’ve already sold, leading to record amounts of receivables - and potential write-offs - on corporate balance sheets. (CHINA-RECEIVABLES/, moved, by Matthew Miller and Tripti Kalro, 1,200 words)

COMPANIES

Good cancer drug data helps AstraZeneca in Pfizer fight

New data showing an experimental AstraZeneca lung cancer drug shrinks tumours in more than half of patients gives the British group fresh ammunition to argue that Pfizer’s takeover offer undervalues it substantially. (HEALTH-CANCER/ASTRAZENECA (UPDATE 1), moved, by Deena Beasley and Ben Hirschler, 745 words)

+ See also:

- ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/SORIOT (INTERVIEW, UPDATE 2), moved, by Ben Hirschler, 760 words

Lloyds Bank braced for questions over chief executive’s pay

EDINBURGH - State-backed Lloyds Banking Group is braced for tough questions from shareholders at its annual meeting on Thursday over a 7.8 million pound ($13.1 million) pay package handed to Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio. (LLOYDS BANKING-AGM, moved, by Matt Scuffham, 395 words)

Generali eyes targets in view of prospective BSI sale

MILAN - Generali pledges to meet its key capital and sales targets ahead of time after kicking off talks with Brazil’s BTG Pactual for a possible sale of Swiss unit BSI, a key plank of its 4-billion-euro disposal strategy. (GENERALI-RESULT/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Lisa Jucca, 600 words)

+ See also:

- ZURICH/RESULTS (UPDATE 2), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Joshua Franklin, 750 words

- AVIVA/RESULTS (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Chris Vellacott, 385 words

- AEGON-Q1/RESULTS (UPDATE 1), moved, 175 words

Richemont boosts dividend as sales growth stays robust

ZURICH - Cartier owner Richemont posts solid sales growth in April on top of the year to March as all of its regions report growth except for Japan, where the picture is distorted by a tax hike. (RICHEMONT-RESULTS /(UPDATE 2), expect by 0900 GMT/5 AM ET, by Silke Koltrowitz, 750 words)

Vivendi cautiously upbeat for 2014, Q1 sales in line

PARIS - French media and telecoms group Vivendi says a tighter focus on media and content should drive growth in 2014, as it posts first-quarter sales in line with forecasts after the sale of SFR. (VIVENDI/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Nicholas Vinocur and Gwénaëlle Barzic, 375 words)

H&M sales rise at fastest pace in five months in April

STOCKHOLM - Swedish budget fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz says its total sales rise 17 percent in April, well above analyst expectations and growing at the fastest pace in five months. (H&M/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 335 words)

Banks vie for fees as Nordic deal scene ignites

STOCKHOLM - Scandinavia has become a hot spot in Europe’s corporate dealmaking scene this year, almost doubling its share of merger and acquisition activity and listing more companies than anywhere but Britain. (NORDIC-DEALS/ (GRAPHIC), moved, by Mia Shanley, 1,180 words)

London Stock Exchange posts 50 pct revenue increase

LONDON - The London Stock Exchange reports a near-50 percent rise in full-year revenue, citing earnings from recently purchased LCH.Clearnet and an economic recovery encouraging companies back to stock markets. (LSE-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Freya Berry, 460 words)

Merck KGaA ekes out profit growth on cost cuts

FRANKFURT - Germany’s Merck KGaA, the world’s largest maker of liquid crystals for display screens, says quarterly underlying core earnings edged 0.7 percent higher as lower costs outweighed the impact of weak foreign exchange rates and sluggish growth in drugs sales. (MERCK-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Ludwig Burger, 245 words)

Novartis, Sun Pharma settles dispute over generic Gleevec

ZURICH - Novartis won a seven-month reprieve from generic competition to its blockbuster leukaemia drug Gleevec after reaching a settlement with Indian firm Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (SUNPHARMA-NOVARTIS/LAWSUIT (UPDATE 1), moved, by Katharina Bart, 350 words)

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