November 20, 2012 / 10:01 AM / in 5 years

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TOP STORIES

France says economy sound despite Moody’s downgrade

PARIS - France says its economy is sound and reforms are on track after credit ratings agency Moody’s stripped it of the prized triple-A badge due to an uncertain fiscal and economic outlook (FRANCE-MOODYS/ (UPDATE 1), PIX, TV, expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Leigh Thomas, 700 words)

+ See also:

- FRANCE-MOODYS/ANALYST (INTERVIEW, UPDATE 2), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Daniel Flynn, 600 words

- FRANCE-MOODYS/HOLLANDE (ANALYSIS), expect by 1200 GMT/7 AM ET, by Catherine Bremer, 800 words

- FRANCE-MOODYS/BANKS, expect by 1300 GMT/8 AM ET, by Lionel Laurent, 600 words

Euro zone set to unfreeze 44 bln euros for Greece

BRUSSELS - Euro zone finance ministers meet to discuss Greece’s economic crisis, with an agreement expected “in principle” to release up to 44 billion euros in emergency loans to Athens as long as it completes all outstanding commitments on overhauling its economy. If approved, the money could be paid as soon as December 5, officials say. (EUROGROUP/ (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), expect by 1300 GMT/8 AM ET, by Jan Strupczewski, 600 words)

+ See also:

- GREECE-NUMBERS/, expect by 1400 GMT/9 AM ET, by Luke Baker, 600 words

Glencore shareholders back Xstrata takeover

LONDON/ZUG, Switzerland - Shareholders in miner Xstrata give the green light to a long-awaited $31-billion takeover by commodities giant Glencore, paving the way for one of the largest tie-ups in the sector to date. (GLENCORE-XSTRATA/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1030 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Emma Farge, 550 words)

Credit Suisse shuffles top execs in revamp

ZURICH - Credit Suisse to shake up its top executives as it shoehorns its asset management unit into its larger private banking arm in a bid to slash costs. (CREDITSUISSE/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1000 GMT/4 AM ET, by Katharina Bart, 750 words)

MARKETS

European shares slide as euro zone worries resume

LONDON - European shares and the euro fall after a credit rating agency strips France of its triple-A status, reminding investors of the ongoing risks from the euro zone debt crisis, but the moves are limited as markets await news on a debt funding deal for Greece. (MARKETS-GLOBAL (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, by Richard Hubbard, 650 words)

ECONOMY

China 2012 FDI inflows slow, stay on track for $100 bln

BEIJING - China’s foreign direct investment is on track to top $100 billion in 2012 even as the longest run of year-on-year declines in inflows since 2009 extended into October, dragged down by an uncertain outlook for corporate spending as global trade sags.(CHINA-ECONOMY/FDI (UPDATE 2), moved, Aileen Wang and Nick Edwards, 850 words)

Bank of Japan defies rate easing calls

TOKYO - The Bank of Japan held firm in the face of political pressure to take bold steps to boost the economy, defending its independence and dismissing the policy prescriptions of the main opposition leader expected to become the country’s premier next month.(JAPAN-ECONOMY/(UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Leika Kihara, 850 words)

Belgium clinches further savings for 2013 budget

BRUSSELS - Belgium’s government agrees to rein it its budget deficit further in 2013 and take measures including a cap on wage hikes to improve its competitiveness. (BELGIUM-BUDGET/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 1000 GMT/5 AM ET, 590 words)

Swiss exports still weak in October

ZURICH - Swiss exports fell by 7.7 percent in October in real terms, dragged down by a negative trend in the machinery and electronics industry. (SWISS-ECONOMY/TRADE (UPDATE 1), moved, by Silke Koltrowitz, 425 words)

COMPANIES

Concealed votes knock ‘shareholder spring’ off course

LONDON - Asset managers running trillions of pounds of pension fund cash are falling short with efforts to stamp out excessive boardroom pay. (SHAREHOLDERSPRING-VOTES/, moved, by Sinead Cruise, 450 words)

Commodity trader Olam battles Muddy Waters accounting claims

SINGAPORE - Singapore commodities trader Olam International Ltd defends its accounting practices after attacks by short-seller Muddy Waters which media reports say questioned the way it keeps its books, sending its U.S.-listed shares tumbling.(OLAM-MUDDYWATERS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Eveline Danubrata and Anshuman Daga, 700 words)

EasyJet pledges higher dividend as profits jump

LONDON - British low-cost airline easyJet pledges to pay a higher dividend after outperforming the sector with a 28 percent rise in full-year profit that was helped by a surge in late summer demand. (EASYJET/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/4.30 AM ET, by Rhys Jones, 550 words)

Home of Russian telco chief searched in fraud probe

MOSCOW - Russian investigators search the home of the head of a state telecoms firm in a fraud probe, the latest of a string of scandals that is increasingly coming to characterise Vladimir Putin’s six-month-old presidency. (ROSTELECOM-SEARCHES/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Douglas Busvine and Maria Kiselyova, 540 words)

Carrefour divests Indonesia unit stake for $673 mln

PARIS/JAKARTA - Carrefour is selling its 60 percent stake in its Indonesian supermarket operations to local partner CT Corp for $673 million, the latest move by the European retailer to retreat from secondary markets. (CARREFOUR-INDONESIA/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Christian Plumb, 260 words)

Russia’s X5 misses forecasts on charges

MOSCOW - Russia’s biggest food retailer, X5, returns to a quarterly profit after a year-ago loss but missed analysts’ forecasts due to a higher-than-expected depreciation charge and lower gross profit. (X5-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 320 words)

ANALYSIS

Logitech caught in accessories mousetrap

ZURICH - As retailers stock up for Christmas, the No. 1 maker of computer mice is fighting to increase its share of the computer accessories market in an increasingly mouse-less world. (LOGITECH/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Andrew Thompson, 1,0300 words)

Foreign investors in Australian farms; rash or prescient?

CANBERRA/SYDNEY - For all the willing buyers seeking tracts of Australian farm land, local investors are not among them. They wonder what all the fuss is about.(AUSTRALIA-AGRICULTURE/INVESTMENT (ANALYSIS, PIX), moved, by Maggie Lu Yueyang and Colin Packham, 1,200 words)

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