April 7, 2014 / 12:55 PM / 4 years ago

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TOP STORIES

Holcim, Lafarge agree merger to create cement giant

PARIS/ZURICH - Switzerland’s Holcim unveils a deal to buy France’s Lafarge to create the world’s biggest cement maker, with $44 billion of annual sales, and spark a raft of asset sales worldwide to steer it through antitrust rules. (LAFARGE-HOLCIM/ (UPDATE 3, GRAPHIC), moved, by Natalie Huet, 835 words)

ECB to have QE primed in case needed - Mersch

LONDON - The European Central Bank is drawing up plans for large-scale asset purchases in case they are needed but there remains some way to go before that point, one of bank’s policymakers says. (ECB/MERSCH (UPDATE 1), moved, by Marc Jones, 345 words)

+ See also;

- EUROPE-ECB/NOWOTNY (UPDATE 1), moved, 355 words

World stocks slip from six-year high; euro yields fall

LONDON - World stocks slip from last week’s six-year high as technology shares tumble again, while speculation the European Central Bank will ease policy further pushes down European bond yields. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Natsuko Waki, 600 words)

Credit Suisse faces threat of new U.S. tax probe

ZURICH - Credit Suisse faces the threat of a new investigation into its role in helping wealthy Americans avoid paying taxes after New York state’s top financial regulator requests documents from the Swiss bank. (CREDITSUISSE-SHARES/ (UPDATE 1) moved, by Carmel Crimmins and Oliver Hirt, 300 words)

INSIGHT

Israeli exporters weigh options as shekel strength persists

JERUSALEM - Arie Levin envisions a time in the not too distant future where his micro electronics company, AVX Corp, may no longer have operations in Israel. (ISRAEL-ECONOMY/EXPORTS (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Steven Scheer, 1,480 words)

Deadbeat Chinese shipyards stick banks with default bill

SHANGHAI - Chinese banks are stuck in a lose-lose legal battle between domestic shipyards and foreign buyers over billions of dollars in refund guarantees that are supposed to be paid out if shipbuilders fail to deliver on time. (CHINA-SHIPPING/REFUNDS (INSIGHT, PICTURE, GRAPHICS), moved, by Pete Sweeney, 1,550 words)

ECONOMY

Turkish c. bank hints at rate cuts after Erdogan comments

KAYSERI, Turkey - Turkey’s central bank governor hints at interest rate cuts for the first time in a year, but says they will be gradual and the bank alone will decide on their timing. (TURKEY-CENBANK/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Seda Sezer and Behiye Taner, 620 words)

Manufacturing helps German industry output rise

BERLIN - German industrial output rises slightly more than forecast in February, driven by higher production of intermediate goods and suggesting the sector likely grew stronger in the first quarter than in the last three months of the year. (GERMANY-OUTPUT/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 345 words)

Euro zone Sentix index rises for 4th month in a row

BERLIN - Euro zone sentiment rises for a fourth consecutive month to a three-year high in April, helped only by investors’ upbeat view of current conditions as powerhouse Germany loses steam and expectations for the currency bloc dims. (EUROZONE/SENTIX, moved, 200 words)

Spanish industrial output rises for fourth month

MADRID - Spanish industrial output rises at the fastest pace in more than three years in February, official data shows, in the latest sign that the country’s crisis-weary economy is past the worst. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/INDUSTRIALOUTPUT (UPDATE 1), moved, 270 words)

China’s battle against slowdown is still far from won

BEIJING - China will probably need to ease monetary policy for the first time in two years in coming months to prevent the economy from losing too much momentum, according to economists who doubt the “mini stimulus” announced so far this year can do the job. (CHINA-ECONOMY/STIMULUS, moved, by Kevin Yao, 950 words)

Japan, Australia clinch trade deal as US-Tokyo talks heat up

TOKYO - Japan and Australia clinches a basic trade deal to cut import tariffs, as U.S. and Japanese officials step up efforts to reach a parallel agreement that will re-energise stalled talks on a broader regional pact. (JAPAN-AUSTRALIA/ (UPDATE 6, PICTURE), moved, by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Yuko Yoshikawa, 780 words)

COMPANIES

Mallinckrodt to buy Questcor Pharma for about $5.6 bln

NEW YORK - Speciality pharmaceuticals company Mallinckrodt Plc will buy drugmaker Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc for about $5.6 billion to gain access to its high-growth multiple sclerosis drug, Acthar Gel. (QUESTCOR-OFFER/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1300 GMT/9 AM ET, by Esha Dey, 500 words)

Numericable soars after winning battle for Vivendi’s SFR

PARIS - French cable company Numericable shares jump 17 percent to a six-week high after it wins a month-long bidding war for Vivendi’s SFR telecom unit against Bouygues. (NUMERICABLE-SFR/, moved, 450 words)

+ See also:

- CINVEN-NUMERICABLE (UPDATE 1), moved, 225 words

India’s Sun Pharma to buy Ranbaxy in $3.2 bln all-share deal

TOKYO - India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd says it will buy Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd in a $3.2 billion all-share deal, creating the world’s fifth-largest generic drug maker from two firms struggling with quality issues in the lucrative United States market. (DAIICHI SANKYO-RANBAXY/SUNPHARMA (UPDATE 4), moved, by Chang-Ran Kim and Zeba Siddiqui, 935 words)

+ See also:

- INDIA-PHARMACEUTICALS/REGULATOR, moved, by Zeba Siddiqui and Sumeet Chatterjee, 1,250 words

Alfa Laval buys Norwegian pump firm Frank Mohn for $2.2 bln

STOCKHOLM - Swedish engineering group Alfa Laval says it has agreed to buy Norwegian marine and offshore pumping group Frank Mohn for 13 billion Norwegian crowns ($2.17 billion) in cash to boost its operations in the offshore oil and gas sector. (ALFALAVAL/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 400 words)

Drugmaker GSK investigates alleged bribery in Iraq

LONDON - Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, already facing corruption accusations in China, is now investigating allegations of bribery in Iraq, the British company says. (GSK-MIDEAST/, moved, by Ben Hirschler, 440 words)

+ See also:

- ROCHE HLDG-IQUUM/, moved, 100 words

Airbus keeps tight rein on cabin design as A350 launch nears

HAMBURG - European planemaker Airbus unveils, the first cabin for its new mid-sized twin-engined airliner, the A350 XWB, vowing to avoid a repeat of the delays caused by cabin design changes on its bigger A380 super jumbo. (AIRBUS-A350/CABIN (PICTURE), moved, 435 words)

Audi’s Q1 sales record steps up challenge to BMW

BERLIN - Audi is stepping up its challenge to unseat German rival BMW as global luxury-car sales champion, with recovering European demand and Chinese growth pushing its first-quarter deliveries to a record. (VEHICLEREGISTRATIONS-VOLKSWAGEN/AUDISALES (UPDATE 1), moved, 290 words)

BlackRock shakes up management amid succession planning

NEW YORK - BlackRock Inc is reorganizing its senior management ranks as the world’s largest money manager works towards an eventual succession plan for Larry Fink, its chief executive officer and co-founder. (BLACKROCK-MANAGEMENT/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Ashley Lau and John McCrank, 580 words)

Pope rules Vatican bank to stay open, approves reforms

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis rules that the scandal-plagued Vatican bank will remain operative, ending more than a year of speculation whether the pontiff would close the institution that has embarrassed the Catholic Church for decades (POPE-BANK/ (UPDATE 2), moved, pix, by Philip Pullella, 600 words)

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