April 28, 2014 / 9:06 AM / 4 years ago


Editor: Malcolm Davidson +44 20 7542 6958

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Pfizer chasing AstraZeneca in potential $100 bln deal

LONDON - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc is working on its next move in a potential $100 billion bid battle for Britain’s AstraZeneca after having two bids rejected, as deal-making grips the healthcare industry. (ASTRAZENECA-PFIZER/ (UPDATE 4), expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Ben Hirschler, 755 words)

+ See also:

- MERCK&CO-SALE/, moved, by Anjuli Davies, Olivia Oran and Soyoung Kim, 700 words)

- MEDA-MYLAN (UPDATE 2) expect by 1000 GMT/6 AM ET, by Sven Nordenstam, 500 words

France says could block Alstom deal as president meets GE

PARIS - France will block any deal involving engineering group Alstom it considers unfit, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg says ahead of a meeting between President Francois Hollande and General Electric’s chief executive to discuss the French group’s future. (ALSTOM-OFFER/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Andrew Callus and Nicholas Vinocur, 675 words)

U.S. plans to impose new sanctions on Russia this week

WASHINGTON - The United States plans to slap new sanctions on Russia this week that the White House says will target people and companies inside President Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle”. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/USA-SANCTIONS, moved, 460 words)

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-MARKETS/ROUBLE (UPDATE 1), moved, 375 words

Russia-West tensions pressure stocks, buoy oil prices

LONDON - World stocks hold just off 10-day lows, pressured by tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine though European markets are buoyed by a 15 percent jump in takeover target AstraZeneca. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 4), expect by 1030 GMT/6.30 AM ET, by Sujata Rao, 620 words)


ECB policy, stress tests weighing on bank credit-BBVA

MADRID - Uncertainty over the European Central Bank’s policy plans to deal with weak inflation and the Europe-wide banking health checks this year are hampering a revival of lending in the region, a top executive at Spain’s BBVA says. (REGULATION-SUMMIT/BBVA (REUTERS SUMMIT), moved, by Sarah White and Jesús Aguado, 930 words)


Deflation, emerging market fears set scene for EU bank tests

LONDON - Fears of euro zone deflation, emerging markets turmoil and a determination not to repeat past mistakes mean European regulators are likely to come up with the toughest set of tests for the region’s banks that they have ever faced. (EUROPE-BANKING/TESTS (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Laura Noonan, 1,295 words)

Fund of hedge funds face fight for cash with consultants

LONDON - Funds that invest in a range of hedge funds are facing a battle to win new business, as the same consultants they court to win money from pension firms are grabbing a chunk of an industry that was already struggling to grow. (FUNDS-CONSULTANTS/, moved, by Joshua Franklin and Simon Jessop, 670 words)


Fed, with taper on autopilot, free to tackle big questions

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK - Federal Reserve policymakers this week are set to continue paring their massive bond-buying stimulus, but below the smooth surface of a likely unanimous vote lies a deeply divided Fed struggling to lay the groundwork for more difficult decisions ahead. (USA-FED/ (PREVIEW), moved, by Ann Saphir and Jonathan Spicer, 690 words

EU exit could wreck UK financial capital - City lobby group

LONDON - A British exit from the European Union could wreck London’s position as the only financial centre to rival New York and isolate the country’s economy, research ordered by a lobby group for banks and money managers shows. (BRITAIN-EUROPE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Guy Faulconbridge, 525 words)

+ See also:

- ECB/INTEGRATION, moved, 285 words

War-ravaged Syria may face worst wheat harvest in 40 years

AMMAN/ABU DHABI - War and drought have crippled Syria’s wheat crop, with some experts now forecasting output of the staple food could fall to around a third of pre-war levels, and possibly even below 1 million tonnes for the first time in 40 years. (SYRIA-WHEAT/CROPS (EXCLUSIVE), moved, by Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Maha El Dahan, 975 words)

In Chinese city, debt guarantees spark default contagion

SHANGHAI - A network of loan guarantees set up to improve companies’ access to credit in one of China’s richest districts is creating new risks of default as some debts sour, another sign of how private firms are bearing the brunt of an economic slowdown. (CHINA-DEBT/ (PICTURE, GRAPHICS), moved, by Gabriel Wildau, 750 words)


Publicis, Omnicom try to resolve spat over CFO job - sources

PARIS/LONDON - The chief executives of advertising companies Publicis and Omnicom Group are working together to resolve a seven-month-old struggle over who will be chief financial officer of their combined group if the $35 billion merger is completed, three people close to the deal say. (PUBLICIS GROUPE-OMNICOM GROUP/DISPUTE, moved, by Leila Abboud and Tom Bergin, 1,055 words)

Bayer core profit rises on early planting season, new drugs

FRANKFURT - New drugs and an early start to planting season underpin German drugmaker Bayer’s quarterly core earnings, which surpass estimates despite negative currency effects. (BAYER-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 AM ET, by Marilyn Gerlach, 600 words)

Spain’s bailed-out Bankia posts bad debt turnaround

MADRID - Spain’s biggest bailed-out lender Bankia says bad debts fall in the first quarter of the year, while net earnings on loans grow 36 percent from a year ago, after a major restructuring. (SPAIN-BANKIA/RESULTS (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Sarah White, 500 words)

Swedbank says Ukraine concerns may hurt loan demand

STOCKHOLM - Swedish banking group Swedbank says events in Ukraine could curb an expected increase in credit demand after posting first-quarter earnings largely in line with forecasts. (SWEDBANK/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 495 words)

UK’s BG Group’s CEO quits, firm warns on production

LONDON - BG Group’s chief executive resigns as the British oil and gas major says production will be at the lower end of its target range this year due to problems in Egypt. (BG GROUP/CEO (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words)

End game nears on South Africa’s strike-hit platinum belt

JOHANNESBURG - The end game to South Africa’s big platinum strike is drawing near after the producers say they will take their latest wage offer directly to employees after marathon wage talks to end the 13-week strike collapsed on Thursday. (SAFRICA-STRIKES/, moved, by Ed Stoddard, 680 words)

From balloons to shrimp-filled shallows, future is wireless

SINGAPORE - The Internet may feel like it’s everywhere, but large pockets of sky, swathes of land and most of the oceans are still beyond a signal’s reach. Three decades after the first cellphone went on sale - the $4,000 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X “Brick” - half the world remains unconnected. (TECH-INTERNET/CONNECT (PICTURE), moved, by Jeremy Wagstaff, 1,750 words)

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