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August 15, 2014 / 8:40 AM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

BHP Billiton set to spin off unwanted assets

MELBOURNE - BHP Billiton declares its preference for a demerger of its unwanted aluminium, manganese and nickel assets, setting the stage for the formation of a separate company that one report said could be worth $14 billion. (BHP BILLITON-DIVESTITURE/ (UPDATE 3), moved, 576 words)

Alibaba film unit finds possible accounting irregularities

HONG KONG - A media firm recently bought by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd says a review of its finances revealed possible accounting irregularities, casting doubts about the Chinese e-commerce giant’s due-diligence as it prepares for a U.S. initial public offering. (ALI PICTURES-ACCOUNTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Elzio Barreto, 620 words)

MARKETS

Stocks, bonds set for weekly gain on loose policy

LONDON - European stocks rise and are on track for their biggest weekly gains since mid-February, while German Bund yields hold near record lows as recent weak data shortens the odds on central bank action to lift the economy. (MARKETS-GLOBAL (WRAPUP 4), expect by 0930 GMT/5.30 ET, by Nigel Stephenson, 650 words)

Silver market reboots century-old price benchmark

LONDON - The silver market enters a new electronic era in benchmarking after a regulatory drive for more transparency in price setting brings the 117-year-old silver ‘fix’ to an end. (SILVER-FIX/ (UPDATE 1), expect by 1230 GMT/8.30 ET, by Clara Denina and Jan Harvey, 699 words)

German yields call Japan to mind but markets still trust ECB

LONDON - German bond yields at 1 percent stoke fears that the euro zone faces a lost decade of economic stagnation and deflation similar to that of Japan, where borrowing costs also hit such levels. (MARKETS-BONDS/INFLATION, expected by 1430 GMT/10.30 ET, by Marius Zaharia, 800 words)

COMPANIES

Balfour reaffirms rejection of Carillion merger proposal

LONDON - British construction firm Balfour Beatty has reaffirmed its rejection of a second merger proposal from rival Carillion, publishing the detail of its doubts over the synergies achievable from any combination. (BALFOUR BEATTY-CARILLION/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 385 words)

H&M sales jump 17 pct in July, beating consensus

STOCKHOLM - Swedish fashion firm Hennes & Mauritz sales jump a higher-than expected 17 percent in July from a year ago in local currencies, as shoppers hit the stores for summer wear. (HENNES & MAURITZ/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 413 words)

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