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August 20, 2014 / 1:15 PM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

Bank of England splits, raising prospects of early hike

LONDON - Two Bank of England policymakers unexpectedly voted to start raising interest rates this month, becoming the first officials to do so in more than three years, minutes of policy discussions show. (BRITAIN BOE/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 690 words)

Awash with cash, world economies take turn for the worse

LONDON - In a world preoccupied by geopolitical crises - from Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa - the global economy has taken something of a back seat. But there are increasing signs it is in trouble despite being awash with cash from record low interest rates. (GLOBAL-ECONOMY (ANALYSIS), moved, by Jeremy Gaunt, 975 words)

World stocks halt rally as investors watch central banks

LONDON - World Stocks fall as investors brace for the possibility that a major central bank could raise interest rates this year after Bank of England minutes show two of the bank’s nine rate-setters voted for a hike this month. (GLOBAL MARKETS (UPDATE 4, PICTURE), moved, by Jamie McGeever, 800 words)

StanChart’s $300 million fine raises heat on board

NEW YORK/LONDON - A $300 million fine on Standard Chartered for lapses in anti-money laundering controls has piled pressure on the bank’s board, coming after a series of transgressions and a drop in earnings that have already prompted calls for change at the top. (STANDARD CHARTERED-SANCTIONS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Matt Scuffham, 800 words)

Insight

Refracking brings ‘vintage’ oil wells to life

HOUSTON/WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA - A fracking boom isn’t enough for U.S. oil and gas producers - they’re now starting the re-fracking boom as they fight to reverse sharp decline rates from thousands of oil wells sunk during the U.S. shale oil revolution of the last few years that has upended global energy markets (ENERGY-REFRACKING, moved, by Anna Driver and Ernest Scheyder, 950 words)

ECONOMY

France’s Hollande to speed up reforms, ease tax on poorest

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande says he will accelerate reforms while at the same time giving tax breaks to poorer households as he tries to win back confidence from voters who do not trust he can lift the country out of stagnation. (FRANCE-ECONOMY/HOLLANDE (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Ingrid Melander, 700 words)

Ex-Soviet states brace for fallout from Russian crisis

LONDON/ALMATY - As Russia heads into recession, battered by Western sanctions, countries from Belarus to Tajikistan are feeling the pinch. (RUSSIA-CIS/CRISIS, moving shortly, by Sujata Rao and Dmitry Solovyov, 1,100 words)

Japan export rebound offers hope for economic growth

TOKYO - Japan’s exports rise in July for the first time in three months in a tentative sign that overseas demand is starting to recover, which could raise hopes that exports can offset a slump in consumer spending. (JAPAN-ECONOMY/TRADE (UPDATE 3), moved, by Stanley White, 650 words)

Argentina says to bring defaulted debt under national law

BUENOS AIRES - President Cristina Fernandez says her government will move to service its defaulted debt in Argentina or allow bondholders to swap their bonds for new bonds governed by national law in order to get around a U.S. court order (ARGENTINA-DEBT (UPDATE 1), moved, 500 words)

Sweden election favourites eye more taxes on rich

STOCKHOLM - Sweden’s main centre left opposition will raise the tax burden by one percentage point of GDP, including increasing top rates of income tax to around 60 percent, if they win September’s general election, the likely new finance minister says. (SWEDEN-ELECTION/ECONOMY (INTERVIEW), moved, by Alistair Scrutton and Johan Ahlander, 700 words)

EU regulators seek to close car emissions testing loopholes

BRUSSELS - EU regulators are preparing draft legislation that will require vehicle fuel use to be tested on roads rather than in laboratories, closing a loophole that allows car manufacturers to exaggerate fuel-saving and emissions credentials. (EU-AUTOS, moved, by Barbara Lewis, 660 words)

COMPANIES

Glencore first off the block with big share buyback

London - Commodities group Glencore becomes the first of the large miners to honour promises to return cash to shareholders, announcing a share buyback programme of up to $1 billion as it reports forecast-beating first-half profits. (GLENCORE/EARNINGS (UPDATE 3), moved, by Silvia Antonioli, 600 words)

Russian downturn hits Europe’s beer makers

COPENHAGEN - Deteriorating conditions in Russia, embroiled in a stand-off with the West over turmoil in Ukraine, hits Carlsberg hard, but fellow brewer Heineken avoids a beating in Russia with higher beer sales across its more diversified portfolio. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/COMPANIES-BEER (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Teis Jensen and Robert-Jan Bartunek, 860 words)

Balfour Beatty rejects third Carillion offer

LONDON - British construction company Balfour Beatty rejects Carillion’s third merger proposal, saying its own turnaround strategy centred on the sale of its U.S. engineering business offers better prospects for investors. (BALFOUR-BEATTY-CARILLION/, moved, by Li-mei Hoang, 500 words)

Austria’s BAWAG shines ahead of stress test, possible sale

VIENNA - Austrian lender BAWAG PSK nearly doubles net profit in the second quarter and boosts its core capital ratio above 11 percent ahead of stress tests of big European banks and a potential sale that could follow (BAWAG-PSK-RESULTS/(UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Michael Shields and Angelika Gruber, 600 words)

Target cuts full-year profit forecast

Target Corp reports a 62 percent drop in second-quarter profit and cut its full-year earnings forecast as it resorts to price cuts to attract cash-strapped consumers and win over shoppers unnerved by a massive holiday-season data breach. (TARGET-RESULTS (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 400 words)

As Allergan deal drags on, some Valeant owners have doubts

NEW YORK/BOSTON - A few months ago, an innovative partnership between Valeant Pharmaceuticals and billionaire investor William Ackman to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc looked like a blueprint for success. Now some Valeant shareholders who backed the deal at its start are questioning whether it will become reality. (ALLERGAN-VALEANT/ACKMAN (DEALTALK)), moved, by Caroline Humer and Svea Herbst-Bayliss, 988 words

Vestas adjusted profit beats forecast, raises 2014 guidance

COPENHAGEN - Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems raises its full-year profit forecast after strong quarterly earnings, signalling its new management’s turnaround strategy is working. (VESTAS-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Shida Chayesteh, 600 words)

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