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BRIEF-Kingold Jewelry Inc's Unit Enters Trust Loan Agreement

* SAYS ON DEC 1, CO'S UNIT ENTERED INTO A TRUST LOAN AGREEMENT OF RMB 1 BILLION WITH ZHESHANG JINHUI TRUST

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Suspected North Korean cyber group seeks to woo bitcoin job seekers

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The surging price of cryptocurrencies in global markets is catching the eye not just of ordinary retail investors but a cybercrime gang with links to the North Korean government, according to cyber researchers tracing the group's activities.

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CORRECTED-BRIEF-METLIFE EXPECTS CORPORATE, OTHER OPERATING LOSS OF $450-650 MLN AFTER-TAX IN 2018

* EXPECTS GROUP BENEFIT UNIT PREMIUMS, FEES, OTHER REVENUE TO GROW 3 TO 5 PERCENT - OUTLOOK CALL

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Engie, Elecnor win licenses to build power lines in Brazil

SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - French energy group Engie SA and Celeo Redes, a firm controlled by Spain's Elecnor , won licenses on Friday to build and operate power transmission lines in Brazil for 30 years during a government-sponsored auction in Sao Paulo.

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Suspected N. Korean cyber group seeks to woo bitcoin job seekers

FRANKFURT, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The surging price of cryptocurrencies in global markets is catching the eye not just of ordinary retail investors but a cybercrime gang with links to the North Korean government, according to cyber researchers tracing the group's activities.

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BRIEF-Hanesbrands Amends Senior Secured Credit Facility

* SENIOR SECURED CREDIT FACILITY INCREASED TO $2.25 BILLION FROM $1.925 BILLION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-BofA Credit Card Charge-Off, Delinquency Rates for November

* BANK OF AMERICA CORP - CREDIT CARD CHARGE-OFF RATE WAS 2.74 PERCENT IN NOVEMBER VERSUS 2.39 PERCENT IN OCTOBER

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX broadly rallies, Linamar jumps on acquisition

TORONTO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, helped by a sharp jump in auto parts maker Linamar Corp after it announced plans to buy an agricultural equipment maker, while natural resources stocks also boosted the move higher.

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US STOCKS-Wall Street up as gains in consumer staples power recovery

* Indexes up: Dow 0.53 pct, S&P 500 0.51 pct, Nasdaq 0.35 pct (Updates to open)

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UPDATE 2-CSX shares derail after CEO takes medical leave

Dec 15 (Reuters) - CSX Corp shares slid on Friday as the No. 3 U.S. railroad sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress full steam ahead despite the unexpected medical leave of chief executive officer Hunter Harrison.

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BRIEF-Moody's Says Stable U.S. Retail Outlook In 2018, Reflective Of Higher Operating Income, Sales

* MOODY'S SAYS STABLE U.S. RETAIL OUTLOOK IN 2018, REFLECTIVE OF HIGHER OPERATING INCOME AND SALES

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UPDATE 1-Icahn steps up fight against SandRidge's plan to buy Bonanza Creek

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn on Friday stepped up its fight against SandRidge Energy Inc's plan to buy a rival, urging fellow stockholders to vote against the oil and gas company's plan to issue shares for the $746 million deal.

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BRIEF-Renren Reports Qtrly ‍Net Loss Per Ads $0.33​

* RENREN ANNOUNCES UNAUDITED THIRD QUARTER 2017 FINANCIAL RESULTS AND UPDATES ON PROPOSED TRANSACTION

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BRIEF-Ardshinbank Signs $25 Mln Trade Finance Facility With Citi And ADB

* ARDSHINBANK SIGNS $25 MILLION TRADE FINANCE FACILITY WITH CITI AND ADB

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BRIEF-Eros International Says Eros Now Forms Strategic Partnership With Foxxum

* EROS INTERNATIONAL SAYS EROS NOW FORMS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH FOXXUM TO PROVIDE ITS LIBRARY OF PREMIUM CONTENT ON FOXXUM TV APP STORE WORLDWIDE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Nomad Foods Announces Successful Repricing And Increase Of Term Loan Facility

* NOMAD FOODS ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL REPRICING AND INCREASE OF TERM LOAN FACILITY

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares limp toward third week of gains, Bitcoin roars to new high

* Wall Street set to rebound after concerns about U.S. tax reforms

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises, boosted by Linamar on acquisition news

TORONTO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index gained in early trading on Friday, as auto parts maker Linamar Corp jumped on news of a C$1.2 billion deal to buy an agricultural equipment maker, and heavyweight energy and financial stocks also rose.

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BRIEF-FDA Lifts Clinical Hold On Fitusiran

* ALNYLAM PHARMACEUTICALS INC - CLINICAL TRIAL DOSING TO RESUME AROUND YEAR-END 2017

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MOVES-Insurance broker Marsh names Paul Moody CEO of UK specialties division

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Marsh, the insurance broker arm of Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc, appointed Paul Moody chief executive officer of its UK specialties division, effective Jan. 1.

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BRIEF-Wabash National Corporation Announces New Board Member

* WABASH NATIONAL CORP- APPOINTMENT OF JOHN BOSS BRINGS CO'S BOARD TO EIGHT MEMBERS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Brazil's Petrobras to announce revised capex plan next week -CEO

SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA will announce a revision to its investment plan next week, Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Dick Giromini, Wabash National CEO, To Step Down In June

* - RICHARD GIROMINI WILL REMAIN WITH COMPANY, SERVING IN ROLE OF EXECUTIVE ADVISOR THROUGH JUNE 1, 2019 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Power Corporation Announces The Retirement Of Henri-Paul Rousseau

* POWER CORPORATION ANNOUNCES THE RETIREMENT OF HENRI-PAUL ROUSSEAU

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BRIEF-Ultragenyx And Kyowa Kirin Announce Burosumab Receives Positive CHMP Opinion For Treatment Of X-Linked Hypophosphatemia In Children

* ULTRAGENYX AND KYOWA KIRIN ANNOUNCE BUROSUMAB RECEIVES POSITIVE CHMP OPINION FOR THE TREATMENT OF X-LINKED HYPOPHOSPHATEMIA IN CHILDREN

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BRIEF-Valley National Bancorp Announces Receipt Of Regulatory And Shareholder Approvals

* VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP ANNOUNCES THE RECEIPT OF REGULATORY AND SHAREHOLDER APPROVALS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF USAMERIBANCORP, INC. Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-China Biologic Receives Operating Permit For New Collection Facility In Ju County In Shandong Province

* CHINA BIOLOGIC RECEIVES OPERATING PERMIT FOR NEW COLLECTION FACILITY IN JU COUNTY IN SHANDONG PROVINCE Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Arrow Electronics Names Steven H. Gunby As A New Director To Its Board

* ARROW ELECTRONICS NAMES STEVEN H. GUNBY AS A NEW DIRECTOR TO ITS BOARD

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Barclays upgrades trading platform to comply with EU rules

LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Barclays will upgrade its trading platform for all financial products traded on exchanges on Jan. 3, taking on more trade reporting duties on behalf of its clients ahead of new European market reforms, a spokesman for the bank said.

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Danish central bank says 'no' to e-crown

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Introducing a digital version of the Danish crown currency would pose risks to financial stability without improving payment solutions for Danes, the central bank said on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-FDA allows Alnylam to restart hemophilia treatment trials

Dec 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc to restart clinical trials on a drug to treat patients with a rare bleeding disorder, the company said on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-Novo Nordisk wins EU panel's backing for key diabetes drug

COPENHAGEN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk came closer to winning European approval for diabetes drug Ozempic, its biggest growth prospect, when a European Medicines Agency (EMA) experts' panel issued a positive recommendation on Friday.

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX futures point to flat opening

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index futures were little changed on Friday even as oil prices rose amid ongoing OPEC-led production cuts and a pipeline outage in the North Sea.

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UPDATE 1-Let board do its job finding successor, Airbus CEO urges staff

PARIS, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders, who is stepping down in 2019, urged employees on Friday to allow the board to pick his successor without being distracted by speculation about who would replace him.

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UPDATE 1-Aclaris's drug to treat common skin growth gets FDA nod

Dec 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Aclaris Therapeutics Inc's topical drug to treat a common kind of skin growth called seborrheic keratoses, the company said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Rigel Announces Resignation Of Ryan Maynard, Executive Vice President And CFO Effective December 31, 2017

* RESIGNATION OF RYAN MAYNARD, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2017

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UPDATE 2-Russia moves to save Promsvyazbank in third bailout this year

* Trio of failures biggest upset in 20 years (Adds details, quotes, background)

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US STOCKS-Futures recover from tax bill concerns

Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock markets were set to open higher on Friday, recovering from a bout of uncertainty surrounding the passage of the Republicans' much-awaited tax overhaul bill.

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BRIEF-Quebecor Inc Amends Its Normal Course Issuer Bid

* QUEBECOR INC - RECEIVED APPROVAL FROM TORONTO STOCK EXCHANGE TO AMEND ITS NCIB TO INCREASE MAXIMUM NUMBER CLASS B SHARES THAT MAY BE REPURCHASED

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BRIEF-GSV Capital Commences Cash Tender Offer To Purchase Any And All Of $69 Mln Of Outstanding 5.25% Convertible Senior Notes Due 2018

* GSV CAPITAL - COMMENCEMENT OF CASH TENDER OFFER TO PURCHASE ANY AND ALL OF $69 MILLION OF OUTSTANDING 5.25% CONVERTIBLE SENIOR NOTES DUE 2018

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BRIEF-Jeld-Wen Says Co, Units Entered Into Amendment To Term Loan Credit Agreement

* JELD-WEN SAYS ON DEC 14, CO, UNITS ENTERED INTO AMENDMENT TO TERM LOAN CREDIT AGREEMENT - SEC FILING

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BRIEF-Scandium International Mining Revises Renewed Existing Scandium Product Offtake Sales Agreement

* SCANDIUM INTERNATIONAL MINING- ON DEC 14, 2017 HAS REVISED, RENEWED EXISTING SCANDIUM PRODUCT OFFTAKE SALES AGREEMENT ENTERED IN 2015 WITH ALCERECO INC

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BRIEF-Capital One Financial Says Nov Domestic Credit Card Net Charge-Offs Rate 5.16 Pct Vs 4.7 Pct In Oct

* CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL-NOVEMBER DOMESTIC CREDIT CARD NET CHARGE-OFFS RATE 5.16 PERCENT VERSUS 4.70 PERCENT IN OCTOBER

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BRIEF-Torex Gold Resources Majority Of Employees Have Voted To Return To Work Immediately

* MAJORITY OF EMPLOYEES HAVE VOTED TO RETURN TO WORK IMMEDIATELY

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BRIEF-Acorn International Reports Q3 Revenue $6.1 Million

* ACORN INTERNATIONAL REPORTS FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2017 AND ANNOUNCES $2.0 MILLION SHARE BUYBACK PLAN

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BRIEF-China Finance Online And China Investment Securities Sign Strategic Cooperation

* CHINA FINANCE ONLINE AND CHINA INVESTMENT SECURITIES SIGN STRATEGIC COOPERATION TO DEVELOP INTELLIGENT FINANCE TECHNOLOGY TO EMPOWER INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERVICES

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BRIEF-Univar Announces Pricing Of Sale Of 10 Mln Shares Of Common Stock By Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Llc

* UNIVAR ANNOUNCES PRICING OF SALE OF 10,000,000 SHARES OF COMMON STOCK BY CLAYTON, DUBILIER & RICE LLC

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UPDATE 3-Hong Kong to push ahead with controversial dual-class shares

* HKEX drafting specific rule changes to allow dual-class shares

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BRIEF-Trovagene Prices $4.5 Million Public Offering

* PRICING OF PUBLIC OFFERING OF 15 MILLION SHARES OF ITS COMMON STOCK, COMMON WARRANTS TO PURCHASE UP TO 15 MILLION SHARES OF COMMON STOCK

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Airbus, Thai Airways to set up aircraft maintenance hub in Thailand

BANGKOK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - National carrier Thai Airways International and Airbus plan to jointly open an aircraft maintenance and repair operations (MRO) hub in Thailand, a Thai Airways official said on Friday.

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London-based investment banks to face closer EU scrutiny- documents

* Move aimed at closing loopholes for large firms after Brexit

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UPDATE 1-Boehringer CFO Menne quits in differences over strategy

FRANKFURT, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The chief financial officer of unlisted Boehringer Ingelheim, Simone Menne, will quit Germany's second-largest pharmaceuticals company at year-end after just 16 months in office because of differences over strategy.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging currencies digest central bank decisions

LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Emerging currencies strengthened on Friday but some eyed weekly losses as investors digested a deluge of central bank decisions.

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UPDATE 2-Hong Kong to push ahead with controversial dual-class shares

* HKEX drafting specific rule changes to allow dual-class shares

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UPDATE 1-India raises import tax on cellphones, move to hurt Apple

* India's April-Oct goods imports up 22 pct y/y to $256.4 bln (Adds details, quote)

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UPDATE 2-D.Telekom, Tele2 join forces to challenge Dutch duopoly

* Tele2 to receive 190 mln euros, 25 pct stake in T-Mobile NL

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares limp toward third week of gains, dollar hobbles

LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - World shares fell on Friday and the dollar slipped against major and heavyweight emerging market currencies, as nagging uncertainty about a U.S. tax cuts package dovetailed with broad-based end-of-year caution.

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BMW to build Czech test track for self-driving cars

BERLIN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - German luxury automaker BMW said on Friday it will spend over 100 million euros ($118 million) on a test track for self-driving and electric cars in the Czech Republic, as it expands its foray into alternative driving technologies.

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UPDATE 1-Hong Kong to push ahead with controversial dual-class shares

* HKEX drafting specific rule changes to allow dual-class shares

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Banco do Brasil unit keeps Neoenergia stake after failed IPO

SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - BB Banco de Investimento SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of state-run Banco do Brasil, will keep its 9.35 percent ownership of electricity company Neoenergia SA after the utility canceled plans for an initial public offering, the bank said in a securities filing late on Thursday.

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Hong Kong gearing up to allow controversial dual-class shares

HONG KONG, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong is set to allow controversial dual-class shares under rule changes to be proposed by the city's stock exchange as it raises the stakes in its battle against New York for blockbuster Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs).

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BRIEF-Siemens Healthineers Buys Fast Track Diagnostics

* SIEMENS HEALTHINEERS ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF FAST TRACK DIAGNOSTICS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Nanya Technology sells 2 mln shares in Micron Technology for $86.9 mln

* Says it sells 2 million shares in Micron Technology Inc for $86.9 million

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Russian court rules ex-minister Ulyukayev extorted bribe

MOSCOW, Dec 15 (Reuters) - A Russian court has established that former Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev had extorted a $2 million bribe from Igor Sechin, the CEO of oil company Rosneft , judge Larisa Semyonova said on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-Russian ex-minister Ulyukayev found guilty of bribe-taking

MOSCOW, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Former Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev was found guilty on Friday of soliciting a $2 million bribe from Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin in a court case that has shone a rare light on infighting among the Russian elite.

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Russian court finds ex-minister Ulyukayev guilty of taking a bribe - judge

MOSCOW, Dec 15 (Reuters) - A Russian court on Friday found ex-economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev guilty of taking a bribe.

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UPDATE 1-Votorantim Energia, Canada pension board form JV to invest in power

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Brazil's Votorantim Group's energy unit Votorantim Energia have formed a joint venture that will buy two operational wind parks in northeastern Brazil, they said.

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Russia's Promsvyazbank says its bail-out due to new cenbank demands

MOSCOW, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Russia's Promsvyazbank said on Friday that its bail-out was a result of a decision by the central bank to ask for additional provisions.

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Hungary courts Tesla with tax breaks, incentives -MTI

BUDAPEST, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Hungary's foreign minister has met executives of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla during a tour of Silicon Valley, extolling tax breaks and other incentives offered to car makers, national news agency MTI reported on Friday.

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BRIEF-TSMC Orders Equipment From Applied Materials, Li Jie Industrial, Tun Yi Industrial

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd :

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UPDATE 3-Oil prices rise on North Sea pipeline outage, but growing US output looms

* IEA says oil market could be in surplus in H1 2018 (Updates prices)

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CORRECTED-METALS-Copper, aluminium top Shanghai gainers on China data

SYDNEY, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Copper and aluminium led gainers in Shanghai base metals futures on Friday, helped by overnight increases in the London market on the back of upbeat China manufacturing data.

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BRIEF-Aker BP invests NOK 15.5 bln in development of 3 fields off Norway

* ‍AKER BP ASA (AKER BP) HAS SUBMITTED PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONS (PDOS) FOR VALHALL FLANK WEST, ÆRFUGL (FORMERLY SNADD) AND SKOGUL (FORMERLY STORKLAKKEN) FIELDS TO NORWEGIAN MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM AND ENERGY​

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares slip, US tax reform woes dent sentiment

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Asian shares erased earlier modest gains on Friday with sentiment dented by Wall Street's weakness on concerns about the progress of U.S. tax reform, though regional stocks remain on track for a weekly rise.

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BRIEF-Formosa Plastics sells stake in Micron Technology for $86.9 mln

* Says it sells 2 million shares in Micron Technology Inc for $86.9 million

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Daily Mail owner to liquidate U.S. business Xceligent​

LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), publisher of Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, has handed Xceligent, its struggling United States property information business, over to liquidators, it said on Friday.

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Russia's Aksakov: Promsvyazbank rescue won't affect other banks

MOSCOW, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The Russian banking sector will not be affected by the central bank's decision to bail out Promsvyazbank, the country's 10th largest lender by assets, TASS news agency cited the head of the Russian banking association as saying on Friday.

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BRIEF-H&M and Alibaba extend collaboration, H&M opens on Tmall

* H&M SAYS ‍H&M OPENS ON TMALL, WORLD'S LARGEST E-COMMERCE PLATFORM, DURING SPRING 2018​

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BRIEF-Galapagos Exercises Co-Promotion Option For Filgotinib

* SAID ON THURSDAY IT WILL OPT-IN ON CO-PROMOTION OF FILGOTINIB WITH COLLABORATION PARTNER GILEAD SCIENCES IN EIGHT EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, SHOULD FILGOTINIB BE APPROVED FOR COMMERCIAL SALE

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UPDATE 1-Airbus confirms management shake-up

PARIS, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Airbus confirmed a top management shake-up on Friday, following weeks of turmoil at the European planemaker.

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Rio Tinto not expected to relinquish interest in Freeport Indonesia copper mine until 2022 -govt official

JAKARTA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto is not expected until 2022 to relinquish its interest in the giant Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia operated by the local unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc, a government official said on Friday.

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Nikkei falls hit by telecom stocks, posts 1.1 pct weekly drop

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell to their lowest in more than a week on Friday, with mobile firms extending a sell-off on concerns of increased competition after e-commerce group Rakuten said it aims to become the country's fourth wireless carrier.

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Russia's central bank says to bail out Promsvyazbank

MOSCOW, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Russia's central bank said on Friday it had put Promsvyazbank, the country's 10th biggest private lender by assets, under temporary administration as part of a bailout plan.

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BRIEF-BP To Invest $200 Mln In Lightsource Over 3 Years For 43 Pct Stake

* BP TO INVEST $200M IN LIGHTSOURCE OVER THREE YEARS FOR A 43% STAKE IN THE BUSINESS‍​

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French and Benelux stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 15

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Below are company-related news and stories from French and Benelux media which could have an impact on the region's markets or individual stocks.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares slip, U.S. tax reform woes dent sentiment

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Asian shares erased earlier modest gains on Friday but were still on track for a weekly rise, as sentiment was hurt by Wall Street's weakness on concerns about the progress of U.S. tax reform.

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Sea change: LNG tankers divert to China as winter gas shortage bites

* China's LNG demand soars as households switch to gas for heating

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UPDATE 1-China regulators start antitrust review of Toshiba chip unit sale -report

* Formal anti-trust review process in China can take 180 days

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BRIEF-Smartcentres REIT issues $500 mln Unsecured Debenture

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Smartcentres Real Estate Investment Trust :

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BRIEF-Byte Power Group's ‍Unit Enters Into Heads Of Agreement With Synstream Energy

* ‍ UNIT ENTERS INTO HEADS OF AGREEMENT WITH SYNSTREAM ENERGY CORP TO BE ICO ADVISOR TO SYNSTREAM​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-‍Painted Pony Announces Fully-Funded 2018 Capital Budget​

* ‍GROWING ANNUAL AVERAGE DAILY PRODUCTION VOLUME BY OVER 45%​ IN 2018

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Indonesia's Go-Jek acquires 3 companies to boost payment services

JAKARTA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia's Go-Jek has acquired three financial technology businesses, as it expands from ride-hailing and other mobile on-demand offerings into payments and other services.

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Nikkei falls to more than 1-week low; telecom stocks extend slide

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell to more than a week low on Friday morning, with mobile firms extending a sell-off on concerns of increased competition after Rakuten said it aims to become Japan's fourth wireless carrier.

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UPDATE 1-Moves in S.Korea to make cryptocurrency trading more transparent

* Virtual currency users to be identified to boost transparency

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UPDATE 1-Uber investor departs venture firm amid harassment claims

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar, known for his early bet on Uber Technologies Inc, said on Thursday that he would sever ties with his venture capital company, Sherpa Capital, after being accused of sexual misconduct.

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UPDATE 1-CSX CEO Hunter Harrison takes medical leave amid rail overhaul

Dec 14 (Reuters) - CSX Corp said on Thursday its Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison was taking medical leave, an announcement that comes amid of a controversial turnaround plan at the No. 3 U.S. railroad that has drawn customer criticism and scrutiny from regulators.

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UPDATE 2-Hedge fund Elliott prepares second challenge to Hess Corp

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Elliott Management Corp is readying for a new fight with Hess Corp to remedy what the activist hedge fund called on Thursday "continuing underperformance" by the U.S. oil and gas producer.

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UPDATE 3-U.S. labor board overturns Obama-era 'joint employment' ruling

Dec 14 (Reuters) - A U.S. labor board on Thursday overturned an Obama-era ruling that had made it easier for unions and workers to hold companies accountable for practices of contractors and franchisees, a decision welcomed by business groups that could affect a major case against McDonald's Corp .

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METALS-Copper, aluminium top Shanghai gainers on China data

SYDNEY, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Copper and aluminium led gainers in Shanghai base metals futures on Friday, helped by overnight increases in the London market on the back of upbeat China manufacturing data.

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CSX says CEO Hunter Harrison on medical leave

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Rail operator CSX Corp said on Thursday its Chief Executive Officer and President Hunter Harrison, was on medical leave due to unexpected complications from a recent illness.

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UPDATE 1-Pfizer's Xeljanz gets FDA nod as joint disease treatment

Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two doses of its drug Xeljanz for treatment of a joint disease.

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BRIEF-‍CSX Announces Medical Leave Of CEO Hunter Harrison​

* ‍CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND PRESIDENT, HUNTER HARRISON, IS ON MEDICAL LEAVE DUE TO UNEXPECTED COMPLICATIONS FROM A RECENT ILLNESS​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares edge up, on track for weekly gain

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Asian shares edged higher on Friday, on track for weekly gains, though sentiment was kept in check by Wall Street's weakness on concerns about the progress of U.S. tax reform.

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Pfizer's Xeljanz gets FDA nod as joint disease treatment

Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Thursday the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two doses of its drug Xeljanz for the treatment of a joint disease.

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BRIEF-‍Innergex Obtains Support From Alterra's Shareholders​

* ‍SPECIAL RESOLUTION WAS APPROVED BY 99.89% OF 32,994,488 VOTES CAST BY ALTERRA SHAREHOLDERS​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Pfizer Announces FDA Approval Of Xeljanz® And Xeljanz® Xr For Treatment Of Active Psoriatic Arthritis

* PFIZER ANNOUNCES FDA APPROVAL OF XELJANZ® (TOFACITINIB) AND XELJANZ® XR FOR THE TREATMENT OF ACTIVE PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS

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Music producer Russell Simmons denies newspaper reports of sexual misconduct

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Music and film producer Russell Simmons faced new accusations of sexual misconduct from nine woman dating back to 1983, including four who alleged he raped them, and New York police have opened an investigation, police and U.S. newspapers said on Thursday.

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Brazil's Petrobras to announce partnership for Campos Basin- CEO

SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA will announce soon a partnership to allow Campos Basin, which first produced oil 40 years ago, to continue producing for a long time, Petrobras Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said.

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UPDATE 3-Oracle shares tumble as cloud outlook darkens

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Oracle Corp on Thursday forecast current-quarter cloud revenue growth that missed Street expectations after reporting disappointing second-quarter sales in the same business, sending its shares down nearly 7 percent after hours.

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UPDATE 1-Hedge fund Elliott prepares second challenge to Hess Corp

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Elliott Management Corp is readying for a new fight with Hess Corp to help remedy what the activist hedge fund called on Thursday "continuing underperformance" by the U.S. oil and gas producer.

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Missouri issues first fines over misuse of farm chemical in 2016

CHICAGO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Missouri has issued its first fines over the misuse of a farm chemical in 2016 that went on to be linked in different formulations to widespread U.S. crop damage this year, the state said on Thursday.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real sinks to 6-month low as pension vote delayed

(Updates prices) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Brazil's real on Thursday sank to a nearly six-month low after lawmakers delayed a vote on a bill to cut social security benefits that is seen as a key measure to rein in the deficit. Mexico's peso sank nearly 0.8 percent, only briefly paring losses after the country's central bank raised interest rates, while Chile's peso gained more than 1 percent to a two-week high, helped by rising prices for copper, the country'

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BRIEF-‍Alterra Power Says Shareholders Approve Of Innergex Arrangement

* ‍ALTERRA POWER CORP. ANNOUNCES SHAREHOLDER APPROVAL OF ARRANGEMENT​

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BRIEF-Humana Prices $800 Million Debt Offering

* ‍SENIOR NOTES ARE COMPRISED OF $400 MILLION OF COMPANY'S 2.900 PERCENT SENIOR NOTES, DUE 2022, AT 99.830 PERCENT OF PRINCIPAL AMOUNT​

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BRIEF-‍Trinidad Drilling Says 2018 Capital Spending Budget Of About $40 Mln

* ‍TRINIDAD DRILLING LTD. ANNOUNCES 2018 CAPITAL SPENDING BUDGET AND INTERNATIONAL CONTRACT AWARD​

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UPDATE 1-Oi board may call shareholder meeting to debate restructuring plan -sources

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The board of Brazilian telecommunications company Oi SA will meet on Friday, and will likely call a shareholders meeting to debate a restructuring deal struck by its executives and key creditors, two sources familiar with the board's thinking said on Thursday.

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UPDATE 2-Airbus planemaking chief Bregier to leave in February -sources

PARIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Airbus planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier plans to leave the aerospace group after the board intervened to resolve tensions over the future succession to Chief Executive Tom Enders, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

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Republican governors meet with Pence over NAFTA concerns

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Republican governors from four U.S. states on Thursday met with Vice President Mike Pence to voice deep concerns over proposed changes to NAFTA that could affect jobs and manufacturing in their states, officials who attended the meeting said.

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Statkraft sells Sheringham Shoal wind farm stake to UK's Equitix

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Norway's state-owned power firm Statkraft said on Thursday it had agreed to sell its stake in the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm to UK fund manager Equitix.

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UPDATE 1-British Columbia rejects KGHM's proposed Ajax mine

VANCOUVER, Dec 14 (Reuters) - British Columbia on Thursday said it would not issue an environmental certificate for KGHM Polska Miedz's Ajax copper and gold mine in the province's interior, saying the adverse effects of the controversial project would outweigh any benefit.

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 10-Oil prices up on pipeline outage support

* IEA joins OPEC, EIA, raises forecast for U.S. 2018 output growth

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UPDATE 6-U.S. regulators ditch net neutrality rules as legal battles loom

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.

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UPDATE 2-U.S. labor board overturns Obama-era 'joint employment' ruling

Dec 14 (Reuters) - A U.S. labor board's newly minted Republican majority on Thursday overturned an Obama-era ruling that had irked business groups by making it easier for unions and workers to hold companies accountable for the practices of staffing agencies, contractors and franchisees with which they partner.

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Family-friendly Disney to bring edgier Fox fare to streaming video

LOS ANGELES, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co is poised to add foul-mouthed superhero Deadpool and gory TV series "American Horror Story" to its portfolio, a novel move for the king of family-friendly entertainment into the adult-oriented programming consumers are devouring on streaming video.

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Alphabet's X sells new wireless internet tech to Indian state

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's X research division said on Thursday that India's Andhra Pradesh state government would buy its newly developed technology that has the potential to provide high-speed wireless internet to millions of people without laying cable.

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UPDATE 3-U.S. OKs more ETP natgas pipe drilling, Ohio wants pause

Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. energy regulators on Thursday approved Energy Transfer Partners LP's request to resume horizontal drilling at eight sites in Ohio and West Virginia as it works to complete part of the Rover natural gas pipeline by the end of the year.

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BRIEF-Corsa Coal Sees 2018 Total Metallurgical Coal Sales Of 2.1 - 2.8 Mln Short Tons

* CORSA COAL SEES 2018 TOTAL METALLURGICAL COAL SALES OF 2.1 - 2.8 MILLION SHORT TONS

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BRIEF-Oncor And Sempra Energy Reach Settlement Agreement With Several Key Texas Stakeholders

* ONCOR AND SEMPRA ENERGY REACH SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH SEVERAL KEY TEXAS STAKEHOLDERS

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UPDATE 2-Court reverses Dell buyout ruling that alarmed dealmakers

WILMINGTON, Del., Dec 14 (Reuters) - Delaware's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a lower court erred in finding that the 2013 buyout of computer maker Dell Inc was vastly underpriced, in an opinion that will likely restrict a hedge fund strategy aimed at wringing cash from mergers.

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BRIEF-Consolidated HCI Holdings Corp Qtrly Loss Per Share $0.07

* CONSOLIDATED HCI HOLDINGS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES ITS 2017 ANNUAL AND FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

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British Columbia rejects KGHM's proposed Ajax mine

VANCOUVER, Dec 14 (Reuters) - British Columbia on Thursday said it would not issue a provincial environmental certificate for the Ajax gold and copper mine in the province's interior, saying the adverse effects of the controversial project would outweigh any benefit.

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BRIEF-Genworth Australia Finalizes Premium Earning Pattern

* GENWORTH AUSTRALIA FINALIZES PREMIUM EARNING PATTERN AND UPDATES FY2017 GUIDANCE

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Brazil's Petrobras receives $3 billion in China Development Bank loan

SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA on Thursday received $3 billion under a $5 billion loan from China Development Bank, the company said in a securities filing.

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UPDATE 1-Merck's Keytruda fails pivotal gastric cancer trial

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc said on Thursday a key late-stage trial testing its blockbuster drug, Keytruda, failed to meet its main goal of extending lives of patients with a type of gastric cancer.

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BRIEF-BioDelivery Sciences Reacquires Onsolis From Collegium Pharmaceutical

* BIODELIVERY SCIENCES REACQUIRES ONSOLIS® FROM COLLEGIUM PHARMACEUTICAL

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BRIEF-Alamo Group Announces The Appointment Of A New Board Member

* ALAMO GROUP INC. ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF A NEW BOARD MEMBER Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Wright Medical Group buys IMASCAP SAS for $88.8 mln

* WRIGHT MEDICAL GROUP N.V. ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF IMASCAP SAS

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BRIEF-DDR Corp Says Board Unanimously Approved Plan To Spin Off Portfolio Of 50 Assets

* DDR CORP - BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A PLAN TO SPIN OFF A PORTFOLIO OF 50 ASSETS

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BRIEF-Ellington Residential Mortgage Reit announces CFO retirement

* ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE REIT ANNOUNCES EXPECTED RETIREMENT OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER LISA MUMFORD

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BRIEF-SunCoke Energy Partners Announces Pricing Of Private $70 Mln Debt Offering

* SUNCOKE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P. ANNOUNCES PRICING OF PRIVATE $70 MILLION DEBT OFFERING

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BRIEF-Ellington Financial announces CFO retirement

* ELLINGTON FINANCIAL LLC ANNOUNCES EXPECTED RETIREMENT OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER LISA MUMFORD

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Southwest Airlines would use tax savings on planes, share buybacks

NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co would use savings from a potential cut to the U.S. corporate tax rate to buy new planes and fund share buybacks, Chief Executive Gary Kelly said on Thursday.

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BRIEF-Elliott seeks to remove John Hess as CEO Of Hess Corp - CNBC, citing Dow Jones ‍​

* ELLIOTT SEEKS TO REMOVE JOHN HESS AS CEO OF HESS CORP. OR GET HIM TO CONSIDER SALE; ALSO SEEKS DIVIDEND CUT, MORE BUYBACKS - CNBC, CITING DOW JONES ‍​

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BRIEF-Spectra7 Announces $15 Million Bought Deal Financing

* SPECTRA7 MICROSYSTEMS - ENTERED INTO AGREEMENT WITH CANACCORD GENUITY CORP PURSUANT TO WHICH CANACCORD WILL PURCHASE 15,000 UNITS OF CO Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 3-Delta Air Lines to place order for Airbus jets

NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines said on Thursday it will place a firm order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets and an optional order for 100 of the aircraft.

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UPDATE 2-Leadership of New York Times passes to next-generation Sulzberger

NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The New York Times on Thursday named a new publisher in 37-year-old A.G. Sulzberger, a fifth-generation descendant of Times leaders whose internal report on innovation has guided a newspaper known as "The Gray Lady" into the digital era.

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Brazil's Neoenergia seen delaying IPO, shareholders won't reduce price -sources

SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian utility Neoenergia SA is expected to decide for the postponement of its initial public offering, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

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UPDATE 1-Four killed in Canada helicopter crash

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Four people were killed on Thursday when a helicopter belonging to utility Hydro One crashed in central Ontario, the company said in a statement.

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Facebook to use its News Feed to push more videos to users

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Thursday it would begin to promote videos more prominently inside its News Feed, leveraging the social network's centerpiece product to build interest in episodic shows and compete more directly with YouTube.

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Argentina's YPF to sell 25 pct of electricity unit to GE -source

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-owned oil company YPF SA will sell a 25 percent stake in its electricity generation unit to U.S. industrial conglomerate General Electric Co, a source close to the deal told Reuters on Thursday.

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BRIEF-Scotts Miracle-Gro Co Says CEO James Hagedorn's FY 2017 Total Compensation Was $22.1 mln

* SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO CO SAYS CEO JAMES HAGEDORN'S FY 2017 TOTAL COMPENSATION WAS $22.1 MILLION VERSUS $8.5 MILLION IN FY 2016 - SEC FILING

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UPDATE 1-New York state AG to sue over net neutrality reversal

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and at least two other state law enforcement chiefs said on Thursday he would lead a multi-state legal challenge to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission vote to reverse landmark 2015 net neutrality rules.

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UPDATE 5-U.S. regulators ditch net neutrality rules as legal battles loom

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.

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BRIEF-CBOE Data Shop Plans To Add FX Offerings, Spot & Futures Bitcoin Data

* CBOE DATA SHOP PLANS TO ADD FX OFFERINGS, SPOT AND FUTURES BITCOIN DATA

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Airbus planemaking chief Bregier to step down -sources

PARIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Airbus Chief Operating Officer and planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier is expected to step down following a board meeting on Thursday to tackle management tensions at the aerospace group, two sources familiar with the matter said.

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Trump supports deal for Disney to acquire Fox film, TV units -White House

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The White House said on Thursday that President Donald Trump backs the deal that Walt Disney Co has struck to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

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BRIEF-Hydro One Confirms Incident Involving Its Helicopter Aircraft In Tweed Area

* CONFIRMS AN INCIDENT INVOLVING ONE OF ITS HELICOPTER AIRCRAFT OCCURRED IN TWEED AREA AND HAS RESULTED IN FOUR FATALITIES

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BRIEF-Snyder's-Lance Hires Bank To Weigh Sale After Campbell Approach- CNBC

* SNYDER'S-LANCE HIRES BANK TO WEIGH SALE AFTER CAMPBELL APPROACH- CNBC, CITING SOURCES‍​ Source text : http://cnb.cx/2zdb8T5 Further company coverage:

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ETP seeks U.S. OK to drill more on Rover natgas pipe, Ohio wants pause

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Energy Transfer Partners LP urged U.S. regulators to allow the company to start more horizontal drilling as it works to complete part of the Rover natural gas pipeline by the end of the year, after delays caused by spills.

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UPDATE 1-Perrigo lines up bid for Merck's consumer health unit -sources

* Perrigo to submit non-binding offer for Merck KGaA's OTC unit

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BRIEF-The Anschutz Foundation Reports 8.67 Pct Passive Stake In Regal Entertainment Group

* THE ANSCHUTZ FOUNDATION REPORTS 8.67 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN REGAL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP AS OF DECEMBER 4 - SEC FILING Source text : http://bit.ly/2ksCETW Further company coverage:

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DaVita unit to pay $63.7 million to resolve U.S. billing probe

Dec 14 (Reuters) - A pharmacy services unit of DaVita Inc has agreed to pay $63.7 million to resolve allegations that it improperly billed federal healthcare programs for medications and paid illegal financial inducements to patients, the U.S. Justice Department said.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Global shares little changed after central bank meetings

* U.S. stocks down (Updates to Europe close, adds commentary)

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BRIEF-Webster Financial Corp Files For Potential Mixed Shelf

* WEBSTER FINANCIAL CORP FILES FOR POTENTIAL MIXED SHELF; SIZE NOT DISCLOSED - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2B07RWE) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-El Paso Electric Says Commission of Texas Approves Final Order in Rate Case

* EL PASO ELECTRIC - PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS APPROVED A FINAL ORDER APPROVING UNCONTESTED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT FILED WITH COMMISSION ON NOV 2

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BRIEF-Lonestar Resources US Announces Offering Of Senior Unsecured Notes

* LONESTAR RESOURCES US INC. ANNOUNCES OFFERING OF SENIOR UNSECURED NOTES

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BRIEF-Merck Says Prevymis To Be Available In Canada By End Of December

* MERCK & CO SAYS RECENTLY APPROVED PREVYMIS (LETERMOVIR) IS EXPECTED TO BE AVAILABLE IN CANADA BY END OF DECEMBER 2017 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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New York state AG to sue over net neutrality reversal

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Thursday he would lead a multi-state legal challenge to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission vote to reverse landmark the 2015 net neutrality rules.

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UPDATE 1-Germany's Merck to make new bid to enter U.S. MS pill market

* Unit head Garijo says targeting most severely affected patients

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BRIEF-Cornerstone Securityholders Approve Spinoff Of Cornerstone Exploration

* CORNERSTONE SECURITYHOLDERS APPROVE SPINOFF OF CORNERSTONE EXPLORATION INC. Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 2-Cenovus Energy to axe more jobs during cost-cutting push

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Canadian oil sands company Cenovus Energy Inc said on Thursday it would cut an additional 15 percent of its workforce and lower operating expenses as new chief executive, Alex Pourbaix, seeks to aggressively reduce costs and lower debt.

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Music producer Russell Simmons denies newspaper reports of new misconduct accusations

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Music and film producer Russell Simmons faced new accusations of sexual misconduct from nine woman in incidents dating back to 1983, including four who alleged that he raped them, according to separate reports in two U.S. newspapers.

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Turkish banker expected to testify in Iran sanctions trial in New York

(Reuters) - Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a Turkish banker accused of taking part in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions, plans to testify in his own defense at his trial in New York, his lawyers said Thursday.

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US STOCKS-S&P, Dow flat as healthcare losses offset by tech, media gains

* Weekly jobless claims fall; Nov. retail sales beat estimates

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UPDATE 3-U.S. Federal Communications Commission repeals net neutrality rules

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.

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BRIEF-Micropac Industries Approves Special Dividend

* MICROPAC INDUSTRIES - BOARD APPROVED PAYMENT OF SPECIAL COMMON STOCK DIVIDEND OF $0.10 PER SHARE PAYABLE TO SHAREHOLDERS OF RECORD ON JAN 10, 2018 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Great Quest Fertilizer Says Reissuance Of Sanoukou Gold Permit

* GREAT QUEST FERTILIZER LTD - REISSUANCE OF SANOUKOU GOLD PERMIT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Perrigo preparing non-binding bid for Merck KgaA's consumer health unit -sources

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Perrigo has decided to enter the fray for Merck KgaA's consumer health unit, sources told Reuters on Thursday, and is preparing an indicative offer for the $4.7 billion business ahead of the Dec. 15 deadline.

Doctors Without Borders nytimes.com

At Least 6,700 Rohingya Died in First Month of Myanmar Crackdown, Aid Group Says

The aid group, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, said the figure was almost certainly an underestimate.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil currency touches 7-month low as pension vote delayed

By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real on Thursday hit a fresh seven-month low after the lower house of Congress delayed to February a vote on a key bill to cut social security benefits. President Michel Temer had said he hoped for a vote by Tuesday, but he has struggled to rally lawmaker support for the unpopular pension cuts, which many investors consider essential to reining in Brazil's surging public debt. Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Maia said th

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BRIEF-Gtt Signs New Global Services Agreement With Chevron Transport Corporation Ltd

* SIGNS NEW GLOBAL SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH CHEVRON TRANSPORT CORPORATION LTD.

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BRIEF-NGEx Announces CDN $10 Million Private Placement

* NGEX RESOURCES - INTENDS TO SELL ON A NON-BROKERED, PRIVATE PLACEMENT BASIS, AN AGGREGATE OF UP TO 10 MILLION COMMON SHARES AT $1.00/COMMON SHARE

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BRIEF-Unilever To Acquire Schmidt’s Naturals

* SAYS TERMS OF TRANSACTION WERE NOT DISCLOSED​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-‍Northern Trust Company Increased Prime Rate To 4.50 Pct​

* NORTHERN TRUST CORP - ‍NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY HAS INCREASED ITS PRIME RATE FROM 4.25% TO 4.50%, EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2017​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 806 749 1136)

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Deckers wins proxy contest against hedge fund Marcato

BOSTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Deckers Outdoor Corp. beat back a challenge from activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management when shareholders reelected all nine of the company's directors, the maker of UGG boots confirmed in a statement.

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UPDATE 2-European shares lag Wall Street, ECB provides no momentum

* Wind turbine makers boosted by U.S. tax development (Adds closing prices, quotes)

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World shares little changed amid slate of central bank meetings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock markets were little changed on Thursday after policy meetings from major central banks in Europe, while some U.S. shares were buoyed by news that the Republicans' tax legislation could face final votes in Congress before year-end.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-World shares little changed amid slate of central bank meetings

* Dollar index up (Updates to U.S. trading open; changes byline, dateline, previously LONDON)

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US STOCKS-Wall St higher on optimism over tax bill, Fed's economic outlook

* Weekly jobless claims fall; Nov. retail sales beat estimates

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UPDATE 3-French tech firm Atos to pursue Gemalto despite rebuff

* Shares in both companies fall, Atos by more (Adds Quandt family rejection, union leaders reaction, details, background)

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BRIEF-New York Times says Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Will Retire On Dec 31

* NEW YORK TIMES CO - ARTHUR O. SULZBERGER, JR. WILL RETIRE AS PUBLISHER ON DECEMBER 31, 2017​

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BRIEF-Vasco Data Security International Says Board Expanded Its Size To 6 Directors

* VASCO DATA SECURITY INTERNATIONAL SAYS IN CONNECTION WITH ART GILLILAND'S ELECTION TO BOARD, BOARD EXPANDED ITS SIZE TO SIX DIRECTORS - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2jSWybe) Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 2-Protesters gather as U.S. regulators meet to end net neutrality

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected on Thursday to rescind rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, as protesters gathered to oppose the change.

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UPDATE 3-Bombardier's 2018 revenue forecast disappoints, shares fall

* Shares down 1.9 pct ahead of investor day at 3:00 p.m. ET (Adds analysts' estimate and comment, background and shares)

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BRIEF-Plaza Retail Reit Sells 50% Interest In Eight Properties

* PLAZA RETAIL REIT SELLS 50% INTEREST IN EIGHT PROPERTIES TO RECYCLE CAPITAL FOR NEW VALUE ADD DEVELOPMENTS

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UPDATE 2-Lebanon gives go-ahead to first offshore energy exploration

* Sovereign wealth fund, NOC laws not yet passed (Adds PIX, TV, adds energy minister and NGO comments)

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UPDATE 4-South Africa's Sibanye-Stillwater to be No. 2 platinum miner with Lonmin buy

* Lonmin underperforms peers: http://bit.ly/2zbL36M (Adds deal detail, updates shares)

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U.S. Republican Representative Farenthold will not seek re-election: reports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold will not seek re-election in November after allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior from former staffers, according to news reports on Thursday.

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Sberbank CFO says previous talks with Alibaba finished

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian lender Sberbank's talks with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba have finished in their current form, the bank's Chief Financial Officer Alexander Morozov said on Thursday.

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BRIEF-Sabby Management​ Reports 9.99 Pct Passive Stake In InspireMD

* SABBY MANAGEMENT​ REPORTS 9.99 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN INSPIREMD AS OF DEC 12 - SEC FILING‍ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2zcFtkG) Further company coverage: