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Sanofi near deal to buy Bioverativ for more than $11.5 bln -WSJ

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Sanofi SA is said to be near a deal to buy drug maker Bioverativ Inc for more than $11.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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BRIEF-Sanofi nears deal to buy Hemophilia drugmaker Bioverativ for over $11.5 bln - WSJ

* SANOFI NEARS DEAL TO BUY HEMOPHILIA DRUGMAKER BIOVERATIV FOR MORE THAN $11.5 BILLION - WSJ, CITING SOURCES‍​ Source: http://on.wsj.com/2mYJulp Further company coverage:,

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Toshiba considering IPO for memory chip unit - FT

TOKYO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is considering an IPO of its prized memory chip business if an agreed $18 billion sale of the unit to Bain Capital fails to gain antitrust approval by the end of March, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

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U.S. Commerce Dept sends Trump aluminum probe findings -officials

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department has sent President Donald Trump the results of its national security probe into aluminum imports, Trump administration officials said on Sunday, while declining to disclose details.

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UPDATE 7-Senators race to end U.S. government shutdown before work week begins

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republican and Democratic leaders met on Sunday amid a flurry of congressional negotiations aimed at breaking an impasse that has kept the U.S. government shut down for two days, but it was unclear if a deal could be struck to reopen federal agencies by the start of the work week.

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PRECIOUS-Gold up on safe haven buying after U.S. govt shutdown

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Monday amid a softer dollar as investors sought safe haven assets after the U.S. government shutdown due to a funding impasse. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,334.10 an ounce by 0046 GMT. * Spot gold fell 0.5 percent last week, its first weekly decline in six weeks. * U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,333.80. * The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, dollar sag after US government shutdown

* South African rand shines, Turkish lira drops on Syria conflict

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UPDATE 1-Icahn, Deason call on Xerox to explore options, including sale -WSJ

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Hedge fund investor Carl Icahn and another major owner of Xerox Corp stock, Darwin Deason, are pushing the digital print technology provider to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

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UPDATE 1-Australian short-seller target Quintis appoints administrators

* Shares not traded since May (Adds Glaucus comments and short-selling details)

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UPDATE 1-U.S. stock index futures dip after government shutdown continues

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Stock investors gave a muted reaction to the second day of a U.S. government shutdown on Sunday, with U.S. stock index futures dipping only slightly on expectations that the political impasse will not hurt the U.S. economy.

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UPDATE 1-Color back on red carpet ahead of Screen Actors Guild awards

LOS ANGELES, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Color returned to the red carpet on Sunday for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award on a night expected to celebrate female empowerment in the midst of the sexual misconduct scandal sweeping the United States.

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Icahn, Deason call on Xerox to explore options, including sale -WSJ

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Hedge fund investor Carl Icahn and another major owner of Xerox Corp stock, Darwin Deason, are pushing the digital print technology provider to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

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BRIEF-Carl Icahn And Darwin Deason push for Xerox to explore sale - WSJ‍​

* CARL ICAHN AND DARWIN DEASON PUSH FOR XEROX TO EXPLORE SALE - WSJ, CITING SOURCES‍​ Source: http://on.wsj.com/2EYCRHd Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Wal-Mart shops Brazil unit stake to Advent, other funds -sources

SAO PAULO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is in talks with buyout firm Advent International Corp and other funds to sell a major stake in its Brazilian operations, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Sunday.

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Rio Tinto sets up new exploration office in Mongolia

MELBOURNE, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto will set up a new office in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, separate from its Oyu Tolgoi mine division, to focus on exploration and building local ties.

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UPDATE 1-U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global has invested more than $1 bln in Barclays -FT

Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management has invested more than $1 billion in Britain's Barclays Plc , the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

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U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global has invested more than $1 bln in Barclays - FT

Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management has invested more than $1 billion in Britain's Barclays Plc , the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

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Advent in talks to buy 50 pct of Wal-Mart's Brazilian unit -report

SAO PAULO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Advent is in talks to buy 50 percent of Wal-Mart Stores Inc's operations in Brazil, according to a report in Brazil's O Globo newspaper on Sunday.

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UPDATE 1-Wall St Week Ahead-Where Netflix goes, Big Tech may follow

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's quarterly results on Monday may offer an advanced preview of whether Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and other heavyweights behind much of the U.S. stock market's record-breaking rally can keep delivering.

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Wall St Week Ahead-Where Netflix goes, Big Tech may follow, despite U.S. government shutdown

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's quarterly results on Monday may offer a preview of whether Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and other heavyweights behind much of the U.S. stock market's record-breaking rally can keep delivering.

cnn.com

Lawmakers go back to work today, but there's not much hope Senate Democrats will agree to fund the government until Trump agrees to deal with DACA

The government shutdown went into a second day Sunday with recriminations deepening between the parties and with no sign of progress towards ending the impasse.

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British PM May says will stop companies abusing pension schemes

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would clamp down on bosses who try to "line their own pockets" while not protecting workers' pensions, after the collapse of outsourcer Carillion with a 900-million-pound hole in its pension scheme.

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Europe readies riposte to Trump's "America First" push in Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 21 (Reuters) - European leaders will be out in force at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to defend multilateralism before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his "America First" message.

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REFILE-SoFi in talks with top Twitter exec about CEO position-WSJ

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Social Finance Inc (SoFi) is in discussions with Anthony Noto, a top Twitter Inc executive, to become the online lender's chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing sources.

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U.S. Army helicopter crash in California kills 2 soldiers -official

Jan 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter crashed early Saturday morning in California, killing two soldiers, a spokesman for the Army said.

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SoFi in talks with top Twitter exec about CEO position-WSJ

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Social Finance Inc (SoFi) is in discussions with Anthony Noto, a top Twitter Inc executive, to become the online lender's chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing sources.

cnn.com

Lawmakers scramble for a deal

Just a day into a government shutdown, neither side is prepared to blink.

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UPDATE 3- South Africa's ANC to force Zuma to quit as president -reports

* Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza named Eskom's chair (Adds new details on Eskom board, Ramaphosa quote)

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UPDATE 6-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge-source

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, according to a person familiar with the approach, which could set up a bidding war with Swiss-based rival Glencore Plc.

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Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel - Afghan official

KABUL, Jan 20 (Reuters) - A group of three or four gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday and were exchanging fire with security forces, an interior ministry spokesman said.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

Trading Blame for the Shutdown, Lawmakers Search for a Deal to End It

With the government shut down and the two parties faulting each other, senators from both parties were looking for an agreement to end the crisis.

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South Africa names Jabu Mabuza as Eskom chairman in board shake-up 

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 20 (Reuters) - South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a new board at state-owned power utility Eskom and named Telkom's chairman Jabu Mabuza as its new chairman, the country's presidency said on Saturday.

cnn.com

Senior White House official doubtful a deal will happen today

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India's ONGC to buy majority stake in refiner HPCL for $5.78 bln

NEW DELHI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - India's biggest explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has agreed to buy the government's majority stake in state-refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp for 369 billion rupees ($5.78 billion), ONGC said on Saturday.

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Britain able to have bespoke deal with EU: Macron

LONDON (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday Britain would be able to have a bespoke deal with the European Union after Brexit, one of Prime Minister Theresa May's objectives.

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Schaeffler CEO says splitting company would be unwise -paper

FRANKFURT, Jan 20 (Reuters) - German car parts maker Schaeffler sees no merit in splitting the company, contrasting with peers such as Continental, Delphi or Autoliv, which have spun off units or are considering doing so.

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Trump's dealmaker image tarnished by U.S. government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For President Donald Trump, this weekend was supposed to be a celebration.

cnn.com

Trump and Schumer came close to a deal. Then it fell apart

After his morning television shows had ended and as the deadline to fund the government loomed, President Donald Trump placed a call to the man in Washington he believed held all the cards: Sen. Chuck Schumer.

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UPDATE 1-Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during U.S. elections

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc, which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service.

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UPDATE 5-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge -WSJ

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grains merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, a move that could set up a battle for Bunge with Swiss-based rival Glencore Plc.

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BRIEF-Blackstone / GSO Senior Floating Rate Term Fund Announces Preliminary Filing For Rights Offering

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Blackstone / GSO Senior Floating Rate Term Fund:

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 4-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge -WSJ

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grains merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, a move that could set up a battle for Bunge with Switzerland-based rival Glencore Plc.

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CORRECTED-Archer Daniels has made takeover approach to Bunge - WSJ

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland Co made a takeover approach to rival Bunge Ltd , the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. http://on.wsj.com/2mSY8L0

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Vista Equity explores options for PowerSchool, PeopleAdmin-sources

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners Management LLC is exploring options for two software companies it owns, PowerSchool and PeopleAdmin, that could involve combining them in a deal worth between $2 billion to $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

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BRIEF-Core Gold Provides Update

* CORE GOLD PROVIDES UPDATE ON ELIPE S.A RESTORATION TO CORPORATE GOOD STANDING AND INVESTA BANK S.A. $15,000,000 DEBT FACILITY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Alaska oil producers focus on efficiencies, not $70 oil

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The rebound in the price of crude oil in recent months that has helped producers will be temporary, and the industry must prepare for competition from energy sources elsewhere, the head of the Alaska operations of BP Plc said at an industry conference on Friday.

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UPDATE 3-Facebook to prioritize 'trustworthy' news based on surveys

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will prioritize "trustworthy" news in its feed of social media posts, using member surveys to identify high-quality outlets and fight sensationalism and misinformation, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Willis Lease Says It Gave All Non-Executive Employees One-Time Bonus Of $1,000

* WILLIS LEASE FINANCE GIVES EMPLOYEE BONUS DRIVEN BY NEW TAX LAWS

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UPDATE 1-Ohio again asks U.S. regulators to stop drilling on Rover natgas pipe

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Ohio environmental regulators on Friday asked federal energy regulators to order Energy Transfer Partners LP to cease drilling operations on the Rover natural gas pipeline under the Tuscarawas River over concern about the potential for a spill.

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UPDATE 4-ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge -WSJ

CHICAGO/CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Top U.S. grains merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, a move that could set up a battle for Bunge with London-based rival Glencore Plc.

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With no deal in sight, Congress faces looming government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress raced the clock to avoid a federal government shutdown before a midnight deadline on Friday after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer failed to produce a deal.

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Rent-A-Center, Vintage Capital sign standstill deal amid buyout talks

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Buyout firm Vintage Capital Management LLC has agreed not to raise its stake in its acquisition target Rent-A-Center Inc or seek to gain control of its board as they talk about a potential deal, the furniture retailer said on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-New Jersey governor calls for audit of state's tax incentive program

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - New Jersey's new governor, Phil Murphy, signed an executive order on Friday calling for an evaluation of the state's corporate tax break programs by the comptroller's office before year-end.

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U.S government shutdown would increase Pentagon's weapons costs

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - A U.S. government shutdown will stall new defense department contracts and ultimately increase the costs of weapons, creating even more budgetary headaches as lawmakers grapple with a government funding crisis.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks hold near all-time highs; Argentina stocks fall

(Updates prices) By Bruno Federowski BRASILIA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks hovered near all-time highs on Friday as optimism over the country's economic prospects sustained demand for local assets, while hopes of a tie-up with Boeing Co boosted shares of Embraer SA . The benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.32 percent, hitting an intraday record of 81,429. The bourse was supported by blue chips such as lenders Banco Bradesco SA and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA. Emerging mark

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UPDATE 1-Weaker dollar adds to optimism over U.S. earnings

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The dollar's drop to three-year lows this week after prolonged weakness in 2017 is expected to further boost profits at big U.S. companies when investor optimism is already high over corporate tax cuts.

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Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during U.S. elections

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc, which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service.

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UPDATE 1-Dixons Carphone CEO James quits for job at Boots

LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Dixons Carphone has quit Britain's largest electricals and mobile phone retailer to run the Boots chain in the country, Dixons said on Friday.

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UPDATE 1-Parent company of 7-Eleven agrees to divest some U.S. stores in Sunoco deal

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd , the Tokyo-based parent company of the 7-Eleven network of stores, agreed to sell and divest some of its stores in its proposed $3.3 billion acquisition of 1,100 Sunoco LP outlets, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Friday.

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BRIEF-Value Line ‍Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend Of $0.18/SHR

* VALUE LINE ‍ANNOUNCES QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND OF $0.18 PER COMMON SHARE , A SPECIAL DIVIDEND OF $0.20 PER SHARE AND REAFFIRMS SHARE BUYBACK PROGRAM​ Source text - http://bit.ly/2DUq0Xn Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Wintrust Raises Minium Wage Due To Tax Reform Legislation​

* WINTRUST FINANCIAL - DUE TO TAX REFORM LEGISLATION, CO TO RAISE MINIMUM WAGE PAID TO ELIGIBLE NON-COMMISSIONED HOURLY EMPLOYEES TO $15 PER HOUR​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Helios And Matheson Analytics Says Co And Moviepass Entered Into Amendment No. 1 To Voting Agreement

* HELIOS AND MATHESON ANALYTICS - ON JAN 16, CO AND MOVIEPASS INC ENTERED INTO AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO VOTING AGREEMENT-SEC FILING

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BRIEF-Activision Blizzard Expands Size Of Board To Ten Members​

* ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SAYS ON JAN 12 BOARD ELECTED A NEW MEMBER, EXPANDING SIZE OF BOARD TO TEN MEMBERS​ - SEC FILING Source text -http://bit.ly/2FYMXcv Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 2-U.S. approves possible sale of F-35 jets to Belgium for $6.5 bln

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Friday said it has approved the possible sale of 34 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 jets to Belgium for $6.53 billion, a potential new customer for the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor's most important product.

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BRIEF-South Jersey Industries To Postpone Investor Day Presentation

* SOUTH JERSEY INDUSTRIES: SJI TO POSTPONE INVESTOR DAY PRESENTATION

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UPDATE 1-McDonald's 'joint employment' trial delayed amid settlement talks

Jan 19 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp and a U.S. labor board are in talks to settle a case claiming the fast food company is liable for purported labor law violations by its franchisees, leading a judge on Friday to pause a trial that began in 2015.

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BRIEF-Viacom CEO Robert Bakish's 2017 Total Compensation Was $20.3 Mln

* VIACOM INC - CEO ROBERT M. BAKISH 'S 2017 TOTAL COMPENSATION WAS $20.3 MILLION - SEC FILING‍​

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BRIEF-Whirlpool ‍Estimates One-Time, Non-Cash Charge Of About $425 Mln In Q4

* WHIRLPOOL - ‍ESTIMATES WILL RECORD U.S. GAAP ONE-TIME, NON-CASH CHARGE OF ABOUT $425 MILLION TO TAX EXPENSE IN Q4 DUE TO TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2rli3aR) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Vintage Capital, Rent-A-Center Enter Into Confidentiality And Non-Disclosure Agreement

* VINTAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT - ON JAN 17, VINTAGE CAPITAL AND RENT-A-CENTER ENTERED INTO CONFIDENTIALITY AND NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

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With no deal in sight, U.S. Congress faces looming government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress raced the clock to avoid a federal government shutdown before a midnight deadline on Friday after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer failed to produce a deal.

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Parent company of 7-Eleven agrees to divest some U.S. stores in Sunoco deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd , the Tokyo-based parent company of the 7-Eleven network of stores, agreed to sell and divest some fuel outlets in its proposed $3.3 billion acquisition of 1,100 Sunoco LP outlets, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Friday.

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UPDATE 7-Oil prices fall as rally falters on growing U.S. output concerns

* U.S. crude output expected to break through 10 mln bpd -IEA

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BRIEF-ModusLink Global Solutions Adopts Tax Benefits Preservation Plan

* MODUSLINK GLOBAL SOLUTIONS ADOPTS TAX BENEFITS PRESERVATION PLAN

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BRIEF-Lennar Announces Commencement Of Exchange Offers

* LENNAR ANNOUNCES COMMENCEMENT OF EXCHANGE OFFERS AND CONSENT SOLICITATIONS FOR CALATLANTIC NOTES

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BRIEF-Horizon Bancorp Files For Potential Mixed ‍​Shelf Offering Of Up To $60 Mln

* HORIZON BANCORP - FILES FOR POTENTIAL MIXED ‍​SHELF OFFERING OF UP TO $60 MILLION - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2DlbKpa) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Scotts Miracle-Gro Adopts Resolution to Reduce Board Size From 11 To 10 Members​

* SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO- ON JAN. 19, BOARD ADOPTED RESOLUTION PURSUANT TO CODE OF REGULATIONS OF CO TO REDUCE SIZE OF BOARD FROM 11 TO 10 MEMBERS​ Source text: (http://bit.ly/2rolu0s) Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Archer Daniels has made takeover approach to Bunge - WSJ

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland Co made a takeover approach to rival Bunge Ltd , the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. http://on.wsj.com/2mSY8L0

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BRIEF-‍Dixons Carphone says Alex Baldock To Succeed Sebastian James As CEO

* ‍DIXONS CARPHONE PLC ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF ALEX BALDOCK AS GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE FROM APRIL 2018​

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BRIEF-Core Molding And Subsidiary Entered Into Amended And Restated Credit Agreement - SEC Filing​

* CORE MOLDING TECHNOLOGIES INC - ‍ON JANUARY 16, 2018, COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY ENTERED INTO AN AMENDED AND RESTATED CREDIT AGREEMENT - SEC FILING​

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UPDATE 1-Facebook to prioritize 'trustworthy' news sources

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will begin to prioritize "trustworthy" news outlets on its stream of social media posts as it works to combat "sensationalism" and "misinformation," Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday.

Subways nytimes.com

New York Set to Acquire the Next Generation of Subway Cars

The agency that runs the city’s troubled subway plans to spend nearly $4 billion on new trains to modernize an aging fleet, including novel gangway cars.

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BRIEF-Hugoton Royalty Trust Declares No January Cash Distribution

* HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST DECLARES NO JANUARY CASH DISTRIBUTION AND GIVES NOTICE OF TENTATIVE XTO SETTLEMENT AMOUNT

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UPDATE 5-Schlumberger profit beats, sees stronger year for oil sector

HOUSTON Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger on Friday posted a fourth quarter loss on charges but beat Wall Street forecasts and gave an upbeat outlook, predicting its international operations would grow in 2018 for the first time in four years.

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BRIEF-J Crew Group says ‍On Jan. 16, Board Appointed Seth Farbman To Board Of Co

* J CREW GROUP INC - ‍ON JAN, 16, , BOARD OF CO APPOINTED SETH FARBMAN TO BOARD OF COMPANY, WHICH INCREASED SIZE OF BOARD TO TEN MEMBERS - SEC FILING​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Canadian cannabis firm Aurora in talks to buy both CanniMed and Newstrike -sources

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis Inc is in talks with rivals CanniMed Therapeutics Inc and Newstrike Resources Ltd to acquire both companies in a friendly deal, people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Friday.

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Ohio again asks U.S. regulators to stop drilling on Rover natgas pipe

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Ohio environmental regulators on Friday asked federal energy regulators to order Energy Transfer Partners LP to cease drilling operations on the Rover natural gas pipeline under the Tuscarawas River over concern about the potential for a spill.

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UPDATE 1-Delta Air to tighten rules for onboard service animals

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines is tightening the requirements for passengers traveling with onboard service and emotional support animals, the carrier said on Friday, following a sharp uptick in pet-related safety issues in recent years.

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No deal reached as Schumer, Trump meet to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to search for ways to avert a U.S. government shutdown, but Schumer said afterward that disagreements remained as the clock ticked toward a midnight deadline to pass a funding bill.

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US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq hit records, Dow muted as govt shutdown looms

* Dow up 0.03 pct, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct (Updates to late afternoon, changes byline, adds dateline NEW YORK)

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Weaker dollar adds to optimism over U.S. earnings

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The dollar's drop to three-year lows this week after prolonged weakness in 2017 is expected to further boost profits at big U.S. companies when investor optimism is already high over corporate tax cuts.

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BRIEF-Verint Systems Says Reaffirming Non-GAAP Outlook For Year Ending Jan 31

* VERINT SYSTEMS - INTEND TO REAFFIRM, AND HEREBY REAFFIRMING, NON-GAAP OUTLOOK FOR YEAR ENDING JAN 31, 2018 ON CALL WITH EXISTING, POTENTIAL LENDERS Source text: (http://bit.ly/2DRS6Ct) Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 806 749 1136)

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BRIEF-Exxonmobil To Change Presentation Of Some Line Items‍​ In Upcoming Earnings

* EXXONMOBIL - WISHES TO NOTIFY INVESTORS THAT UPCOMING EARNINGS REPORT WILL REFLECT A CHANGE IN THE FORM OF PRESENTATION OF CERTAIN LINE ITEMS‍​

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BRIEF-Southern Company Sets Regular Quarterly Dividend Of $0.58/Shr

* SOUTHERN CO ANNOUNCES ‍REGULAR QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF 58 CENTS PER SHARE ON COMPANY'S COMMON STOCK​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for 2nd week in three -Baker Hughes

(Adds Permian rigs and production) By Scott DiSavino Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. energy companies this week cut oil rigs for the second time in three weeks even though crude prices traded near their highest level since 2014. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Jan. 19, bringing the total count down to 747, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The U.S. rig count, an early indicat

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BRIEF-Kroger Declares Quarterly Dividend of 12.5¢ Per Share

* KROGER CO - ‍DECLARED A QUARTERLY DIVIDEND OF 12.5¢ PER SHARE TO BE PAID ON MARCH 1, 2018​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-South Jersey Industries Issues Medium Term Notes Of $50 Million

* SOUTH JERSEY INDUSTRIES INC - ‍ON JANUARY 16, 2018, CO ISSUED AN AGGREGATE OF $50 MILLION AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF MEDIUM TERM NOTES - SEC FILING​

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Synchrony Financial reports results for the quarter ended December 31 - summary

Jan 19 (Reuters) - * Synchrony Financial posted quarterly adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share. The mean expectation of 20 analysts for the quarter ended December 31 was for earnings of 63 cents per share. * Revenue rose 7.94 percent to $3.92 billion from a year ago; analysts expected $3.96 billion. * Synchrony Financial's Reported EPS for the quarter was 49 cents. * The mean earnings estimate of analysts had risen by about 9.4 percent in the last three months. * In the last 30 days twelve

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BRIEF-The City of Vancouver Partners With Shaw Communications To Expand Public’S Access To Free Wi-Fi

* CITY PARTNERS WITH SHAW TO EXPAND PUBLIC’S ACCESS TO FREE WI-FI Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Kansas City Southern reports results for the quarter ended December 31 - summary

Jan 19 (Reuters) - * Kansas City Southern posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $1.38 per share. The mean expectation of 18 analysts for the quarter ended December 31 was for earnings of $1.37 per share. * Revenue rose 10.34 percent to $660.40 million from a year ago; analysts expected $656.28 million. * Kansas City Southern's Reported EPS for the quarter was $5.33. * The mean earnings estimate of analysts had risen by about 0.6 percent in the last three months. * In the last 30 days six analys

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Biotest sheds U.S. business to allay U.S. concerns of Chinese takeover

FRANKFURT, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Biotest said on Friday that it has sold its U.S. operations, allaying national security concerns by U.S. authorities and paving the way for the German company's sale to a Chinese investor.

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BRIEF-Visionstate Announces Increase To Private Placement

* VISIONSTATE CORP - ‍PRIVATE PLACEMENT WILL NOW CONSIST OF UP TO 20 MILLION UNITS AT A PRICE OF $0.05 PER UNIT​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Regions Financial Corp reports results for the quarter ended December 31 - summary

Jan 19 (Reuters) - * Regions Financial Corp posted quarterly adjusted earnings of 36 cents per share. The mean expectation of 27 analysts for the quarter ended December 31 was for earnings of 26 cents per share. * Revenue rose 11.91 percent to $1.49 billion from a year ago; analysts expected $1.44 billion. * Regions Financial Corp's Reported EPS for the quarter was 27 cents. * The mean earnings estimate of analysts had risen by about 0.1 percent in the last three months. * In the last 30 days s

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BRIEF-Citizens First Corp Reports Q4 EPS $0.37

* ORATION ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR END 2017 RESULTS, DECLARES QUARTERLY COMMON DIVIDEND

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MOVES-Stifel hires Greg Greenberg from Wells Fargo Advisors

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Stifel Financial Corp said Greg Greenberg has joined its broker-dealer unit, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co Inc's private client group in Overland Park, Kansas.

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UK Takeover Panel extends deadline for IWG bidding

Jan 19 (Reuters) - The UK's Takeover Panel has extended the deadline for a consortium of companies to make an offer for British office firm IWG Plc until 1700 GMT on Feb. 2.

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BRIEF-Kawasaki Heavy Industries Appears Likely To Receive Orders To Build Cars For New York City's Subways - Nikkei

* KAWASAKI HEAVY INDUSTRIES APPEARS LIKELY TO RECEIVE ORDERS TO BUILD ABOUT 1,600 CARS FOR NEW YORK CITY'S SUBWAYS - NIKKEI

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Arkansas restricts controversial Monsanto, BASF farm chemical

CHICAGO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - In a blow to manufacturers Monsanto Co and BASF SE, Arkansas state lawmakers voted on Friday to bar sprayings of a controversial weed killer after mid-April to protect farmers from potential crop damage.

worldNews reuters.com

Iran nuclear deal cannot survive if U.S. pulls out: Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday the Iran nuclear deal cannot survive if the United States pulls out the agreement.

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Vegetarian's lawsuit over beef tallow at Buffalo Wild Wings is dismissed

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit by a New York vegetarian who accused Buffalo Wild Wings Inc of failing to disclose that it cooked french fries and other "non-meat" items in beef fat.

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Brazil refined oil products output dipped in 2017 -ANP

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian production of refined oil products slid 4.5 percent last year to 665.721 million barrels compared with 2016, oil regulator ANP said on Friday, as output of both diesel and gasoline dipped.

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BRIEF-Tahoe Clarifies On Reports Regarding Shahuindo Mine

* TAHOE RESOURCES - ‍AGENCY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL IS CONDUCTING A NORMAL COURSE INVESTIGATION TO VERIFY THERE IS NO CONTAMINATION​

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BRIEF-Stadium Capital Management LLC Reports 5.9 Percent Passive Stake In Civitas Solutions

* STADIUM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC REPORTS 5.9 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN CIVITAS SOLUTIONS INC AS OF JAN 9 - SEC FILING Source text : http://bit.ly/2rq0Z3D Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS-S&P lifted by consumer stocks, IBM weighs on Dow

* Dow off 0.21 pct, S&P up 0.16 pct, Nasdaq up 0.34 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

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BRIEF-National Access Cannabis Announces Private Placement Financing

* NATIONAL ACCESS CANNABIS ANNOUNCES PRIVATE PLACEMENT FINANCING

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UPDATE 4-Schlumberger profit beats, predicts strong 2018 for shale

HOUSTON Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger on Friday posted a fourth quarter loss on charges but beat Wall Street forecasts and offered an upbeat outlook that included the first growth in its struggling international operations in four years.

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BRIEF-American National Bankshares Announces Stock Repurchase Plan Of Up To 300,000 Shares

* AMERICAN NATIONAL BANKSHARES INC. ANNOUNCES A STOCK REPURCHASE PLAN

Art nytimes.com

As Brexit Looms, London’s Art Dealers Cater to Divided Tastes

“Modern British” is the main draw at the 30th edition of the London Art Fair. But a few blue-chip names aside, “Mod Brit” remains a local draw.

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BRIEF-Allied Motion Acquires Equipment Steering Business From Maval Industries

* ALLIED MOTION ACQUIRES ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT STEERING BUSINESS FROM MAVAL INDUSTRIES

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BRIEF-Peat Resources Signs Agreement To Acquire Belair African Metals Sarl

* PEAT RESOURCES LIMITED SIGNS DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE BELAIR AFRICAN METALS SARL

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Possible U.S. shutdown won't affect U.S.'s AAA-rating - Fitch

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings said on Friday its top AAA debt rating for the United States would not be directly impacted by a possible federal shutdown, which will begin on Saturday if lawmakers fail to clinch a deal to fund the government.

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UPDATE 3-NAFTA future clouds Kansas City Southern earnings beat

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Kansas City Southern, a U.S. railroad with extensive operations in Mexico, sought to ease investor fears on Friday over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, touting forecasts of solid freight volumes and a stronger economy in 2018.

cnn.com

Analysis: Why isn't the Stormy Daniels story a bigger deal?

Donald Trump's personal lawyer formed a private company just before the 2016 election to pay $130,000 in exchange for a porn star's silence about her alleged 2006 relationship with the now-President of the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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BRIEF-Airbus in talks with British Airways on new A380s sale - Bloomberg

* AIRBUS IS IN TALKS WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS ON NEW A380S SALE - BLOOMBERG CITING SOURCES Source: https://bloom.bg/2DrF9SX Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS-Gains in consumer stocks prop up S&P, Nasdaq

* Dow off 0.15 pct, S&P 0.09 pct, Nasdaq 0.12 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

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UPDATE 3-Schlumberger profit beats, predicts strong 2018 for shale

HOUSTON Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger on Friday posted a large fourth quarter loss on charges but beat Wall Street forecasts and offered an upbeat outlook that included the first growth in its struggling international operations in four years.

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UPDATE 3-Lowe's nominates directors after 'constructive' talks with D.E. Shaw

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc said it has nominated two independent board members and plans to add a third following "constructive" talks with hedge fund D.E. Shaw Group, which has taken an activist stake, sending shares up 3 percent on Friday.

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BRIEF-Bank Of Commerce Holdings Reports Quarterly EPS $0.00

* BANK OF COMMERCE HOLDINGS - QTRLY NET INTEREST INCOME $10.9 MILLION VERSUS $9.4 MILLION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Equities climb amid shutdown threat, Treasury yields hit 3-year high

* Worries over possible U.S. government shutdown weigh on dollar

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BRIEF-Betteru Education Announces Private Placement

* BETTERU EDUCATION - ANNOUNCE A NON-BROKERED PRIVATE PLACEMENT TO RAISE UP TO MAXIMUM OF $1 MILLION OR 2.2 MILLION UNITS AT DEEMED PRICE OF $0.46 PER UNIT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 3-Sterling falls after weak retail sales numbers dent optimism

* Sterling has in January hit several post-Brexit vote highs (Adds details, updates prices)

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BRIEF-Cinedigm Announces Strategic Alliance With Starrise Media

* CINEDIGM ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH LEADING CHINESE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY STARRISE MEDIA TO RELEASE FILMS IN CHINA AND NORTH AMERICA

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UPDATE 2-NAFTA future clouds Kansas City Southern earnings beat

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Kansas City Southern, a U.S. railroad with extensive operations in Mexico, sought to ease investor fears on Friday over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, touting forecasts of solid freight volumes and a stronger economy in 2018.

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Brazil´s Caixa approves new rules to improve governance- statement

SAO PAULO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The board of directors of Brazilian state-owned bank Caixa Econômica Federal approved on Friday rules to improve the bank’s governance, the company said in a statement.

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UPDATE 1-Former Catalan leader says he can rule from abroad, Madrid says no

MADRID, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The sacked former leader of Catalonia said on Friday he could be re-elected as the region's president and rule remotely from his self-imposed exile in Brussels, but the Spanish government said it would not let that happen.

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Baltic index falls, capesizes post biggest weekly drop in 2 years

Jan 19 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Friday and continued to linger around five month lows as the capesize segment recorded its biggest weekly percentage decline in two years.

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises, led by bank and railroad shares

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, led by gains for the heavyweight financials group and industrial shares, while energy stocks were weighed by lower oil prices.

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BRIEF-National Fuel Gas Co Says CEO Ronald Tanski's FY 2017 Total Compensation Was $7.6 Mln

* NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO SAYS CEO RONALD TANSKI'S FY 2017 TOTAL COMPENSATION WAS $7.6 MILLION VERSUS $7.1 MILLION IN FY 2016 - SEC FILING Source text : http://bit.ly/2rq1TwQ Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Alibaba Pictures Group Says Shanghai TPP Enters Advertising Services Framework Agreements

* SHANGHAI TPP ENTERS ADVERTISING SERVICES FRAMEWORK AGREEMENTS WITH UNITS OF ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (bangalore.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com)

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Regions, SunTrust top profit estimates on higher interest rates

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Regions Financial Corp and SunTrust Banks Inc reported quarterly earnings on Friday that topped Wall Street expectations, benefiting from higher interest rates amid sluggish lending.

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BRIEF-Elliott Believes Qualcomm Can Deliver Value To Shareholders At Prices For NXP Higher Than $135/Share

* ELLIOTT BELIEVES QUALCOMM CAN DELIVER VALUE TO ITS SHAREHOLDERS AT PRICES FOR NXP HIGHER THAN $135 PER SHARE

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UPDATE 2-Social media companies accelerate removals of online hate speech -EU

* Improvement means legislation less likely -EU commissioner (Adds Google comment)

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US STOCKS-Amazon, Nike drive Wall Street higher

* Indexes up: Dow 0.05 pct, S&P 0.28 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct (Updates to open)

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BRIEF-Swedish Patent And Market Court Dismisses Allegations Towards Nasdaq

* JUDGEMENT FROM THE SWEDISH PATENT AND MARKET COURT - NASDAQ DISMISSED OF ALL ALLEGATIONS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Gdynia Newsroom)

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En route to Davos, Macron makes Versailles the place to be

PARIS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron will host dozens of the world's most powerful business executives at the gilded Palace of Versailles to pitch France Inc before the global elite's annual gathering at Davos.

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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as broad-based gains offset losses for energy

TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Friday as broad-based gains offset losses for the energy group after oil prices fell.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks hold near all-time highs; Embraer jumps

By Bruno Federowski BRASILIA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks hovered near all-time highs on Friday as optimism over the nation's economic prospects sustained demand for local assets, while hopes of a tie-up with Boeing Co boosted shares of Embraer SA . The benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.2 percent, supported by blue chips such as Vale SA and lenders Banco Bradesco SA and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA . Emerging markets kicked off the year with a rally as several reports show

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US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall St opens higher as investors shrug off shutdown fears

Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, putting the major indexes on track for three straight weeks of gains as hopes of a strong earnings season overshadowed fears of a potential U.S. government shutdown.

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BRIEF-Orexigen Therapeutics Says ‍Expect Annualized Savings Associated With Feb 2018 Reduction In Sales Force Of About $30 Mln​

* OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS SAYS ‍EXPECT ANNUALIZED SAVINGS ASSOCIATED WITH FEB 2018 REDUCTION IN SALES FORCE OF ABOUT $30 MILLION​ - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2Bg6XUc) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Penn Virginia Announces Retirement Of Executive Chairman And Appointment Of New Members Of The Board Of Directors

* PENN VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT OF EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND APPOINTMENT OF NEW MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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BRIEF-Suntrust Says Scott Case Will Succeed Anil Cheriyan As CIO And Begin Role Effective February 5, 2018​

* SUNTRUST ANNOUNCES CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER RETIREMENT, APPOINTMENT

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Amazon hikes price for its Prime service by 18 percent

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Friday raised the monthly fee for Amazon Prime, its fast-shipping and video-streaming service, to $12.99 from $10.99.

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BRIEF-Schlumberger says to fund 2018 activity growth without raising capex from 2017 levels

* SCHLUMBERGER SAYS RETURN TO GROWTH IN INTERNATIONAL MARKET WILL REPRESENT "SIGNIFICANT BOOST TO OUR EARNINGS POWER" - CONF CALL

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UPDATE 1-Foreigners maintain large-scale purchases of Canada securities

OTTAWA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Foreign investment in Canadian securities, particularly bonds, remained strong in November and was on track to hit an annual record, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

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Elliott says chipmaker NXP worth more than $135 per share

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Elliott Management Corp said on Friday NXP Semiconductors NV is worth much more than its previous assessment of $135 per share and Qualcomm Inc's $110 offer to buy the chipmaker.

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UPDATE 1-Commodity volumes lift Kansas City Southern quarterly profit, beats on revenue

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Kansas City Southern, a regional U.S. railroad with extensive operations in Mexico, reported a higher quarterly net profit on Friday, driven by revenue growth in 2017 in all six of the commodities it hauls and changes in U.S. tax law. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company posted fourth-quarter net income of $552 million, or $5.33 per diluted share, up from $130 million, or $1.21 per diluted share a year earlier.

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BRIEF-Leading Edge Materials To Commence Trading On Nasdaq First North Stockholm

* LEADING EDGE MATERIALS TO COMMENCE TRADING ON NASDAQ FIRST NORTH STOCKHOLM

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BRIEF-Tekmodo Enters Into Non-Binding Letter Agreement To Sell Subsidiaries

* TEKMODO ENTERS INTO NON-BINDING LETTER AGREEMENT TO SELL SUBSIDIARIES

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BRIEF-Nuuvera And Aphria Finalize Offtake Agreement For Extra 60,000 Kgs Of Cannabis Production

* NUUVERA AND APHRIA FINALIZE OFFTAKE AGREEMENT FOR EXTRA 60,000 KGS OF CANNABIS PRODUCTION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Moviepasstm Unveils Strategy To Invest In Film At The Sundance Film Festival With The Launch Of Moviepass Ventures

* MOVIEPASSTM UNVEILS STRATEGY TO INVEST IN FILM AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL WITH THE LAUNCH OF MOVIEPASS VENTURES Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Pavmed Announces Pricing Of Firm Commitment Common Stock Offering

* PAVMED ANNOUNCES PRICING OF FIRM COMMITMENT COMMON STOCK OFFERING

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UPDATE 1-Lincoln Financial to buy Liberty Life Assurance Co for $3.3 bln

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Lincoln Financial Group said on Friday it would buy fellow insurer Liberty Life Assurance Co of Boston for about $3.3 billion from Liberty Mutual to boost its presence in the group benefits market.

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BRIEF-Nordson Corp Says CEO Michael Hilton's FY 2017 Total Compensation Was $6.75 Mln Vs $6.43 Mln In FY 2016

* NORDSON CORP SAYS CEO MICHAEL HILTON'S FY 2017 TOTAL COMPENSATION WAS $6.75 MILLION VERSUS $6.43 MILLION IN FY 2016 - SEC FILING Source text (http://bit.ly/2rkvHuJ) Further company coverage:

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UPDATE 1-Schlumberger Q4 profit beats, makes Venezuela write-down

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as the oilfield services provider benefited from higher oil prices, while also taking $2.7 billion in charges for restructuring and investment in Venezuela.

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BRIEF-Protective Enters Agreement To Reinsure Liberty Life, Annuity Business

* PROTECTIVE ENTERS AGREEMENT TO REINSURE LIBERTY LIFE AND ANNUITY BUSINESS

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BRIEF-AmTrust Financial Services Announces Retention Of Financial Advisor To Review Proposal By Stone Point Capital, CEO, Karfunkel Family

* AMTRUST FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. ANNOUNCES RETENTION OF FINANCIAL ADVISOR TO REVIEW PROPOSAL BY STONE POINT CAPITAL, THE CEO AND THE KARFUNKEL FAMILY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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US STOCKS-Futures climb as investors shrug off govt shutdown fears

Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a record open for the benchmark S&P 500 index on Friday as investors bet on strong corporate earnings, while playing down fears of a potential U.S. government shutdown.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-US shutdown fears hurt dollar, Treasury yields at highest since 2014

* Worries over possible U.S. government shutdown weigh on dollar

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BRIEF-Citizens Financial Group Sees FY2018 Provision Expense $425 Mln - $475 Mln Vs. Underlying 2017‍​

* CITIZENS FINANCIAL GROUP SEES FY2018 PROVISION EXPENSE $425 MILLION - $475 MILLION VERSUS. UNDERLYING 2017‍​

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BRIEF-Merck says First-Time Data For Keytruda In Patients With Previously Treated Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma To Be Presented At 2018 ASCO GI Symposium

* FIRST-TIME DATA FOR MERCK'S KEYTRUDA® (PEMBROLIZUMAB) IN PATIENTS WITH PREVIOUSLY TREATED ADVANCED HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA (HCC) TO BE PRESENTED AT 2018 ASCO GI SYMPOSIUM

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BRIEF-Napec says U.S. Subsidiary Riggs Distler & Co Awarded Contracts Representing Potential Value Of $174.8 Mln

* NAPEC INC. ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT CONTRACT RENEWALS AND AWARD OF NEW CONTRACTS

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BRIEF-Citizens Financial Group Q4 Earnings Per Share $1.35

* CITIZENS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER NET INCOME OF $666 MILLION AND DILUTED EPS OF $1.35

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BRIEF-First Horizon National Corp Qtrly ‍Loss Per Share $0.20​

* QTRLY TOTAL REVENUE $‍375.3 MILLION VERSUS $319.6 MILLION LAST YEAR

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No reason why I can't rule Catalonia remotely, former leader says

MADRID, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The sacked former leader of Catalonia said on Friday he was perfectly eligible to be re-elected as regional president and there was no reason why he couldn't rule the Spanish region remotely from self-imposed exile in Brussels.

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BRIEF-Seacor Marine Announces Confirmation Of "Stalking Horse" Bid To Form JV With Montco Offshore

* SEACOR MARINE ANNOUNCES CONFIRMATION OF “STALKING HORSE” BID TO FORM JOINT VENTURE WITH MONTCO OFFSHORE, INC.

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BRIEF-Activision Blizzard Recommends Shareholders Reject Mini-Tender Offer By TRC Capital Corp

* ACTIVISION BLIZZARD RECOMMENDS SHAREHOLDERS REJECT MINI-TENDER OFFER BY TRC CAPITAL CORPORATION

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BRIEF-Selz Capital Reports 7.1 Pct Passive Stake In WPX Energy As Of Dec 31, 2017

* SELZ CAPITAL REPORTS 7.1 PERCENT PASSIVE STAKE IN WPX ENERGY AS OF DEC 31, 2017 - SEC FILING Source text (http://bit.ly/2FXnpfS) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Prosperity Bancshares Announces Stock Repurchase Program

* PROSPERITY BANCSHARES, INC.® ANNOUNCES STOCK REPURCHASE PROGRAM

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BRIEF-National Oilwell Varco Expects Q4 Results To Be In-Line With Guidance, Excluding Charges

* NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO ANNOUNCES CHANGES IN REPORTING SEGMENTS; EXPECTS FOURTH QUARTER 2017 RESULTS TO BE IN-LINE WITH GUIDANCE, EXCLUDING CHARGES

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BRIEF-Genesee & Wyoming's Traffic in Dec. 2017 Was 255,199 Carloads, Decrease Of 15,344 Carloads, Compared With Dec. 2016

* GENESEE & WYOMING INC - G&W'S TRAFFIC IN DECEMBER 2017 WAS 255,199 CARLOADS, A DECREASE OF 15,344 CARLOADS, OR 5.7%, COMPARED WITH DECEMBER 2016

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BRIEF-Synchrony Financial Q4 Earnings Per Share $0.49

* REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER NET EARNINGS OF $385 MILLION OR $0.49 PER DILUTED SHARE INCLUDING IMPACT FROM TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT; $545 MILLION OR $0.70 EXCLUDING IMPACT

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UPDATE 1-Sterling seesaws after UK retail sales data; briefly nears $1.40

LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Sterling seesawed on Friday after data showed British shop sales slid by much more than expected in December, though the currency was still on track for its longest winning streak against the dollar since 2014.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging stocks set for 6th week of gains, yuan at 2-yr high

LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks pushed to a fresh near-decade high and were set for a sixth straight week of gains on Friday after Chinese growth data lifted Asian markets to a record peak and the yuan to a two-year high.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar hurt by U.S. shutdown fears, Treasury yields at highest since 2014

* Worries over possible U.S. government shutdown weigh on dollar

companyNews reuters.com

SoftBank telecoms IPO faces headwinds from govt-backed upstarts

* SoftBank telecoms IPO could be largest Japan listing in 20 yrs

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REFILE-UPDATE 4-Xerox-Fujifilm deal should have been changed long ago -Icahn

* Icahn says current Xerox management incapable of renegotiation

companyNews reuters.com

Nokia signs its first official 5G equipment deal with NTT DoCoMo

FRANKFURT, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Finland's Nokia said on Friday it signed its first major deal to supply new 5G wireless radio base stations to Japanese telecom operator NTT DoCoMo, which boasts nearly half of the country's mobile subscribers.

companyNews reuters.com

Mexico's energy opening faces test in deepwater oil auction

MEXICO CITY, Jan 19 (Reuters) - An auction of deepwater oil and gas fields in Mexico this month may prove the last major opportunity for President Enrique Pena Nieto's government to capitalize on its opening of the energy sector, the central plank of its economic agenda.

companyNews reuters.com

Tennis-Players get a 'sweet' Nike deal at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Jan 19 (Reuters) - As Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev of Russia battled on the blue courts at Rod Laver Arena on Friday, it was Nike's court Melbourne collection that most stood out.

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METALS-Shanghai aluminium, lead climb on smog alerts

(Adds change to Jiyuan alert, inventory data; updates prices) BEIJING, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices rose on Friday, buoyed by the first acceleration in China's GDP growth in seven years and by a pollution alert in a major industrial province. The climb came even as the country's output of the metal on Thursday posted a surprise jump for December. "GDP, industrial production and fixed asset investment all recorded strong growth," ANZ wrote in a note on Friday about th

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BRIEF-Nokia Wins Network Order From Nepal's Worldlink

* NOKIA OYJ - NOKIA AND WORLDLINK TO BUILD NEPAL'S LARGEST FIBER-TO-THE-HOME NETWORK FOR DELIVERY OF SUPER-FAST CONSUMER AND BUSINESS BROADBAND SERVICES Source text for Eikon: [https://www.nokia.com/en_int/news/releases/2018/01/19/nokia-and-worldlink-to-build-nepals-largest-fiber-to-the-home-network-for-delivery-of-super-fast-consumer-and-business-broadband-services ] Further company coverage: (Helsinki Newsroom)

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UPDATE 1-Airbus says supplier bottlenecks easing as deliveries rise

* Airbus says cabin supplier Zodiac has addressed quality issues

companyNews reuters.com

Norwegian Air flies New York-London at new record time

** Low-cost airline Norwegian Air has set a new record time for its fastest ever transatlantic flight by a subsonic passenger aircraft this week using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, it says in a press release

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Golden Ocean: John Fredriksen's ‍Hemen Holding owns 34.2 pct after delivery of vessel

* GOLDEN OCEAN GROUP LTD: ‍HEMEN HOLDING LIMITED, WHICH IS INDIRECTLY CONTROLLED BY JOHN FREDRIKSEN FOR BENEFIT OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, HAS RECEIVED 2,000,000 COMMON SHARES IN COMPANY AS PART OF SETTLEMENT OF PURCHASE PRICE FOR VESSEL​

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U.S. home appliance shipments up 2.0 pct yr/yr in Dec - AHAM

STOCKHOLM, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Deliveries of the six biggest categories of white goods (AHAM 6) in the United States rose 2.0 percent year-on-year in December, data from industry body Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) showed late on Thursday.

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Airbus says supplier bottlenecks easing as deliveries rise

NANTES, France, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Key aerospace suppliers are getting on top of problems blamed for delays in deliveries of passenger jets, allowing Airbus to resume increases in planned production for its newest models, a senior Airbus executive said.

companyNews reuters.com

RPT-Nigeria sues JP Morgan for $875 mln over Malabu oilfield deal

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Nigeria has filed a claim against JP Morgan Chase for more than $875 million, accusing it of negligence in transferring funds from a disputed 2011 oilfield deal to a company controlled by the country's former oil minister.

companyNews reuters.com

In sign of times, luxury watchmaker Audemars embraces second-hand

GENEVA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet said it would launch a second-hand business this year, becoming the first big brand to announce plans to tap into a fast-growing market for pre-owned premium watches.

companyNews reuters.com

CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Xerox-Fujifilm deal should have been changed long ago -Icahn

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Hedge fund investor Carl Icahn has called for the termination or renegotiation of Xerox Corp's long-running photocopier joint venture with Fujifilm Holdings , reiterating demands for a change of leadership at Xerox.

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Nikkei edges up, helped by financials; adds 0.7 pct for the week

TOKYO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged up on Friday with financial stocks leading the gains after U.S. yields rose, while GMO Internet soared after an activist fund called on the company to change its governance structure.

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India's proposed investment treaty terms leave foreign partners cold

* India terminated over 50 bilateral investment treaties in March