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  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- At 68, Barbara Miller Elegbede is living proof that flower children need not grow up. A self-described hippie, she attended a San Francisco college at psychedelia's height and remembers friends constantly crashing on the couch of her apartment, just a block away from Janis Joplin's pad in the hip Castro neighborhood.

  • *Energy ministry, LUKOIL to meet investors this month. LONDON/ MOSCOW, Oct 5- Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin met investors in London on Friday, launching a charm offensive by Russia's oil industry, which is trying to court foreign capital after a decade in which it became almost synonymous with resource nationalism.

  • LONDON, Oct 5- Russian state owned oil company Rosneft will spend a total of $25 billion to modernise its Soviet-built refineries, company chief executive Igor Sechin told investors on Friday, sources familiar with his presentation said. Sechin said $7 billion has already been spent. The remaining $18 billion will be spent over the next five years.

  • LONDON/ MOSCOW, Oct 5- Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin met investors in London on Friday, launching a charm offensive by Russia's oil industry which is trying to court foreign capital after a decade in which it became almost synonymous with resource nationalism.

  • By George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas. ATHENS, Oct 5- National Bank of Greece and Eurobank are in merger talks to create the country's biggest lender, banking sources said on Friday, the latest move in efforts to consolidate the Greek banking industry.

  • UPDATE 1-TNK-BP keeps dividend decision on hold Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 1:57 PM ET

    *TNK-BP gives green light to Rospan gas project. MOSCOW, Oct 5- TNK-BP's directors held back from deciding on a dividend payout at their meeting on Friday, with the Russian oil company saying only that the matter would be discussed "over the coming weeks", when bidding is expected to be underway for BP's 50 percent stake.

  • *Fred Hassan to become nonexecutive chairman in January. By Jessica Wohl and Phil Wahba. Oct 5- Avon Products Inc.

  • By Barbara Lewis and Francesco Guarascio. BRUSSELS, Oct 5- Talks are under way to hasten a deal to prop up the European Union's ailing carbon trading scheme, a senior European Commission official said on Friday.

  • Med Crude-Urals strongest since early Sept Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 1:26 PM ET

    LONDON, Oct 5- Russian Urals crude ended the weak on a bullish note on Friday, rising to its strongest levels since early September as traders said October volumes in the Mediterranean were mostly sold out.

  • RPT-Russia's Alfa increases stake in Vimpelcom Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 11:40 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 5- Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group has increased its voting stake in emerging markets telecoms operator Vimpelcom to 41.85 percent from 40.5 percent, a spokesman for Alfa's Altimo unit said. The increase brings Altimo's ownership of Vimpelcom closer to the 43 percent owned by Norwegian telecoms group Telenor.

  • Russia's Alfa increases stake in Vimpelcom Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 11:38 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 5- Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group has increased its voting stake in emerging markets telecoms operator Vimpelcom to 41.85 percent from 40.5 percent, a spokesman for Alfa's Altimo unit said. The increase brings Altimo's ownership of Vimpelcom closer to the 43 percent owned by Norwegian telecoms group Telenor.

  • By Maya Dyakina and Lidia Kelly. MOSCOW, Oct 5- Russian shares and the rouble rose in light trade on Friday, ending higher for the week, after strong U.S. jobs data increased global appetite for risk. A stronger U.S. economy improves the outlook for commodities, helping major commodity exporters such as Russia.

  • TEXT-Fitch affirms three Czech banks Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 11:08 AM ET

    Oct 5- Fitch Ratings has affirmed Ceska Sporitelna and Komercni Banka's. CS's Long-term IDR is equalised with that of its 98% shareholder, Erste Group Bank AG, reflecting what Fitch views as an extremely high propensity to provide support to CS. KB's Long-term IDR is driven by potential support from its majority shareholder, Societe Generale.

  • Czechs, Poles cast off emerging market tag Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 11:05 AM ET

    LONDON, Oct 5- Tightly priced bond issues from the Czech Republic and Poland this week signal that they are casting off their emerging market label, leaving further behind other indebted Central and Eastern sovereigns.

  • TNK-BP aims to discuss dividends "over coming weeks" Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 11:03 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 5- Russia's third-largest crude producer TNK-BP, in which BP has put its 50 percent stake up for sale, said on Friday its board of directors will discuss a possible dividend pay out in the coming weeks. In July, AAR- BP's partners in the TNK-BP venture- blocked a $1 billion dividend from the Russian oil business.

  • Britain's Debenhams has high hopes for Russia Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 11:01 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 5- British department store group Debenhams expects to generate a fifth of its overseas sales by 2015 in Russia, which is set to become Europe's biggest retail market. Debenhams, which has been increasing sales at home despite a recession there, returned to Russia in September, six years after pulling out of the country because it was losing money.

  • UPDATE 2-CEZ dumps Areva from Temelin nuclear tender Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 10:58 AM ET

    *CEZ says Areva fails to meet requirements. PRAGUE, Oct 5- Czech power group CEZ threw out Areva's bid for a multibillion-dollar contract to expand the Temelin nuclear power plant, leaving U.S. and Russian firms to contest the country's biggest-ever energy deal.

  • MegaFon moves closer to London IPO-sources Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 10:37 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Oct 5- Russia's second-largest mobile phone operator MegaFon may start pre-marketing for its London IPO next week, but is yet to make a final decision regarding timing, three sources familiar with the situation said.

  • Ukraine CPI rises 0.1 pct m/m in September Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 10:35 AM ET

    KIEV, Oct 5- Ukrainian consumer prices rose by 0.1 percent month-on-month in September after falling by 0.3 percent in August, the State Statistics service said on Friday.

  • *Merger would form Greece's biggest lender* Shares suspended pending announcements* NBG, Eurobank hold board meetings By George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas.