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  • Jan 29- Bankrupt drugmaker Dendreon Corp has reached a stalking-horse deal with Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc to sell the worldwide rights to its cancer vaccine, Provenge, and certain assets for $296 million. The deal is subject to higher and better bids and extended the bid deadline to Feb. 10 for interested parties to participate in an...

  • HOUSTON/ WILLISTON, N.D., Jan 29- ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp on Thursday slashed exploration spending plans for this year, as the third- and fourth-largest U.S. oil companies attempt to cope with a steep slide in crude prices. The cuts follow similar steps by rival Hess Corp earlier this week while Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company,...

  • China overtakes US as world's top investment magnet - UN Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 12:00 PM ET

    GENEVA, Jan 28- China overtook the flagging United States to become the top destination for foreign direct investment last year, according to the United Nations economic thinktank UNCTAD. That was largely down to a deal between U.S. firm Verizon Communications Inc and its British partner Vodafone, which included a share buyback that reversed $130 billion of...

  • Senate panel approves Iran sanctions bill Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 11:18 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— A bill that would levy tough new sanctions on Iran if it fails to sign an agreement to curb its nuclear program cleared a Senate committee on Thursday. Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee voted 18-4 to pass the bill aimed at ramping up economic pressure on Iran starting in July if it doesn't ink...

  • DUBAI, Jan 29- Royal Bank of Scotland plans to sell or close its corporate debt and debt capital markets business in the Middle East and Africa, the latest pullback by the state-controlled lender from emerging markets to focus on its domestic business. This came on top of confirmation in November it was reviewing its options across its Central and Eastern Europe,...

  • Timberland sever ties with A.P.C. for using "N-word" Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 10:16 AM ET

    PARIS— Singer Carla Bruni, actress Catherine Deneuve and burlesque performer Dita Von Teese were among regulars attending the spectacular displays at Paris' haute couture week Wednesday. Sophie Hunter, the fiancée of Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, meanwhile, caused much fracas when she attended Valentino hiding her baby bump. But it was surely Naomi...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- U.S. commercial crude oil stocks last week hit their highest level since 1931- when the opening of giant oil fields in the United States coincided with the Great Depression to create an enormous glut and sent prices tumbling to just 13 cents per barrel. In October 1929, U.S. commercial crude stocks peaked at a staggering 545 million barrels, following...

  • *Saudi Arabia's petchems, banks retreat. DUBAI, Jan 29- Saudi Arabia's stock market pulled back on Thursday after gaining strongly earlier in the week, while disappointing dividends and earnings weighed on other Gulf markets. Petrochemicals major Saudi Basic Industries dropped 2.6 percent and Samba Financial Group lost 1.0 percent.

  • PARIS/ DUBAI, Jan 29- Total became the first oil major to renew a 40- year onshore concession in Abu Dhabi, putting its peers under pressure to improve terms after the local partner said the French firm made the best offer. The state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company signed an agreement on Thursday with Total giving the firm a 10 percent stake in the new concession...

  • HELSINKI/ FRANKFURT, Jan 29- Nokia on Thursday reported strong profits at its core Networks business on the back of surging North American sales, but the shares fell back over an uncertain outlook, higher costs in its Technologies division and a disappointing dividend. The Finnish company, which sold its former flagship phones business to Microsoft last year,...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- Standard Chartered's board will discuss succession planning at a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said. It was inevitable issues around the succession of Chief Executive Peter Sands would come up, two people familiar with the matter said. The former McKinsey consultant steered Standard Chartered through...

  • Kuwaiti gets 5 years in jail for Twitter posts Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 7:27 AM ET

    KUWAIT CITY— A Kuwaiti defense lawyer says an appeals court has upheld a ruling against a Twitter user and ordered him jailed for five years over comments he posted online deemed insulting to the ruler of the Gulf nation. Attorney Fahad al-Harbi said Thursday that the court determined that Abdulaziz al-Mutairi had insulted the country's hereditary emir in...

  • PARIS/ DUBAI, Jan 29- State-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company signed an agreement on Thursday with Total giving the French oil major a 10 percent stake in a new 40- year onshore concession to help operate the United Arab Emirates' biggest oilfields. Nine Asian and Western firms had bid for stakes in the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations concession...

  • UPDATE 1-Total wins share of new Abu Dhabi concession Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 4:45 AM ET

    PARIS, Jan 29- Total has signed an agreement to take a 10 percent stake in a new 40- year onshore concession in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the French oil group said on Thursday. "Total is honored to be the first International Oil Company to be chosen... to participate in this new onshore concession and to be entrusted with the mission of technical leader on two...

  • ZURICH, Jan 29- The world's biggest fragrance and flavour maker Givaudan said a challenging business environment meant sales growth this year would likely stay on a similar level to 2014, below the target range it has given for 2010-2015.. Underlying sales grew 3.7 percent last year, below Givaudan's mid-term target of 4.5-5.5 percent growth, to 4.4 billion...

  • HELSINKI/ FRANKFURT, Jan 29- Nokia reported higher than expected profits at its core Networks business on Thursday, on the back of strong sales in North America, but group profits took a knock from higher costs at its Technologies unit which handles its patents and develops new products. The Finnish company, which sold its former flagship phones business to...

  • The Finland- based company said revenue grew to 3.8 billion euros in the period from 3.48 billion euros a year earlier, when it reported a net loss of 26 million euros. CEO Rajeev Suri noted strong growth in all operations— networks, mapping services and technologies and licenses— after selling its loss-making devices and services to Microsoft in April.

  • FACT CHECK: Both sides in Keystone XL debate bend facts Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 | 4:39 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf, say the privately funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs and make the U.S. dependent on oil from friends, rather than foes. But a March 2013 analysis by the State Department concluded that the tar sands...

  • The suburban Philadelphia- based chain says Wednesday it's contracting with a Middle East food executive to open 46 stores in the next decade in Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and five other Arab nations. Rita's contractor Faysal Younes, who formerly worked with Starbucks, says the Middle East's warm climate makes it a natural market for Rita's sweet, frozen...

  • ATHENS, Jan 28- The new government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has moved swiftly to roll back parts of Greece's international bailout agreement with its European Union and IMF creditors, including stopping some asset sales. Greece has raised only 3.1 billion euros from privatizations since it was first bailed out five years ago by the EU and...