• SEOUL, March 19- South Korea's incoming central bank governor on Wednesday stressed the need for strengthened independence from the government and clear communication with markets, the lack of which has seen the bank broadly criticised.

  • *Sentiment in China, India, Australia turns weaker. SEOUL, March 19- Business sentiment among Asia's top companies edged up in the first quarter, as solid improvement in the Philippines and South Korea outweighed weakness in China, India and Australia amid persistent concerns over the global economy, a ThomsonReuters/INSEAD survey showed.

  • *Asia's Iran crude liftings rise sharply in February. The deal between Iran and six world powers struck in November, and implemented on Jan. 20, freed up $4.2 billion in oil payments to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

  • TOKYO, March 18- Iran exported more crude than allowed under Western sanctions for at least a fourth straight month in February, as ship loading data obtained by Reuters showed top clients again bought more than 1 million barrels per day of Tehran's oil.

  • LONDON, March 18- Russia's rouble fell on Tuesday from the previous session's two-week highs on fears of fresh economic sanctions and a further military standoff, though Moscow equities firmed in line with other emerging markets. President Vladimir Putin is expected to back absorbing the territory into Russia when he addresses parliament later in the day.

  • SEOUL, March 18- South Korea on Tuesday granted a preliminary casino licence to a Lippo Ltd and Caesars Entertainment Corp venture to build a resort on Yeongjong island, as the government tries to court wealthy Chinese punters with an array of gambling options.

  • *U.S. Navy commandos storm vessel in international waters. President Barack Obama and requested by the Libyan and Cypriot governments, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said. "The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government National Oil Company.

  • LONDON, March 15- New York has knocked London from its position as the world's leading global financial centre after seven years, according to the Global Financial Centres Index compiled by London- based consultancy Z/Yen.

  • SEOUL, March 14- South Korea has culled over 6 percent of poultry in the country to curb a bird flu outbreak that has hit farms and migratory birds nationwide, government officials said on Friday.

  • *Bank of Korea seen raising rates from late 2014. SEOUL, March 13- South Korea's central bank kept interest rates steady for a 10th straight month on Thursday, as expected, as it eyes offshore risks and a slow domestic economic recovery amid low inflationary pressures.

  • OTTAWA, March 11- Canada and South Korea announced on Tuesday they had wrapped up talks on a long-delayed free trade deal which had stalled for years amid squabbles over exports of autos and beef. Canada's Trade Ministry says exports to South Korea in 2012 were worth C $3.7 billion while imports from South Korea hit C $6.4 billion.

  • OTTAWA, March 6- Canada and South Korea are very close to signing a long-delayed free trade deal after years of talks, sources familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. Canada, seeking to diversify its exports away from the United States, has long targeted the rapidly expanding economies of Asia.

  • SEOUL, March 6- South Korea plans to ease rules to make mergers and acquisitions easier for private equity firms and local companies in a bid to facilitate the sale of an estimated 10 trillion won in assets of cash-strapped local conglomerates.

  • HONG KONG, March 5- The volume of M&A activity in South Korea has posted its strongest start to the year since 2008, rising 18 percent to date and dominated by a spate of private equity dealmaking.

  • SINGAPORE/ MELBOURNE, Feb 26- Australia is turning into a playground for global oil traders, who are snapping up storage tanks and terminals as they bet on it to become Asia's top importer of oil products as demand rises and old, inefficient refineries close.

  • "Asiana's response to the crash of flight 214 indicates that the carrier failed to commit sufficient resources to carry out its family assistance plan," the U.S. Department of Transportation said in a statement. An Asiana spokesman in Los Angeles declined to comment.

  • LONDON, Feb 25- World shares were at a 6- year high on Tuesday following a record peak on Wall Street, while moves by China to stamp out easy betting on the yuan triggered the currency's biggest drop in over three years.

  • *Line's parent Naver says no plan, no reason to sell. TOKYO/ SEOUL, Feb 25- Japan- based Line Corp denied a media report it was in talks to sell a stake to SoftBank Corp- a report that comes after big acquisitions of rival messaging app firms have fanned speculation that it too may be up for grabs. Both Line and its South Korean parent company Naver Corp denied the report.

  • SEOUL/ TOKYO, Feb 25- South Korea's Naver Corp said it had no plans to sell a stake in its mobile-messaging service Line Corp after a media report that Japan's SoftBank Corp was seeking to buy part of the fast-growing mobile app operator. Naver, whose shares shot up more than 8 percent on Tuesday on the report, denied it was discussing a possible sale.

  • Japan drafts revision of arms exports ban -source Sunday, 23 Feb 2014 | 1:47 AM ET

    TOKYO, Feb 23- Japan has drafted new guidelines that would reverse a decades-old ban on weapons exports, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday, a move that could further strain ties with neighbours China and South Korea.

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