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  • *H2 profit up 8 pct to $5.69 bln. MELBOURNE, Aug 19- Top global miner BHP Billiton will spin off a roughly $14 billion company to shareholders, mostly offloading assets it acquired in its 2001 merger with Billiton, as it looks to focus on its strongest businesses.

  • FED'S BALANCE SHEET TO HIT $4.5 TRILLION WHEN BOND-BUYING LIKELY ENDS IN OCTOBER- FED MONETARY POLICY REPORT.

  • INSIGHT-Alstom loss is PR win for new Siemens chief Monday, 23 Jun 2014 | 8:44 AM ET

    *Siemens CEO earns praise for shrewd moves in Alstom battle. On Friday, the French government announced it had chosen U.S. conglomerate General Electric over Siemens and its bidding partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in the contest to acquire the energy assets of Alstom.

  • Fed kicks off policy meeting with eye on normalization Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 | 10:59 AM ET

    The central bank's Board of Governors was set to discuss "medium-term monetary policy issues" at 10 a.m. EDT, according to a Fed notice. The Fed board and the FOMC also held a joint session to kick off April's policy meeting in Washington. After three rounds of post-recession bond-buying the Fed's balance sheet has grown to nearly $4.5 trillion.

  • *Shell to focus on Gorgon, Prelude LNG in Australia. MELBOURNE, June 17- Royal Dutch Shell launched a long-anticipated sale of most of its stake in Australia's Woodside Petroleum Ltd on Tuesday, looking to reap about $5.7 billion as it moves to focus on developing its own gas assets in Australia.

  • TWELVE OF 17 PRIMARY DEALERS SURVEYED SEE FED STOPPING BALANCE SHEET REINVESTMENTS AFTER OR AT SAME TIME AS FIRST RATE HIKE.

  • PALO ALTO, Calif., May 29- Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George said Thursday she is open to leaving the U.S. central bank's balance sheet big even as it withdraws accommodation, a comment that reveals the extent of uncertainty at the Fed over future policy.

  • U.S. Fed's George says open to big balance sheet Thursday, 29 May 2014 | 10:55 PM ET

    MENLO PARK, Calif., May 29- Kansas City Fed President Esther George on Thursday said she is open to keeping the Fed's balance sheet large even as it begins to remove policy accommodation. At Stanford University's Hoover Institution conference on central banking she was asked how she feels about keeping the Fed's balance sheet big.

  • MOSCOW, May 29- Sberbank, Russia's biggest bank by assets, reported an 18 percent slide in profits on Thursday and more than doubled its provisions for bad loans, hit by the Ukraine crisis, a falling rouble and an economy flirting with recession.

  • MOSCOW, May 29- Sberbank, Russia's biggest bank by assets, reported an 18 percent slide in profits on Thursday and more than doubled its provisions for bad loans, hit by the Ukraine crisis, a falling rouble and an economy flirting with recession.

  • SAFT ON WEALTH-Sidelined Fed a boon for emerging markets Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 4:20 PM ET

    May 21- U.S. interest rates are staying low for quite some time, a backdrop which should, all else equal, favor emerging markets. The taper has become reality, and yet, amid signs of economic weakness from Europe and the U.S., market interest rates have dropped and the bid for riskier assets has generally been relatively good.

  • No need for Fed to shrink balance sheet: Bernanke Monday, 19 May 2014 | 2:42 PM ET
    Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    Bernanke said the Fed does not need to shrink its $4 trillion-plus balance sheet for it to normalize monetary policy.

  • DALLAS, May 19- The Federal Reserve does not need to shrink its $4 trillion- plus balance sheet by even "a dime" for it to normalize monetary policy when the time comes, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said on Monday. "The Fed has worked very carefully to figure out how to raise rates at the appropriate time," Bernanke told a monetary policy conference.

  • *Agrees to sell certain US assets for about $600 mln. *Sees 2015 capital spend $5.5- $6.0 bln, higher than 2014 forecast. May 16- Chesapeake Energy Corp, the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, said it expects to raise more than $4 billion this year from asset sales and by spinning off its oilfield services division.

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, May 8- The U.S. Federal Reserve is in no rush to decide the appropriate size of its balance sheet, but if it ultimately shrinks it to a pre-crisis size, the process could take the better part of a decade, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday.

  • *AstraZeneca jumps 6.3 pct on M&A talk. The STOXX Europe 600 health care index rose 3.2 percent as AstraZeneca rallied on speculation about a bid approach from U.S. major Pfizer, while a deal to swap assets boosted GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis.

  • NEW YORK, April 17- The Federal Reserve logged $84 billion in net profit last year on its massive portfolio of assets, and average income will probably remain higher than before the financial crisis for another decade to come, according to an annual report.

  • *Bundesbank chief open in principle to QE, if it is needed. *Drop in inflation sees him open up to the idea. FRANKFURT, April 17- As recently as last November, Jens Weidmann steadfastly opposed any move by the European Central Bank to print money to buy assets and buoy the euro zone economy.

  • Energy firms to Fed: Hands off banks' commodity trading Wednesday, 9 Apr 2014 | 3:27 PM ET

    NEW YORK, April 9- Energy companies are mounting a last-ditch effort to prevent the Federal Reserve from cracking down on physical commodity trading by major Wall Street banks, saying more restriction may further damage liquidity and raise hedging costs.

  • MOSCOW, March 31- Russia's largest privately owned financial group, Alfa Group, said instability in Ukraine was hurting its financial position and estimated its exposure to the neighbouring country at $781 million.