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  • *Fed widely expected to pare bond purchases by $10 bln. NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. government debt prices were little changed on Wednesday as investors waited for the Federal Reserve to possibly change its guidelines on the timing of raising interest rates as job growth remains sluggish and inflation stays stuck below its target.

  • NEW YORK, March 19- U.S. stocks edged modestly lower at the open on Wednesday, following two days of gains, as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the conclusion of a two-day Fed policy meeting.

  • FRANKFURT/ PARIS March 19- France's big banks are embracing an unlikely challenge- to prise away some of Germany's mighty Mittelstand of small and medium-sized enterprises from their local banking partners.

  • SHANGHAI/ HONG KONG, March 19- A denial by China's central bank that it is involved in emergency talks to bailout a troubled property developer reinforced signals Beijing is now more willing to let banks and other investors take losses on loans. However, the reports "did not accord with reality", the People's Bank of China said in a post on China's Twitter- like Weibo.

  • *Lee seen starting as Bank of Korea governor April 1. SEOUL, March 19- A South Korean parliamentary committee on Wednesday endorsed Lee Ju- yeol, a former central bank deputy chief, to become the next Bank of Korea governor and help steer Asia's fourth-biggest economy towards a durable recovery.

  • SEOUL, March 19- South Korea's authorities are inspecting units of four foreign banks over a spike in yuan holdings, regulatory sources told Reuters on Wednesday, reflecting Seoul's concern about potential risks posed by the rapid rise in exposure to China's markets and its currency.

  • *Focus on UK jobs data, annual budget. LONDON, March 19- The dollar rose against the yen and euro on Wednesday, drawing comfort from expectations the Federal Reserve will further unwind monetary stimulus, looking beyond the impact on the economy of a harsh winter. The dollar edged up 0.2 percent to 101.625 yen, staying above a one-month low of 101.20 yen hit on March 3.

  • *2/ 3 of Japan firms see BOJ easing further in H1 2014- poll. TOKYO, Dec 10- Almost two-thirds of Japanese firms expect the Bank of Japan will increase its stimulus in the first six months of 2014, a Reuters poll showed, underscoring the pressure on the central bank to remain the engine of growth under Abenomics.

  • SEOUL, March 19- The Bank of Korea's nominee-governor, Lee Ju- yeol, a former senior deputy governor at the central bank, is expected to be appointed by President Park Geun-hye after a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday. Lee was questioned on a range of key issues, including South Korea's household debt, inflation and future monetary policy at the central bank.

  • *Fed on track to reduce monthly bond buys to $55 billion. WASHINGTON, March 19- The Federal Reserve is set to trim its bond-buying stimulus for a third time in a row on Wednesday, and will probably rewrite its guidance on when it might eventually raise interest rates.

  • TOKYO, March 19- Asian share markets slipped on Wednesday, with investors still observing the Ukraine/ Crimea crisis and ahead of a closely-watched Federal Reserve policy review later in the session.

  • TOKYO, March 19- Asian share markets slipped on Wednesday, with investors still observing the Ukraine/ Crimea crisis and ahead of a closely-watched Federal Reserve policy review later in the session.

  • *Weak export growth remains a worry for Japan's outlook. OTSU, Japan, March 19- Bank of Japan board member Takahide Kiuchi warned on Wednesday that exports could continue to disappoint and that consumer spending could weaken, robbing the economy of two important drivers of growth as poliymakers try to pull it out of deflation.

  • LONDON, March 19- Thomson Reuters Corp said it has launched a central register of information to help banks meet increasing compliance demands on who they deal with and cut their costs by reducing duplication.

  • *Tensions over Ukraine crisis ease somewhat. TOKYO, March 19- Asian share markets opened on a tentative footing on Wednesday, with investors cautious amid the backdrop of East-West geopolitical tensions involving Ukraine and ahead of a closely-watched Federal Reserve policy review later in the session.

  • UPDATE 1-S&P upgrades MBIA, Assured Guaranty Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 | 6:19 PM ET

    NEW YORK, March 18- Standard& Poor's upgraded bond insurer MBIA Inc on Tuesday, saying it expects the company to gain market share and resume its prior role as a strong player in guaranteeing U.S. municipal debt.

  • March 18- Wells Fargo& Co Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf earned $19.3 million in 2013, identical to what he took home a year earlier, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. David Hoyt, Wells Fargo's head of wholesale banking, was the second-highest paid executive behind Stumpf.

  • Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 | 4:00 PM ET

    **Societe Generale, France's No. 2 listed bank, said it would offer to buy out minority holders of its online bank brand Boursorama, as it seeks to grow the business despite France's weak economic outlook.

  • LONDON, March 18- Bankers who sidestep a cap on their bonuses will face action from the European Union's banking regulator, the bloc's financial services chief said on Tuesday as he fought off calls to toughen up the measure.

  • *UK unveils big shake-up of top Bank of England officials. LONDON, March 18- Britain shook up the Bank of England on Tuesday, breaking the all-male grip at the top as it appointed two new deputy governors and a chief economist who has been highly critical of the banking industry.

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