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  • BRUSSELS, Oct 9- German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Tuesday declined to comment on the state of negotiations between EADS and BAE Systems but said he knew the situation well and was surprised by media reports about it.

  • PARIS, Oct 9- EADS is considering taking legal action after a series of media reports about the progress of negotiations with BAE Systems affected its share price, a source familiar with EADS thinking said on Tuesday.

  • PARIS/ BERLIN, Oct 9- Merger talks between EADS. and BAE Systems have hit a new obstacle over Germany's reluctance to endorse an Anglo-French scheme for handling state shareholdings, several sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 9- British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he expects BAE Systems and EADS. to announce before the London stock market opens on Wednesday whether to seek more time for talks on a $45 billion merger.

  • *Sources say UK, France propose broad state voting cap. *Germany said to maintain demand for parity with France. PARIS/ LONDON, Oct 9- An Anglo-French breakthrough over state shares in a $45 billion arms merger between EADS and BAE Systems made an extension of a negotiating deadline more likely, but put the two nations on a potential collision course with Germany.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 9- Discussions on the proposed merger between aerospace firms EADS and BAE have moved forward, but the companies must decide whether enough progress has been made, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said on Tuesday.

  • *Sources say UK, France propose broad state voting cap. *Germany said to maintain demand for parity with France.

  • Oct 9- British defence company BAE Systems. declined to comment on a German DPA news agency report on Tuesday that said its $45 billion merger talks with Airbus parent firm EADS had collapsed. The two companies are working toward a Wednesday deadline by which they must inform the UK Takeover Panel of their intention to proceed with, or drop, the negotiations.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 9- British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he hoped to meet his French, German and U.S. counterparts to discuss the proposed merger of aerospace groups EADS and BAE Systems, a day before the deal's deadline.

  • PARIS, Oct 9- EADS rejected a German news agency report that merger talks with BAE Systems had collapsed and confirmed progress between Britain and France over the deal.

  • LONDON, Oct 9- Shares in EADS rose sharply and those in BAE Systems fell on Tuesday, with three traders attributing the move to a report by German news agency DPA that merger talks between the two companies had collapsed. EADS shares rose as high as 26.85 euros a share before ceding most of their gains to trade up 0.2 percent on the day at 26.30 euros by 1143 GMT.

  • PARIS, Oct 9- Britain and France have made progress in talks over a possible cap on state shareholdings in any merger between EADS and BAE Systems, but any deal must overcome possible opposition from Germany, sources briefed on the matter said.

  • Several sources briefed on the negotiations said France and Britain had narrowed differences over the wording of key guarantees on state shareholdings, raising the prospect that the companies will buy more time to complete the complex deal.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 9- British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he hoped to meet his French, German and U.S. counterparts to discuss the proposed merger of aerospace groups EADS and BAE Systems, a day before a deadline for the deal.

  • PARIS, Oct 9- The chief executives of EADS. and BAE Systems will discuss the planned merger of Europe's leading aerospace companies later on Tuesday and "decide the way forward," a spokesman for EADS said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 9- British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he hoped to meet his French, German and U.S. counterparts to discuss the proposed merger of aerospace groups EADS and BAE Systems, a day before a deadline for the deal.

  • FRANKFURT, Oct 9- The DAX top-30 index looked set to open 0.3 percent higher on Tuesday, according to premarket data from brokerage Lang& Schwarz at 0619 GMT. Related news DEUTSCHE BANK, COMMERZBANK Deutsche Bank indicated 0.3 percent higher Commerzbank indicated unchanged.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 9- British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he expects BAE Systems and EADS. to announce before the London stock market opens on Wednesday whether to seek more time for talks on a $45 billion merger.

  • *Sources say UK, France propose broad state voting cap. *Germany said to maintain demand for parity with France. PARIS/ LONDON, Oct 9- France and Britain made a breakthrough over state shares in a merger between EADS and BAE Systems, making an extension of a deadline for negotiations more likely but putting the two nations on a collision course with Germany.

  • *NATO seeks ways to make scarce funds go further. *NATO chief calls for rises in defence spending post-austerity. BRUSSELS, Oct 9- NATO ministers wrestled on Tuesday with how to prevent austerity-driven defence cuts in many member countries from undermining the power of the 63- year-old Western alliance.