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  • *Daily turnover of yuan in London around $15.6 bln. LONDON, March 26- Britain and China will sign an agreement next week to set up the first clearing service for renminbi trading outside Asia, putting London in a prime position to offer yuan trade business in Europe.

  • Company seeking Hong Kong exchange nod on Thursday. HONG KONG, March 26- Chinese pork producer W.H. Group, which acquired U.S.-based Smithfield Foods last year, has hired 28 book runners for its planned $5- 6 billion Hong Kong initial public offering, a record number for banks working on an Asian IPO, IFR reported.

  • HONG KONG, March 26- Chinese pork producer W.H. Group, which last year acquired U.S-based Smithfield Foods, has hired 28 book runners for its planned $5- 6 billion Hong Kong listing, a record number for banks working on an Asian IPO, IFR reported on Wednesday.

  • JOHANNESBURG, March 25- South Africa's Reserve Bank will probably keep interest rates steady at Thursday's policy meeting, although increases could be on the cards later in the year as inflation pressures remain a concern.

  • NAIROBI, March 25- Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya expects east Africa's burgeoning middle class to drive growth in 2014 after it recorded a 16 percent rise in 2013 pretax profit, its chief executive said.

  • HONG KONG, March 25- In just a few years, Hong Kong banks have ramped up lending to China from near zero to $430 billion, fuelling concerns about their credit exposure to the mainland at a time when sliding economic growth and defaults are making investors nervous.

  • HONG KONG, March 25- In just a few years, Hong Kong banks have ramped up lending to China from near zero to $430 billion, fuelling concerns about their credit exposure to the mainland at a time when sliding economic growth and defaults are making investors nervous.

  • HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI, March 24- Credit warning signs are flashing for heavily indebted Chinese semiconductor, software and commodities firms as the government cautiously steps aside to let market forces play a bigger role in deciding winners and losers.

  • DUBAI, March 20- Buyout firm GrowthGate Capital plans to take freight-forwarding company Able Logistics Group public in Dubai around the end of this year, a senior GrowthGate executive told Reuters, in a sign of growing strength in the region's equity markets. "We aim to make it this year or early next year," Haythem Macki, a partner at GrowthGate, said.

  • *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.

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 18- ICE cocoa eased from Monday's 2-1/ 2- year high on profit-taking, while arabica coffee edged higher on renewed speculator buying and lingering worry over the extent of drought damage to crops in top grower Brazil.

  • WASHINGTON, March 18- U.S. inflation was muted in February and housing starts fell for a third straight month, giving the Federal Reserve plenty of room to keep interest rates low even as it scales back the amount of money it is pumping into the economy.

  • *Cocoa 2013/ 14 consumption growth to exceed long-term trend. LONDON, March 18- Cocoa futures held near a 2-1/ 2 year high on Tuesday, boosted by strong consumption growth that was expected to outstrip supply. Cocoa futures on ICE were little changed with May off $2 or 0.1 percent at $3,028 at 1206 GMT, holding just below the previous session's 2-1/ 2- year high of $3,047.

  • *Tencent, JD.com tie-up sharpens e-commerce challenge. SHANGHAI, March 17- Alibaba's dominance of online retail in China faces its biggest-ever challenge as the firm founded by Jack Ma in a one-room apartment 15 years ago lines up a U.S. initial public offering that could value the firm at around $140 billion.

  • SHANGHAI, March 15- China's central bank loosened its grip on the yuan on Saturday by doubling the daily trading range for the currency, adding teeth to a promise it would allow market forces to play a greater role in the economy and its markets.

  • *Last widening occurred in April 2012. SHANGHAI, March 15- China's central bank doubled the daily trading band for the yuan on Saturday, underscoring efforts to add more volatility and risk to the currency to make it more responsive to market forces.

  • *Iran wants economic sanctions lifted. LONDON/ ANKARA, March 13- Despite a diplomatic thaw, Western banks are steering clear of attempts by Iran to get them involved in financing humanitarian transactions, fearing they could be penalised under U.S. sanctions, bankers and government officials told Reuters.

  • Western banks cold-shoulder Iran trade finance scheme Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 11:31 AM ET

    *Iran wants economic sanctions lifted. LONDON/ ANKARA, March xx- Despite a diplomatic thaw, Western banks are steering clear of attempts by Iran to get them involved in financing humanitarian transactions, fearing they could be penalised under U.S. sanctions, bankers and government officials told Reuters.

  • MACAU, March 12- Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd look best placed to benefit from the next phase of Macau's development as the world's gambling capital adds eight more mega-casinos by 2017..

  • MACAU, March 12- Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd look best placed to benefit from the next phase of Macau's development as the world's gambling capital adds eight more mega-casinos by 2017..

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