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  • STOCKHOLM, March 21- With cost cutting boosting profits last year, Swedish car firm Volvo is looking forward to all its main markets growing in 2014, especially in Chinese owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group's home market, it said on Friday.

  • *Timchenko on list of U.S. sanctions over Ukraine. MOSCOW/ SOFIA, March 21- A consortium led by Russia's Stroitransgaz, owned by sanctions-hit businessman Gennady Timchenko, is set to win a 3.5 billion euro deal to build a section of the South Stream natural gas pipeline across Bulgaria, industry sources said on Friday.

  • BRUSSELS, March 21- European Union leaders on Friday discussed accelerating moving energy supplies away from Russia, saying Moscow's annexation of Crimea made them more determined to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.

  • March 21- Biogen Idec Inc said on Friday it had won Canadian approval for its long-lasting hemophilia B drug Alprolix. Hemophilia B, a rare inherited disorder in which the ability of a person's blood to clot is impaired, affects some 4,000 people in the United States and roughly 25,000 worldwide. It is expected to be approved in the United States later this year.

  • *Ryanair top gainer after well-received analyst day. LONDON, March 21- European shares were set for strong weekly gains on Friday, demonstrating an ability to shrug off concerns over the Crimean crisis as strength in Ryanair and the mining sector helped growth sensitive sectors higher.

  • HONG KONG, March 21- Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings has agreed to buy just under a quarter of health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson for about $5.7 billion in what would be its single biggest investment and one that would boost its exposure to Asia's fast growing consumer sector.

  • LONDON, March 21- Data showing a record euro zone current account surplus in January helped the euro rise against the dollar for the first time in three days on Friday, with capital inflows providing solid support for the common currency.

  • March 21- Media General Inc said it would buy Lin Media LLC for $1.6 billion to create what it described as the largest and most diversified TV broadcaster in the United States. Lin shareholders will get $27.82 per share in stock and cash. The offer represents a 29.5 percent premium to Lin's closing price on Thursday.

  • *Launch of two palladium ETFs in South Africa lifts metal. LONDON, March 21- The price of autocatalyst metal palladium hit its highest since August 2011 on Friday as a miners' strike in South Africa ground on and concerns grew that the standoff between major producer Russia and the West over Ukraine could escalate.

  • The company, known for its blue boxes and Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan, forecast a profit of $4.05 to $4.15 per share this fiscal year. Comparable store sales rose 4 percent in Asia, excluding Japan, led by gains in China, where Tiffany has been focusing much of its expansion.

  • SEVASTOPOL/PEREVALNOYE, Crimea, March 21- Unlike the unmarked masked soldiers who first seized Crimea three weeks ago, Russian paratroopers strolling across a field near the peninsula's Perevalnoye military base, which they took over on Friday, wore their trademark blue berets and red star cockades.

  • *Nike shares fall in premarket after outlook. NEW YORK, March 21- U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday, with major indexes on track for a week of strong gains, though geopolitical concerns remained in view as the tenuous situation in Ukraine continued.

  • Darden profit meets analysts' lowered expectations Friday, 21 Mar 2014 | 7:15 AM ET

    March 21- Darden Restaurants Inc reiterated its plans to divest its struggling Red Lobster chain and reported third-quarter results in line with analysts' lowered expectations. The Orlando- based company, which also owns the Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse chains, said on March 3 that severe winter weather hurt sales and profit.

  • March 21- Tiffany& Co said on Friday it expects net worldwide sales to rise in the high single digits in percentage terms this year, with growth in all regions. The upscale New York- based jeweler reported a loss of $103.6 million, or 81 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, due primarily to losing an arbitrations ruling against The Swatch Group.

  • *Nigeria needs huge gas consumption to fix power blackouts. *Nigeria has world's ninth largest gas reserves. "Most people are still only here for the oil, yet Nigeria is sitting on a gas canister," said an oil industry executive.

  • March 21- The Philippines will award aircraft contracts to South Korean and Canadian companies worth $525.62 million, a senior defence official said on Friday, boosting its capability as tension simmers in the South China Sea.

  • CARACAS, March 21- While hemophilia sufferer Sergio Tovar lay in agony for five days at a hospital in Venezuela, his friends and family scoured hospitals and pharmacies looking for life-saving drugs. Eventually a cousin, Jenny Sequeda, helped find a substitute for the protein coagulant Tovar needs for his blood condition.

  • MOSCOW, March 21- Following are biographical details of some of the 20 Russians targeted on an expanded U.S. sanctions list announced by President Barack Obama on Thursday. SERGEI IVANOV, 61, is a former senior foreign intelligence officer who held the posts of Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister under Putin.

  • This has driven rates on the main routes between Asia and Northern Europe to loss-making levels. The so-called P3 alliance is between the world's three biggest container shipping lines- Maersk Line, a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, Switzerland- based MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and France's CMA CGM.

  • BANGKOK, March 21- Thailand's Constitutional Court on Friday annulled last month's general election, leaving the country in political limbo without a full government and further undermining a prime minister faced with impeachment over a failed rice subsidy scheme.