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  • DUBAI, May 19- Bahrain's central bank is finalizing rules for the supervision of sharia-compliant advisory firms, part of a wider overhaul of standards as the Gulf state steps up its efforts in Islamic finance. Having been a pioneer of the sector, Bahrain is now competing with other centers such as Dubai, London and Kuala Lumpur for Islamic finance business.

  • Monday's meeting- which the official said was called to "take stock of the situation in the Alstom case"- took place aas Germany's Siemens mulls a possible rival deal with Alstom alongside that proposed by U.S. group General Electric.

  • COLUMN-Financially smart gifts for the new grad Monday, 19 May 2014 | 8:00 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES, May 19- Americans typically spend nearly $5 billion on gifts for graduates, with a little over half giving cash and a third offering gift cards, according to last year's National Retail Federation survey.

  • NEW YORK, May 19- In an era of stagnant wages and rising prices, Americans are expected not only to pay the daily bills and save millions for retirement, but also put away enough for college for their kids. Grandparents such as Maureen Reiter. The firm's 2014 529 Consumer Survey found that 13.1 percent of 529 accounts are now owned by grandparents.

  • US STOCKS-Futures retreat as growth concerns weigh Monday, 19 May 2014 | 7:54 AM ET

    *AstraZeneca rejects sweetened Pfizer offer. *AT&T to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion. *AT&T lost 2.1 percent to $35.95 in premarket trade after the telecom said it will acquire DirecTV for $48.5 billion, highlighting AT&T's pressing need for fresh avenues of growth beyond the maturing U.S. cellular business.

  • May 19- Campbell Soup Co, the world's largest soup maker, posted weaker-than-expected quarterly sales as increased promotions failed to drive growth in its U.S. soup division. Campbell's shares fell 9.1 percent to $41 in premarket trading after the company also lowered its full-year sales growth forecast.

  • *Euro zone bonds rally on growing expectations of ECB QE. LONDON, May 19- Any European Central Bank move to print money could raise investors' expectations for euro zone inflation and growth, pushing German Bund yields higher and potentially halting a two-year-old rally in peripheral debt.

  • *Fed minutes, China PMI, Japan trade data awaited this week. LONDON, May 19- The dollar slid to its weakest against the yen in more than three months on Monday as expectations of higher U.S. interest rates faded. But dealers said there were options barriers around 101.00 and talk of official buyers in Japan around 100.80 yen.

  • SEOUL, May 19- South Korean President Park Geun-hye, tears rolling down her cheeks, formally apologised on Monday for a ferry disaster that killed about 300 people, mostly school children, and said she would dismantle the coast guard for failing in its duties.

  • ANTANANARIVO, May 19- The World Bank will give Madagascar $400 million in financial support over three years, after recently restoring ties following a peaceful election, while the European Union said it was resuming full relations with the Indian Ocean island.

  • LONDON, May 19- Gold picked up on Monday, touching the psychologically important $1,300- an-ounce level as the dollar and equity markets slipped, although strong U.S. economic data capped gains. Platinum group metals extended gains after posting their strongest weekly performance in six on supply worries due to strikes at South African mines.

  • JAKARTA, May 19- Indonesia's presidential election abruptly turned into a tight two-horse race on Monday after the country's second-largest party suddenly switched its support away from frontrunner Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to his main rival.

  • *Goodpack says in talks with one party on possible transaction. *Australia's Brambles ended talks in March to buy Goodpack. HONG KONG, May 19- KKR& Co is nearing a deal to buy Singapore's Goodpack Ltd, the world's largest maker of intermediate bulk containers which has a market value of S $1.36 billion, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

  • KUALA LUMPUR, May 19- Shares in Malaysian Airlines logged a second day of sharp declines to hit a record low on Monday, raising pressure on the state-run carrier to come up with a plan to restore investor confidence after missing flight MH370 and widening losses.

  • HANOI/ HONG KONG, May 19- Most large companies operating in industrial parks hit by anti- China riots in Vietnam last week have resumed operations, underscoring the irresistible pull of the country as a low-cost manufacturing hub with a relatively skilled workforce.

  • BRITISH PM CAMERON SAYS GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE NEUTRAL OVER PFIZER BID FOR ASTRAZENECA, MATTER FOR THE COMPANIES.

  • *AstraZeneca slumps after rejecting "final" Pfizer bid. LONDON, May 19- European equities slid on Monday, pulled down by pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca, which slumped after rejecting a Pfizer takeover bid, and by Deutsche Bank, where a capital increase weighed on bank stocks.

  • *Copper targets 200- day moving average at $7,050- analyst. LONDON, May 19- Copper hit an 11- week high on Monday on dwindling global stocks and as investors bought to cover their bets that the price would fall, though gains were still limited by concerns about slower growth in top consumer China.

  • LONDON, May 19- U.S. drugmaker Pfizer is likely to court major investors in AstraZeneca as part of a takeover attempt despite a board rejection of its 70 billion pounds bid, the head of Britain's parliamentary science committee said.

  • SHANGHAI, May 19- A Chinese state-run newspaper has accused British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc of evading at least 100 million yuan in taxes, adding to pressure on the firm which is already struggling with graft charges against executives.