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  • UPDATE 1-Chevron shareholders reject independent chair Wednesday, 28 May 2014 | 11:44 AM ET

    MIDLAND, Texas, May 28- Shareholders of Chevron Corp, the second-largest U.S. oil company, rejected a proposal on Wednesday to split the roles of chairman and chief executive, both currently held by John Watson.

  • BOGOTA, May 28- Venezuela has agreed to release $12 million to Colombian airline Avianca, equivalent to 4 percent of the unrepatriated revenue trapped in Venezuela because of currency controls, the company said on Wednesday.

  • *Iran official sees drop in shipping volumes, difficulties. LONDON/ ANKARA, May 28- Global shipping lines are increasingly shying away from handling cargoes to Iran as restrictions on banking and insurance continue unabated, despite an interim agreement between Tehran and the West that called for limited sanctions relief.

  • May 28- Obesity drug maker Vivus Inc's biggest shareholder said it was planning to offer to buy the company in a deal valued at $640 million. Aspen Investment Fund, which reported a 9.65 percent stake in Vivus on Wednesday, said it expected to submit its non-binding offer to the company by June 13.

  • NEW YORK, May 28- The bidding process to build a mammoth system to track trading activity across the U.S. stock market is going through growing pains, with some participants grousing at a secretive process that excludes key groups, including brokerages.

  • Chevron shareholders reject independent chair Wednesday, 28 May 2014 | 11:13 AM ET

    MIDLAND, Texas, May 28- Chevron Corp shareholders rejected a proposal on Wednesday to split the roles of chairman and chief executive, both currently held by John Watson. About 81 percent of the 1.5 billion shares cast at the company's annual meeting in Midland, Texas, voted against the proposal, which was sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

  • LONDON, May 28- Former JPMorgan dealmaker Ian Hannam has lost his appeal against a 450,000 pound fine for market abuse, a London tribunal said on Wednesday, in a case that has fuelled a high-level debate about legitimate banking practices.

  • FRANKFURT, May 28- The European Central Bank has warned that investors' pursuit of higher profits could be creating new price bubbles, sounding the alarm as financial markets chase quick gains.

  • *Valeant ups cash component of Allergan bid; shares fall. NEW YORK, May 28- U.S. stocks slipped, with technicals in focus and scant key items on the U.S. economic calendar, as the S&P 500 hit yet another intraday record in early trading Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK, May 28- For some people, the magic of compound interest alone is enough to sell them on a 529 college savings plan, but others seem to need more incentive. Enter 529 Day, appropriately designated for May 29, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of saving for university and the advantages of a 529 plan.

  • LONDON, May 28- The first individual vote for policy tightening at the Bank of England is likely to come in the next few months but it will be April at least before interest rates rise, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday.

  • GE's Alstom offer adds 1,000 French jobs: Sources Wednesday, 28 May 2014 | 10:43 AM ET
    An Alstom welding instructor uses a sound wave sensor to test for defects in welded metal joints at Alstom SA's welding training facility in Stafford, U.K., May 12, 2014.

    General Electric has improved its offer for French train and turbine maker Alstom, with a pledge to create 1,000 jobs in France, sources said.

  • *Portugal's PSI rises 1 pct, boosted by BCP, BES. *Hugo Boss falls after share placement. The move, which had to be approved by Portugal's central bank, was interpreted as a sign of confidence in the bank's health before the European Central Bank's asset-quality review.

  • *Gold slides to lowest since Feb 7 at $1,260.44/ oz. LONDON, May 28- Gold prices hit 3-1/ 2 month lows on Wednesday as the dollar climbed to its highest since February against the euro and stock markets held near recent peaks, after a technical breakout the previous day saw the metal slide more than 2 percent.

  • OBAMA SAYS MOST DIRECT THREAT TO AMERICA AND WORLD IS TERRORISM, PARTICULARLY FROM DECENTRALIZED AL QAEDA AFFILIATES AND EXTREMISTS- TEXT.

  • NEW YORK, May 28- The dollar on Wednesday rose on softness among other major currencies such as the euro, which fell below $1.36 amid gathering expectations of a monetary policy shift next week by the European Central Bank. The measure of a basket of currencies was last at 80.522 in New York trade, up 0.21 percent.

  • May 28- Michael Kors Holdings Ltd said it expects its current-quarter gross margins to be slightly lower than a year earlier due to the costs of opening new stores in Europe. The startup expenses, such as leasing costs, associated with its expansion in Europe would hurt its retail operating margins, Michael Kors said on a conference call.

  • OBAMA SAYS INTENDS TO MAKE SURE U.S.

  • Vivus shareholder Aspen plans to buy company for $640 mln Wednesday, 28 May 2014 | 10:17 AM ET

    May 28- Aspen Investment Fund, a shareholder of obesity drug maker Vivus Inc, said it was planning to offer to buy the company for $640 million. Aspen, which reported a 9.65 percent stake in Vivus on Wednesday, said it expects to submit its offer to the company by June 13. Vivus shares were up 6 percent at $4.95 in morning trading.

  • LONDON, May 28- Rating agencies are falling over each other to upgrade the euro zone's crisis countries, but with debt levels in most still rising and growth and reforms slow, the question is whether the new-found optimism has swung too far.