CARACAS, March 16- Central Bank President Nelson Merentes acknowledged on Sunday that Venezuela was undergoing an "economic crisis" but said measures like a new market-based currency mechanism would help bring rapid improvements. "But Venezuela has the ability to get out of this moment which is not so good.» Read More
*Union turf war killed dozens last year. JOHANNESBURG, Oct 18- A senior member of South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers was shot dead overnight in the restive platinum belt town of Marikana, a union spokesman said on Friday.
MADRID, Oct 18- Spain's Santander is aiming to double profits from its U.S. banking business in the next three years from $1 billion now, Chairman Emilio Botin said on a visit to New York, in comments confirmed by the bank on Friday.
BRUSSELS, Oct 18- Dutch cable group Ziggo said its core profit fell in the third quarter despite winning more customers, as it spent more on marketing and promotions to keep up with its rivals.
PARIS, Oct 18- European stocks rose in early trade on Friday, gaining ground for the seventh straight session, boosted by data showing an acceleration in China's economic growth. The FTSEurofirst 300 has gained 3.6 percent in the past six sessions, as investors bet on a last-minute deal in Washington to avert a debt default, which was reached earlier in the week.
*Rare equity participation for China. MOSCOW, Oct 18- Russia's top crude producer Rosneft has agreed to cede a share of its oil riches to China, the world's top oil importer, signing a memorandum on Friday to jointly develop East Siberia deposits.
HONG KONG, Oct 18- China shares lost ground this week, though they rose on Friday, with the financial sector leading index gains after key Chinese data came in broadly within expectations. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings finished up 0.5 percent for the day at 2,426.1 points.
A unit of British bank HSBC was hit with a record $2.46 billion final judgment in a U.S. securities class action lawsuit on Thursday.
SAO PAULO, Oct 18- OGX Petróleo e Gas Particpações SA, the ailing Brazilian oil producer controlled by tycoon Eike Batista, said that it is in talks with Vinci Partners and other potential investors for options about a potential capital injection.
OSLO, Oct 18- Norwegian fertiliser firm Yara posted a 23 percent drop in third-quarter core earnings as Chinese overproduction dragged prices lower, and said it was considering a major investment in the United States to increase its presence there.
WUHAN, China, Oct 18- Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Alan Mulally repeatedly declined to dismiss reports that he was approached to run Boeing Co or Microsoft Corp, and neither would he confirm speculation to that effect.
TRIPOLI, Oct 18- When gunmen snatched Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from his Tripoli hotel last week, it was a rival armed militia he thanked for his rescue hours later.
TOKYO, Oct 18- Japan's Nikkei stock average slipped on Friday, succumbing to profit-taking after a seven-session rally, while investors pondered the impact of the U.S. government shutdown on the world's largest economy.
JOHANNESBURG, Oct 18- Anglo American Platinum said on Friday it was sticking to its full-year production target of 2.3 million ounces despite a two-week strike over job cuts at its South African mines.
*China's Q3 GDP growth fastest this year, but outlook murky. *China's Sep implied oil demand down 1.8 pct on yr to 9.61 mln bpd.
TOKYO, Oct 18- Japan's Mitsui Life Insurance has suspended a plan to increase its stockpile of foreign bonds because it expects the value of U.S. bonds to fall as the Federal Reserve moves toward scaling back its economic stimulus later in the year.
*Offer would top agreed Saputo offer, earlier Bega bid. SYDNEY, Oct 18- Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd's second-largest shareholder launched a A $420 million bid for the Australian dairy company, trumping two previous offers and fanning speculation it could command an even higher price.
*AIA, Sands China at record highs on robust quarterly earnings. HONG KONG, Oct 18- China and Hong Kong shares moved higher early on Friday after a slew of official Chinese data came in broadly within expectations.
*China's Q3 GDP growth fastest this year, but outlook murky. *China's Sept implied oil demand down 1.8 pct on yr to 9.61 mln bpd.
HONG KONG, Oct 18- China's yuan hit a record high for a fifth consecutive day against the struggling U.S. dollar on Friday as investors worried about the economic impact of a long shutdown in the world's biggest economy.