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  • *Novartis: received pre-notification from health ministry. *Novartis says financial impact would be manageable. ZURICH, Feb 3- Swiss drugmaker Novartis said on Tuesday its Japanese business faced suspension by the country's health ministry but that it could manage the financial impact of such a sanction.

  • *Bank to start practice on Dubai bourses in H1 2015- official. ABU DHABI, Feb 3- National Bank of Abu Dhabi officially began market-making-- quoting buying and selling prices-- on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange on Tuesday, aiming to boost trading volumes. A spokesman for the Dubai bourses couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

  • *FY op profit down 14 percent to $6.5 billion. *Net earnings down 8 percent to $4 billion. LONDON, Feb 3- BG Group Plc has written $6 billion off the value of its oil and gas business in the fourth quarter to reflect the slump in the price of oil, forcing it to cut budgets and jobs this year.

  • BEIJING, Feb 3- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Jack Ma is no longer China's richest man, according to a report on Tuesday, with the top spot snatched by Li Hejun, a solar energy entrepreneur whose Hanergy Holding Group Ltd has come under fire for its intragroup dealings. Li's Hanergy Group has been the subject of analyst concern over what the Financial Times last week...

  • LONDON, Feb 3- Copper prices climbed on Tuesday for a fourth straight session, moving further from 5-1/ 2- year lows plumbed last week as oil rebounded and on market views that bad news had been priced in for now. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had climbed 2.99 percent by 0942 GMT to $5,664 a tonne- its highest in more than a week. "Everyone knows the...

  • LONDON, Feb 3- British online grocer Ocado reported an annual pretax profit for the first time in its 15 year history on Tuesday and said it aimed this year to seal its first technology deal with an overseas retailer. Ocado, founded by three former Goldman Sachs bankers in 2000, has divided analysts like few other stocks, with some viewing its door-step deliveries...

  • LONDON, Feb 3- Oil futures rose on Tuesday, adding to gains of more than 11 percent in the prior two sessions as BP announced a cut in capital expenditure for 2015.. BP announced it would cut capital expenditure by 13 percent to $20 billion in 2015. Last week, Chevron announced a 13 percent cut in capital expenditure to $35 billion. Brent crude oil futures were up $1.90...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 3- The Russian government is discussing the introduction of price caps for essential food products, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted as saying on Tuesday. A slump in the rouble and a ban on the import of some Western food products last year have led to a surge in inflation, hitting consumers. Dvorkovich's comments follow a series of...

  • LONDON, Feb 3- Britain's biggest retailer Tesco said on Tuesday it had lifted suspensions on contract settlements due to former chief executive Phil Clarke and ex-finance chief Laurie McIlwee. Tesco said in a statement it had agreed to pay Clarke almost 1.22 million pounds and McIlwee 970,880 pounds under their separation agreements. Tesco said that an...

  • The Markit/ CIPS construction purchasing managers' index rose to 59.1 from December's 17- month low of 57.6, topping all forecasts in a Reuters poll and far above the 50 mark that signifies growth. "In short, the peak speed of the construction recovery seems to be over, but reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated," said Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit.

  • PARIS, Feb 3- France's finance minister warned Athens against any attempt to play Paris off against Berlin over Greece's debt crisis, saying a Franco-German agreement was key to striking a deal that would help Greeks and ensure they met their commitments. Greece's demand for time to negotiate a "new deal" with its EU peers is reasonable as long as it comes up...

  • Athens' new government dropped calls for a write-off of its foreign debt and proposed swapping debt for growth-linked bonds. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, in London to reassure private investors that he was not seeking a showdown with Brussels over a new debt agreement, said the new left-wing government would spare privately held bonds from losses, a...

  • UPDATE 1-Russian assets boosted by oil price rally Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 | 3:46 AM ET

    MOSCOW, Feb 3- The rouble and Russian shares rose on Tuesday, supported by a continuing rally in the price of oil, Russia's chief export. "It's all about oil," VTB Capital analyst Maxim Korovin said in a note. The reaction of Russian asset prices to the oil price rebound has been relatively muted, however, with sentiment weighed down by the escalating conflict in Ukraine...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 3- Russia's central bank said on Tuesday it had sold $690 million worth of foreign exchange on Jan. 30 on behalf of the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry has been selling foreign exchange regularly since Dec. 17, when it announced that it would begin selling around $7 billion remaining in its treasury accounts, citing the rouble's "undervalued"...

  • TOKYO, Feb 3- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, Japan's largest lender by assets, reported an 18 percent rise in nine-month profit, with aggressive overseas expansion offsetting continued weakness in domestic lending. MUFG, which acquired Bank of Ayudhya Pcl, Thailand's fifth-largest lender, in 2013, has been faring better than its Japanese rivals due to its...

  • "But I won't expect the gains to be sustained as the Hang Seng index failed to breach the 25,000- point resistance level," said Sam Chi Yung, a strategist at Delta Asia Financial Group in Hong Kong. Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were Chaoda Modern Agriculture Holdings Ltd, down 30.0 percent at HK $0.42, China Jinhai International...

  • SINGAPORE/ MANILA, Feb 3- Standard Chartered is looking to sell its retail business in the Philippines, part of a wider bid by embattled CEO Peter Sands to cut costs and shrink the bank's asset base, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said. A spokesman for Standard Chartered said the bank would "not comment on speculation". Standard Chartered's assets in the...

  • European shares rally on hopes of Greek debt deal Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 | 3:04 AM ET

    PARIS, Feb 3- European stocks rose early on Tuesday, lifted by hopes for an agreement on the Greek debt standoff after the country's new government dropped calls for a write-off of its foreign debt and proposed swapping debt for growth-linked bonds. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, in London to reassure private investors that he was not seeking a showdown...

  • China underlines cautious approach to biotech crops Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 | 3:02 AM ET

    BEIJING, Feb 3- China will continue to promote research into genetically modified crops while maintaining strict controls on safety of the technology, a top agriculture official said on Tuesday, underscoring Beijing's cautious approach towards biotechnology. But Han Jun, deputy head of the Communist Party's office on rural affairs, said the new document was "...

  • ECB considering leaving troika -Handelsblatt Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 | 2:55 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Feb 3- The European Central Bank is considering withdrawing from the "troika" of international lenders that governs Greece's international bailout, German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday. The new left-wing government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said it wants to end the bailout deal and will not cooperate with...