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  • HONG KONG, Feb 12- Hong Kong shares closed at their highest in nearly three weeks on Wednesday, thanks to strength in the Chinese property sector and robust trade data that soothed worries about growth in the world's second-largest economy.

  • Reckitt Benckiser says pharma review ongoing Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 | 2:45 AM ET

    LONDON, Feb 12- Reckitt Benckiser Group said on Wednesday the strategic review of its pharmaceuticals business was ongoing and that it would update investors over the course of the year. The company said in October it was considering all options for the business, which could include selling it, spinning it off, or keeping it.

  • MADRID, Feb 12- Iberdrola has sold a 22.6 percent stake in Brazil's Itapebi Geracao de Energia to a unit of the Spanish utility's affiliate Neoenergia for 325 million reais, it said on Wednesday.

  • BEIJING, Feb 12- A rare sale of a stake in Alibaba Group Holding values China's dominant e-commerce company at around $128 billion, Reuters calculations show. Chinese video game company Giant Interactive Group said on Tuesday it is selling a stake in Alibaba to a Tiger Global fund for roughly $199 million but did not disclose further details.

  • TOKYO, Feb 12- SoftBank Corp, which runs Japan's third-largest mobile carrier by subscriber numbers, reported a dip in third-quarter net profit after a string of acquisitions incurred steep integration costs. The company, whose mobile arm lags those of NTT DoCoMo Inc and KDDI Corp in Japan, is now reportedly on the hunt for U.S.

  • Fleming, the head of Morgan Stanley's wealth and asset management businesses, is on the bank board's list of candidates who could potentially succeed Chief Executive James Gorman, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation. But colleagues and recruiters say he is also a flight risk for Morgan Stanley.

  • *Visit comes as IBM seeks to reverse China sales slump. *Visit is second by top IBM executive in four months. BEIJING, Feb 12- A slide in IBM Corp's sales in China amid a broad backlash against claims of U.S. government spying has triggered a rare visit to Beijing by Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty.

  • CORRECTED-Japan's SoftBank Q3 net profit falls 13.4 pct Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 | 2:18 AM ET

    TOKYO, Feb 12- SoftBank Corp, which runs Japan's third-largest mobile carrier by subscriber numbers, reported a 13.4 percent fall in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday because of an increase in sales costs. No.3 carrier Sprint Corp, U.S. handset distributor Brightstar, and Japanese app developer Gungho Online Entertainment Inc..

  • HONG KONG, Feb 12- China shares hovered at their highest in nearly six weeks on Wednesday, helped by strong gains for Beijing Wangfujing Department Store as investors cheered its plan to develop e-commerce capabilities with Tencent Holdings.

  • CORRECTED-CHINA'S CSI300 INDEX ENDS UP 0.3 PCT (NOT 0.2) Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 | 2:09 AM ET

    CORRECTED- CHINA'S CSI300 INDEX ENDS UP 0.3 PCT.

  • *REPEAT-SHANGHAI COMPOSITE INDEX ENDS UP 0.3 PCT Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 | 2:09 AM ET
  • *China dairy market is dominated by local producers. *Sales of dairy products in China forecast to grow to $89 bln by 2017. HONG KONG, Feb 12- France's Danone SA is spending 486 million euros to lift its effective stake in China's top dairy firm, China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, as it aims to boost its presence in one of its most important markets.

  • BEIJING, Feb 12- Microsoft Corp denied on Wednesday it was omitting websites from its Bing search engine results for users outside China after a Chinese rights group said the U.S. firm was censoring material the government deems politically sensitive.

  • PARIS, Feb 12- European Commission moves to ban top EU banks from market bets with their own money will run out of momentum once this year's health check on the sector shows it is in sound shape, the head of France's Societe Generale said.

  • South Korea set to make oil payment to Iran - source Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 | 1:54 AM ET

    SEOUL, Feb 12- South Korea is set to become the second Asian nation to make a payment to Iran for crude imports under an interim nuclear deal that has provided limited sanctions relief, a banking source told Reuters on Wednesday.

  • PARIS, Feb 12- France's Imerys has agreed to buy Illinois- based minerals and materials group AMCOL International Corp for about $1.6 billion including debt to strengthen its U.S. business, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 12- Brent crude edged higher toward $109 a barrel on Wednesday after data showed Chinese oil imports hit a record high last month, raising hopes of continued growth in oil demand in the world's second largest economy.

  • Regulator scopes Transurban bid for Queensland Motorways Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 | 1:27 AM ET

    SYDNEY, Feb 12- Australia's competition regulator said on Wednesday it was inviting feedback on whether Transurban Group, the country's biggest toll road operator, should be allowed to buy about A $5 billion of roads from the Queensland state government.

  • Thanks to a longstanding legal exemption that Fed officials say limits their regulatory capacity, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs may yet emerge from the regulatory upheaval that is upending banks' commodities trading better-off than their peers, who face potentially tougher new rules.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 12- Cathy West fell for Chewy the minute she saw him. Within a day, West, who lives in Orange County, California, realized something was wrong. This week all dog fanciers were focused on the parade of purebreds at the 138th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held at Madison Square Garden in New York.