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  • *South32 net debt at $674 mln, well below forecasts. *Net assets $12.95 bln, based on book value. MELBOURNE/ LONDON, March 17- BHP Billiton said a proposed $13 billion spinoff of South32 would give the world's biggest miner a strong chance to ride out tough conditions in commodity markets and was a more attractive option than an asset sale.

  • The office of the FCC inspector general recently informed Chaffetz's House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that they are investigating the process through which the FCC arrived at new "net neutrality" rules, the Republican lawmaker told reporters after a hearing. FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart referred inquiries to that office.

  • AMSTERDAM, March 17- Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem repeated on Tuesday that Greece is running out of cash and must work on economic reforms if it hopes to receive further assistance, prompting Athens to respond that it would not let itself be blackmailed. Asked whether he thought Greece was stalling for time, Dijsselbloem, the Dutchman who chairs the group...

  • U.S. Federal Communications Commission filings and interviews with several people familiar with the Justice Department show the $48.5 billion AT&T-DirecTV deal is getting far less attention than Comcast Corp's agreement to buy Time Warner Cable Inc for $45 billion. But it is the Comcast deal that has triggered FCC and Justice Department inquiries...

  • GENEVA, March 17- The United States wants members of the World Trade Organization to support a crackdown on schemes which help companies evade "antidumping duties"- punitive import tariffs levied on unfair foreign competition. "Over the years, the United States has witnessed a dramatic increase in activities expressly designed to evade the application of...

  • NEW YORK, March 17- Before headphones and speaker company Beats Electronics was sold to Apple for more than $3 billion, the company faced a crossroads: It had parted ways with partner Monster Electronics in 2012 and needed new manufacturing partners. Luke Wood, then the chief operating officer and now the company's president, found himself traveling to Hong Kong...

  • NEW YORK, March 17- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's blockbuster IPO has been followed by a steady slide in its stock price, which options market players do not expect to abate, with nearly a fifth of its shares to be released for trading on Wednesday. "It's a subtle but important sign that investors are more fearful," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in...

  • GRAINS-U.S. corn, soy, wheat post sharp declines Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 | 1:01 PM ET

    *Corn prices ease on slowing demand for U.S. exports. CHICAGO, March 17- U.S. corn and soybean futures sank to six-week lows on Tuesday as export demand for U.S. supplies wilted amid an expanding South American harvest and plentiful world stocks, traders said. At 11:42 a.m. CDT Chicago Board of Trade May corn futures fell 8 cents to $3.71 a bushel.

  • SANTIAGO, March 17- SQM fertilizer company has fired its chief executive after it became embroiled in an election campaign financing scandal that has rocked the Chilean establishment, tainting business leaders and politicians with close links to the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Shortly after the announcement, SQM said it would voluntarily...

  • FCC INSPECTOR GENERAL IS INVESTIGATING NET NEUTRALITY RULEMAKING PROCESS-HOUSE LAWMAKER.

  • WASHINGTON, March 17- Top executives of U.S. airlines and their Middle East competitors clashed in Washington on Tuesday over whether "open skies" deals are fair, and each side ramped up efforts to sway U.S. regulators at a high-profile forum. A coalition of Delta Air Lines Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc, American Airlines Group Inc and their labor unions...

  • *American Airlines shares up; oil prices fall. Investors were also anxious as the Federal Open Market Committee kicked off its meeting, which will be followed by a statement from Chair Janet Yellen Wednesday afternoon. "People are waiting for the Fed to provide some degree of clarity going forward," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading...

  • WASHINGTON, March 17- The Pentagon is concerned that congressional funding for lists of "unfunded priorities" submitted by the U.S. military services will drain money out of other higher-priority programs, a top official said on Tuesday. Congress uses the unfunded lists as it shapes the yearly budget plan submitted by the Pentagon, often using them to promote...

  • March 17- Esperion Therapeutics Inc said its experimental drug lowered LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels in patients who were already on statins, the current standard of care. Needham& Co analyst Chad Messer said he expects the drug to be adopted faster as an additional therapy to statins rather than replacing statins altogether. There are about 35 million...

  • TORONTO, March 17- When retailer Lululemon Athletica pulled its "Define Jacket" off the shelves in 2013, customers were dismayed. Some Wall Street brokers have turned negative on the stock ahead of Lululemon's next earnings report on March 26, but many longtime shoppers have regained enthusiasm. They say a wider selection of styles, colors and prints are at the...

  • NEW YORK, March 17- Oil prices were under pressure for a fourth straight day on Tuesday on expectations of a 10th week of record builds in U.S. crude, although a weaker dollar limited the market's downside. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, will issue its weekly inventory report at 4:30 p.m. EDT, two hours after the market's close and ahead of...

  • OTTAWA, March 17- Canada's transportation watchdog said on Tuesday that recent fiery derailments of trains hauling crude oil mean a new generation of stronger tanker wagons should be introduced ahead of schedule. The Transportation Safety Board is probing two accidents within the last month involving Canadian National Railway Co oil trains which came off...

  • LONDON, March 17- Watchdogs leading a crackdown on mis-sold products across the financial services industry could find a case against a breed of high-fee investment funds known as "index huggers" difficult to prove. Now financial watchdogs in Europe are turning their attention to investment funds. "It is mis-selling if a manager is perfectly conscious of...

  • LONDON, March 17- Other big drugmakers may be reshaping their businesses but Novo Nordisk's focus on diabetes will get even bigger in the coming decade, according to the man most likely to be the Danish company's next boss. Kaare Schultz, who was made deputy chief executive in January 2014 and is the frontrunner to eventually succeed 60- year-old Lars Sorensen,...

  • NEW DELHI, March 17- India's cabinet approved a bill on Tuesday that would introduce a 10- year jail term for people convicted of illicitly stashing wealth abroad, a senior official said. The move is viewed as a first step towards empowering tax authorities and meeting the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 10- month-old government to enact a new law...