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  • No oil, but a phosphate future for Saudi desert outpost Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 | 3:02 AM ET

    *Total investment to cost $9 billion. TURAIF, Saudi Arabia, Feb 13- Billboards on the highway outside Turaif, a remote desert town in the far north of Saudi Arabia, foretell a glittering future of glass offices and palm-shaded residential streets.

  • HELSINKI, Feb 13- Finnish stainless steel firm Outokumpu reported a smaller than expected fourth-quarter loss on Thursday and forecast an improvement in the current quarter after cost cuts helped to limit the impact of weaker prices.

  • *Full-year net profit 10.0 bln Sfr vs 10.7 bln in poll. VEVEY, Switzerland, Feb 13- Nestle expects another challenging year that could see it undershoot its long-term targets again, after price pressures in Europe and weaker emerging market demand slowed sales growth to 4.6 percent in 2013..

  • BEIJING, Feb 13- The explosive growth of smartphone sales in China, the world's biggest smartphone market, has come to a halt as unit shipments declined for the first time in more than two years, data firm IDC said on Thursday.

  • *Q4 orders fall 5 pct to $10 bln vs $9.9 bln f'cast. The company, which makes products ranging from power grids for utilities to industrial robots, said sales growth this year would be challenging as uncertainty in emerging markets, like China, offset growth in the United States and parts of Europe.

  • *Gold little changed near three-month highs. *Technical buying could push prices above $1,300 today- trader. SINGAPORE, Feb 13- Gold hovered near a three-month high on Thursday and appeared capable of breaking the $1,300 level, as expectations of a gradual tapering of the U.S. monetary stimulus offset any negative impact from firmer equities markets.

  • LONDON, Feb 13- State-backed Lloyds Banking Group paid 395 million pounds in bonuses last year, up 8 percent on the year before as it returned to profit for the first time since it was rescued by British taxpayers six years ago. Lloyds has more retail banking customers than any other bank in Britain, but needed a 20 billion pound bailout in the financial crisis.

  • Finland's Outokumpu trims loss on cost cuts Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 | 2:20 AM ET

    HELSINKI, Feb 13- Stainless steelmaker Outokumpu reported a smaller-than-expected underlying loss for the fourth quarter and forecast an improvement in the current quarter after cost cuts helped to limit the impact of weaker stainless steel prices.

  • SINGAPORE, Feb 13- Embraer SA, the world's largest maker of regional aircraft, clinched its first major Indian deal for 50 jets valued at $2.94 billion from start-up Indian domestic carrier Air Costa. The deal is a boost for Embraer, which met its delivery targets for its commercial and executive segments last year after a surge in sales in the fourth quarter.

  • HONG KONG, Feb 13- Thomas and Raymond Kwok, the billionaire co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, had additional charges filed against them on Thursday in a bribery investigation surrounding Asia's largest developer, the company said on Thursday.

  • HONG KONG, Feb 13- China shares slipped for the first time in five days on Thursday, as weakness in the Chinese property sector ahead of more macroeconomic data offset strength for environmental-related sectors and Zijin Mining.

  • Feb 13- Private cloud storage company Dropbox Inc plans to name Google Inc executive Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola Mobility, as its first Chief Operating Officer.

  • OSLO, Feb 13- The development of the Johan Sverdrup oilfield in the North Sea, Norway's most important industrial scheme in decades, will cost 100-120 billion crowns, partners Statoil and Det norske said on Thursday.

  • UPDATE 1-Publicis posts weak Q4 on emerging markets Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 | 1:59 AM ET

    PARIS, Feb 13- Advertising agency Publicis fell short of its annual growth target after a slowdown in emerging markets such as China and India caused the fourth quarter to end with a whimper.

  • TOKYO, Feb 13- The operator of Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant knew about record high measurements of a dangerous isotope in groundwater at the plant for five months before telling the country's nuclear watchdog, a regulatory official told Reuters.

  • VEVEY, Switzerland, Feb 13- Nestle expects another challenging year that could see it undershoot long-term targets again, after price pressures in Europe and weaker emerging market demand made sales growth slow to 4.6 percent in 2013..

  • *Annual dividend up 15 pct to $1.92, tops consensus. MELBOURNE, Feb 13- Global miner Rio Tinto surprised investors with a 15 percent dividend hike after reporting a huge jump in second-half profit on Thursday, which could put it in position to fund a big capital return sooner than expected.

  • TOKYO, Feb 13- Asian shares stepped back from three-week highs on Thursday, snapping a five-session winning streak that was underpinned by receding concerns about global growth prospects and reassurance over U.S. monetary policy. European shares are seen slipping, with both Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE expected to fall as much as 0.3 percent.

  • SEOUL, Feb 13- South Korea's LG Electronics unveiled a revamped version of its large-screen smartphone G Pro on Thursday, hoping it will help propel the company to the No. 3 spot in global smartphone sales this year.

  • UPDATE 1-Yen weakness drags on Hermes Q4 sales growth Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 | 1:37 AM ET

    PARIS, Feb 13- French luxury goods maker Hermes posted a 4.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales thanks to solid demand for its leather handbags, silks and ready-to-wear ranges, across regions, although yen weakness weighed on growth. Asian sales outside of Japan led growth with a 10.7 percent sales rise.