BRUSSELS, Sept 18- Dutch telecoms group KPN has acted to catch up with European rivals after years of underperformance and may be nearing a turning point as it faces a takeover offer by Mexico's America Movil. It lagged behind peers in jumping on new trends in television and bundled services to limit the damage from free services such as Skype.
TORONTO, Sept 18- A former executive of SNC Lavalin Group Inc has been charged with bribery, Canadian law enforcement officials said on Wednesday, the latest person charged in a far-reaching corruption scandal involving one of the world's largest engineering and construction firms.
WASHINGTON, Sept 18- Groundbreaking for U.S. single-family homes rose in August and permits for future construction hit a five-year high, pointing to resilience in the housing market recovery in the face of higher mortgage rates.
Sept 18- General Electric Co on Wednesday named Lorenzo Simonelli as chief executive of its oil and gas unit, replacing Dan Heintzelman, who was appointed a vice chairman of the company. GE has spent over $14 billion since 2007 on acquisitions to build up its oil and gas business, which is the company's fastest growing, with $15 billion in revenues.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 18- Brazilian iron ore company Vale SA said on Wednesday that it signed an accord to sell a 26 percent stake in its VLI SA logistics operation to a consortium led by Brookfield Brasil but that negotiations on terms were still underway.
**APPLE INC, $461.82, up 1 pct. The fingerprint reader on Apple's top-end iPhone 5 S received an early thumbs up for ease of use from two influential reviewers, helping dispel concerns about the scanning technology which has been notoriously unreliable in other cellphones.
WASHINGTON, Sept 18- U.S. securities regulators on Wednesday voted to propose a long-awaited new rule that would require companies to disclose how their chief executives' compensation compares with that of all company employees.
Sept 18- General Mills Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales on Wednesday, helped by growing demand for its yogurt and the addition of new international businesses. Net sales rose 8 percent to $4.37 billion in the first quarter ended on Aug. 25. Net sales outside the United States rose 22 percent to $1.32 billion.
LONDON, Sept 18- Libya's crude oil production has recovered to nearly 40 percent of its pre-war capacity with exports set to rise as major western fields ramped up ouput after protesters agreed to reopen them. Output has risen to 620,000 barrels per day, compared with its pre-war capacity of 1.6 million bpd, two state National Oil Corp officials said on Wednesday.
Treasury has sold another block of shares in General Motors Co, reducing its stake to 7.3 percent as it moves toward exiting its holdings in the automaker by the end of March. The U.S. government, which originally took a 60.8 percent stake in GM as part of its $49.5 billion bailout of the company in 2009, said it had recovered about $35.4 billion of its investment.
*BlackBerry shares up 1 percent in trading on Nasdaq. Once a pioneer in the smartphone arena, BlackBerry said last month it was weighing options that could include an outright sale, in the face of lackluster sales of its new devices that run on the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
LONDON, Sept 18- Debt market prices suggest investors expect Portugal will need another international bailout but that it should avoid a near-term restructuring of its debts that would impose losses on private investors.
*Fed tapering decision expected at 2 p.m. ( 1800 GMT. Fed policymakers are seen trimming their $85 billion per month buying of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities and are due to issue a statement at 2:00 p.m. ( 1800 GMT). Where we are right now, it's all on the Fed, "said Justin Lederer, an interest rate strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York.
LONDON, Sept 18- European shares hovered near five-year highs on Wednesday, staying within their weekly range as investors held fire ahead of an expected first cut to the Federal Reserve's equity-friendly stimulus programme.
CARACAS, Sept 18- China's CNPC will work with Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA to develop the Junin 10 block in the South American country's Orinoco extra heavy crude belt, the Venezuelan petroleum minister said on Wednesday.
Sept 18- Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein made his most public commitment to the bank's commodity trading business on Wednesday, even as regulators consider measures that may push Wall Street out of physical markets.
NEW YORK, Sept 18- Walgreen Co, the largest U.S. drugstore, is moving 120,000 employees to a private health insurance exchange where they can choose a plan from multiple insurers, a sign of the shifting landscape for corporate healthcare because of rising costs.
*Big western Libya oilfield ramps up production. LONDON, Sept 18- Brent crude rose above $108 a barrel on Wednesday after crude oil stockpiles in top consumer the United States sank to the lowest level since March 2012.
VANCOUVER, Sept 18- Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz took a notably upbeat tone on Wednesday, predicting the Canadian economy would start to strengthen and its potential for growth increase as the U.S. recovery takes hold.
Sept 18- Atossa Genetics Inc said an affiliate of U.S. drug wholesaler McKesson Corp would distribute its device used to collect breast fluid for cancer detection. The fluid is then analyzed at Atossa's unit, the National Reference Laboratory for Breast Health, using the company's Forecyte devices to assess breast cancer risk.