BEIJING, March 7- China has begun preparations to set up a multilateral bank to fund infrastructure projects in Asia, the finance ministry said on Friday, looking to tap into demand for infrastructure growth as regional economies develop. "Existing MDBs, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, put their priorities more on poverty reduction," Lou said.» Read More
WASHINGTON, Oct 25- Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose far less than expected in September, an industry group said on Thursday, but the data continued to point to an improving tone in the housing market. The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in September, gained 0.3 percent to 99.5.
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.-- A $7.5 million dredging project designed to allow ships to more easily access Quonset's Port of Davisville is getting under way _ with the scoop of a massive dredging bucket that can lift two dump trucks' worth of material at a time.
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- An election-eve terrorist strike. Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are on guard for anything that could push the presidential race from its taut course. They've got a plan and they are now going to execute it, "said Carter Eskew, a top strategist for Democrat Al Gore during a 2000 campaign that came up just short."
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 25- Brazilian mining company Vale plans to sell underperforming assets in a broad push to control costs and boost profitability, executives said on Thursday, a day after the company posted weak earnings and put a major investment on hold in the West African nation of Guinea.
NEW YORK-- Emma Roberts isn't just making a name for herself as a rising star in Hollywood _ she has four films in the works _ she's also leaving her mark in the world of fashion. The 21- year-old routinely gets name-checked in magazines for her style on the red carpet and off, and she's a coveted front-row guest at fashion shows.
*Lazard will meet 25 percent margin target by 2014- CEO. Oct 25- Lazard Ltd plans to cut $125 million in costs each year, mainly through staff reductions, the investment bank said on Thursday, as it works to meet an aggressive profit goal in a weak market for its financial advisory services.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Rhode Island's tax amnesty program has generated nearly $7.4 million in payments from people behind on their taxes. The state Division of Taxation said Thursday that it has received 2,792 applications since the amnesty period began Sept. 2.
BOISE, Idaho-- Legal challenges facing an Idaho wind energy company are mounting, after a contractor building one of its projects in Minnesota went to court asking a judge to hand over control.
NEW YORK-- The Statue of Liberty is set to reopen to the public on Sunday, the U.S. landmark's 126th anniversary. The statue has been closed since last October for renovation to its interior, although the public has been allowed to visit its Liberty Island grounds in New York Harbor. The statue, a gift from France, was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886.
Microsoft is doubling down on its bet with its own tablet called the Surface, available only through its own stores and website, which will challenge Apple's iPad head on.
MADRID, Oct 25- Santander, Spain's biggest bank, urged the government to seek an international bailout to reduce borrowing costs for struggling lenders, as writedowns on bad property investments almost wiped out its third-quarter profit.
*Raises 2012 EPS outlook to $2.50- $2.60 per share. Oct 25- Rising generic drug sales in North America helped push up Mylan Inc's quarterly profit by 35 percent and the drugmaker raised its earnings forecast for 2012, even as it steps up spending on its own drug research.
DIXVILLE NOTCH, N.H.-- Voters in tiny Dixville, N.H., have cast some of the nation's first ballots for president at the historic Balsams Grand Resort Hotel for more than 50 years.
JACKSON, Mich.-- CMS Energy posted a 6 percent rise in net income for the third quarter, as sweltering heat boosted the use of air condition and economic activity in Michigan heated up as well. The Jackson, Mich., electric and gas company reported net income of $148 million in the quarter, or 55 cents per share.
It was a rough third quarter for United Airlines. "We recognize that some of our customers chose to fly other airlines during the summer, when our operational performance degraded," CEO Jeff Smisek said on a conference call. Net income for United Continental Holdings Inc. dropped to $6 million, or 2 cents per share, from $653 million, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier.
Oct 25- Occidental Petroleum Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as growing output helped make up for lower oil and gas prices, and its shares rose 2 percent. The fourth-largest U.S. oil company said net profit fell to $1.38 billion, or $1.69 per share, from $1.77 billion, or $2.17 per share, a year earlier.
LONDON, Oct 25- Accused UBS fraudster Kweku Adoboli will not start giving evidence on Thursday as expected because last-minute legal arguments arose at his trial in London. Adoboli had been expected to enter the witness box but the jury were sent away at lunchtime after the judge and lawyers agreed that they needed the rest of the day to have legal arguments.
PITTSBURGH-- Mylan Inc., a maker of generic and specialty prescription drugs, on Thursday posted a 35 percent increase in net income in the third quarter, mainly due to a big jump in sales. The Pittsburgh- based company raised its 2012 profit forecast, to a range of $2.50 to $2.60 per share, after having increased the forecast in May from its earlier $2.30 to $2.50 range.
Oct 25- The New York Times Co reported worse-than-expected results on Thursday as advertisers pulled back spending on both print and digital outlets. Adjusting for severance costs and other special items, the company reported a quarterly loss of 1 cent per share, well below expectations of earnings of 8 cents per share.
NEW YORK, Oct 25- U.S. benchmark yields touched a five-week high on Thursday ahead of the sale of seven-year notes and after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday stuck to its monetary policy, prompting some Treasury investors to book profits.