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HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy swelled into a major threat to much of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday after lashing Cuba with heavy rains and tree-toppling winds and swirling through the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.
SEOUL, South Korea-- Kia Motors Corp. reported its third-quarter profit came in below expectations, impacted by a labor strike and weak demand at home. South Korea's second-biggest carmaker said Friday its July-September quarter's net income rose 28 percent over a year earlier to 829 billion won.
BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets fell Friday after the latest data on U.S. housing dimmed hopes of improvement in an industry that is crucial to recovery in the world's No. 1 economy.
*Gardner Denver shares close up 20.5 percent. NEW YORK, Oct 25- Industrial machinery maker Gardner Denver Inc said it is exploring strategic alternatives including a potential sale or merger of the company, confirming a Reuters report earlier on Thursday.
*Chile has lowest borrowing cost among emerging nations, minister says. Oct 25- Chile placed $1.5 billion in dollar-denominated bonds on international markets at historic yields, giving the investor-darling the lowest borrowing cost of any emerging country, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Thursday.
TOKYO, Oct 26- Japan Post Holdings Co has drafted a plan to go public in late 2015 and the government expects to raise up to 7 trillion yen from the sale of two-thirds of its shares to finance reconstruction from the March 2011 disaster, the Nikkei newspaper reported.
The company, whose biggest shareholder is Sprint Nextel, said Softbank Corp's plan to pay $20 billion for a 70 percent stake in Sprint is good news for Clearwire, which also counts Sprint as its biggest customer. Many analysts expect that Sprint will use the Softbank investment to buy the remainder of Clearwire or provide it with additional funding.
BEIJING-- Bank of China Ltd., one of the country's four main state-owned banks, says its quarterly profit rose 17 percent despite an economic slowdown and interest rate reforms. The bank said it earned 34.8 billion yuan in the three months ending Sept. 30, up from 29.8 billion yuan a year ago.
Oct 25- Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc on Thursday warned of sizeable cost overruns on parts it supplies to major aircraft makers, sending its stock tumbling more than 30 percent.
WASHINGTON, Oct 25- U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp said on Thursday it faced a potential termination liability of $1.1 billion on the F-35 fighter program unless it received additional funding for production of a sixth batch of airplanes by year end.
BOSTON, Oct 25- A top portfolio manager at Highfields Capital plans to leave the investment firm next year to set up his own hedge fund, two people familiar with the matter said. Highfields, which oversees $11.6 billion, is one of the $2 trillion hedge fund industry's biggest and most closely watched firms, with top-tier clients, including Harvard University.
SEOUL, Oct 26- Following are details of the advance estimates of South Korea's gross domestic product data for the July-September period by the country's central bank, the Bank of Korea: OVER PREVIOUS QUARTER, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED. Q3 2012* Q2 2012 Gross domestic product 0.2 0.3. 2010 6.3 2009 0.3 2008 2.3 2007 5.1* Revised on Sept 6, 2012.
SEOUL, Oct 26- South Korea's economy grew by 0.2 percent in the July-September period over the previous three-month period, the central bank's advance estimates showed on Friday, roughly in line with the market's consensus forecast.
TOKYO-- Japan's Cabinet approved a 423 billion yen economic stimulus package on Friday, moving to fend off recession as the recovery in the world's third biggest economy falters. Japan's economy has remained in the doldrums for over 20 years and a hoped-for export-led recovery has been stymied by the European crisis and slowing growth in China and elsewhere.
NEW YORK/ SEATTLE, Oct 25- Microsoft Corp put its Surface tablet center stage at its Windows 8 launch event, hoping the sleek new device will spark a fightback against Apple Inc and Google Inc in the exploding mobile computing market.
LOS ANGELES/ KANSAS CITY, Oct 25- Heavy advertising spending by Monsanto Co and others opposed to a California ballot proposal to require labels on grocery products containing genetically modified organisms is paying off, according to a new poll that shows the measure has slipped into a virtual tie.
*Rebound in UK growth helps push sterling higher. SYDNEY, Oct 26- The yen languished at four-month lows versus the dollar on Friday, on track for a second week of losses as markets geared up for the Bank of Japan to ease policy next week, while a rebound in UK growth helped shore up sterling. The dollar rose to 80.38 yen, bringing into view the June peak of 80.63.
*CEOs demand Congress find debt solution. WASHINGTON, Oct 25- Chief executives of more than 80 big U.S. corporations, including Goldman Sachs, Cisco Systems and Boeing, joined forces to press Congress to reduce the federal deficit in a rare show of broad corporate unity.
*Chile has lowest borrowing cost among emerging nations- FinMin. Oct 25- Chile placed $1.5 billion in dollar-denominated bonds on international markets at historic yields, giving the investor-darling the lowest borrowing cost of any emerging country, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Thursday.
*Dean Foods' Morningstar draws strategic, PE interest. NEW YORK, Oct 25- Dean Foods Co's Morningstar business has attracted takeover interest from Michael Foods and Mexican dairy company Grupo Lala, people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that could be valued in the $1 billion to $1.5 billion range.