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  • *China's rail giant CRCC snaps up overseas deals. SHANGHAI, Dec 4- It will take more than the abrupt cancellation of a high-speed train deal with Mexico to derail China Railway Construction Corp's ambitions to become a global force in transport projects and take on the likes of Siemens, Alstom and Bombardier. About two weeks after the cancellation, CRCC announced...

  • Maritime guns for hire adapt to changes in sea piracy Wednesday, 3 Dec 2014 | 4:00 PM ET

    However, attacks in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean have dropped from a peak of 237 in 2011 to just 10 in the first nine months of this year, the lowest since the piracy scourge began in 2008, according to the International Maritime Bureau. "Day rates for embarked teams are continuously being squeezed to rock bottom," said retired rear admiral Vasilis Politis,...

  • *Good news for robusta growers such as Vietnam, Indonesia. MUMBAI/ SEOUL, Dec 4- Mumbai civil servant Sachin Kenjale regularly ends his day with a steaming cup of instant coffee after trying the drink for the first time with friends around two years ago. Reaching that milestone would underscore a major market shift, with robusta's popularity soaring as increasing...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 3- U.S. healthcare spending last year increased 3.6 percent over 2012, the smallest rate of growth since 1960, government officials announced on Wednesday. Per capita growth slowed even more, from 3.4 percent in 2012 to 2.9 percent last year, found the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That modest increase likely reflects pressure that...

  • President Barack Obama on Wednesday committed to urge lawmakers to back a bill giving trade deals a fast track through Congress, an effort some think could break a logjam on the issue and help secure major agreements under negotiation. A bill to give the Obama administration so-called fast-track power, which would allow only yes-or-no votes on trade deals in...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 3- Credit Suisse Group AG plans to open a hedge fund in Brazil called Gauss next year to offer new investment alternatives for clients, such as volatility arbitrage, executives said on Wednesday. The hedge fund, named after "the prince of mathematicians" Carl Gauss, will be managed by Fabio Okumura, former head of proprietary trading at Itaú Unibanco...

  • WAHINGTON/ DETROIT, Dec 3- Chrysler Group has informally told regulators it will expand a U.S. recall of vehicles with Takata Corp passenger-side air bags, a top regulator said. Congressional hearing on problems with Takata air bags in older vehicles sold by at least 10 automakers. In June, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unit recalled about 371,000 Dodge, Ram and...

  • TREASURIES-Prices mostly steady as long bond gains Wednesday, 3 Dec 2014 | 3:41 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 3- U.S. Treasuries prices were little changed on Wednesday after two days of losses as traders awaited possible monetary policy shifts by the European Central Bank and a key report on U.S. unemployment. "The release of those pressures today are allowing the more natural buyers to emerge," said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 3- The Federal Reserve is only in the early stages of developing a set of macroprudential tools to ensure financial stability and faces limits because of the divided nature of U.S. financial sector oversight, Fed governor Lael Brainard said on Wednesday. "While the Federal Reserve has an inherent responsibility for financial stability, it has an...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 3- Credit Suisse Group AG plans to open a hedge fund in Brazil called Gauss next year to offer new investment alternatives for clients, such as volatility arbitrage, executives said on Wednesday. The hedge fund, named after "the prince of mathematicians" Carl Gauss, will be managed by Fabio Okumura, the former head of proprietary trading at Itaú...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 3- Most chief executive officers at U.S. corporations report significant problems in finding workers with the skills they need, according to a survey released on Wednesday. Among rich countries, the United States is a relative laggard when it comes to educating its youth, especially in skills like math, which is seen as vital in an increasingly...

  • CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec 3- The Federal Reserve is at risk of letting too much data put it "behind the curve" on raising interest rates, a top Fed official said on Wednesday, adding that inflation pressures would build the longer the central bank waited for "lift-off." "We're always going to get more data. And if you allow that to freeze your policy-making process, you're always...

  • SANTIAGO, Dec 3- Chile placed an 800 million euro bond on Wednesday that was oversubscribed by nearly four times and is planning to issue another U.S. dollar-denominated offering later in the day, Finance Minister Alberto Arenas said. "The results we got in the issue again confirm the confidence international markets have in Chile's economy, its stability,"...

  • YOUR MONEY-Tips for giving beyond Giving Tuesday Wednesday, 3 Dec 2014 | 3:08 PM ET

    The idea is catching on, with online donations for the day projected to surpass $40 million this year, up from $32 million in 2013, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The panel included Ken Berger, head of Charity Navigator; Clam Lorenz, general manager for social innovation at PayPal; Chris Carnal, who head of fundraising at Fidelity Charitable; Kat...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 3- U.S. economic activity continued to expand in October and November, with lower gasoline prices boosting consumer spending, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. "In early November, oil and gas exploration activity decreased in North Dakota and increased in Montana relative to a month earlier; production remained at record levels," the Fed said. "

  • Ballmer stepped down from Microsoft's board in August to focus on his $2 billion purchase of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. Shareholders asked the new CEO, Satya Nadella, and other leaders, about Microsoft's efforts to help blind and disabled customers and about online security. Shareholders have been generally ecstatic this year as Microsoft's market...

  • Dec 3- Hackers used tools in a devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that were based on ones used in similar attacks conducted against South Korea by North Korea, a person familiar with the company's investigation said on Wednesday. The person, who was not authorized to publicly discuss Sony's probe into the attack which is being led by...

  • Dec 3- U.S. health regulators on Wednesday approved an Amgen Inc drug that helps the immune system fight a rare type of leukemia, more than five months ahead of the expected decision date. Anthony Stein, professor of hematology at City of Hope outside Los Angeles who worked on clinical trials of blinatumomab, called the approval "very important" for patients.

  • Formation 8 raises $500 million for second venture fund Wednesday, 3 Dec 2014 | 2:16 PM ET

    The fund, created by startup whiz kid Joe Lonsdale and colleagues Brian Koo and Jim Kim, specializes in technology companies with aspirations of doing business in Asia. Formation 8 uses connections in Asia to help companies in their portfolio, as it did with Oculus. Working with Formation 8 can help their U.S. portfolio companies gain the same entree to Asia they...

  • Dec 2- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed the rules governing how prescription drugs and biologics used during pregnancy and breastfeeding are labeled. The decision, which has been in the works since 2008, will impact more than 6 million pregnancies in the United States involving women who, on average, need to take three to five prescription drugs...