*VW expected to overtake Toyota this year with China growth. TOKYO, July 30- Volkswagen is closing in on Toyota Motor Corp as the global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China- the world's biggest auto market- while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality.» Read More
U.S. SENATE REPUBLICANS BLOCK BILL THAT DEMOCRATS SAY WOULD HELP CLOSE PAYCHECK GENDER GAP.
*Alcoa's better-than-expected results boost investor sentiment. NEW YORK, April 9- U.S. and European equity markets rose on Wednesday after Alcoa's better-than-expected results boosted investor sentiment on first-quarter corporate earnings, while the dollar gained on hopes for higher U.S. economic growth after a bitter winter.
By Laura Noonan and Gianluca Semeraro. LONDON/ MILAN, April 9- The European Central Bank has dismissed the latest appeal by the region's biggest lenders for concessions, including easier deadlines, to make rigorous health checks of their industry less logistically onerous, sources told Reuters.
SENATOR AL FRANKEN TELLS JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HE OPPOSES COMCAST DEAL TO BUY TIME WARNER CABLE.
KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, April 9- Major Saudi Arabian construction firm Abdullah A. M. Al-Khodari Sons expects labour reforms to keep weighing on its bottom line for a few more years, but the situation will start improving in the second half of 2014, its chief executive said.
*IMF says rich nations' debt still above 100 pct of GDP by 2019. WASHINGTON, April 9- Public debt in the world's richest nations has stabilized after being nearly halved since the global financial crisis, but remains at historic highs as pressure mounts on governments to spend more in the coming years, the IMF said on Wednesday.
Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday that Washington has no doubt that Russians were behind the takeovers of government buildings in eastern Ukraine this week. "I don't think that we have any doubt the preponderance of direct Russian involvement," Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, said at a congressional hearing on the Ukraine crisis.
NICOSIA, April 9- Cyprus expects to return to international markets late next year but cannot rule out testing the waters earlier to gauge the appetite for Cypriot debt, the president of the bailed-out Mediterranean nation said on Wednesday.
*Shares open at $16.75, below IPO price of $17. La Quinta's shares, which priced below the expected range at $17, fell as much as 4 percent in early trading before recovering their losses to trade slightly up.
DOES NOT HAVE ANY DOUBT THAT RUSSIANS WERE BEHIND TAKEOVERS OF GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS IN UKRAINE.
April 9- Social networking site Wikia announced on Wednesday a new effort to attract more brands to its platform with the creation of Fan Studio. As part of the launch, gaming company Carbine Studios is using Wikia to roll out one of its forthcoming multi-player online games, called WildStar, for a large number of players.
NEW YORK, April 9- A group of small brokerages and large commodities companies have convinced lawmakers to tweak a rule they say would have made derivatives trading more expensive for them and sent more business to Wall Street banks that already dominate the market.
Confectionary company Mars Inc said it would buy Procter& Gamble Co's pet food brands IAMS, Eukanuba and Natura in the United States and Latin America for $2.9 billion to beef up its pet food business. LONDON/ ATHENS- Bailed-out Greece is set to end its four-year exile from bond markets on Thursday with a five-year debt issue, three sources say.
BOGOTA, April 9- Colombia's largest cement maker, Argos, said on Wednesday it will pay 50 million euros for a French Guiana company owned in equal parts by Lafarge and Holcim, two days after those companies announced a merger. Holcim said on Monday that it would buy Lafarge, creating the world's largest cement maker, with combined annual sales of $44 billion.
WASHINGTON, April 9- Detroit has reached a settlement with three bond insurers on $388 million of its unlimited tax general obligation bonds, a court-appointed mediator said on Wednesday.
LONDON, April 9- The United States has replaced OPEC as the marginal petroleum supplier to the world thanks to the shale revolution and improvements in automotive fuel efficiency. Net U.S. imports of crude and products have halved over the last five years, or by an amount equivalent to the entire daily crude exports of Saudi Arabia.
COMCAST EXECUTIVE DAVID COHEN SAYS MERGER WITH TIME WARNER CABLE WILL RESULT IN NO LOST COMPETITION.
NEW YORK, April 9- U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a second straight advance, in the wake of earnings from Alcoa and ahead of the minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting.
*NOC is Ethiopia's largest private marketer. ADDIS ABABA, April 9- Ethiopia's leading private oil marketer plans to expand into neighbouring east African economies and is interested in part financing a refinery after commercial discoveries in the region.
BRASILIA, April 9- Brazil's rate of inflation in March picked up at the quickest pace in 11 years for that month, challenging the central bank's plan to stop raising interest rates soon and complicating President Dilma Rousseff's chances of re-election.