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Wires

  • SEOUL, Oct 11- South Korea's central bank cut interest rates as well as growth forecasts on Thursday, as expected, and its projection of an economic rebound next year affirmed a market expectation it was not likely to ease policy again soon. pared losses as the Bank of Korea's views eased concerns about the local economy slipping further down.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 11- Shanghai steel futures fell 1 percent on Thursday after a three-day climb as the outlook for Chinese demand remained hazy despite recent gains in prices, while iron ore hit its highest since July as mills continued to replenish stockpiles.

  • BEIJING, Oct 11- China has raised its planned railway investment by 20 billion yuan to 630 billion yuan for 2012, the Ministry of Railways said, marking a third such increase this year as part of steps to support the slowing economy.

  • *Coming up: Baker Hughes rig data, CFTC trade data Friday. NEW YORK, Oct 11- U.S. natural gas futures held gains on Thursday for a fourth straight day, with a government report showing a weekly inventory build well below market expectations driving the front contract to a new high for the year.

  • *Cheung Kong/ Hutchison to hold under 30 pct of hotel trust. HONG KONG, Oct 11- Property firm Cheung Kong Ltd, owned by billionaire Li Ka- shing's family, plans to separately list its hotel business by way of an investment trust to free up capital for new investments, while realising the value of the hotels.

  • Oct 11- Canadian miner Ivernia Inc said it expects to restart production its lead mine in Western Australia in the second quarter of 2013, nearly two years after it suspended operations on concerns about lead contamination.

  • *Yves Mersch to have hearing with parliament Oct. 22. BRUSSELS, Oct 11- The European Parliament is set to reject Luxembourg central banker Yves Mersch's appointment to the European Central Bank's executive board on grounds that he is a man and insufficient efforts have been made to appoint a woman.

  • Oct 11- Fitch Ratings has affirmed the' AA-' Insurer Financial Strength rating of Mutual of America Life Insurance Company. Fitch estimates that MOA's risk-based capital ratio was 444% at June 30, 2012 and expects it to remain well above 400% over the medium term.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 11- Dollar Tree Inc:. *Shares off 7.3 percent in more than twice 10- day average volume. ( (New York Treasury Desk; Tel: 223 6300)).

  • Oct 11- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has raised its 2012/ 13 global ending stock forecast for cotton to record highs for a third consecutive month, sending prices down and reinforcing concerns about weakening demand from China, the world's largest textile market.

  • BEIJING-- China's government has criticized steep U.S. tariffs imposed on Chinese-made solar panels as an improper trade barrier and warned they will hurt development of clean energy. The Commerce Ministry on Thursday called on Washington to repeal the tariffs.

  • Velvet Ice Cream said Thursday that some of the peanut products bought from Sunland Inc. for use in the ice cream flavors could be contaminated. The recalled Velvet products are sold mainly at convenience stores, ice cream parlors and small, independent retailers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

  • Oct 11- Standard& Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings and outlook on ING Verzekeringen N.V. are unaffected by the company's announcement that it has reached an agreement to sell its Malaysian insurance business to AIA Group Ltd. for EUR1.3 billion.

  • NEW YORK-- Safeway Inc. is betting that its investment in a new customer loyalty program will eventually pay off, as the supermarket operator looks to fend off big-box retailers and other competitors that are expanding their grocery aisles.

  • NEW YORK-- The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. said Thursday that its Platts division is buying Swiss analytics firm Kingsman SA for an undisclosed price. Founded in 1990 and based in Lausanne, Switzerland, Kingsman employs analysts, researchers and report writers in several markets, including London, Montreal, New Delhi and Sao Paulo.

  • *Prelios picks Feidos over U.S. fund Fortress. MILAN, Oct 11- Loss-making property manager Prelios has chosen Italian consortium Feidos over U.S. fund Fortress for exclusive talks on a rescue deal, it said on Thursday. Feidos's offer for Prelios envisages a 135 million-euro share issue, a source close to Prelios's board told Reuters on Thursday.

  • *FTSE jumps 0.9 pct, snaps three-session losing streak. "FTSE back at the important 5,800 level after bouncing off support. If we can hold this level then we might just be about to hear people discussing a year-end rally, "said Lex van Dam, a partner at hedge fund Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million of assets.

  • *Euro crisis has hit Morocco hard. KUWAIT/ RABAT, Oct 11- Morocco's King Mohammed will make a rare tour of Gulf Arab countries before the end of the year as his cash-strapped government tries to drum up investor interest in a sovereign bond.

  • AMSTERDAM, Oct 11- The chief executive of Dutch paints company AkzoNobel has not yet returned from medical leave, and the firm's supervisory board will convene next week to discuss the latest medical advice, AkzoNobel said on Thursday.

  • VGI shares were up 60.7 percent at 56.25 baht, far above their IPO price of 35 baht and outperforming the media subindex, which was down 0.16 percent. Broker Asia Plus Securities rated the stock a' buy', with target price of 50 baht, based on 20 times forward price to earnings versus 18.6 times for the media sector.