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Wires

  • Ho CHI MINH CITY/ SINGAPORE, Dec 18- Thai Beverage, through a local unit, won the rights to buy a majority stake worth $4.84 billion in Vietnam's top brewer Sabeco in an auction that marked the country's biggest ever privatisation process. Vietnam's young population and booming economy has made the state-owned maker of Bia Saigon an attractive asset for global...

  • *Fitch lifts Portugal rating by unprecedented 2 notches. *Portugal has BBB investment grade rating for Fitch. LONDON, Dec 18- Portugal's bond yields hit their lowest since early 2015 on Monday, after an unprecedented two-notch upgrade from Fitch that means it holds an investment grade from two of the three major rating agencies and could soon return to major bond...

  • TEHRAN, Iran— The International Monterrey Fund is predicting a steady growth in Iran's economy but cautions it still faces a number of challenges, including the need to reduce government debt and red tape. Iran's economy has seen a boost since international sanctions were lifted after the 2015 nuclear deal. IMF's report on Monday urged Iran to remove obstacles...

  • JERUSALEM, Dec 18- Workers at Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries protested pending job cuts for a second straight day on Monday, blocking roads and shutting down a number of the drugmaker's plants nationwide. Debt-ridden Teva, the world's largest generics drugmaker, said last week it would cut its global workforce by more than a quarter, or 14,000 jobs,...

  • LISBON, Portugal— Jittery businessmen in Catalonia, spooked by signs the recent tumult over the region's latest bid to secede from Spain is hurting the local economy, have put their investment plans on ice as they brace for the Catalan parliamentary election on Thursday. Investors and consumers react badly to uncertainty and conflict, and Catalonia's push to...

  • WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump often talks about a pile of money sitting overseas that will come flooding back into the U.S. once his tax plan is in place. He addressed the subject Saturday as Marine One roared nearby, waiting to take him to Camp David, Maryland. As an example, $4 trillion will come flowing back into the country.

  • LONDON, Dec 18- UK shares rose on Monday alongside European peers as a global wave of optimism on U.S. tax lifted stocks markets in Asia and led the MSCI all-country world index to a new record high. The FTSE 100 was up 0.6 percent, even as a rising pound weighed on the index. "The FTSE and Dax are ticking up nicely for the usual Christmas rally", he added.

  • PARIS— French aerospace and defense group Thales has reached an agreement to buy Dutch digital company Gemalto in a deal worth 4.8 billion euros. The announcement late Sunday came only days after Amsterdam- based chip maker Gemalto rejected a 4.3 billion euros takeover offer from French firm Atos. Thales and Gemalto said the all-cash offer has the support of...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- The dollar dipped against a basket of major currencies on Monday, on caution ahead of a vote in U.S. Congress on tax reform, after the bill moved another step closer to ratification over the weekend. The euro benefited from the dollar's weakness, gaining a quarter of a percent to $1.1777. "Were seeing some upward pressure on the euro because were waiting...

  • SAO PAULO/ BRASILIA, Dec 16- Brazil's strongest year for initial public offerings since 2013 finished on a flat note this week as one company canceled its plans and what promised to be 2017' s biggest listing priced at the bottom of the range. Investors were hungry for shares of a Burger King franchisee and plowed enough money into the country's main fuel...

  • In September and October, the U.S. Defense Department halted shipments of F-35s for 30 days after a production error allowed corrosion to form around fasteners attaching body panels to the airframe. It was the latest of several production issues that have arisen in the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program. The governments of Belgium, Finland, Germany,...

  • BEIJING— Chinese smartphone brand Huawei will start U.S. sales through carriers next year, an executive of the company said Monday, dramatically increasing the No. 3 global handset seller's presence in the home market of rival Apple Inc.. The president of Huawei Technologies Ltd.' s consumer business, Richard Yu, said he would announce details at next month's...

  • Dec 18- Hong Kong's main Hang Seng index ended Monday firmer while China's H-shares index also closed higher, with sentiment in Asia boosted by expectations U.S. lawmakers will pass a long-awaited tax bill. **China's main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.07 percent at 3,268.3296 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.12 percent.

  • *Fitch lifts Portugal rating by unprecedented 2 notches. *Portugal has BBB investment grade rating for Fitch. LONDON, Dec 18- Portugal's bond yields hit their lowest since early 2015 on Monday, after an unprecedented two-notch upgrade from Fitch that means it holds an investment grade from two of the three major rating agencies and could soon return to major bond...

  • BEIJING, Dec 18- China's Foreign Ministry on Monday defended trade with the United States as a win-win scenario ahead of a speech by U.S. Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping while also demanding that Beijing increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear programme and changes in trade practices to make them more favourable to the United States.

  • *Oil markets to be well supplied in 2018 despite OPEC- led cuts. SINGAPORE, Dec 18- Oil prices rose on Monday amid an ongoing North Sea pipeline outage and because a strike by Nigerian oil workers threatened its crude exports. Signs that booming U.S. crude output growth may be slowing also supported crude prices, although the 2018 outlook still points to ample supply...

  • *Focus on implementing agendas laid out by Party Congress in Oct. BEIJING, Dec 18- China's top leaders have started an annual meeting to map out economic and reform plans for 2018, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday. Policy sources have told Reuters that China's leaders are likely to maintain this year's growth target of "around 6.5 percent" in...

  • HO CHI MINH CITY, Dec 18- A unit of Thai Beverage won the auction to buy a $5 billion or 54 percent stake in top brewer Sabeco in the country's biggest ever privatisation process, an official from the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange said on Monday. The anticipated sale of the state-owned maker of Bia Saigon gained momentum in recent months. Thai Beverage emerged as the...

  • FedEx's latest quarterly report card should provide a window into the holiday shopping season. The National Association of Realtors releases its latest monthly tally of U.S. home sales Wednesday. That was the fastest pace since June as sales snapped back in hurricane-hit Texas and Florida.

  • BEIJING, Dec 18- China's powerful state planner on Monday issued new rules for overseas investment by private companies, aiming to stamp out instances of firms violating policies, engaging in unfair competition and poor safety and quality management. As Chinese companies take an increasingly visible role in the global economy, the rules, issued jointly by the...