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  • *Would end ban on new VAT-free goods that caused UK uproar. BRUSSELS, Jan 17- European Union states will get more leeway to set lower sales tax rates or even scrap them on some goods, under a draft law seen by Reuters that would reform the EU's centralized rate-setting mechanism for value-added tax. The proposal by the European Commission would allow EU states to...

  • Most car shoppers know that a used car can be a fantastic value. In the long run, a used car will usually cost less than a new one, and it will virtually always be cheaper than leasing a car every three years. As practical as it is to buy a used car, it can also present an opportunity to get a little fancy.

  • Casino, whose credit rating was cut to junk by Standard& Poor's in March 2016, is under pressure to revive profits in France, its biggest market, where it now makes more than 50 percent of its sales, at a time of slower growth in Brazil, its second-biggest market by revenue. Excluding property gains, which it forecast at 90 million euros, Casino expects core food retail...

  • FRANKFURT, Jan 17- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi should give up his membership of the opaque Group of 30 consultative body because it risks hurting public confidence in the ECB's independence, the European Ombudsman said on Wednesday. At present its members include Draghi, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and People's Bank of China...

  • New Brunswick, N.J.- based J&J said in January last year it was evaluating options for its diabetes care companies, specifically LifeScan Inc, Animas Corp, and Calibra Medical Inc. One option was a sale of the business, it said. Almost one in three of the world's diabetes sufferers lives in China, according to World Health Organisation estimates.

  • BEIJING, Jan 17- An Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea has left two oil slicks covering a combined 109 square km, the Chinese government said, as maritime police scoured for damage and prepared to explore the wreck. Satellite imaging showed a slick of 69 square km and a second 40 square km slick, which is less thick and not as concentrated, the State...

  • LONDON, Jan 17- Britain hopes to pass laws to allow the capping of the most common form of gas and electricity tariffs for millions of households by the summer, a junior minister in the business department told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. "The intention would be to introduce the bill shortly, with the intention of getting royal assent before the summer...

  • FRANKFURT, Germany— German automaker Volkswagen had record sales of 10.74 million vehicles last year as markets in Brazil and Russia rebounded strongly. The figures show the Wolfsburg- based company continuing its effort to move past a scandal that broke in September 2015 over cars it had rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests. For the year, the company saw...

  • TOKYO, Jan 17- Japan Tobacco Inc, which is on the hunt for overseas acquisitions to offset a shrinking home market, is working on several possible deals as it targets growth in Asian and other emerging markets, its new chief executive said on Wednesday. Masamichi Terabatake told Reuters he saw the potential for deals in South America, Africa and the Middle East, in...

  • STRASBOURG, Jan 17- EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker renewed an offer to Britain on Wednesday to stay in the European Union and said he hoped that even if it goes through with Brexit it would apply to rejoin the bloc. Speaking to the European Parliament, where he had endorsed a statement on Tuesday by European Council President Donald Tusk that Britain...

  • The group claimed responsibility for most attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta in 2016, which cut Nigeria's crude production from a peak of 2.2 million barrels per day to near 1 million barrels per day. The group, which wants a greater share of Nigeria's energy wealth to go to the impoverished Delta region, said its targets would include Bonga Platform,...

  • LONDON, Jan 17- A stronger dollar and weaker commodity prices knocked emerging stocks off their near-decade highs and weighed on currencies, with Turkey's lira on track for its worst week since early November on flaring geopolitical tensions. Heavyweight South Korea and some China mainland bourses eased 0.2 percent, while stocks in oil exporters Russia,...

  • LONDON, Jan 17- The euro's sizzling January rally is undermining one of the most profitable bond market trades of recent years by potentially raising hedging costs and thereby eroding profits of overseas investors. "The whole idea of these trades via the currency derivatives markets is that a big interest rate differential exists in them but that argument of...

  • BEIJING/ SINGAPORE, Jan 17- China's fuel blending companies and independent refineries will bear the brunt of new tax rules that will close loopholes that allegedly allowed them to sell fuel without paying consumption taxes. The rules address a long-held complaint by China's state-owned oil companies that the privately owned refiners and blenders have...

  • LONDON, Jan 17- Shares in British construction and services firm Interserve plunged on Wednesday after the Financial Times reported that ministers are "very worried" and have set up a team of officials to monitor the company. The FT report came after the collapse of competitor Carillion on Monday highlighted concerns over the outsourcing sector in Britain.

  • KUWAIT, Jan 17- Kuwait's oil minister Bakhit al-Rashidi said on Wednesday there is no plan or intention so far to exit from a production-cutting agreement among OPEC and non- OPEC oil producers. He said a Jan. 21 committee meeting of some OPEC and non- OPEC ministers in Oman would focus on reviewing adherence to the cuts, adding that compliance in December was at 125...

  • LONDON, Jan 17- Sterling edged lower against the dollar on Wednesday after a rally as traders took profits and awaited the latest developments in negotiations over Britain's departure from the European Union. The pound has in recent days reached its highest levels since the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, with the better-than-expected economic...

  • Tighter fundamentals have lifted both crude futures benchmarks about 13 percent above levels in early December, helped by production curbs by OPEC and Russia, as well as by healthy demand growth. Brent crude futures were at $69.94 a barrel at 0946 GMT, down 21 cents from the last close, after hitting $69.37. "Currently there is no reason to believe that there has...

  • Puigdemont and four of his former cabinet members fled to Belgium dodging a Spanish judicial investigation related to the foiled attempt to declare Catalan independence in late October. The three are Catalan former vice president Oriol Junqueras, ex-interior minister Joaquim Forn and civic activist Jordi Sanchez. They are in jail in Spain on provisional...

  • LONDON, Jan 17- The British government needs to allow more time for firms to take on workers whose jobs are threatened by the collapse of outsourcer Carillion, the head of one of Britain's biggest trade unions said on Wednesday. The head of Britain's GMB union, who met with business minister Greg Clark on Tuesday, said the government needed to allow more time for the...