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  • SINGAPORE, Feb 19- Singapore said its sales tax will rise to 9 percent from 7 percent, but the change will only come "sometime" between 2021 and 2025, making it likely that the increase would kick in after the city-state's next general election. The bonus comes after Singapore's trade-reliant economy grew 3.6 percent in 2017, its best pace in three years.

  • *Crude reaches 2- wk highs amid Middle East tensions, gold steady. TOKYO, Feb 20- Asian stocks dipped on Tuesday, their recent recovery slowing after European equities broke a winning streak run, while the dollar held firm after bouncing from three-year lows. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.1 percent.

  • Top Economic Events Polling Unit Diary Today in Washington Political and General News. 20- Feb Germany Auction of 2- year Treasury notes 20- Feb Spain Auction of 3- and 9- month Treasury bills 20- Feb United States Sale of 2- year notes 21- Feb United States Sale of 2- year floating rate notes 21- Feb United States Sale of 5- year notes 21- Feb Sweden Auction of...

  • **BRUSSELS- ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio participates in ECOFIN meeting in Brussels, Belgium. NEW YORK Swedish central bank Governor Stefan Ingves talks about economy and monetary policy- 1730 GMT. **LONDON Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent, Chief Economist Andy Haldane and Monetary Policy Committee external member...

  • REUTERS POLL: OF THOSE PLANNING TO RAISE BASE PAY, 76 PCT PLAN TO KEEP HIKES IN LINE WITH LAST YEAR, 14 PCT SEE THEM ABOVE LAST YEAR, 10 PCT TO UNDERSHOOT LAST YEAR.

  • REUTERS POLL: 52 PCT OF JAPAN FIRMS SEE PM ABE'S CALL FOR 3 PCT WAGE HIKES AS UNREALISTIC, 41 PCT SEE IT AS REALISTIC, 7 PCT CALL IT "OUT OF QUESTION".

  • Feb 20- More than half of Japanese companies do not intend to raise base pay at spring wage talks this year and even those that do say they will keep increases in line with last year, a Reuters poll found. Below are the questions and answers to the poll conducted between Jan 31 and Feb 14 for Reuters by Nikkei Research. Answers are denoted in percentage points, while...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- More than half of Japan's companies do not plan to raise base pay in annual wage talks in coming months, a set back for the prime minister and the country's main business lobby which has called for wage rises of 3 percent to fuel an economic revival. In a monthly Reuters Corporate Survey, just less than half said they would raise pay and most in this group...

  • REUTERS CORPORATE SURVEY: 48 PCT OF JAPAN FIRMS PLAN TO RAISE BASE PAY THIS YEAR, 52 PCT HAVE NO SUCH PLAN.

  • KANSAS CITY, Kan.— General Motors says it will build a new vehicle at its plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports Fairfax lost its third shift last fall after sales of the Malibu slumped. Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com.

  • LONDON— Britain is trying to reassure the European Union that it doesn't plan to slash regulations and standards in order to boost its economy after Brexit. Brexit Secretary David Davis will use a speech Tuesday in Vienna to promise that Brexit won't lead to "an Anglo-Saxon race to the bottom, with Britain plunged into a' Mad Max'-style world borrowed from...

  • BRASILIA, Feb 19- Brazil's political affairs minister Carlos Marun said on Monday that passage of a bill to overhaul the country's costly social security system has effectively ground to a halt in Congress and would become a campaign issue in this year's election. Marun, the cabinet minister charged with mobilizing coalition support in Congress, said pension...

  • JERUSALEM, Feb 20- Israel's OrCam, which has developed a visual aid for the blind, has completed a funding round that values the company at $1 billion, putting it on track for a planned initial public offering, its chief executive said on Tuesday. The company raised $30.4 million by selling an approximate 3 percent stake to investors including Israel's Clal...

  • MADRID, Feb 19- Widely credited with steering Spain through its worst recession in decades, its outgoing Economy Minister Luis de Guindos will hope to bring pragmatism and tenacity to the European Central Bank when he takes over as vice president in June. He showed calm under political fire by pushing through tight budgets and unpopular labour reforms during...

  • His energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, called it the most significant export deal with Egypt since the neighbours signed their historic peace treaty in 1979.. "Egypt is becoming a real gas hub," Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek subsidiary Delek Drilling LP, told Reuters. Molla's comments refer to Egypt's challenge to a 2015 ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce...

  • Feb 19- U.S. oil company Chevron Corp on Monday said it had resumed drilling operations in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. "Chevron can confirm that it has resumed its activities in the KRI and we have restarted drilling operations at our Sarta 3 field," Chevron spokeswoman Sally Jones said in a statement. Before that, Chevron in September had drilled an oil well at its...

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 19- A post-Brexit customs arrangement with the European Union could start with Britain sticking to the same external trade tariffs as the bloc, a senior European lawmaker said on Monday. The EU is waiting for London to outline what sort of future relationship it wants with the other 27 nations, with one of the most politically sensitive issues being...

  • BRASILIA, Feb 19- Brazil's political affairs minister Carlos Marun said on Monday that passage through Congress of a bill to overhaul the country's costly social security system has effectively been halted and would not be put to a vote.

  • *Namibia, South Africa operations could be expanded. The rally in zinc prices to their highest since 2007 has helped to boost the overall profits of Vedanta, which has zinc projects in India, South Africa and Namibia. It also has licenses in Ireland and is discussing possible joint ventures to develop them following the closure in 2015 of the Lisheen mine it...

  • PALM BEACH, Fla./ WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases, days after a shooting at a Florida school killed 17 people. Trump spoke to Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, on Friday about a bipartisan bill that he and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy...