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UPDATE 1-Glencore, Jinchuan frontrunners to buy BHP's Nickel West
08/27/2014  |  10:25
(Adds comment from second source on Jinchuan's plans)By Silvia Antonioli and Polly YamLONDON/HONG KONG, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Commodities trader and miner Glencore and Chinese nickel producer Jinchuan Group are the frontrunners to buy BHP Billiton's Australian Nickel West division, two sources close to the situation said.BHP, the world's largest mining company, announced plans last week to spin off businesses worth an estimated $16 billion but said that Nickel West in western Australia would not be part of the demerged group....

U.S. regulators to test wider trading increments for small caps
08/26/2014  |  22:16
By Herbert LashNEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. security regulators filed a proposal on Tuesday to create a 12-month test period that will widen the minimum quote and trading increments for small-cap stocks that trade infrequently to see whether it will increase trading....

UPDATE 1-CFTC fines Merrill Lynch $1.2 mln for client fee errors
08/26/2014  |  21:43
(Adds detail from release)WASHINGTON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. futures regulator said on Tuesday it had fined a unit of Bank of America Corp $1.2 million for failures to supervise the processing of fees charged to its customers over a period of three years....

UPDATE 2-U.S. charges investor relations executive with insider trading
08/26/2014  |  21:02
(Adds details of investigation, bail hearing and comment from firm founder)By Joseph Ax and Nate RaymondNEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday charged an executive of a New York investor relations firm with insider trading, accusing him of using nonpublic information to earn more than $538,000 in illicit profits....

UPDATE 4-London Metal Exchange dismissed from U.S. price-fixing lawsuits
08/26/2014  |  18:19
(Adds LME owner in 5th paragraph, role and background)By Jonathan StempelNEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - A judge has dismissed London Metal Exchange Ltd as a defendant from U.S....

UPDATE 1-U.S. charges investor relations firm employee with insider trading
08/26/2014  |  16:51
(Adds details of separate SEC civil charges, prosecutor comment, case citation)By Joseph Ax and Nate RaymondNEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday charged an employee of a New York investor relations firm with insider trading, accusing him of using nonpublic information to earn more than $538,000 in illicit profits....

U.S. SEC hires former Deloitte executive as chief accountant
08/26/2014  |  16:45
WASHINGTON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission tapped a former Deloitte LLP vice chairman as its new chief accountant, the agency announced on Tuesday....

UPDATE 3-U.S. judge dismisses LME from aluminum price-fixing lawsuits
08/26/2014  |  16:18
(Adds LME comment, details, paragraphs 5, 11-12)By Jonathan StempelNEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed London Metal Exchange Ltd as a defendant from nationwide antitrust litigation accusing banks and commodity companies of conspiring to drive up aluminum prices, hurting manufacturers and purchasers....

U.S. charges investor relations firm employee with insider trading
08/26/2014  |  15:19
By Joseph Ax and Nate RaymondNEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - An employee of a New York investor relations firm was charged with insider trading on Tuesday, after federal authorities accused him of using nonpublic information to earn more than $538,000 in illicit profits.Michael Lucarelli, the director of market intelligence at Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, was arrested early Tuesday morning at his Manhattan apartment, a spokesman for the FBI said....

UPDATE 1-Kuwait replaces head of market regulator after political backlash
08/26/2014  |  14:59
* Saleh al-Falah ends shortened four-year term at CMA* To be replaced by former finance minister Nayef al-Hajraf* Follows criticism by some investors of regulatory crackdown* Pressure on CMA to delay some regulatory reforms* Moves in parliament to reduce CMA's independence (Adds analysis, context)By Ahmed HagagyKUWAIT, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Kuwait is replacing the head of its securities regulator after a stormy four years during which he drew criticism from some investors for his attempts to clean up the bourse and for the stock market's weak performance.Kuwait's freewheeling stock market has one of the worst reputations in the region for patchy corporate disclosure and illicit trade....

SEC, NY broker face off over scheme to profit from terminally ill
08/25/2014  |  20:17
By Nate RaymondNEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - A New York broker went on trial on Monday over a U.S. securities regulator's claims he participated in a scheme designed by a Morgan Stanley employee to profit from the death of terminally ill patients through variable annuity sales....

Prague power bourse to offer Romanian, Polish futures contracts
08/25/2014  |  07:01
* 2014 volumes likely won't match year ago* 10 members ready to trade the products* Financially-settled futures contractsBy Michael KahnPRAGUE, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Power Exchange Central Europe will launch Polish and Romanian futures contracts on Sept. 1 in a move aimed at boosting liquidity and becoming a regional trading centre for central and southeastern Europe....

MIDEAST DEBT-Reviving bond issues to draw big demand despite geopolitics
08/25/2014  |  08:49
* Offshore bond deals in Gulf to resume from September* Some issuers keen to diversify beyond bank loans* No significant outflows of foreign funds due to geopolitics* Arab Spring "stress-tested" the region* Slight spread widening in recent weeks due to illiquidityBy Archana NarayananDUBAI, Aug 25 (Reuters) - A revival of international bond issues from the Gulf is set to draw heavy demand from local and foreign investors, despite the latest geopolitical upheavals in the Middle East and the approach of higher U.S....

UPDATE 2-U.S. bankruptcy judge approves Detroit water/sewer bond plan
08/25/2014  |  20:34
(Adds details of bond sale, Syncora objection, comments from Kevyn Orr, fund manager)DETROIT, Aug 25 (Reuters) - A U.S. bankruptcy court judge on Monday approved Detroit's proposal to repurchase nearly $1....

High grade corporate bond secondary market braced for change?
08/22/2014  |  14:34
* Interest rate cycle could turn sentiment* Secondary market suffers from an inadequate model* New trading platform initiatives will be testedBy Laura Benitez and Alex ChambersLONDON, Aug 22 (IFR) - A return to interest rate normality and a central clearing engine could address the liquidity risks faced by corporate bond investors, after this month's market volatility highlighted how passive dealers have become.But does it even matter that a European corporate bond now trades on average once a day, according to RBS, compared with nearly five times a day just over a decade ago?Yes, say those who point to increased European investment grade bond issuance....

Argentina rules out another devaluation of peso
08/21/2014  |  17:58
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Argentine government on Thursday ruled out a second sharp devaluation of the peso this year, rebuffing calls for a weaker currency from employers who say runaway inflation is hurting trade competitiveness.President Cristina Fernandez's government implemented a shock 20 percent devaluation of the peso in January....

DEALTALK-Foresight wins Goldman big role in China's preferred shares deals
08/21/2014  |  21:00
(For more Reuters DEALTALKS, double click on )By Elzio BarretoHONG KONG, Aug 22 (Reuters) - As Chinese banks prepare to raise $55 billion in the country's first preferred share offers, foreign investment banks with experience in structuring such deals are ready to pounce on a potential $275 million in underwriting fees.And some are more ready than others....

UPDATE 1-U.S. judge calls Argentina debt row hearing amid contempt calls
08/21/2014  |  15:06
(Recasts with Thursday U.S. court hearing)By Nate Raymond and Joseph AxNEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. judge who barred Argentina from servicing its debt until it settled with investors demanding full payment on their bonds scheduled a new hearing on Thursday, after the country unveiled plans to sidestep his ruling that led it to default for the second time in a dozen years....

Argentina rules out another devaluation of peso
08/21/2014  |  17:58
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Argentine government on Thursday ruled out a second sharp devaluation of the peso this year, rebuffing calls for a weaker currency from employers who say runaway inflation is hurting trade competitiveness.President Cristina Fernandez's government implemented a shock 20 percent devaluation of the peso in January....

Argentina bonds steady as investors brace for long fight
08/21/2014  |  16:36
By Paul Kilby and Davide ScigliuzzoNEW YORK, Aug 21 (IFR) - Argentina's latest debt swap proposal may have made resolution of its default mess an even more distant prospect, but the sovereign's bond prices still remain surprisingly robust.Indeed the latest gambit in the long-running Argentine saga - a complicated swap that risks running afoul of US law and that most believe can't work - has hardly hit prices at all....

CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Mining giant Glencore makes good on pledge with $1 bln buyback
08/20/2014  |  13:14
(Corrects figure to $6.5 billion in paragraph 15)* First of big miners to return cash to shareholders* Analyst praises "sensible" buyback plan* EBITDA up 8 pct to $6....

SAFT ON WEALTH-Buffett hoards cash, individuals' holdings hit 14-year low
08/20/2014  |  20:44
(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)By James SaftAug 20 (Reuters) - Individual investors have been cutting back on cash in portfolios, the exact reverse of what Warren Buffett has been doing at Berkshire Hathaway....

Thai IPOs poised for post-coup rally
08/20/2014  |  10:50
* More than 30 companies and trusts in line to list on Thai bourse* Big IPOs will reveal foreign investor appetite for Thai riskBy Viparat JantraprapBANGKOK, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Thailand's stock market has experienced a wave of initial public offerings (IPOs) since the military took over the country three months ago, with companies relieved that the political deadlock has ended.The environment has become far more conducive for firms to raise funds as prospects for the economy are brightening, with growth tipped at 5....

Russia economic funk ripples out through ex-Soviet states
08/20/2014  |  11:18
By Sujata Rao and Dmitry SolovyovLONDON/ALMATY Aug 20 (Reuters) - Farangees Islomova is worried. Her husband, who labours on a construction site in Moscow's Schelkovo suburb, usually sends 15,000 roubles home to Tajikistan every month....

RPT-INSIGHT-Japan's polarising PM Abe learns the long game
08/19/2014  |  23:44
(Repeats with story slug for media clients; no changes to text)* Abe's popularity declining and Abenomics floundering* Faces hurdles: Cabinet reshuffle, tax hike, polls* Aides try to temper his hawkish security agenda* They want him to re-focus on economic agendaBy Linda Sieg, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Yuko YoshikawaTOKYO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Shinzo Abe is one of Japan's most polarizing prime ministers in decades. He may also have a good shot at becoming that rarity in Japanese politics - a long-serving leader....

U.S. SEC launches broad compliance review into "wrap fee" accounts
08/19/2014  |  18:44
By Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators have asked investment advisory firms to hand over records in connection with "wrap fee" accounts they offer clients, as part of a review to determine if they are complying with federal securities laws....

U.S. SEC launches municipal adviser exams
08/19/2014  |  16:13
By Sarah N. LynchWASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday it is launching compliance exams for municipal advisers, a group of financial professionals that are new to the SEC's regulatory regime....

Exchange-traded fund accentuates merger arbitrage highs, and lows
08/19/2014  |  12:00
By Ashley LauNEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - For merger arbitrage funds playing this year's hot deal-making market, one exchange-traded fund has pulled ahead - on the upside and the downside.With a 3....

MOVES- BofA, Pimco, SAC Capital, Northern Trust, Everstone
08/19/2014  |  10:28
Aug 19 (Reuters) - The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Tuesday. To inform us of other job changes, email moves@thomsonreuters....

Europeans banks eye dollar bond market for capital boost
08/19/2014  |  08:51
(This story originally appeared in IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication)By Danielle Robinson and Helene DurandLONDON, Aug 19 (IFR) - European banks are expected to flock to the Yankee bond market with Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 issuance in the autumn, lured by attractive funding costs.A sharp rally in dollar-denominated European Tier 2 securities last week made it possible for certain European banks to reap at least 50bp of savings if they go to the US market rather than euros, including the cost of swapping back to their home currency....

Israel Chems files confidential prospectus with SEC -report
08/19/2014  |  14:03
JERUSALEM, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals (ICL) has filed a confidential prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of a planned share offering next month, financial newspaper TheMarker said on Tuesday....

With eye on Scottish vote, speculators shore up sterling defences
08/18/2014  |  13:34
By Anirban NagLONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The cost of hedging against sharp swings in the British pound rose on Monday as, exactly a month before an unprecedented independence vote, speculators sought to insure against the risk of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.Polls suggest Scots will choose to remain part of the 307-year-old union with England on Sept....

REFILE-UBS says widens background checks for specialist employees
08/18/2014  |  16:55
(Refiled to correct typographical error in first paragraph)ZURICH, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Switzerland's biggest bank UBS said it had expanded the number of employees that are subject to internal background checks to around 15 percent of its workforce in a move that came in the wake of numerous scandals.Under the new policy, roughly 9,000 employees of the Zurich-based bank will be subject to internal vetting, a spokesman for UBS told Reuters, confirming a report on Monday by Swiss finance website, Inside Paradeplatz....

RPT-PROFILE-Oregon lawmaker will not let Fed forget to tackle commodities
08/18/2014  |  10:00
(Repeats story originally published Sunday with no changes)By Anna Louie SussmanNEW YORK, Aug 18 - Just over a year ago, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was looking for a place to make a bold statement about his latest crusade: taking Wall Street's traders to task for gaming commodity markets.His office telephoned Bruce Kehe, marketing director at Portland's Hopworks Urban Brewery, to see if the microbrewer would host an event at which Merkley would blast banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc for driving up the price of aluminum and other commodities....

Singapore's Olam sells 25 pct of packaged foods unit to Sanyo Foods for $187.5 mln
08/18/2014  |  09:50
SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Singapore commodities firm Olam International Ltd has agreed to sell a 25 percent stake in its packaged foods operations to Japanese instant noodle maker Sanyo Foods for $187.5 million, the companies said in a joint statement....

UPDATE 1-Cliffs director resigns; miner must pay ex-CEO $11 million
08/15/2014  |  14:18
(Adds quote from letter, detail on payments)Aug 15 (Reuters) - One of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc's few incumbent directors has stepped down and delivered a stinging resignation letter, filings showed on Friday, as the miner separately said it was on the hook for millions of dollars in payments to its former chief executive officer and others in the wake of a proxy fight.Timothy Sullivan was one of a minority of Cliffs directors re-elected after hedge fund Casablanca Capital triumphed in a proxy battle last month....

FEATURE-Corporate founders battle boards to overturn forced exits
08/15/2014  |  11:00
By Nadia DamouniNEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - From American Apparel Inc to Lululemon Athletica Inc, Men's Wearhouse Inc and Best Buy Co Inc, a series of boardroom battles across North America underscore how difficult it can be for companies to part ways with their founders.In each of these cases, the boards decided it was time for the founders to step down from their roles either as chief executive or chairman, but faced stiff resistance from the founders, some of whom used their substantial equity stakes to fight back....

MOVES- Brevan Howard, London Stock Exchange, ABN AMRO Bank
08/15/2014  |  10:49
Aug 15 (Reuters) - The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Friday. To inform us of other job changes, email moves@thomsonreuters....

Louis Dreyfus' sugar unit Biosev posts smaller quarterly loss
08/15/2014  |  01:38
SAO PAULO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Biosev SA, the Brazilian sugar and ethanol unit of French commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Corp, posted a loss of 148.3 million reais ($65 million) in the April-June quarter, a 54 percent smaller loss than a year ago....

U.S. SEC widens probe of Cynk Technology to include auditor -WSJ
08/15/2014  |  01:35
Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are investigating the auditor of Cynk Technology Corp, the social media company that was briefly worth more than $6 billion in June before its shares plummeted, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the probe....

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