U.S. Treasury's Lew to press China on currency: officials

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will press Chinese officials next week to adopt a more market-determined exchange rate policy, and the Obama administration thinks further yuan appreciation would help the global economy, Treasury officials said on Friday.

Fed's Yellen sees gradual rate hikes starting this year

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the U.S. central bank will likely start raising borrowing costs later this year, even before inflation and wages have returned to health, but emphasized the return to normal interest rates will be gradual.

Europe

Neither Grexit, nor Grexident. Euro and 'drachma' in parallel?

Greece is unlikely to exit the euro, either intentionally or accidentally. But it might be forced to introduce an alternative means of payment, in parallel to the euro, to pay some domestic bills if a reform-for-cash deal with its creditors is not secured soon, several euro zone officials said.

Africa

Ethiopia launches 4G mobile service in the capital

Ethiopia's state-run telecoms monopoly has launched a fourth generation (4G) mobile service in the capital Addis Ababa, aiming to catch up with the high-speed communications available in some east African neighbors such as Kenya and Uganda.

Oil dives 5 percent as worries about Iran talks trump Yemen

Oil tumbled 5 percent on Friday, erasing the previous session's gains, as Yemen's conflict looked less likely to disrupt Middle East crude shipments and investors turned their focus to talks for a potential Iran nuclear deal that could put more supply on the market.

Mercedes to launch a pickup truck outside the United States

German carmaker Mercedes-Benz plans to launch a mid-sized pickup truck, expanding its premium brand into a lower-priced bracket in a bid to narrow the sales gap with arch rival BMW (BMWG.DE).

Ford CEO Fields received $18.6 million in 2014 compensation

Ford Motor Co (F.N) Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields made $18.6 million in salary and other compensation last year, below the $23.2 million that predecessor Alan Mulally received in 2013, the company said on Friday.

Platinum Equity nears deal for Itochu's PrimeSource: sources

Private equity firm Platinum Equity LLC is in advanced talks to buy PrimeSource Building Products Inc, the largest distributor of screws and nails in the United States, from Itochu Corp (8001.T), according to people familiar with the matter.

As 3G digests Kraft deal, rivals will focus on organic firms

The macaroni and ketchup merger of Kraft Foods Group (KRFT.O) and H.J. Heinz Co may prove a boon to the far smaller natural and organic food companies that have seized market share as consumers shift away from processed foods, bankers and portfolio managers said.

Toyota aims to halve cost of retooling in sweeping efficiency drive

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Thursday it would aim to halve the investment required to retool factories for new models compared with what it was spending before the 2008 financial crisis, as part of a sweeping overhaul of the way it develops and builds cars.

Ford to triple exports from India with new $1 billion plant

Ford Motor Co (F.N) plans to triple exports from India with a $1 billion plant that will be one of its most heavily automated in Asia, offsetting slower sales inside the country with a push to sell more local production abroad.

Andorra to create 'bad bank' to group BPA toxic assets

Andorra will create a 'bad bank' to group the assets of Banca Privada d'Andorra (BPA) linked to illicit activity, it said late on Thursday, as the principality battles to rebuild the reputation of its banking system.

Chevron seeks to exit Caltex Australia with $3.6 billion stake sale

U.S. energy firm Chevron (CVX.N) is seeking to sell its entire stake in Caltex Australia Ltd (CTX.AX) for about A$4.6 billion ($3.6 billion), exiting Australia's biggest refiner after nearly 40 years as falling oil prices and high costs hurt margins.

Indian airline IndiGo heads for up to $400 million IPO amid travel boom: sources

India's biggest airline by market share, IndiGo, is preparing to file a draft prospectus by May for a stock listing to raise $300 million to $400 million, two people with knowledge of the plans said, aiming to cash in on a boom in budget air travel.

EDF may take stake in Areva activities; proposals soon: press

French energy group EDF (EDF.PA) is considering whether to take a stake in assets belonging to struggling nuclear power group Areva (AREVA.PA), business daily Les Echos reported on Friday, citing an unidentified source close to EDF.

Switzerland's UBP to buy RBS's Coutts International

Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) has agreed to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's international private banking business Coutts International, as the Swiss private bank continues to rebuild its asset base in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Oil prices fall more than $1 as supply threat eases

Oil prices fell more than $1 on Friday, after sharp gains in the prior session, as worries of a disruption to supplies due to Saudi Arabia-led air strikes in Yemen eased.

Asian stocks mixed as Mideast worries linger, oil eases

Asian stocks were mixed on Friday and the dollar rebounded as rising tensions in the Middle East clouded the investment outlook.

Google to pay CFO Porat more than $70 million in two years

Google Inc said it would pay its new Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat, more than $70 million in the next two years through a combination of restricted stock units and a biennial grant.

Twitter launches video streaming app Periscope

Twitter Inc launched a video streaming app called Periscope on Thursday, just days after reports that it had blocked a rival app called Meerkat.

Facebook talks up need for virtual reality, big tech bets

Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and drones will enable Facebook Inc to create a more lifelike and useful social network, the company said in its clearest explanation so far for technology projects that have puzzled some investors and analysts.

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