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    Citigroup (C) has sold its nearly 10 percent stake in Turkey's Akbank for $1.2 billion, the U.S. bank said on Thursday, in its latest sale of overseas assets to cut costs and raise profits. Citigroup (C), which had been the second-largest shareholder in Akbank, also said it aimed to increase its business in Turkey, where it has had a presence for 40 years and employs 500 people.

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    Citigroup (C) has sold its nearly 10 percent stake in Turkey's Akbank for $1.2 billion, the U.S. bank said on Thursday, in its latest sale of overseas assets to cut costs and raise profits. Citigroup (C), which had been the second-largest shareholder in Akbank, also said it aimed to increase its business in Turkey, where it has had a presence for 40 years and employs 500 people.

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    PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Thursday, with a batch of company results in focus ahead of the European Central bank meeting at which it is set to give further details on its massive bond-buying programme. Shares in Carrefour will be eyed after the world's second-largest retailer said it would boost capital expenditure this year as it seeks to cement a revival of its European hypermarkets and expand in the key emerging market of Brazil. At 0703 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.2-0.5 percent. The ECB, which starts its quantitative easing, or bond-buying, programme worth more than 1 trillion euros this month, is expected to detail the plan later in the day following its policy meeting. The bank is set to keep rates on hold, likely lift growth forecasts to reflect a string of positive data surprises, but cut inflation projections as it incorporates the full effect of a dramatic oil price fall. The pharma sector will be in the spotlight after drugmaker AbbVie Inc said it will buy Pharmacyclics Inc, the maker of blockbuster cancer drug Imbruvica, for about $21 billion to broaden its oncology drugs pipeline. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0701 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,098.53 -0.44 % -9.25 NIKKEI 18751.84 0.26 % 48.24 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 484.09 -0.44 % -2.15 EUR/USD 1.1034 -0.39 % -0.0043 USD/JPY 119.81 0.13 % 0.1600 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.119 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.386 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,202.05 0.22 % $2.60 US CRUDE $51.82 0.56 % 0.29 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA STOCKS SLIP, EURO HITS 11-YR LOW BEFORE ECB > US STOCKS-WALL STREET DOWN FOR 2ND DAY AFTER RALLY; HEALTHCARE GAINS > NIKKEI EDGES UP, BOJ'S ETF BUYING HELPS SENTIMENT > BOND PRICES MOSTLY FLAT ON MIXED DATA AHEAD OF U.S. JOBS REPORT > EURO HOVERS NEAR 11-YR LOW, WAITING DETAILS OF ECB EASING PROGRAMME > PRECIOUS-GOLD RISES ABOVE $1,200, BUT ROBUST DOLLAR CURBS GAINS > METALS-COPPER HOLDS STEADY AFTER CHINA REFORM PACKAGE RELEASED > BRENT STICKS ABOVE $60; IRAN NEWS OFFSETS BEARISH US STOCKPILES DATA COMPANY NEWS: CARREFOUR The world's second-largest retailer, said it would boost capital expenditure this year as it seeks to cement a revival of its European hypermarkets and expand in the key emerging market of Brazil. GEMALTO NV The SIM card maker reported a 10 percent jump in quarterly profit and raised its long-term target for profit from operations, helped by its acquisition of SafeNet. KLOECKNER & CO The German steel distributor said it expected core profit to rise in 2015 even after a tough first quarter afflicted by steep declines in U.S. steel prices and other factors. DELHAIZE Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize reported better-than-expected operating results in the fourth quarter, as its margins in Belgium improved from the previous quarter in spite of hefty sales declines. SANDVIK Swedish industrial group said on Thursday it would cut more costs in response to weak demand in some markets and make a write-down in its Mining Systems business, as it detailed the second phase of a group-wide restructuring program. JCDECAUX Outdoor advertising specialist said it planned to buy back up to 500 million euros of shares and proposed a higher dividend as it reported full-year net income more than doubled. BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA The Tuscan bank said on Wednesday that at current share price levels the country's Treasury would get a stake of around 4 percent in the bank when it receives new shares as payment for a coupon on state loans. MONCLER The luxury down jacket maker posted a 21 percent rise in 2014 operating profit as 37 new shop openings in the course of the year helped push sales higher. ITALCEMENTI The cement maker nearly halved its net loss in 2014 to 48.9 million euros and proposed a dividend payout of 0.09 euros. AIRBUS Germany has reached an agreement with Airbus on the payment of the remaining 623 million euros of its loan to the company for the development of the A350 wide-bodied airliner. BANKIA, FCC, REALIA Bankia said late Wednesday it would sell its stake in Realia to Carlos Slim's Carso Inmobiliaria, pre-empting a full takeover offer from Slim for Realia at 0.58 euros per share. This is a discount of nearly one third to Wednesday's closing price. SWATCH Swatch is to appeal a decision on Wednesday by a Dutch court to set aside a 402 million Swiss franc ($416.67 million) arbitration ruling in 2013 against U.S. jeweller Tiffany. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)

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    The following corporate finance-related. * Avago Technologies Ltd held advanced talks last month to acquire Freescale Semiconductor Ltd, and is still looking for an acquisition that could be transformative, according to four people familiar with the situation.

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    The following corporate finance-related. * Avago Technologies Ltd held advanced talks last month to acquire Freescale Semiconductor Ltd, and is still looking for an acquisition that could be transformative, according to four people familiar with the situation.

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    Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, a unit of Carlyle Group LP (CG) and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC raised a combined $710 million after Hong Kong's second-largest broadband Internet provider, HKBN Ltd, priced its IPO at the top of expectations, people familiar with the deal said on Thursday.

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    The following are the top stories in the Financial Times. Headlines. J&J NEARS DEAL FOR CANCER DRUGMAKER. EXXON CHIEF SAYS OIL PRICES WILL STAY LOW. ETSY AIMS TO RAISE $100 MLN IN IPO. INSTAGRAM UNVEILS NEW ADVERTISING FORMAT. Overview.

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    Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, a unit of Carlyle Group LP (CG) and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC raised a combined $710 million after Hong Kong's second-largest broadband Internet provider, HKBN, priced its initial public offering at the top of expectations, IFR reported on Thursday citing people familiar with the deal.

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    By Dana Mattioli, Liz Hoffman and Robbie Whelan. Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG) has made takeover approaches for rival Macerich Co. (MAC), seeking to combine two of the largest shopping-mall owners in the U.S. The latest approach came within the past few weeks, and followed an earlier one late last year, according to people familiar with the matter.

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    Advisors to the shuttered Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, failed to get approval on Wednesday for an agreement to sell the hotel for $82 million and were told by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to look for a better price. The decision by Judge Gloria Burns could open the door for a Los Angeles developer, Izek Shomof, whose attorney told Wednesday's court hearing he could offer more money.

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    Online marketplace will list on Nasdaq under stock symbol' ETSY'. Etsy Inc., an online marketplace for crafts and vintage goods, has filed for an initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The Brooklyn-based company, which counts Union Square Ventures among its investors, filed for an IPO of up to $100 million.

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    Johnson& Johnson is near a deal for drugmaker Pharmacyclics Inc. (PCYC), the Financial Times reported Wednesday on its web site. The parties are expected to reach a deal in the next few days, although talks could still fall apart, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares of Johnson& Johnson rose 0.6% in after- hours trading Wednesday, while shares of Pharmacyclics (PCYC) rose 2.4%.

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    What's good for Bouygues Telecom may actually be bad for Bouygues (BOUYF) shareholders. The French conglomerate owns the third largest wireless carrier in France. After losing out in its bid to merge Bouygues Telecom with mobile company SFR last year, the pursuer has become the pursued.

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    Spanish lender Bankia said on Wednesday it would sell its stake of just under 25 percent in real estate business Realia to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's property company Inmobiliaria Carso . Bankia said it would sell the stake for 0.58 euros per share, or 44.5 million euros.

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    The following are mergers under review by the European Commission and a brief guide to the EU merger process: APPROVALS AND WITHDRAWALS. -- Spanish bank BBVA to acquire sole control of Turkish lender Garanti Bank which is now jointly controlled by BBVA and Dogus Holding A.S. NEW LISTINGS. -- Private equity firm PAI to acquire Dutch clothing and footwear retailer Lion Adventure.