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     The Permian Basin is "so, so big," TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said on CNBC's "Cramer Stop Trading" segment. Two companies that are best positioned to take advantage of the Permian Basin are Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) and Concho Resources (CXO), Concho is particularly interesting because it is undervalued and will go higher, he said.

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    The European Commission said on Wednesday it is investigating plans by Mexican cement company Cemex to buy the Spanish operations of its Swiss rival Holcim (HCMLF) because of competition issues. "The Commission has concerns that the transaction may reduce competition in certain areas of Spain where the two companies' activities overlap," the EU executive said in a statement.

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    * Stake sale comes ahead of bigger than expected rights issue. * Fintech Advisory now Monte Paschi's biggest shareholder. * Monte Paschi increased size of rights issue to 5 bln euros.

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    By Lauren Tara LaCapra. Goldman Sachs Group Inc's (GS) asset-management business has agreed to buy Westpeak Global Advisors, a firm that aims to beat market indexes by using factors other than company size to pick stock investments. The deal, disclosed on Tuesday, comes as Goldman is working to bulk up its asset management unit, partly by strengthening its quantitative product offerings.

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    PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, Thailand's top oil and gas explorer, has bought Hess Corp's (HES) assets in Thailand in a $1 billion deal as part of its attempt to boost its gas business, the company's CEO said on Wednesday. "The deal is worth $1 billion. Hess, based in New York, said it would use the proceeds to purchase its shares under a $4 billion share buyback program.

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    - The chief executive officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), which made a $47 billion unsolicited offer for competitor Allergan Inc. (AGN) on Tuesday, said during an interview on CNBC that he was "disappointed" with Allergan's (AGN) so-called poison pill. Allergan (AGN) on Tuesday night said that its board of directors had adopted a one-year stockholder rights plan to give it more time to consider takeover proposals.

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    The chief executive officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), which made a $47 billion unsolicited offer for competitor Allergan Inc. (AGN) on Tuesday, said during an interview on CNBC that he was "disappointed" with Allergan's (AGN) so-called poison pill. Allergan (AGN) on Tuesday night said that its board of directors had adopted a one-year stockholder rights plan to give it more time to consider takeover proposals.

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    NEW YORK-- The poison pill put in place by the board of Allergan Inc. (AGN) is way for the company's directors to explore other options and isn't necessarily a bad thing, activist investor William Ackman told CNBC on Wednesday. Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) have made a joint $46 billion bid for the maker of Botox. Ackman said that if he was an Allergan (AGN) director, he wouldn't immediately take the offer either but would want to...

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    China will allow private investment in 80 projects spanning the energy, information and infrastructure sectors as part of reforms to increase privatization, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday. The 80 projects involving solar energy, hydro power, wind power, and oil and gas pipelines, previously areas monopolized by the state, will be open to public tender, Li said.

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    U.S. investment fund BlackRock (BLK) has lowered its stake in Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena to 3.23 pct from 5.75 percent, according to a filing published by market regulator Consob on Wednesday. The sale took place on April 15, Consob said.

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    U.S. investment fund BlackRock (BLK) has lowered its stake in Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena to 3.23 pct from 5.75 percent, according to a filing published by market regulator Consob on Wednesday. The sale took place on April 15, Consob said.

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    France's Zodiac Aerospace is permanently examining around 10 potential acquisition targets and has enough financial firepower for a deal worth around 1 billion euros, its chief executive said on Wednesday. "We have about 10 names in our pipeline, which is no more nor less than usual ... from which one or two may come to the foreground," Olivier Zarrouati told analysts.

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    Allergan Inc. (AGN) has adopted a poison-pill defense in the wake of an unfriendly advance from larger rival Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX), which has teamed with activist investor William Ackman to make a $46 billion bid for the Botox maker. If any unapproved investor acquires 10% or more of Allergan's (AGN) stock, other stockholders will have the right to buy discounted shares, Allergan (AGN) said late Tuesday. The defense mechanism, officially known as a shareholder rights plan,...

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    The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media: * Comcast may divest about 4 million subscribers after its merger with Time Warner Cable, and is working to reach an accord to sell a portion of those customers to Charter Communications, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

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    PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, Thailand's top oil and gas explorer, has bought Hess Corp's (HES) assets in Thailand in a deal worth $1 billion as part of its attempt to boost its gas business, the company's CEO said on Wednesday. "The deal is worth $1 billion.

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    * Shares rise 11 pct after opening at IPO price of 1,600 yen. * Seibu delisted a decade ago after scandal. * Cerberus stake may weigh on share price -analyst. * Seibu CEO says relationship with Cerberus good. By Ritsuko Ando.