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Moody's weighing downgrade of Russia's bond rating; cites weaker economy, Ukraine conflict

Moody's Investors Services is considering whether to downgrade Russia's government bond rating, citing a weaker economy and greater risk amid the uncertainty caused by the conflict with Ukraine. The ratings agency said Friday it placed Russia's "Baa1" government bond rating under review for a downgrade. During the process, Moody's will try to gain a better sense of how the Russian-Ukraine conflict is likely to exacerbate Russia's growth challenges, public finances and other factors.

S&P downgrades Target to 'A' from 'A+' in the wake of weak 4th-quarter results

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Standard The rating agency said Friday that it lowered its ratings one notch down to "A'' from "A+." The rating is still four grades above speculative or junk status. S "The downgrade reflects our expectations for limited recovery of credit metrics given continued operating losses at the Canadian division as well as potential costs related to the data breach," said S

Moody's puts Russia on review for downgrade

Moody's put Russia's credit rating on review for a possible downgrade Friday, saying the Ukraine crisis could exacerbate its already troubled economy. Moody's said it "expects that the increased economic uncertainty triggered by the conflict with Ukraine will contribute to an economic GDP contraction of around 1.0 percent in 2014, against pre-crisis expectations of growth of around 2 percent." pmh/vlk

Baxter plans to spin off biotech business in 2015

(Reuters) - Baxter International Inc said on Thursday that it would spin off its biotechnology operations into a publicly traded company by the middle of next year and focus on its core medical technology business, sending its shares up nearly 5 percent. The move, which is similar to Abbott Laboratories' spinoff of AbbVie Inc at the beginning of 2013, is part of a trend among healthcare companies to divest businesses that are not part of their primary operations.

BP Whiting refinery spilled 9-18 barrels of oil: Coast Guard

By Elizabeth Dilts NEW YORK (Reuters) - Between nine and 18 barrels (378-756 gallons) of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from BP Plc's Whiting refinery in Indiana after a malfunction on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed on Wednesday. The amount of oil spilled is based on an initial visual estimate and may change, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said.

Exclusive: Baxter explores sale of its vaccines business- sources

By Olivia Oran and Arno Schuetze and Soyoung Kim NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Baxter International Inc is exploring a sale of its vaccines business, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest healthcare company to look at divesting non-core assets to focus on key strengths.

America Movil shares fall three percent after Mexico offers telco bill

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Shares in America Movil, the Latin American phone company controlled by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, fell over 3 percent on Tuesday, the day after the government presented a bill fleshing out a telecoms reform aimed at curbing Slim's power. Mexico's government on Monday proposed giving a new regulator wide-reaching powers to police the operations of dominant telecommunications companies and TV broadcasters, right down to their prices and discounts.

Mexico telecoms bill has powers to tame Slim, Televisa

By Christine Murray and Tomas Sarmiento MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's government on Monday proposed giving a new regulator wide-reaching powers to police the operations of dominant telecommunications companies and TV broadcasters, right down to their prices and discounts. The bill sent to Congress fleshes out a constitutional reform approved last year that seeks to curb the power of phone mogul Carlos Slim and the country's top broadcaster, Televisa.

Nike warns FX fluctuations to slam profit, expects weak China sales

By Phil Wahba (Reuters) - Nike Inc <NKE.N> on Thursday warned Wall Street that growing pressures from weaker currencies in key emerging markets would take a big toll on its profit in the current quarter and into the next fiscal year. The maker of sports shoes and apparel also said sales in China would be unchanged or even down slightly this quarter, reawakening concerns it is having trouble finding its bearings in that market after signs of progress in recent quarters.

Moody's cuts Argentina rating, citing reserves fall

Moody's lowered its credit rating for Argentina by one step Monday, citing a sharp fall in the country's reserves and inconsistent economic policies. Moody's cut the rating to Caa1 from B3, putting it in the mid-range of "speculative" or junk bonds. The agency also cut its outlook for Argentina to negative from stable -- a warning that the country could face another downgrade.
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