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U.S. to sell final $1.25 bln shares of Ally Financial from bailout  

Dec 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department will sell its remaining 54.9 million shares of Ally Financial Inc acquired under the government's bailout of the auto lender, Ally said on Thursday. The stake is worth about $1.25 billion, based on Ally's Thursday closing price of $22.75 on the New York Stock Exchange. Separately, Ally said in a regulatory filing that it had received a subpoena from the Department of Justice for information related to its subprime automotive finance lending practices. (http://1.usa.gov/1C4yKVN)...More
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UPDATE 1-Daimler-backed BAIC Motor opens flat in HK debut  

(Adds background) HONG KONG, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Shares in BAIC Motor Corp Ltd , part-owned by Germany's Daimler AG, opened flat at HK$8.90 in their Hong Kong trading debut on Friday, despite concerns a slowdown in China's economy will curb demand for new vehicles next year. The Chinese automaker raised $1.42 billion after pricing the deal near the middle of a HK$7.60 to HK$9.80 marketing range. . Shares in the state-controlled company opened at their IPO price, while the benchmark Hang Seng index rose 1.46 percent....More
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RPT-Daimler-backed BAIC Motor opens flat in HK debut  

(Repeats to attach to snap) HONG KONG, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Shares in BAIC Motor Corp Ltd , part-owned by Germany's Daimler AG, opened flat at HK$8.90 in their Hong Kong trading debut on Friday, despite concerns a slowdown in China's economy will curb demand for new vehicles next year. The Chinese automaker raised $1.42 billion after pricing the deal near the middle of a HK$7.60 to HK$9.80 marketing range. ....More
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Nikkei jumps on strong Wall St, set for slim weekly gain; BOJ in focus  

* Benchmark set for third straight day of gains * Toyota shares rise on seat-maker consolidation report * BOJ set to maintain massive stimulus, decision due 0230-0330 GMT By Thomas Wilson TOKYO, Dec 19(Reuters) - Japanese stocks jumped on Friday after Wall Street enjoyed its best two days since late 2011, with sentiment boosted by the Federal Reserve's pledge of patience in its approach to raising interest rates. The Nikkei benchmark rose 1.7 percent to 17,504.46 by 0129 GMT, set for its third straight day of gains....More
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Daimler-backed BAIC Motor opens flat in HK debut  

HONG KONG, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Shares in BAIC Motor Corp Ltd , part-owned by Germany's Daimler AG, opened flat at HK$8.90 in their Hong Kong trading debut on Friday, despite concerns a slowdown in China's economy will curb demand for new vehicles next year. The Chinese automaker raised $1.42 billion after pricing the deal near the middle of a HK$7.60 to HK$9.80 marketing range. . Shares in the state-controlled company opened at their IPO price, while the benchmark Hang Seng index rose 1.46 percent....More
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BRIEF-Toyota considering consolidating seat-making operations  

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp : * Says considering consolidating seat-making operations, to make decision at board meeting on friday Further company coverage: (Tokyo newsroom)...More
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Icahn offers $20 mln to keep Atlantic City Trump casino open  

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn offered to lend $20 million to help bankrupt casino operator Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc keep its Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City open....More
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US business borrowing for equipment falls in November-ELFA  

Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. companies' borrowing to spend on capital investment fell in November, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said. Companies signed up for $6.8 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, down 8 percent from a year earlier. Their borrowing fell 18 percent from October. "While new business volume dipped in November, member organizations' portfolios continue to perform well, indicating a healthy business sector," ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a statement....More
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U.S. December auto sales seen up 10.4 percent-JD Power, LMC  

DETROIT, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. auto sales will end the year strongly, as December sales will be 10.4 percent higher than a year ago, JD Power & Associates and LMC Automotive said on Thursday. U.S. auto sales will hit 17 million in 2015 for the first time since 2001, the two consultancies also said. And they said this year's total U.S. auto sales will be 16.5 million, up 5.8 percent from 2013....More
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UPDATE 1-VW CEO says will meet 2017 cost-cutting goal -source  

* VW CEO speaking at closed-door strategy conference * Cost cuts part of group-wide efficiency drive * VW eyes leaner management -source (Adds detail, context) DRESDEN, Germany, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has said Europe's largest carmaker is on course to meet a goal of cutting costs at its core division by 5 billion euros by 2017, as efficiency-boosting steps are taking hold, a source said....More
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