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Akzo Nobel CEO says PPG proposal is insufficient


AMSTERDAM Akzo Nobel (AKZO. AS) CEO Ton Buechner repeated on Monday his opposition to a March 20 takeover proposal from U.S. rival PPG Industries (PPG. N), saying he sees no merit in negotiating with PPG. Buechner and Akzo Chairman Antony Burgmans have been under pressure from major shareholders, many of whom say the company should enter talks on PPG's 24.5 billion euro ($26.1 billion) offer.

"It did not address the key stakeholder issues and other issues like uncertainties and risks that we had already raised in response to their first proposal" on March 9, Buechner said.

He cited antitrust and other concerns, adding that it was not "our duty" to advise PPG on how to make a deal successful when Akzo is not the one asking for it.

Buechner is due to detail his plans to instead spin off Akzo's chemical division on April 19, despite scepticism from investors and analysts that the plan could rival PPG's cash and share offer, which is worth 90.20 euros per share at current prices. Akzo shares were trading up 0.3 percent at 77.96 euros Monday.

Feds Kashkari wants plan on balance sheet before any more rate hikes


Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, the lone dissenter against the U.S. central bank's decision this week to raise interest rates, said on Friday the U.S. economy is still falling short on employment and inflation. Even after the data support tightening, Kashkari said in a statement, the Fed should wait on raising interest rates until it publishes a detailed plan for how and when it will reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. "The announcement of our balance sheet plan could trigger somewhat tighter monetary conditions," Kashkari said, resulting in the equivalent of a rate hike of unknown size. "After it has been published and the market response is understood, we can return to using the federal funds rate as our primary policy tool, with the balance sheet normalization under way in the background."

Kashkari's approach appears to differ sharply from the one embraced by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and the majority of her fellow policymakers, who want to wait on any reductions in the balance sheet until they have lifted rates well away from zero. The Fed this week raised its target range for the federal funds rate to 0.75 percent to 1 percent, and Yellen said that while policymakers had discussed what to do about the balance sheet, they had come to no decisions.

The Fed built its portfolio over years of bond-buying in an effort to stimulate hiring and investment when interest rates were already at rock-bottom. It says the system is still working to keep longer-term borrowing costs lower than they otherwise would be.

Japan not considering support for Toshiba, sharing information with U.S. TOKYO The Japanese government said it was not considering steps to support embattled Toshiba Corp and will share information with Washington on developments involving the firm and its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.

Last RBS investor group held settlement talks over 2008 cash call : sources LONDON Lawyers representing tens of thousands of Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders have held tentative talks to settle a 1.2 billion pound ($1.5 billion) damages claim over the lender's 2008 rights issue that was launched shortly before a state bailout, two sources said.

Tesla raises $1.2 billion, 20 percent more than planned Tesla Inc said on Friday it had raised about $1.2 billion, roughly 20 percent more than it had planned, by selling common shares and convertible debt, ahead of the launch of the crucial Model 3 sedan.

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