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UPDATE 2-Microsoft, Salesforce talks fell through on pricing - CNBC

*Microsoft was willing to offer about $55 bln- CNBC. May 22- Microsoft Corp and Salesforce.com Inc held "significant talks" this spring but failed to agree on a price, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A potential bidder can go up to $70 billion on the high end and Microsoft, Oracle Corp and Amazon.com Inc are the companies most likely to be suitors,...
Source: Reuters | By: Devika Krishna Kumar and Anya George Tharakan
UPDATE 2-PartnerRe moves to shareholder vote on Axis merger

*PartnerRe says Exor's offer price is "unacceptable". MILAN/NEW YORK, May 22- Bermuda- based reinsurer PartnerRe will ask its shareholders to vote on a merger with Axis Capital Holdings agreed in January, after rival bidder Exor refused to further sweeten its $6.8 billion offer. Exor has become PartnerRe's largest shareholder after acquiring a stake of 9.9...
Source: Reuters | By: Agnieszka Flak and Mike Stone
UPDATE 1-US-focused stock funds worldwide post $8.5 bln outflows in week-BofA

May 22- Investors worldwide pulled $8.5 billion out of funds that specialize in U.S. stocks in the week ended May 20 on appetite for cheaper share prices in Europe, data from a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report showed on Friday. Stock funds overall returned to outflows, with $600 million pulled after $1.9 billion in inflows the prior week,...
Source: Reuters | By: Sam Forgione
INTERVIEW-"Noticeable progress" made in Ukraine debt talks - Finance Minister

*Ukraine at odds with bondholders over $23 bln debt. Ukraine is now in regular contact with a group of its largest bondholders, Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko told Reuters by telephone from Riga, striking a more optimistic note. A key sticking point has been bondholders' repeated objection to a writedown on the face value of the bonds, a' haircut' Ukraine insists...
Source: Reuters | By: Natalia Zinets
UPDATE 3-Campbell Soup profit beats on lower promotion costs, higher prices

*Q3 adjusted profit $0.62/ share vs estimate of $0.52. May 22- Packaged foods maker Campbell Soup Co on Friday reported an unexpectedly better quarterly profit, helped by lower spending on promotions, higher prices for its products and cost cuts. Shares of the company, known for its soups, Pepperidge Farm cookies and Goldfish crackers, rose about 1.5 percent.
Source: Reuters | By: Anjali Athavaley and Sruthi Ramakrishnan
UPDATE 2-Dutch government to sell 30 pct of ABN Amro in IPO as early as Q4

THE HAGUE, May 22- The Dutch government plans to list ABN Amro, nationalised after the financial crisis, in stages, starting with a 30 percent share that could be valued at up to 4.5 billion euros, its finance minister said on Friday. Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in a statement that the initial sale could be worth between 3 billion and 4.5 billion euros...
Source: Reuters | By: Toby Sterling
UPDATE 2-Campbell Soup's profit beats on lower promotions, higher prices

May 22- Packaged foods maker Campbell Soup Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by lower promotions, higher selling prices and cost cuts. Shares of the company, known for its soups, Pepperidge Farm cookies and Goldfish crackers, rose 1.5 percent in premarket trading on Friday. The company said margins grew in its global baking and...
Source: Reuters
UPDATE 1-Brazil to unveil 70 bln reais spending freeze - govt source

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 22- Brazil's government will disclose a major spending freeze on Friday aimed at convincing investors that President Dilma Rousseff is committed to saving the nation's investment-grade debt rating. A freeze of that size would be in line with market expectations and the biggest since Rousseff took office in 2011. Most analysts believe it...
Source: Reuters | By: Alonso Soto
Britain's new government set to kick-start shale ambitions

LONDON, May 22- Britain's new Conservative government could take control of planning decisions to speed up the development of shale gas and prevent investor money from drying up, lawyers say. Prime Minister David Cameron, facing dwindling resources of North Sea oil and gas, and eyeing the shale boom that has set the United States on the path to energy...
Source: Reuters | By: Karolin Schaps
Misconduct bill tops $235 bln as banks struggle to shake off past sins

LONDON, May 22- Twenty of the world's biggest banks have paid more than $235 billion in fines and compensation in the last seven years for a litany of misdeeds that has scarred the industry and is delaying its rehabilitation. The scale of the payouts, equivalent to the annual economy of Greece or Portugal, has hampered banks' efforts to rebuild capital, reduced...
Source: Reuters | By: Steve Slater