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Updated: Sep 29 2012, 09:07am hrs
Xstratas Glencore split on terms as deadline nears

Xstrata, the largest exporter of coal used by power stations, is still at odds with Glencore International over board seats and retention pay three days before a deadline for it to respond to Glencores revised 20.5-billion ($33.3 billion) takeover bid. Xstrata is seeking assurances that one of its executives will replace the Swiss companys CEO Mick Davis on the combined board, according to people familiar with the talks, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. While Daviss proposed departure no more than six months after the completion of the deal requires conditions and assurances to retain key managers, which could still potentially thwart the deal, both sides are committed to reaching an accord, the people said.

Goldman sees China's growth slowing to 7%

China's economy is expected to grow at a much slower pace of about seven percent over the next decade, but its stock market still has the most attractive upside among "BRIC" countries, according to Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. "China is in the early stages of going from a long period where it was all about the quantity of growth, into an era where the focus is on the quality of growth," O'Neill said. O'Neill, who coined the term "BRICs" to describe the emerging countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, said markets have not fully factored in the next decade of slower growth for the world's second-largest economy.

Goldman to pay $12 m to settle pay-to-play probe

Goldman Sachs Group will pay about $12 million to settle charges it violated "pay-to-play" rules, in a case involving campaign contributions to ex-Massachusetts state treasurer, Timothy Cahill, who was a candidate for governor in the state, US securities regulators said on Thursday. Neil Morrison, a former vice-president in Goldman's Boston office, worked extensively on Cahill's 2010 campaign while also soliciting underwriting business from the Massachusetts treasurers office, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. Pay-to-play refers to cash or other contributions made to officials to influence the award of lucrative public contracts.

Facebook has 63.5 million users skirting China ban

Facebook and Twitter have millions of users in China, the worlds largest internet market, where the social networking services are banned, according to the results of a survey released on Thursday. Facebook grew to 63.5 million users in China in the second quarter of this year from 7.9 million in 2009, London-based researcher GlobalWebIndex said in a blog post. Twitter users tripled to 35.5 million in the same period. Sites blocked in China can be accessed through so-called proxy services, which connect users to servers outside the country so they can visit sites that are filtered. The workarounds have helped Facebook and Twitter compete with local sites including microblogging service Sina Weibo, said Tom Smith, founder of GlobalWebIndex.

Vulnerability exposed in cyber attacks on US banks

Cyber attacks on the biggest US banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, have breached some of the nations most advanced computer defenses and exposed the vulnerability of its infrastructure, said cybersecurity specialists. The attack, which a US official on Thursday said was waged by a still-unidentified group outside the country, flooded bank websites with traffic, rendering them unavailable to consumers and disrupting transactions for hours at a time. Such a network attack ranks among the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the National Security Agency, according to the US official, who asked not to be identified.