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Repsol's LNG block sale due in next few weeks

Spain's Repsol is negotiating the sale of a block of liquefied natural gas assets with more than one international bidder and expects to finalise a deal in the coming weeks, a source with knowledge of the matter said. The Spanish oil major is selling LNG assets based in Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and Peru in a drive to remove debt from its balance sheet and improve its chances of keeping an investment grade rating. Earlier, newspaper Cinco Dias said Repsol would likely announce the sale of the assets to Royal Dutch Shell after a board meeting on Wednesday. Repsol declined to comment on any deal, but said the sale of the LNG assets was not on the board's agenda for Wednesday.

IMF gives Romania more time to meet aid targets

The International Monetary Fund will give Romania an extra three months to hit targets under an 5 billion euro ($6.7 billion) aid scheme, a Fund official said. Erik de Vrijer, IMF mission chief to the European Union's second poorest state, said on Tuesday he would ask the IMF board to allow the agreement to run past its March expiry date. Doubts about whether Romania can sustain its IMF programme have sent the leu currency to record lows but it has recovered some ground since Prime Minister Victor Ponta won a December election and pledged to seek a new agreement. However, Ponta's leftist government is keen to avoid the fate of its rightist predecessor, which cut wages and raised the sales tax to stay on track with the IMF, only to be hammered at the polls.

WhatsApp breaches privacy: Canada, Holland

Regulators in the Netherlands and Canada say that popular messaging application WhatsApp is violating internationally accepted privacy norms by stockpiling phone numbers belonging to people who don't even use the service. Officials in both countries say that WhatsApp Inc is going through its users' address books and copying every single phone number before transmitting them to the Mountain View, California-based company's servers. Many communications services ask for access to their customer's address books to help connect them with friends. But under Canadian and Dutch law, personal information belonging to nonusers must be destroyed once it's no longer being used.

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