Dec 18 The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Tuesday:
* General Electric Co is close to finalising an agreement to buy Italian aerospace supplier Avio as early as this week for more than 3 billion euros ($3.95 billion), sources close to the deal said on Monday.
* The French government is concerned about Alcatel-Lucent SA's plan to use patents as collateral for a 1.6 billion euro ($2.11 billion) loan because the intellectual property could fall into the hands of foreign banks, Les Echos newspaper reported.
* Vinci SA has bid 3 billion euros ($3.95 billion) for control of Portuguese airport operator ANA, the highest offer among the four groups competing in the privatisation auction, sources familiar with the transaction said.
* US-based ConocoPhillips is in talks with India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to pick stake in more than one of its ultra-deep-water blocks, the Business Standard reported.
* Electronic trading firm Knight Capital Group is considering two competing acquisition offers following a board meeting on Monday that included presentations from suitors Getco Holding LLC and Virtu Financial LLC, sources familiar with the talks said.
* Exactly a decade after he launched India's first low-cost carrier (LCC) Air Deccan, Captain Gopinath is all set to make a comeback with a startup, the Economic Times reported. Three foreign LCCs are learnt to have approached him to take up to 49 percent stake in the proposed new venture for which he has already applied to the aviation ministry to get a licence, the report said.
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State Bank of India (SBI) reported its sharpest quarterly profit drop in five years on Friday but cheered investors by saying that fewer than feared of its loans risked turning sour. Read