* OIL: Saudi Arabia raised its February crude oil production to boost global supplies and pressure prices, while Iranian production is slowing due to sanctions and a lack of investment. The Saudi oil minister said that production could be hiked by another 25% ‘immediately’ and that the Kingdom’s international stockpiles were full.
* BT GROUP: BT will make payment of GBP2b before March 2012 into its pension plan, which is valued at GBP4.1b (vs cons GBP6bn) as of June 30 2011. Says payment will be financed by GBP1.5b cash reserves and recent borrowings. (BBG)
* EADS: Reports that Germany is looking to buy 4.5% of EADS shares owned by the Dedalus consortium IN ADDITION to 7.5% directly owned by DAIMLER (so 12% in total – off market). (FTD)
* BARRY CALLEBAUT: The world’s largest maker of bulk chocolates will invest $43.4 million over the next 10 years in west and central Africa and in Indonesia to improve the quality of cocoa beans, Fraternité Matin reported, without saying where it got the information. (BBG)
* UMECO: Umeco says trading since end January has continued to be in line with board’s expectations in pre-close update from capital markets event today. Early indications of anticipated recovery in Chinese wind market. Markets continue to evidence structural growth drivers. (BBG)
* CASTELLUM: The Swedish real estate company elected Charlotte Stroemberg as chairman of the board following Jan Kvarnstroem> ‘> s decision to resign from the post. (BBG)
* UPGRADES: CGG Veritas, Petroleum Geo-Services, Mosaic (JPM). Baloise Holding AG (DB). Mobistar (CS). WPP (MS). Coventry Health (Goldman). (BBG)
* DOWNGRADES: Michael Page Intl, NYSE Euronext (HSBC). Randgold Resources (Citi). Agrium (JPM). Panalpina (CS). Integra, Rusal, Norilsk, Kazakhmys (ING). Persimmon, Aetna (Goldman). Kingfisher (SocGen). (BBG)
* CORPORATE DIARY: Outotec AGM, Freenet Annual Report, Phoenix Group Holdings FY Results, Antena 3 Television, S.A AGM, John Lewis Weekly Sales Data.
* MACRO DIARY: FR – Wages, Own-Company Production Outlook, Production Outlook Indicator, Business Confidence Indicator (7:45), IT – Retail Sales (9:00), UK – BBA Loans for House Purchase (9:30), US – New Home Sales (14:00). Speakers: Bank of England publishes Financial Stability Review (9:30), Merkel Holds Closing State Election Rally (17:00), Fed’s Bernanke (17:45), Fed’s Lockhart (18:30).