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March 26, 2014 / 1:40 PM / 3 years ago

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TOP STORIES

World Bank sees Russian capital flight, hit to GDP if Crimea crisis deepens

MOSCOW - The Russian economy may contract markedly this year and the country could see record capital outflow of $150 billion if the crisis over Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea deepens, the World Bank warns. (RUSSIA-ECONOMY/WORLDBANK (UPDATE 1), moved, by Lidia Kelly, 690 words)

+ See also:

- USA-EU/SUMMIT (UPDATE 1, TV, PICTURE), moved, by Robin Emmott and Jan Strupczewski, 915 words

Shares hit 2-week highs on upbeat U.S. data, Ukraine calm

LONDON - European and Asian shares climb to two-week highs, with investor confidence getting a boost from upbeat U.S. data, talk of fresh central bank stimulus and diminishing concern over Ukraine. (MARKETS-GLOBAL/ (WRAPUP 5), moved, by Marc Jones, 820 words)

U.S. durable goods orders, shipments rebound in February

WASHINGTON - Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rebounded in February and shipments snapped two straight months of declines, providing fresh signs the economy was shaking off some of its winter gloom. (USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, 485 words)

+ See also:

- USA-FED/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Michael Flaherty, 550 words

Banks in Chinese city show stacks of cash to reassure depositors

YANCHENG, China - Rural banks in China’s eastern city of Yancheng stack piles of cash in plain view behind teller windows to calm depositors queuing at bank branches for a third straight day following rumours that they had run out of cash. (CHINA-BANKING/ (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by John Ruwitch, 690 words)

UK heads for Lloyds exit by 2015 after $7 billion share sale

LONDON - The UK government has sold 4.2 billion pounds ($6.9 billion) worth of shares in Lloyds Banking Group to cut its stake in the country’s largest retail bank to under 25 percent and putting it on course for a complete exit in the next year. (BRITAIN-LLOYDS BANKING/ (UPDATE 2), moved, by Steve Slater, 600 words)

+ See also:

- LLOYD‘S/, moved, 150 words

MARKETS EMERGING

Sovereign funds wary of hidden emerging market exposure: Templeton

LONDON - Sovereign wealth funds see emerging market turbulence as a long term buying opportunity, but are wary of excessive exposure via some of their Western holdings such as luxury goods makers, a top investment official at Franklin Templeton says. (SOVEREIGNFUNDS-TEMPLETON/ (INTERVIEW), moved, by Natsuko Waki, 660 words)

+ See also:

- MARKETS-EMERGING/, moved, by Natsuko Waki, 635 words

ECONOMY

Italy consumer confidence jumps after Renzi takes over

ROME - Italian consumer confidence leapt to its highest level in almost three years in March in the first survey taken since Prime Minister Matteo Renzi took power last month promising tax cuts and reforms to revive the economy. (ITALY-CONSUMERSENTIMENT/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Steve Scherer, 530 words)

+ See also:

- ITALY-BONDS/AUCTION, moved, 305 words

Spain’s economy on track for recovery - central bank

MADRID - The Spanish economy is on track for recovery, the Bank of Spain says, with gross domestic product seen expanding by 1.2 percent in 2014, above government forecasts, thanks to growth in domestic demand and exports. (SPAIN-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 265 words)

German consumer mood holds steady but Crimea crisis a dark cloud

BERLIN - German consumer morale holds steady going into April as shoppers are more upbeat about the outlook for Europe’s largest economy but their mood could worsen if the Crimea crisis spreads and leads to tougher sanctions from the West, GfK says. (GERMANY-GFK/, moved, by Michelle Martin, 415 words)

RESOURCES

China loses dispute over rare earths exports

GENEVA/WASHINGTON - China loses a dispute at the World Trade Organization over restrictions on its exports of rare earth metals, handing Europe and the United States a victory over what they see as Beijing’s unfair trade practices. (CHINA WTO/RAREEARTHS (UPDATE 1), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Tom Miles and Krista Hughes, 600 words)

COMPANIES

Swiss set to make British ex-UBS banker head of financial regulator

ZURICH - The Swiss government is set to appoint British-born former banker Mark Branson as the first non-Swiss national to head its financial regulator, two sources say, just as the body probes currency markets and prepares for a major review of big banks. (FINMA/BRANSON (UPDATE 2), expect by 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Katharina Bart, 1,000 words)

Standard Life ramps up fund business with Ignis acquisition

LONDON - Standard Life has bought Ignis Asset Management for 390 million pounds ($643.7 million), increasing the amount of money it manages by one third as it shifts its business to fund management from insurance. (IGNIS-STANDARD LIFE/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Simon Jessop and Chris Vellacott, 400 words)

Bouygues searching for investors to improve SFR bid - sources

PARIS - French conglomerate Bouygues is searching for additional investors to further improve its offer to buy its larger French telecom rival Vivendi’s SFR, says two people familiar with the situation. (BOUYGUES-VIVENDI/ (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Sophie Sassard, Leila Abboud and Matthieu Protard, 695 words)

UK fines Santander record $20 mln for advice failings

LONDON - Britain’s financial watchdog has fined Santander UK 12.4 million pounds ($20.5 million) for serious failings in the way it offered financial advice, the biggest ever punishment for poor investment advice to UK retail banking customers. (BANKING-SANTANDER/FINE (UPDATE 1), moved, by Steve Slater, 470 words)

Lufthansa cancels 600 flights on Thursday due to strike

FRANKFURT - Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, says it has cancelled around 600 flights - about a third of its services - on Thursday due to a planned strike by public-sector workers across the country’s airports. (GERMANY-AIRPORT/STRIKE (UPDATE 1), moved, 420 words)

SSE freezes prices as pressure grows on UK utilities

LONDON - British power utility SSE says it will freeze prices and separate its wholesale and retail businesses after an outcry over soaring energy bills prompted a review of competition in the sector. (SSE/RESTRUCTURING (UPDATE 3), moving shortly, by Karolin Schaps, 530 words)

Carpetright warns on profit as UK sales growth slows

LONDON - Carpetright, Britain’s biggest floor coverings retailer, has cut its annual profit forecast for the third time in less than six months, saying sales growth has slowed and it has yet to see any benefit from an improving housing market.(CARPETRIGHT-PROFIT/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Neil Maidment, 415 words)

Invisible men lined up as heirs at commodity traders

NEW YORK - Abrupt leadership changes at commodity traders Trafigura and Gunvor over the past week have put a sharp light on an industry-wide challenge: shifting oversight from a legion of legendary, aging leaders to a new generation. (TRADERS-LEADERS/, moved, by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Jonathan Leff, 1,090 words)

+ See also:

- TRAFIGURA-DAUPHIN/SUCCESSOR (NEWSMAKER, PICTURE), moved, by Josephine Mason, 1,100 words

Veneto Banca plans 500 mln euro share sale

MILAN - Veneto Banca plans to raise 500 million euros ($687 million) by selling new shares to investors to strengthen its balance sheet after higher loan-loss provisions contributed to a 96 million euro net loss last year, the Italian mid-sized bank says. (VENETOBANCA/CAPITAL (UPDATE 1), moved, by Valentina Za, 495 words)

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