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World - Government sells stake in Eurostar


The government has reached an agreement to sell its entire stake in the Eurostar train service between London, Brussels and Paris, the treasury said in a statement on Wednesday. The stake is to be sold for a total of £757.1 million, part of a push to raise £20 billion in privatisation sales to reduce Britain`s debt. Canadian institutional fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and Britain-based fund Hermes Infrastructure have agreed to purchase the government`s 40 percent stake for £585.1 million. `It`s great that we have reached an agreement to sell the UK`s shareholding in Eurostar that delivers a fantastic deal for UK taxpayers that exceeds expectations,` Chancellor George Osborne said in a statement.


Wednesday, March 04, 2015  09:16

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World - Barclays bank ramps up foreign exchange rigging costs


Barclays on Tuesday ramped up the size of costs it expects to face over its alleged role in the rigging of foreign exchange markets, tipping the troubled lender into a loss last year. It has set aside £1.25 billion ($1.92 billion, 1.72 billion euros) `for ongoing investigations and litigation relating to foreign exchange`, including £750 million for the final quarter of 2014, the bank said in an earnings statement. Barclays had announced in October a provision of £500 million for any eventual costs and fines linked to the probes. The latest announcement from Barclays -- which was at the heart also of the 2012 Libor interbank interest-rate rigging scandal -- comes as global regulators investigate the alleged rigging of foreign exchange (forex) markets around the world.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015  16:09

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World - Barclays bank slides into annual net loss


Barclays fell into a net loss last year, the British bank said Tuesday, hit by huge costs linked to its alleged role in the rigging of foreign exchange markets. Barclays reported a loss after tax of £174 million ($268 million, 239 million euros) for 2014 compared with a net profit of £540 million the previous year. It has set aside £1.25 billion `for ongoing investigations and litigation relating to Foreign Exchange`, including £750 million for the final quarter of 2014, the bank said in an earnings statement. Barclays had announced in October a provision of £500 million for any eventual costs and fines linked to the probes.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015  08:05

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World - QPR announce reduction in losses


English Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers on Monday announced a loss of £9.8 million ($15m, 13.4m euros) for the year ending May 2014, when they won promotion back to the top flight. In addition, QPR said £60 million in loans from shareholders had been written off, and the new figures come as something of a boost with the club under threat of a significant fine from the Football League for breaching their Financial Fair Play regulations. `In addition, the club`s shareholders reiterated their long-term support for the club by strengthening the club`s balance sheet by writing off £60 million of shareholder loans. `The club`s shareholders and directors are of the opinion that the club is moving in the right direction and on track with its mid-term and long-term business plans.


Monday, March 02, 2015  14:23

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World - UK government sells 1% stake in Lloyds bank for £500 mn


The British government has sold a 1.0-percent stake in state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group for £500 million ($769 million, 677 million euros) under plans to return it to private ownership, the Treasury said on Monday. The sale has trimmed the government`s stake from 24.9 percent to just under 24 percent, the ministry said in a statement. Britain still owns a large chunk of Lloyds after bailing it out with £20 billion of taxpayers` cash at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis. The government initially took a 39-percent share of Lloyds and has so far raised almost £8.0 billion selling bits of its holding.


Monday, February 23, 2015  09:03

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World - Telecoms group BT raises £1.0bn to help buy EE


British telecoms and TV firm BT has raised about £1.0 billion via a shares sale to help fund its takeover of mobile operator EE, it said Thursday. The company had agreed one week ago to purchase EE for £12.5 billion in a cash-and-shares deal partly funded by a £1.0-billion rights issue.


Thursday, February 12, 2015  18:28

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World - Premier League clubs in record £950 mn transfer spend - report


Premier League clubs spent a record £950 million ($1.4 billion, 1.2 billion euros) combined in the 2014/15 pre-season and mid-season transfer windows, according to a report published by financial analysts Deloitte on Tuesday. Although Monday`s deadline day was relatively low key, with Premier League leaders Chelsea`s signing of Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina the headline purchase, clubs stil spent more on the final day of this particular window -- £45 million -- than they did at the climax of the January 2014 market (£35 million). Nevertheless, the total spent by clubs across the two windows has surpassed the previous highest of £760 million in the 2013/14 season and is a further example of the increased financial strength of leading English clubs, who have benefitted from increased television and other broadcast revenues.


Tuesday, February 03, 2015  11:40

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World - London shares fall as BT shells out to fill pension fund hole


London shares were lower in early trade on Friday as index heavyweight BT sank after the telecoms giant revealed the hole in its pension fund has swelled to £7 billion. The benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 29.79 points or 0.44 percent to 6,780.81 points at 9:54 am. `The FTSE is off as it struggles to keep up with the optimism of the eurozone equity indices,` said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG. BT shares shed 2.07 percent to 420.20 pence as the company said a new valuation of the pension fund showed that the deficit has swollen to £7 billion from £3.9 billion at the last valuation in 2011.


Friday, January 30, 2015  10:39

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World - Japan, China to hold first security talks in four years


Japanese and Chinese officials will hold their first security talks in four years in Tokyo later this month, Japan`s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of a possible improvement in ties strained by a territorial dispute. Relations between the world`s second- and third-largest economies have been damaged by conflicting claims to a group of tiny East China Sea islands and the legacy of Japan`s wartime occupation of its larger Asian neighbor. Patrol ships and fighter jets from both countries have shadowed each other regularly near the uninhabited islands that are controlled by Japan, prompting fears that an accidental collision could escalate into conflict. The security meeting, to be held on March 19, will involve top officials from the two countries` foreign and defense ministries, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


Thursday, March 05, 2015  10:39

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World - Iranian special operatives free diplomat abducted in Yemen


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Iran`s official news agency says that special operatives have freed an Iranian diplomat abducted more than 19 months ago in Yemen.


Thursday, March 05, 2015  07:19

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