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  • WASHINGTON, March 26- The International Monetary Fund has not decided whether Russia's $3 billion holding of Ukrainian debt should be classified as "official" debt, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday, taking back an earlier statement. Ukraine, which recently received a $17.5 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund, must come up with at least $15.3...

  • NEW YORK— Airline pilots are supposed to be the ones we trust. "In the near term, pilots will be looked at with a bit more suspicion," said former US Airways pilot John M. Cox, now CEO of the consulting firm Safety Operating Systems. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, aviation security has focused on protecting pilots from passengers— not the other way around.

  • *Ukraine wants bondholders to accept debt writedown. LONDON, March 26- A legal conundrum is threatening plans to ease Ukraine's debt burden and possibly its entire $40 billion IMF-led bailout: should a $3 billion Eurobond held by Russia be classed as commercial paper, or as bilateral sovereign debt? Moscow bought the bonds from Kiev before a pro-Russian...

  • EU to resume Galileo satellite launch programme Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 2:04 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, March 26- The European Union is set to send two navigation satellites into orbit on Friday aboard a Russian rocket, in its first launch since a botched deployment in August that cost several million euros to fix. Global Positioning System is obliged to use the Russian Soyuz system until a development of Arianespace's European Ariane 5 rocket is ready...

  • EU to resume Galileo satellite launch program Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 2:04 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, March 26- The European Union is set to send two navigation satellites into orbit on Friday aboard a Russian rocket, in its first launch since a botched deployment in August that cost several million euros to fix. Global Positioning System is obliged to use the Russian Soyuz system until a development of Arianespace's European Ariane 5 rocket is ready...

  • Russian minister predicts new interest rate cut Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:33 PM ET

    MOSCOW— Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukaev says that the country's central bank could cut interest rates next month as the economy stabilizes. The Bank of Russia raised its key interest rate sharply to 17 percent in December when the ruble crashed to record lows against the dollar, but has since cut it for two months in succession as the...

  • WASHINGTON, March 26- Russia's $3 billion holding of Ukrainian debt should be classified as' official' debt, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday, weighing in on what has become a contentious issue in Kiev's economic situation. But Russia, which holds a $3 billion Eurobond from Ukraine, has so far refused to participate in the restructuring. Russia, which Western...

  • BRUSSELS, March 26- International lenders are delaying plans to offer Ukraine billions of dollars on concerns Kiev cannot yet prove the cash will not vanish into a corrupt economy which EU officials fear could remain a "bottomless pit." Ukrainian authorities are still preparing a much-anticipated donor conference for April 28 but EU officials told Reuters...

  • March 26- The chief financial officer of Russia's Sberbank told a conference call:. *Doesn't promise record dividends on 2014 and 2015 results. *Bank has option to convert sub debt from c.bank to Tier 1 capital, boosting T1 capital ratio by around 1.2 percent.

  • YEREVAN, March 26- Armenia has used proceeds of a recent $500 million Eurobond to buy back part of an older issue and will use another $85 million to cover its 2015 budget deficit instead of selling domestic debt, the deputy finance minister said. Pavel Safaryan told a government meeting on Thursday that Armenia had received $487.4 million from the March 19 sale...

  • MOSCOW, March 26- Tesco Plc's F&F clothing brand will open its first outlets in Russia in the capital Moscow in June, a local partner of retailing businesses said on Thursday. Debruss, which is the Russian franchise operator for British department store group Debenhams Plc, said it would open two F&F outlets in June, followed by one more in August, in Moscow shopping...

  • MOSCOW— Kazakhstan's government-run news agency has reported that the head of the state uranium producer, the world's largest, has died of a heart attack while on a visit to China. Kazinform news agency said Kazatomprom chairman Nurlan Kapparov, 44, collapsed early Thursday afternoon while having lunch at a restaurant in Beijing. Kazakhstan last year signed a...

  • MOSCOW, March 26- Russia's top lender Sberbank said its profit fell 20 percent last year, hit by a steep rise in its loan-loss provisions due to an economic crisis. The bank's funding costs also jumped due to Western sanctions imposed on Russia- which limit its access to international capital markets- and central bank rate rises, while its profitability slipped...

  • EU, Ukraine to hold summit in Kiev on April 27 Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 12:13 PM ET

    BRUSSELS/ KIEV, March 25- EU leaders will hold a summit with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko next month in Kiev, officials said on Wednesday, and are likely to discuss the status of the Minsk ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine. The summit will be a chance for Poroshenko, who attended an EU summit in Brussels in February, to brief leaders on whether the...

  • MILAN, March 25- Italian tyre maker Pirelli, which is being bought by China National Chemical Corp, does not plan to pay a special dividend to its shareholders as part of the buyout plan, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. ChemChina is to buy into the world's fifth-largest tyre maker in a 7.3 billion-euro deal, agreed with Pirelli's biggest...

  • MOSCOW— As the economic crisis sweeps through Russia, a dangerous trend is emerging in this heavy-drinking country: the rise in consumption of potentially lethal moonshine, medical alcohol or even cleaning products. Layoffs, wage cuts and price increases are combining to worsen the problem of alcoholism, which has long been a major public health issue, by...

  • *Immofinanz plans to make offer for stake in CA Immo. VIENNA, March 25- A battle to create a central and eastern European property powerhouse heated up on Wednesday as Austria's CA Immo and Russian partner O1 Group launched their 422.5 million euro bid for a bigger stake in Austrian peer Immofinanz. CA Immo and O1 Group, which already own around 3.3 percent of...

  • EXCLUSIVE-DRUG THAT CAUSED "ELEPHANT MAN" SIDE EFFECT MAKES. LONDON, March 24- An experimental drug that caused appalling side effects in a clinical trial nine years ago is back in tests for rheumatoid arthritis and is showing promise when given at a fraction of the original dose. It is a remarkable turnaround from March 2006, when six healthy volunteers given the...

  • LONDON, March 24- Ukraine's debt burden cannot be restructured by just extending the maturity of its bonds, and creditors are unlikely to benefit if they "hold out" to maximize payments, Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko said on Tuesday. After a year of war and political upheaval that has seen its currency plummet and sent its economy into a tailspin, Ukraine agreed...

  • No signs Russia might leave WTO, director general says Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 | 7:41 AM ET

    RIGA, March 24- Russia shows no signs of wanting to leave the World Trade Organization, WTO chief Roberto Azevedo said on Tuesday, despite tensions with the West over the Ukraine crisis and disputes with other member states. "Russia has been a party to disputes in the WTO and I think every single member of the WTO including Russia knew that would be the case."