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Eastern Europe

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  • NEW YORK— Upscale hotel chain Mandarin Oriental says it is investigating a potential credit card breach at its hotels. Mandarin Oriental said it is coordinating with credit card agencies and forensic specialists. Mandarin Oriental operates hotels across the world including Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Prague, Boston, Las...

  • LONDON, March 4- Britain on Wednesday told Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman he had seven days to explain why he should be allowed to retain ownership of newly acquired oil and gas fields in the North Sea or face being forced to sell them. Upping the ante in a standoff that could deter other Russians from investing in Britain, Ed Davey, Britain's energy minister,...

  • KIEV, March 4- A month ago, Natalia Sorokun, 40, went to a downtown Kiev branch of Delta Bank to ask if the bank was solid enough to continue keeping her safe deposit box of valuables there. Now, a day after Ukraine's central bank declared Ukraine's fourth largest bank insolvent, Sorokun and other Delta Bank customers could only knock on the bank's locked door in hope...

  • *Ukraine parliament has okayed IMF-backed budget changes. *G7 powers see IMF board approving Ukraine bailout. IMF chief Christine Lagarde cautioned that what she called the "huge distraction" of fighting against pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine complicated the provision of aid, but she was in no doubt that Kiev was now "really determined to reform."

  • LONDON, March 4- Britain will not drop its opposition to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's purchase of North Sea oil and gas fields after cementing its objections at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron, a government source told Reuters. But the British government has said that it is concerned that production at the fields could be halted if...

  • *Higher fund flows coming from eastern Europe to Dubai. Swiss-based but Abu Dhabi- owned Falcon would be open to deals covering its core target markets of the Gulf, Eastern Europe, Africa and South East Asia, according to Erich Pfister, who took up the role in January. The last major acquisition by Falcon, which manages around 16 billion francs of assets, was the...

  • WASHINGTON, March 4- International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday that an infusion of financial support for Ukraine and its impact largely hinges on how the security crisis over Russia's actions in Ukraine is resolved. In an interview on MSNBC, the International Monetary Fund's managing director said the fighting in eastern...

  • MOSCOW/ KIEV, March 4- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he did not want a gas conflict with Ukraine similar to ones that took place in the past, and that Kiev only had enough pre-paid gas from Russia to last two days. Previous "gas wars" have led to supply disruptions to Europe, which gets around a third of its gas from Russia, and 40 percent of this...

  • WARSAW, Poland— Poland's central bank has cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to a historic low of 1.5 percent amid concerns over deflation, a sustained drop in consumer prices that can hurt the economy. The National Bank of Poland's move to slash its reference rate surprised many given that most economists expected a cut of 0.25 percentage...

  • MOSCOW, March 4- Russia's biggest privately-held homebuilder, SU-155, said it had failed to pay out to its bondholders under a put option agreement and was seeking to restructure its debts to avoid an outright default. Global investors have been closely watching developments in Russia, whose economy is teetering on the brink of recession due to a steep fall in...

  • MSCI's overall emerging share index lost 0.55 percent to hit a 10- day low, with stocks markets in Turkey, South Africa and Greece also trading down. In South Africa, the rand traded within sight of a three-week low against the dollar as Deputy Central Bank Governor Francois Groepe said economic growth continued to disappoint. In Turkey, the lira hit a record low of...

  • Buoyant StanChart helps Europe stocks bounce back Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 4:03 AM ET

    * "Tactically, Europe is in overshooting mode"- UBS's Riesner. PARIS, March 4- European shares rose on Wednesday morning, bouncing back from the previous session's pull-back, with shares of Standard Chartered surging 5.3 percent after the bank said it aims to cut $1.8 billion in costs over three years. British broadcaster ITV also featured among the top gainers...

  • DONETSK, Ukraine— An explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn Wednesday in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing at least one miner and trapping more than 30 others underground, rebel and government officials said. Eastern Ukraine has been wracked by fighting between government forces and Russian-backed rebels for almost a year, a conflict that has...

  • UPDATE 1-Russian assets little changed in early trade Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 2:42 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 4- The Russian rouble was little changed in early trade on Wednesday, slightly losing ground against the U.S. dollar but gaining against the euro, while Moscow- listed shares edged higher. Oil, Russia's main export, traded around $0.3 lower, with Brent crude holding above $60 per barrel. Analysts said the future trajectory of the Russian currency was...

  • PARIS— A British investor who made millions in Russia before his lawyer was imprisoned and died is calling for an international investigation into the killing of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. U.S.-born William Browder is suggesting a probe led by the United Nations, the Council of Europe or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

  • Mongolia, which has Russia and China as its neighbours, has large quantities of natural resources including copper, gold, silver and uranium deposits. Merkel outlined the difficulties involved in getting start-up financing for infrastructure and mining projects, and the need for infrastructure expansion in Mongolia. "Thirdly, Mongolia has big neighbours...

  • Ukraine hikes benchmark interest rate to 30 percent Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | 9:52 AM ET

    KIEV, Ukraine— Ukraine's central bank has sharply hiked its benchmark rate to 30 percent, from 19.5 percent, as financial authorities seek to reverse the rapid devaluation of the national currency. National Bank chairwoman Valeria Gontareva said Tuesday that the measure was aimed at tempering panic in the currency market and reining in inflation.

  • BUDAPEST, Hungary— The details of Hungary's deal with Russia to expand its only nuclear power plant will remain secret for 30 years, after new legislation was approved Tuesday. What is known of the deal is that it includes a loan from Russia of 10 billion euros to cover an estimated 80 percent of the construction costs. Critics said the arrangement, first announced...

  • The Reserve Fund is used to support Russian public finances in time of low oil and gas prices and is held in dollars, euros and British pounds. Russia's other main sovereign fund, the National Wealth Fund, rose by $900 million in February to $74.92 billion, the ministry said Tuesday, although its value in ruble terms fell. As of February 20, the last date for which data...

  • Azerbaijan watches for dissent as economy slows Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | 5:50 AM ET

    BAKU, March 3- Azerbaijan is keeping a close eye on any sign of dissent as economic problems mount before a parliamentary election this year in the oil-producing former Soviet republic. Hit by the fall in global oil prices, the rouble's drop against the dollar in neighbouring Russia and the separatist war in east Ukraine, the South Caucasus country devalued the...