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  • *Q1 earnings $2.53 per class A share vs. estimate $2.49. Jan 29- Visa Inc, the world's largest credit and debit card company, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday due to a good holiday season and a strengthening U.S. job market that encouraged people to spend. Visa, which earns money from both the volume and value of transactions using its...

  • *Q1 earnings $2.53 per class A share vs. estimate $2.49. Jan 29- Visa Inc, the world's largest credit and debit card company, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as a strengthening U.S. job market and cheaper gasoline prices encouraged people to spend. Visa, which earns money from both the volume and value of transactions using its cards,...

  • *Greece drops resistance, says "not a Russian puppet". BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. Germany said that decision would depend on...

  • *Greece drops resistance, says "not a Russian puppet". BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. Germany said that decision would depend on...

  • DETROIT, Jan 29- General Motors Co will suspend production at its St. Petersburg auto assembly plant in Russia from mid-March to mid-May and is raising prices for its products because of the weak and volatile Russian rouble, a company spokesman said on Thursday. In addition, Volkswagen AG's labor chief said on Thursday the company lost hundreds of millions of...

  • *EU considering new sanctions after rebel advance in Ukraine. *Greece's position unclear, signs of division emerging. BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers agreed on Thursday to extend existing sanctions against Russia by six months but were still debating whether to impose new measures, with the new government in Greece sowing uncertainty...

  • Belarusian leader issues tough warning to Moscow Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 12:38 PM ET

    MINSK, Belarus— New cracks emerged Thursday in a Russia- led economic alliance, with the president of Belarus warning that his nation may opt out of it. "Those who think that the Belarusian land is part as what they call the Russian world, almost part of Russia, forget about it!" Last month, he accused Moscow of damaging Belarus' economic interests with moves to restrict...

  • *Belarus economy has been hit by economic turmoil in Russia. MINSK, Jan 29- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko spooked bond markets on Thursday by speaking of a possible restructuring of $4 billion of Belarussian foreign debt falling due this year, then softened his comments to refer only to refinancing. During a marathon news conference the veteran...

  • DUBAI, Jan 29- Royal Bank of Scotland plans to sell or close its corporate debt and debt capital markets business in the Middle East and Africa, the latest pullback by the state-controlled lender from emerging markets to focus on its domestic business. This came on top of confirmation in November it was reviewing its options across its Central and Eastern Europe,...

  • *Greece's position unclear, signs of division emerging. BRUSSELS, Jan 29- Greece's new leftist government exasperated its EU allies on Thursday at negotiations over extending sanctions against Russia, leaving the other 27 member states guessing as to whether it would support new sanctions or veto them. Leaders of several EU countries and officials of the bloc...

  • Bosnians split over sale of weapons to Ukraine Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 9:32 AM ET

    SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina— A Bosnian arms exporter has threatened to sue government officials who are blocking a 5 million-euro deal his company has with Ukraine because of objections from Russia. Pro-Russian Serbs in the government object to weapon exports to Ukraine. Russia on Thursday called on Bosnia not to supply Ukraine with weapons, arguing that...

  • EU to extend existing Russia sanctions over Ukraine Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 8:32 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union extended by six months an existing set of sanctions against Russian and pro- Russia separatist officials because of the continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and was planning further action, officials said Thursday. The new radical left-wing government in Greece didn't fall immediately in line with plans for further actions...

  • *Gazprom third quarter profit down 60 pct. *Gazprom hit by weaker rouble, provisions for Ukraine's gas debt. MOSCOW, Jan 29- Russian state gas producer Gazprom suffered a 60 percent slump in third quarter net profit on Thursday, hurt by the weaker rouble and after exports were halted to Ukraine over a pricing dispute.

  • Belarus's Lukashenko urges bondholders not to worry Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 7:52 AM ET

    MINSK, Jan 29- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday that holders of the country's sovereign bonds should not be worried over Minsk's ability to service its obligations. "Some bondholders are worrying that we are in a pre-default situation. This doesn't mean anything, "Lukashenko told his annual briefing, referring to his earlier...

  • MOSCOW, Jan 29- Russia's rouble fell around 2 percent against the dollar and the euro on Thursday, hurt by the threat of new European Union sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, the end of the tax period and a broad-based aversion to riskier assets on global markets. European Union foreign ministers on Thursday were expected to ask the European Commission to prepare...

  • BELARUS PRESIDENT LUKASHENKO SAYS BELARUS SOVEREIGN BOND HOLDERS SHOULD NOT WORRY OVER MINSK'S ABILITY TO SERVICE ITS OBLIGATIONS.

  • PRAGUE— Hundreds of miners are rallying in Prague to pressure the government to allow the expansion of brown coal mining in northern Czech Republic. Facing the environmental damage, a legacy from the communist era, the government set limits for the mines in 1991. The limits were also meant to guarantee that no other towns or villages would have to be destroyed...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- Belarus sovereign bonds fell up to 27 cents in the dollar on Thursday on fears of debt restructuring, while broader emerging markets also weakened following a U.S. Belarus yield spreads over Treasuries widened 900 basis points to 1463 bps and its 2015 and 2018 bonds were sold off after President Alexander Lukashenko said the country may have to...

  • Greece misinterpreted over Russia sanctions -minister Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 5:33 AM ET

    ATHENS, Jan 29- Greece's new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis rejected suggestions that complaints from Athens over a European Union statement on Ukraine meant it was preparing to veto sanctions against Russia. EU foreign ministers are expected to ask the European Commission on Thursday to prepare a new round of sanctions against Russia, aimed at...

  • Belarus president rules out "shock therapy' for economy Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 4:41 AM ET

    MINSK, Jan 29- President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday Belarus would find a way out of its financial problems, exacerbated by economic turmoil in Russia, but ruled out "shock therapy". "The way of shock therapy for Belarus is unacceptable," Belta quoted him as saying. "They would come from all sides to teach us a lesson, to start' Maidans'," he said, referring to the...