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Eastern Europe

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  • *S&P cuts Russia's sovereign credit rating. MOSCOW, Jan 26- Ratings agency S&P cut Russia's sovereign credit rating to below investment grade, or "junk" status, on Monday for the first time in a decade. S&P said in a statement it had cut the rating from BBB- to BB+, with a negative outlook, and that Russia's economic growth prospects- hit by low oil prices and Western...

  • MOSCOW, Jan 26- The rouble and Russian stocks fell sharply on Monday, following a return to full-scale warfare in eastern Ukraine and threats of further Western sanctions against Russia. Washington and Brussels are both considering new sanctions against Russia after accusing it of openly supporting the latest rebel advance in Ukraine.

  • MOSCOW— Russian security forces raided independent Crimean television station ATR on Monday, seizing equipment and telling employees they were looking for archival footage of an anti- Russia protest last year, station officials said. In an emotional video posted on YouTube, deputy director Liliya Budzhurova said that armed men from Russia's Investigative...

  • Tumbling oil prices and Western sanctions over Russia's role in Ukraine have pushed the rouble to record lows and fuelled price rises. "Unlike during the 2008-2009 crisis, now there is a significant decline of real disposable incomes in Russia so food budgets will most likely fall," said Ekaterina Lipatova, an analyst at Moody's Investors Service.

  • MOSCOW, Jan 26- Russian officials will have to revise the spending priorities of one of Russia's two "rainy day" funds, daily newspaper Vedomosti reported on Monday, as officials scramble to find ways to fight a deepening financial crisis. Citing sources in Russia's financial and economic sectors, Vedomosti said officials needed to find ways of funding its "...

  • MOSCOW— Russian officials struck a defiant note Monday after Western leaders threatened to further punish Moscow for escalated fighting in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, arguing that the Ukrainian government is responsible for the latest increase in violence. We have seen a substantial increase in the flow of equipment from Russia to the separatists in...

  • MOSCOW, Jan 26- The Russian rouble fell sharply on opening on Monday, following a weekend of violence in eastern Ukraine and threats of further Western sanctions against Russia. President Vladimir Putin blamed "criminal orders" by Ukrainian leaders on Friday for a surge in fighting in east Ukraine, and Russian-backed separatists struck a bellicose tone in...

  • Romanians protest Swiss franc loans repayments Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 | 10:39 AM ET

    BUCHAREST, Romania— Hundreds of people have protested in Romania against high repayments for Swiss franc loans, blaming the banks for offering deceptively cheap loans and calling on the government to regulate hard currency loans. yelled up to 1,000 demonstrators gathered in a downtown square. " They have been hit by a strong franc and even more so after the Swiss...

  • Every January, Dubai is decked out in lights, banners and roadside ornaments heralding the event. Dubai, one of seven federal states in the United Arab Emirates, has far smaller oil reserves than the capital Abu Dhabi, and its economy relies heavily on retail, tourism and international trade. Russian travel operators in Dubai reported a sharp drop in the number of...

  • Poles with Swiss-franc mortgages demand govt help Saturday, 24 Jan 2015 | 11:28 AM ET

    WARSAW, Poland— Poles who have taken out mortgages in Swiss francs are protesting in a number of cities, demanding government help after the franc soared in recent weeks, making their monthly payments significantly higher. It's a pressing issue in Poland, where there's more than 500,000 outstanding Swiss-franc loans in this nation of 38 million people.

  • IAG increases offer for Aer Lingus Saturday, 24 Jan 2015 | 8:01 AM ET

    The owner of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia has increased its takeover bid for Aer Lingus, say sources. The Financial Times reports.

  • War is exploding anew in Ukraine; rebels vow more Saturday, 24 Jan 2015 | 5:35 AM ET
    Ukrainian army forces patrol in the Tonenkoe town near Donetsk International Airport

    Unexpectedly, at the height of the Ukrainian winter, war has exploded anew on a half-dozen fronts across eastern Ukraine. The New York Times reports.

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to Feb 10 Friday, 23 Jan 2015 | 7:00 PM ET

    DAVOS, Switzerland- Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to take part in panel discussion on "The Global Economic Outlook"- 1500 GMT. **DUSSELDORF, Germany- Deutsche Bundesbank board member Joachim Nagel speaks at the annual conference of the German-Chinese Economy, organized by Handelsblatt and HSBC- 1400 GMT. LUXEMBOURG- Central Bank of Luxembourg Governor and...

  • LONDON/ BUDAPEST, Jan 23- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has long irritated European Union partners with economic policies that have burned foreign banks operating in Hungary. Such policies were contributing factors in the banks, including Austria's Raiffeisen and Erste and a unit of Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo, taking write-downs on their Hungarian...

  • ZAGREB, Jan 23- Damir Hajduk likens paying off his mortgage to the tale of Sisyphus in Greek mythology, condemned forever to push a boulder uphill, only for it to roll back down again and again. Hajduk is one of 60,000 borrowers in Croatia, and many hundreds of thousands across ex-Communist Central and Eastern Europe, who took out home loans denominated in Swiss...

  • Top official: Russians will 'eat less' for Putin Friday, 23 Jan 2015 | 6:51 AM ET

    DAVOS, Switzerland— Russian Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, on Friday warned the West against trying to topple President Vladimir Putin and said that Russians are ready to sacrifice their wealth in Putin's support. Russia has for the past year been sliding into recession amid a slump in its energy export prices as...

  • The European Commission has sought to boost EU capacity to switch pipelines to allow deliveries to Ukraine especially from Slovakia as part of efforts to create a stronger energy union in the region. Ukraine has increasingly looked to the EU to help shore up its gas supplies after years of pricing spats with main supplier Russia, which last year cut off flows to...

  • LONDON, Jan 23- Emerging equities were headed on Friday for their biggest weekly gain in 10 months, while bonds and currencies rallied across the board, thanks to the European Central Bank's trillion-euro stimulus pledge. MSCI's emerging equities index was more than 1 percent higher after the ECB on Thursday announced details of its planned bond-buying...

  • BRUSSELS, Jan 23- EU finance ministers will discuss on Tuesday offering additional money to help save Ukraine from bankruptcy, potentially increasing its original plan to as much as 2.5 billion euros, diplomats told Reuters. Ukraine, fighting a costly war against pro-Russian separatists, is relying on a lifeline from the International Monetary Fund...

  • The European Central Bank said on Thursday it would buy 60 billion euros of bonds a month starting in March, boosting Russian assets. Russia's key interest rate is at 17 percent, more than 10 percent higher than in most Western countries. The rouble was also supported on Friday by higher prices for oil, Russia's chief export.