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  • Lotus CEO leans towards SUV launch as sales pick up Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 12:36 PM ET

    GENEVA, March 5- As car industry leaders gathered in Geneva this week to fret about how to cram more software and electronics into their vehicles, one man stood out. While defiantly analogue models like its newly upgraded Evora flagship may eventually get more digital controls, Gales said in an interview, the priority is a return to Lotus's lean essentials- which...

  • French court rules UBS bullied ex-employee Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 12:09 PM ET

    PARIS, March 5- UBS France bullied a former worker who said she had refused to destroy documents that might have been of interest to tax evasion investigators, a Paris labour tribunal ruled on Thursday. The Swiss bank denied any bullying of the ex-employee, Stephanie Gibaud, and said the dispute between Gibaud and her boss was a simple misunderstanding.

  • Europe firms may draw fire by joining buyback boom Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 11:56 AM ET

    *Europe unlikely to match huge U.S. buyback levels. In the United States, years of Federal Reserve stimulus aimed at reviving the real economy led to the wave of share buybacks while firms neglected capital expenditure. Few people expect European firms to match the staggering sums in the United States, where over $2 trillion of stock was bought back between 2009...

  • ZURICH, March 5- Switzerland's government will seek to coordinate more closely with the independent Swiss National Bank after the latter's shock decision to drop its cap on the Swiss franc, according to a confidential policy resolution seen by Reuters on Thursday. A government spokesman denied on Wednesday that Bern had asked the central bank to introduce a...

  • EU urges Russia to forget old gas contract with Ukraine Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 11:24 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union is concerned that Russia might want to enforce its old gas contract with Ukraine once their current arrangement runs out, saying it could contravene Moscow's peace obligations. Russia and Ukraine agreed a truce this week in their latest natural gas price dispute that will ensure supplies until the end of March.

  • *Global stock gains capped by U.S. data, China outlook. *Lack of Iran nuclear deal keeps Brent oil near $61 a bbl. NEW YORK, March 5- The euro fell to an 11 1/ 2- year low against the dollar as U.S. and euro zone bond prices rose on Thursday, after the European Central Bank spelled out its 1 trillion-euro stimulus plan that begins next Monday.

  • LONDON/ PARIS, March 5- European shares touched a fresh 7-1/ 2 year high on Thursday, boosted by encouraging comments from the European Central Bank and by strong results from supermarket Carrefour and fund manager Schroders. ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank's bond-buying program, due to start on Monday, could last beyond September 2016 if needed and...

  • Gas has become a double-edged sword in the dispute between Ukraine and Russia after Moscow's seizure of Crimea a year ago. Russia needs the European Union as its biggest market, while the EU relies on Russia for roughly a third of its gas, of which some 40 percent is shipped via Ukraine. But EU efforts to follow a winter gas deal with an agreement to guarantee Russia...

  • NICOSIA/ FRANKFURT, March 5- The European Central Bank will launch into quantitative easing next week having increased its economic growth forecasts for this year and next. President Mario Draghi said the first bond purchases with new money would take place on March 9. The euro zone's central bank has said it will buy 60 billion euros a month until Sept. 2016 or...

  • FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates, March 5- Vopak, the world's largest independent storage tank operator, is expanding its chemical product storage capacity in Saudi Arabia, a senior executive told Reuters on Thursday. Vopak, which offers oil, chemical and biofuels storage in the world's top bunkering hubs Singapore and Rotterdam, as well as on the east coast of the...

  • European Central Bank: Recovery is strengthening Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 6:32 AM ET

    NICOSIA, Cyprus— The European Central Bank will unleash its 1.1 trillion euro stimulus program on Monday— and says the prospect is already boosting the eurozone economy. Mario Draghi, the bank's president, said consumers and businesses in the 19 euro countries are benefiting not only from cheaper energy prices but also from optimism over the coming stimulus.

  • *North America a top priority in 2015. BERLIN, March 5- German sportswear company Adidas expects robust sales and profit growth in 2015 as consumer confidence improves around the world and it redoubles its efforts in North America, where it has fallen further behind fierce rival Nike. Adidas managed to slow its decline in North America in the fourth quarter, with...

  • March 5- Shares in SIM card maker Gemalto NV, hit last month by a report that U.S. and British spy services had stolen its SIM card encryption keys, fell again on Thursday following disappointing 2014 revenue growth figures. "Gemalto won't be able to put more pressure on operating spending so topline growth needs to be there in the months/years to come for the...

  • BRUSSELS— Spain has welcomed a new agreement to connect its energy network with those in Portugal and France as a major step toward breaking Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies. He said the MIDCAT project linking gas infrastructure through Spain's northeast Catalonia region to southern France would help ensure that " Europe reduces its dependence...

  • BERLIN, March 5- Emirates has had extensive discussions with Airbus about the production of a revamped version of the A380 super jumbo with more efficient engines, the airline's president said on Thursday. Its first 90 A380 aircraft are supplied with engines from Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt& Whitney.

  • *ECB will likely avoid big decision on Greece. NICOSIA/ FRANKFURT, March 5- Keen to keep a low profile over the Greek crisis, the European Central Bank will focus on improved growth prospects on Thursday and unveil some but not all the details of its 1 trillion euros- plus bond buying plan. The ECB, meeting in Cyprus, will keep rates on hold and probably lift growth...

  • BERLIN— German factory orders, a key indicator for Europe's biggest economy, dropped much further than expected in January, led by a big drop in demand from other eurozone countries. Germany's factory orders data can be volatile. Economist Andreas Rees at UniCredit said that, despite January's orders setback, "there is no reason to worry."

  • BERLIN, March 5- Europe's largest dedicated online fashion retailer Zalando said on Thursday it plans to hire new employees on a large scale as it expands its fashion platform to support a target of 20-25 percent growth in 2015.. Zalando, which listed in Frankfurt last year, rushed out preliminary 2014 results last month after they beat analyst expectations,...

  • DIARY-Top Economic Events to March 18 Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 7:01 PM ET

    TEXAS- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher speaks on "Reflections on 10 Years at the Fed& Farewell, El Paso" before a community forum hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas El Paso Branch- 0000 GMT. SYDNEY- Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Philip Lowe speaks at the Goldman Sachs 10th Annual Global Macroeconomics Conference- 0130...

  • 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...