*AstraZeneca jumps 6.3 pct on M&A talk. The STOXX Europe 600 health care index rose 3.2 percent as AstraZeneca rallied on speculation about a bid approach from U.S. major Pfizer, while a deal to swap assets boosted GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis.» Read More
MOSCOW, March 31- Russia's largest privately owned financial group, Alfa Group, said instability in Ukraine was hurting its financial position and estimated its exposure to the neighbouring country at $781 million.
*Joins rival UniCredit in cleaning up balance sheet ahead of EU review. MILAN, March 28- Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's biggest retail bank, posted a surprise net loss of 4.55 billion euros on Friday due to heavy writedowns on bad loans and impairments on some units, but said it was now on course to rebuild profits.
LONDON, March 27- Spanish, Italian and Portuguese bond yields hit multi-year lows on Thursday, with speculation about further European Central Bank monetary policy easing prompting investors to seek the bigger returns offered by lower-rated assets.
*HSBC to review Bank of Cyprus restructuring options. *Bank of Cyprus looks at bonds to repay c. bank funds. NICOSIA, March 25- Bailed-out Bank of Cyprus is reviewing its restructuring plans in a move that could result in billions of euros of its troubled assets being put into a "bad bank", chief executive John Hourican said.
MILAN/ LONDON, March 24- Italy's largest bank by assets, UniCredit, started advertising a new hybrid dollar-denominated bond at an investors' roadshow in Europe and Asia on Monday.
OCBC SAYS SINGAPORE NEW MORTGAGE VOLUME DOWN 40 PCT; IMPACT ON BALANCE SHEET PROBABLY FELT IN 2 H 2015.
SEOUL, March 14- POSCO's new chief executive said the South Korean steelmaker will sell non-core assets and list some affiliates to shore up its balance sheet, shying away from major new investments in a marked break from his predecessor's strategy.
*Italy no longer cause for alarm among foreign investors. Italy's largest bank by assets UniCredit and troubled lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena this week announced the write-downs- of 13.7 billion and 2.75 billion euros respectively- as they prepare for an industry-wide health check that European lenders are undergoing this year.
FRANKFURT, March 11- The European Central Bank will press euro zone banks to revalue their assets and take a more realistic view on likely losses when it probes their balance sheets in the coming months, signalling a new, more aggressive era of banking supervision.
MILAN, March 11- UniCredit posted a record 14 billion-euro loss on Tuesday due to huge writedowns on bad loans and past acquisitions as it moved to clean up its balance sheet ahead of an industry-wide health check by European regulators.
FRANKFURT, March 11- The European Central Bank will press banks to revalue their assets and take a more realistic view on likely losses when it probes their balance sheets in coming months, signalling a new, more aggressive era of banking supervision in the bloc.
*Impairments and' hard to value' assets key areas. DUBLIN, March 10- The European Central Bank's stance on how bad loans are defined will be one of the biggest revelations to the euro zone's largest banks when it details on Tuesday how it will test balance sheets, three sources with knowledge of the tests told Reuters.
*ECB disappoints bears, euro seen rising to $1.40. LONDON, March 7- The euro raced to a 2-1/ 2 year high against the dollar on Friday as short term money market rates rose on signs that the European Central Bank's balance sheet was contracting at a time when other major central banks were still expanding theirs.
MILAN, March 4- Euro zone banks could be forced to disclose any major balance sheet gaps discovered in a health check on the industry before the results are made public in October, the head of the European banking watchdog said on Tuesday.
March 3- Civil unrest in Ukraine has put pressure on its banks which could need liquidity and capital support due to falling deposits, a high level of non-performing loans and a depreciating currency.
Others, including Britain and the Netherlands, have taken longer. Bankia, Spain's fourth-biggest lender, needed 22.4 billion euros in bail-out funds from Europe and Spain's bank restructuring fund FROB. Britain pumped 66 billion pounds into Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds in 2008 and 2009 and provided tens of billions more in liquidity support to the sector.
PARIS, Feb 12- Societe Generale is to return more cash to shareholders in 2014 than last year after completing a long-running overhaul of its balance sheet.
PARIS, Feb 12- French bank Societe Generale said on Wednesday it would return more cash to shareholders in 2014, after a swing to a fourth-quarter profit capped a long-running push to boost the strength of its balance sheet.
IRISH FINMIN WOULD PREFER PERMANENT TSB TO HAVE A BIGGER BALANCE SHEET TO HELP PROVIDE CREDIT TO ECONOMY.
NEW YORK, Feb 10- Aeropostale Inc is considering raising capital from private equity firms as the struggling teen retailer evaluates various ways to shore up both its balance sheet and its share price, four people familiar with the matter said on Monday.