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  • Columbia Banking misses Street 4Q forecasts Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 11:21 AM ET

    TACOMA, Wash. _ Columbia Banking System Inc. on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income of $18.9 million. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 42 cents per share. Analysts expected $99.8 million, according to Zacks.

  • Fed could wait until September to lift rates -BlackRock Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 10:47 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Jan 29- The U.S. "Using words such as solid growth and strong employment gains would allow the Fed to continue down previously telegraphed mid-year lift-off, but recognizing the near-term softness in inflation, combined with referencing international conditions, provides the central bank with the ability to wait until September to begin the...

  • 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,...

  • ATHENS, Jan 29- Greek bank deposits fell in December for the third straight month as savers stepped up withdrawals amid rising political tensions and the prospect of a stand-off with the country's international creditors, and bankers expect the trend will have accelerated in January. Corporate and household deposit balances in December fell 2.4 percent...

  • *Greece concerns weigh on Europe, Athens stocks up. LONDON, Jan 29- European stocks slipped and the dollar strengthened on Thursday after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view of the world's largest economy and signalled it was on track to raise interest rates this year. Greece, where an anti-austerity prime minister took over on Monday, also kept investors...

  • TOKYO, Jan 29- The Bank of Japan has put monetary policy on hold and found backing for its wait-and-see stance from advisors to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who worry more easing could send the yen to damagingly low levels, according to officials in the administration and central bank. This newfound caution from some of the same Abe advisors who urged the BOJ to...

  • UPDATE 1-ECB warns banks to keep dividends tight Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 6:57 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Jan 29- The European Central Bank warned banks across the euro zone to curb payouts to shareholders, also pledging to probe how much they are paying in bonuses as the rest of the bloc's economy suffers. In its boldest public order to the industry since health checks last year uncovered problems chiefly in Italy, the European Central Bank said banks...

  • CAIRO, Jan 29- Egypt's central bank widened the band in which banks can trade dollars to 10 piasters above or below the official rate, up from 3 piasters, bankers said on Thursday, prompting the lenders' dollar rates to fall to their weakest ever levels. Egypt has been attempting to tackle a flourishing black market in the pound by allowing for the gradual...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- Gold prices dropped for the fourth session in five on Thursday, losing as much as 1 percent as the dollar firmed after the Federal Reserve signalled it was on track to lift interest rates this year. Gold had been boosted by increased central bank liquidity and low interest rates in the years after the 2008 credit crisis. Gold had hit a five-month high...

  • ECB cautions banks to be conservative on dividends Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 AM ET

    FRANKFURT, Jan 29- Supervisors at the European Central Bank urged banks under its watch to be conservative in making dividend payments, warning in a statement on Thursday that they would also examine their bonus payments in the coming months. "Banks should base their dividend policies on conservative and prudent assumptions, so that after any pay-out they can...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- Copper, nickel and other metals prices fell on Thursday on worries about excess supplies and after U.S. central bank authorities gave more signals of a looming rate hike which could tighten market liquidity. "Macro forces are largely dominating the market today, and over the near term, market attention will remain fixated on Greece and the Fed," said...

  • SAO PAULO, Jan 29- Banco Bradesco SA, Brazil's second-biggest private sector bank, on Thursday forecast lower lending growth for this year than it estimated for 2014, highlighting the economic headwinds facing Latin America's largest economy. The forecast highlights increased caution as Brazil's economic imbalances and growing skepticism over...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 29- Chinese banks seeking to profit from the country's stock market frenzy have bought into the recent surge in margin finance, foiling regulatory efforts to reduce debt-fueled speculation and amplifying the risk if the rally turns into a rout. That exposes China's banking system to greater risks, even as lenders struggle with an economic...

  • *Greece concerns weigh on Europe, Athens stocks up. LONDON, Jan 29- Stocks fell in Europe and Asia and the dollar strengthened on Thursday after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view of the world's largest economy and signaled it was on track to raise interest rates this year. Greece, where a radical leftist prime minister took over on Monday, also kept investors...

  • FOREX-Dollar firm post-Fed, franc eyed for intervention Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 4:12 AM ET

    LONDON, Jan 29- The U.S. dollar inched higher against the yen and was steady to the euro on Thursday after a Federal Reserve statement which, with some caveats, was read as keeping the bank on track to raise interest rates later this year. That prodded U.S. bond yields lower, but the overall picture, of a steadily improving U.S. economy while Europe and Japan remain mired...

  • ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 59 cents to $43.86 a barrel in New York. The contract lost $1.78 on Wednesday to close at $44.45, after the Energy Department reported that U.S. oil inventories rose to their highest levels ever recorded. That bolsters the case for the central bank to raise interest rates from near zero sooner, rather than later, said Doug Cote, chief...

  • *Stock regulator to inspect 46 firms on margin trading-Xinhua. SHANGHAI, Jan 29- China's stock regulator has launched a fresh probe into brokerages which are lending money to investors to speculate on stocks, amid concerns that the country's share markets are becoming over-leveraged and vulnerable to a crash which could strain the banking system.

  • TOKYO, Jan 29- Asian shares extended losses on Thursday after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view on the U.S. economy and signalled that it remains firmly on track to raise interest rates this year despite an uncertain global outlook. Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.4 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended its drop and...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 29- China's stock regulator has launched a fresh probe into brokerages which are lending money to investors to speculate on stocks, amid concerns that the country's share markets are becoming over-leveraged and vulnerable to a crash which could strain the banking system. "The inspection belongs to normal regular supervision and should not be...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 29- Gold dropped for the fourth session in five on Thursday after the Federal Reserve painted a bullish picture of the U.S. economy, signalling it was on course to lift interest rates this year. "People are already adjusted to the new policy stance and there's no further reason to push up gold to a much higher level," said Mark To, head of research at Hong...

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