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  • ROME, March 26- Bond-buying by the European Central Bank will reinforce the euro zone's economic recovery, its president, Mario Draghi, said on Thursday, adding that there was already evidence that the scheme was taking effect. Draghi told lawmakers in Italy's parliament that recent data releases "are comforting about the contribution that monetary policy is...

  • Pressure rises on Greece as savers drain bank deposits Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 11:25 AM ET

    The central bank of Greece said Thursday that private and business deposits dropped to 140.5 billion euros by the end of February. Some feared the clash could push Greece to bankruptcy and even cause it to fall out of the euro, a move that would devastate the country's financial system in the short term. Greece has its back against a wall as it badly needs money— it...

  • March 26- The chief financial officer of Russia's Sberbank told a conference call:. *Doesn't promise record dividends on 2014 and 2015 results. *Bank has option to convert sub debt from c.bank to Tier 1 capital, boosting T1 capital ratio by around 1.2 percent.

  • DUBAI, March 26- Saudi Arabia has begun drawing down its foreign currency reserves for the first time since 2009 to cover a record state budget deficit caused by the plunge in oil prices, data from the Saudi central bank indicated on Thursday. It was the first year-on-year drop since February 2010, when Saudi Arabia was affected by the global financial crisis.

  • VIENNA, March 26- The European Central Bank has asked euro zone lenders to detail their exposure to Austria and provisions they plan to make after the country halted debt repayments by a "bad bank" winding down defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria, financial sources told Reuters. Austria- which like Germany and Britain has already adopted ahead of schedule the new...

  • EU signals further divergence from global banking rules Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 8:23 AM ET

    LONDON, March 26- The European Union will continue to diverge from global banking regulations where necessary to avoid overburdening smaller lenders, the bloc's financial services chief said on Thursday. Hill said he would "differentiate" from other Basel rules, too, in an effort to ensure that EU legislation is proportionate and takes into account different...

  • *ICBC, AgBank, BoC, BoCom book 4 Q rise in bad loans. SHANGHAI/ HONG KONG, March 26- Chinese banks are increasingly drawing on Western ways of selling off bad loans, after four of the largest five lenders reported a spike in defaults in an economy stuttering at its slowest growth rate in 25 years. The practice, though common in the West, was mostly unheard of in China just a...

  • MOSCOW, March 26- Russia will give sanctions-hit Rosselkhozbank 10 billion roubles of additional capital as part of the country's anti-crisis plan, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday. "Our banks' access to overseas markets of liquidity is essentially closed and our task is to minimise the influence of these problems on the banking system,"...

  • JERUSALEM, March 26- The Bank of Israel is studying expansionary steps taken by other central banks such as quantitative easing and will implement similar measures if needed, its governor said in an interview with the magazine of Israel's banking association. The Bank of Israel on Monday held its benchmark interest rate at 0.1 percent, citing a weaker shekel...

  • FRANKFURT, March 26- Now may be a good time to start normalising U.S. monetary policy, Federal Reserve policymaker James Bullard said on Thursday. In the text of comments delivered to an audience in Frankfurt, St. Louis Fed President Bullard said doing that would direct policy "so that it is set appropriately for an improving economy over the next two years."

  • HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI, March 26- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd said on Thursday net profit fell 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, the first time its final quarter profit has fallen since 2008 as China's economic growth slows. In common with the other "big four" lenders- Agricultural Bank of China Ltd, Bank of Communications Co Ltd and China...

  • MOSCOW, March 26- Russia's top lender Sberbank reported on Thursday a 20 percent drop in profit for 2014, hurt by a jump in its funding costs and higher loan-loss provisions as an economic crisis and slide in the rouble weighed. Sberbank is one of several large Russian banks under Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, which drive up its cost of financing by...

  • Russia's Sberbank reports 20 pct drop in 2014 profit Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 4:17 AM ET

    MOSCOW, March 26- Russia's top lender Sberbank reported on Thursday a 20 percent drop in net profit for 2014, hurt by a jump in its funding costs and higher loan-loss provisions. The bank said it earned 290.3 billion roubles in 2014, beating analysts' forecasts for net profit of 275.8 billion roubles. Sberbank is one of several large Russian banks under Western...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to April 8 Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 8:01 PM ET

    ROME- European Central Bank president Mario Draghi addresses the Italian parliament's finance and EU policy committees- 1200 GMT. LONDON- Bank of England to publish Financial Policy Committee statement- 0930 GMT. FRANKFURT- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard gives OMFIF Public Lecture on the economy and monetary policy- 0835 GMT.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, March 25- The former chief operating officer of a major Chinese-American bank in San Francisco was convicted on Wednesday of several criminal counts, including securities fraud, over allegations he concealed deteriorating loans at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. Prosecutors accused former United Commercial Bank executive Ebrahim...

  • U.S. jury convicts former bank exec of securities fraud Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 6:20 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO, March 25- A U.S. jury on Wednesday convicted former United Commercial Bank chief operating officer Ebrahim Shabudin of several criminal counts, including securities fraud, according to a court filing. UCB received $298.7 million from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program during the financial meltdown and was the ninth-largest bank...

  • LONDON, March 25- Three Bank of England policymakers said on Wednesday they saw little chance of a cut in interest rates in the face of tumbling inflation, distancing themselves from the position of the central bank's chief economist. BoE chief economist Andy Haldane surprised some observers by saying last week that a recent sharp slowdown in inflation meant...

  • March 25- Wells Fargo& Co, the fourth-largest U.S. bank by assets, said it will cut 1,000 jobs and close its home-lending servicing office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wells Fargo, which will close the office in late July, will inform employees of other job opportunities within the company, the bank said. Shares of Wells Fargo, which had about 265,000 employees as of Dec. 31,...

  • Shadow banking morphs and grows, confounding authority Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 1:31 PM ET

    LONDON, March 25- Authorities are nowhere near to fully understanding "shadow banking" as the $75 trillion sector morphs and grows under the influence of new technology and regulation, a top markets supervisor said on Wednesday. Shadow banking refers to the supply of credit outside traditional banks, such as from private equity investors, money market funds,...

  • ATHENS, March 25- The European Central Bank raised the cap on emergency liquidity assistance that Greek banks can draw from the country's central bank to above 71 billion euros from 69.8 billion previously, a banking source told Reuters on Wednesday. "The ELA ceiling was increased to slightly above 71 billion euros," the source said. The ECB has raised the cap in...

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