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  • NEW YORK/ LONDON/ BEIJING, April 1- Manufacturing in Asia and Europe finished the first quarter on a weaker note but activity in the United States remained relatively steady, suggesting severe winter weather in North America had only a modest effect on U.S. factories.

  • LONDON/ BEIJING, April 1- Major economies in Asia and Europe finished the first quarter on a weaker note, with key manufacturing surveys fuelling expectations policymakers may be forced to act in coming months to prop up faltering growth.

  • European shares extend gains, Novartis rallies Monday, 31 Mar 2014 | 7:45 AM ET

    *Novartis rises on positive results for heart drug. LONDON, March 31- European equities hit a three-week high on Monday, with Novartis stronger due to good results for its heart drug and miners performing well on expectations that China might stimulate its economy.

  • *Euro zone's Euro STOXX 50 index sets 5-1/ 2- year peak. LONDON, March 31- European equities rose for a fifth straight session to a three-week high on Monday on growing speculation that the European Central Bank could ease its policy and China might take steps to stimulate its economy.

  • *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.

  • MILAN, March 28- Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's biggest retail bank, posted a 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 25- European banks such as Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and Unicredit will likely have to pay investors a higher return to buy the risky bonds that banks use to strengthen their balance sheets after the crisis in Ukraine forces a rethink about the potential dangers from such investments.

  • UPDATE 1-HSBC to seek investor OK to sell "CoCo" bonds Monday, 24 Mar 2014 | 10:25 AM ET

    LONDON, March 24- HSBC is to ask its shareholders for permission to sell bonds that would convert into shares and bolster its capital if it hits trouble, giving it the option to join a growing group of banks issuing the securities.

  • 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.

  • Europe’s periphery in fundraising rush Monday, 24 Mar 2014 | 2:36 AM ET

    Eurozone governments are taking advantage of unexpectedly low borrowing costs to push ahead with debt issuance, the FT reports.

  • Keen to bolster fragile economic growth, countries such as Hungary, Poland and Romania are following the lead of their western neighbours and urging banks to sell off bad debts so they can lend more to businesses.

  • *Monte Paschi is Siena is world's oldest bank. ROME/ MILAN, March 19- In just six months, Antonella Mansi has cut the umbilical cord that for 500 years united Monte dei Paschi di Siena to its medieval home town.

  • *UK insurers hurt by budget measures. *Spain's IBEX outperforms as Inditex reassures. Legal& General was down 13 percent and Aviva down 7.5 percent after UK finance minister George Osborne announced the plans as part of the UK budget.

  • FRANKFURT/ PARIS March 19- France's big banks are embracing an unlikely challenge- to prise away some of Germany's mighty Mittelstand of small and medium-sized enterprises from their local banking partners.

  • FACTBOX-European banks' exposure to Russia Monday, 17 Mar 2014 | 12:49 PM ET

    The European Union has imposed sanctions on some Russian officials and the EU and United States are expected to apply more economic penalties against Russia if a crisis over the Crimea escalates. Foreign banks have a limited role- the biggest are France's Societe Generale, Italy's UniCredit and Austria's Raiffeisen.

  • *Iran wants economic sanctions lifted. LONDON/ ANKARA, March 13- Despite a diplomatic thaw, Western banks are steering clear of attempts by Iran to get them involved in financing humanitarian transactions, fearing they could be penalised under U.S. sanctions, bankers and government officials told Reuters.

  • Western banks cold-shoulder Iran trade finance scheme Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 11:31 AM ET

    *Iran wants economic sanctions lifted. LONDON/ ANKARA, March xx- Despite a diplomatic thaw, Western banks are steering clear of attempts by Iran to get them involved in financing humanitarian transactions, fearing they could be penalised under U.S. sanctions, bankers and government officials told Reuters.

  • LONDON, March 13- Irish government bond yields hit new record lows on Thursday as Dublin's first regular debt auction since its 2010 international bailout found substantial demand and cemented the return of full access to borrowing markets.

  • Europe shares pause after sell-off; UK retailers sag Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 8:13 AM ET

    PARIS, March 13- European stocks were steady on Thursday, halting their two-week slide, although a sell-off among UK retailers after a profit warning by Morrison's kept investors on edge. Worries over China's pace of economic growth as well as tensions in Ukraine also weighed on sentiment.

  • Europe shares pause after sell-off; Morrison sinks Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 5:13 AM ET

    *FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.2 pct. PARIS, March 13- European stocks inched higher early trade on Thursday, halting their two-week slide, although a sell-off among UK retailers after a profit warning by Morrison's limited the rebound.