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  • MOSCOW, Feb 20- Russia's Eurasia Drilling said on Friday it was delaying a deal to sell a stake in the company to oil services giant Schlumberger while it waited for approval from a Russian regulator. Last month, Schlumberger said it planned to buy a 45.65 percent stake in Eurasia for about $1.7 billion, potentially paving the way for it to become the sole owner of...

  • The U.S. private equity firm owns 80 percent of Panasonic Healthcare and Panasonic Corp owns 20 percent. Panasonic Healthcare, KKR and Bayer all declined to comment. Bloomberg reported on Thursday that a sale to Panasonic Healthcare, which could be valued at between 1 billion and 2 billion euros, could be announced as soon as Friday.

  • BERLIN, Feb 20- A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the latest Greek request for an extension of its loan agreement with Europe was a "good signal" and provided a basis for further talks, but was not sufficient in its current form. Speaking at a regular government news conference on Friday, spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said the government was...

  • *China markets closed until Tuesday. *Asia aluminium premiums set to sag on China exports. LONDON, Feb 20- Copper slipped on Friday, pressured by a drop in the euro against the dollar, with trading volumes constricted by the absence of consumers in China where the market is closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

  • European stock markets hover near multi-year highs Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 6:17 AM ET

    *Europe enjoying best earnings season in 3-1/ 2 years. LONDON/ PARIS, Feb 20- European stock markets steadied near multi-year highs on Friday, as euro zone finance ministers prepared another attempt at reaching a deal on Greece. With EU paymaster Germany and Greece's new radical leftist-led Syriza government digging their heels in over demands that Athens stick...

  • Feb 20- Canadian base metal miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd reported a 42.5 percent drop in quarterly profit on Friday as copper prices plunged to five-and-a-half year lows. Comparative earnings, excluding one-time items, fell to $76.9 million, or 13 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $133.8 million, or 23 cents, a year earlier.

  • MOSCOW, Feb 20- Russia should consider cutting import taxes for raw sugar, vegetables and fruit and imposing export duties on rye, barley and maize, Russian news agencies quoted the head of the state Anti-Monopoly Service as saying on Friday. He said Russia should also impose a quota on imports "so as not to kill Russian producers". The sugar duty in Russia, Belarus and...

  • *Rouble slips as fighting continues in east Ukraine. LONDON, Feb 20- Emerging equities were poised to end the week in the red on Friday and most currencies weakened, pressured by jitters over Greece's future in the euro zone, the Ukraine crisis and a stronger dollar. But the rouble weakened 0.42 percent against the dollar, as fighting continued to rage in eastern...

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 20- The European Union will consider "reframing" energy relations based on market conditions with Russia when the time is right and for now is focusing on building a strategic gas partnership with Ukraine, a draft document shows. Russia's long-standing gas relations with the EU and Ukraine, the main transit route for Russian gas to the EU, have...

  • *Gold down nearly 2 pct for the week. *China holiday thins liquidity in Asia. LONDON, Feb 20- Gold fell on Friday as the dollar and European shares rose ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Greece's bailout programme, with prices headed for their fourth straight weekly drop.

  • MOSCOW, Feb 20- Russia's Anti-Monopoly Service has opened a case against Google following a request from Russia's biggest search site Yandex, Interfax news agency reported on Friday citing the regulator. The case mirrors a probe in Europe centered on whether Google takes unfair advantage of the 80 percent global market share of its Android platform to...

  • MOSCOW, Feb 20- Russian fertiliser producers are willing to cut prices by up to 33 percent for domestic customers, Russian news agencies reported on Friday, citing Igor Artemyev, head of the country's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service. Artemyev's comments came after Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that Russia did not plan to impose an export tax on...

  • LONDON, Feb 20- The trade-weighted sterling index stood at a six-year high on Friday, lifted by its gains against the euro, which slumped to its lowest in seven years amid worries about Greek debt. UK retail sales for December fell short of expectations, but that had little effect on the pound. "We continue to be constructive on sterling against the euro, as yield...

  • Chipmaker probes report of hacking by US, UK spies Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 4:49 AM ET
    Hacking hacker cyber security

    Gemalto said on Friday it was investigating a report U.S. and British spies had hacked its systems.

  • *India seen cutting 2015/ 16 subsidy bill by one fifth- sources. NEW DELHI, Feb 20- India may slash its food and fuel subsidy bill by about $8 billion in next week's budget, two sources said, but despite the impressive headline, the cut is not as radical as free market champions had hoped for in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first full budget. Fuel subsidies are expected...

  • UPDATE 4-Oil falls below $60 as oversupply weighs Friday, 20 Feb 2015 | 4:38 AM ET

    LONDON, Feb 20- Brent crude oil fell below $60 a barrel on Friday as oversupply, supported by record-high U.S. crude stocks, weighed on the market. U.S. crude inventories rose 7.7 million barrels to 425.6 million last week, rising for a sixth straight week to record highs, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Thursday. Brent crude futures for...

  • *Berlin and Athens at odds. *Greece could run out of money by end of March. With EU paymaster Germany and the new radical leftist-led government in Athens digging their heels in over demands that Greece stick to strict austerity conditions in its international bailout programme, the two sides seemed far apart hours before a crucial Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

  • LONDON, Feb 20- World stocks eased off five-month highs on Friday and the euro fell before a European finance ministers' meeting that could potentially cut Greece adrift and set it on the path to exiting the euro zone. Greece needs financial support to keep the country afloat beyond late March. "It's really all about Greece," said David Madden, market analyst at the IG...

  • PARIS, Feb 20- Gemalto said on Friday it was investigating a report U.S. and British spies had hacked its systems to steal the privacy-protecting encryption keys in the chips it makes for mobile phones. Gemalto's shares sank as much as 10 percent in huge volumes in early trading after the news website Intercept reported the hack by the U.S. National Security...

  • *Says network investment driving Italy sales recovery. MILAN, Feb 20- Telecom Italia posted falls in 2014 annual revenue and core profit on Friday, hit an economic downturn, competition and regulatory pressure in its home market, but said sales were recovering thanks to its network investments. The company's 2014 revenue fell 7.8 percent to 21.6 billion euros,...