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  • March 5- AbbVie Inc is to buy Pharmacyclics Inc for about $21 billion, giving it access to what is expected to be one of the world's top-selling cancer drugs and expanding its reach in the profitable oncology field. AbbVie will pay $261.25 per share in cash and stock, a 13 percent premium to Pharmacyclics stock's closing price on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank analyst...

  • VIENNA, March 5- U.S. investor Cerberus Capital Management will play an active role in European banking consolidation, it said on Thursday, sending the strongest signal yet it could soon exit its majority stake in Austrian lender BAWAG PSK. Certainly as there is European banking consolidation we see ourselves as a big part of that, Cerberus in general, "Cerberus...

  • Costco posts higher Q2 profit on tax benefit Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 3:19 AM ET

    March 5- Costco Wholesale Corp reported a higher quarterly profit, due to a tax benefit related to its special cash dividend last month. Costco, the third-largest U.S. retailer, said net income rose to $598 million, or $1.35 per share, for the second quarter ended Feb. 15, from $463 million, or $1.05 per share a year earlier. Total revenue, which includes membership fees,...

  • HONG KONG, March 5- Hong Kong shares closed at their lowest in six weeks on Thursday, following mainland markets down, weighed by financial stocks amid concerns over China's economic slowdown. In separate reports published on Thursday, rating agency Moody's Investors Service said Chinese banks were suffering from a narrowing interest rate spread and...

  • PARIS, March 5- European shares rose in early trading on Thursday, with a batch of robust company results from firms including Carrefour and Schroders boosting sentiment. Investors also awaited the European Central bank meeting at which it is set to give further details on its massive bond-buying programme. At 0807 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top...

  • *Trade flows in Asia changing due to stronger greenback. *Japan reducing corn purchases from US, taking more S.America. Japan, the world's top corn importer, has seen the yen drop around 14 percent against the greenback since September, while the rupiah in Indonesia, Asia's biggest wheat buyer, has lost about 11 percent.

  • MOSCOW, March 5- The Russian rouble strengthened on Thursday morning, as the oil price held above $60 per barrel and investors awaited details of a European Central Bank bond-buying programme. The European Central Bank holds a policy meeting later in the day where details of its bond-buying programme, which could affect flows of funds into emerging markets,...

  • ISTANBUL, March 5- Citigroup has sold its nearly 10 percent stake in Turkey's Akbank for $1.2 billion, the U.S. lender said on Thursday, its latest disposal of overseas assets to cut costs and boost profits. New York- based Citi has been paring back in international markets in recent years, pulling out of retail banking in Turkey as well as long-established...

  • MINSK, March 5- Belarus plans to issue at least $750 million worth of domestic bonds denominated in foreign currency this year, Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin said on Thursday.

  • MINSK, March 5- Belarus wants to ask the International Monetary Fund for a new financing programme, Deputy Finance Minister Maxim Yermolovich said on Thursday. The former Soviet republic's economy has been battered by a plunge in the Russian rouble and the conflict in Ukraine. Belarus received a $3.5 billion standby loan from the IMF in 2009-2010 in the...

  • BERLIN, March 5- German industrial orders fell far more than forecast in January, posting their largest drop since August, data showed on Thursday, casting a shadow over what had previously looked like a strong start to 2015 for Europe's largest economy. Bookings for goods made in Germany declined by 3.9 percent on the month after rising sharply in December, data...

  • MINSK, March 5- Belarus wants to ask the International Monetary Fund for a new financing programme, the country's Finance Ministry said on Thursday. An IMF mission is due to arrive in Minsk on Thursday. The ministry also said that it is "technically ready" to issue new Eurobonds.

  • MOSCOW, March 5- The Russian rouble opened little changed against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, with investors awaiting further moves on energy markets and details of a European Central Bank bond-buying programme. Brent oil prices remained above $60 per barrel, a positive signal for the rouble. The European Central Bank holds a policy meeting later in the day...

  • TOKYO/ SYDNEY, March 5- The euro slid to its weakest level in more than 11 years against the dollar on Thursday, as investors waited for the European Central Bank to announce more details of its massive bond-buying program. The common currency fell to as low as $1.1026 as of 0653 GMT, its lowest level since September 2003. It last traded at $1.1039, down 0.4 percent on...

  • China stocks end lower on economic worries Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 2:11 AM ET

    The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 1.0 percent, to 3,496.34 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent, to 3,248.48. Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were Bank of China, down 2.8 percent to 3.80 yuan; Agricultural Bank of China, down 2.5 percent to 3.14; yuan and China State Construction, down 1.8...

  • BERLIN, March 5- Europe's largest dedicated online fashion retailer Zalando said on Thursday it plans to hire new employees on a large scale as it expands its fashion platform to support a target of 20-25 percent growth in 2015.. Zalando, which listed in Frankfurt last year, rushed out preliminary 2014 results last month after they beat analyst expectations,...

  • JAKARTA, March 5- Investment bankers and company executives are worried President Joko Widodo's drive for clean governance is falling apart amid a dispute between rival law enforcement agencies in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Indonesia's main anti-corruption agency, Corruption Eradication Commission, has been severely weakened over the last few...

  • NEW YORK, March 5- Citigroup Inc had at least one advantage in its successful bid for the exclusive right to issue credit cards for Costco Wholesale Corp, rivals and tax specialists say: it lost so much money during the financial crisis that it has billions of dollars of tax credits. Citigroup and Costco have not disclosed terms of the deal, and outsiders can only...

  • German industrial orders plunge by 3.9 pct in Jan Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 2:00 AM ET

    BERLIN, March 5- German industrial orders fell far more than forecast in January, posting their largest drop since August, data showed on Thursday, casting a shadow over what had previously looked like a strong start to 2015 for Europe's largest economy. Bookings for goods made in Germany declined by 3.9 percent on the month, data from the Economy Ministry showed,...

  • *AbbVie to pay $261.25 per share in cash and stock. The deal gives AbbVie access to Pharmacyclics' cancer drugs portfolio, lessening the Chicago- based company's dependence on its rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira that accounts for most of its sales. "Imbruvica is not only complementary to AbbVie's oncology pipeline, it has demonstrated strong clinical...