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  • May 21- Tiffany& Co reported a 13 percent rise in quarterly sales as the company's increasing focus on lower-priced jewelry attracted customers in the United States, its biggest market. Net profit rose to $125.6 million, or 97 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 30 from $83.6 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • Ebay asks all users to change passwords Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:09 AM ET

    May 21- EBay Inc is asking all its users to change their passwords, according to a message posted on the website of the company's online payment unit PayPal. The messages on PayPal's community and press website did not say why the passwords needed to be changed. EBay and PayPal could not be immediately reached for comment.

  • MOSCOW, May 21- A grand estate on the Black Sea, allegedly built for Russian President Vladimir Putin, was partly funded by taxpayer money from a $1 billion hospital project, a Reuters investigation indicates.

  • The palace on the Black Sea Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:06 AM ET

    MOSCOW, May 21- In 2010, a St. Petersburg businessman called Sergei Kolesnikov published an open letter to Dmitry Medvedev, who was then president of Russia while Vladimir Putin held the post of prime minister. Among other things, Kolesnikov claimed that a luxurious estate was being built near the Black Sea for the benefit of Putin.

  • How Russian money flowed through banks in Europe Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:06 AM ET

    MOSCOW, May 21- Two Putin associates, Nikolai Shamalov and Dmitry Gorelov, struck lucrative deals to supply medical scanners and other gear for Russia's state health programme. A UK- registered company owned by the two men, Greathill, received at least $195 million from sales of medical equipment to Russia.

  • May 21- American Realty Capital Properties Inc said it planned to sell nearly all of its shopping centers to Blackstone Group LP for $1.98 billion in cash. The real estate investment trust said proceeds from the sale would be used to fund its purchase of more than 500 Red Lobster restaurants from Golden Gate Capital in a sale-leaseback deal.

  • MOSCOW, May 21- In 2005, President Vladimir Putin personally ordered up a vast programme to improve Russia's poor healthcare facilities. Medvedev instructed Russia's top law enforcement agencies to make sure that "everyone who participated in this is seriously and sternly punished.

  • May 21- Rio Alto Mining Ltd said it would buy Sulliden Gold Corp Ltd in a deal valued at about C $300 million, creating a gold miner focused on Peru. The deal value excludes the stake Sulliden shareholders will get in a new company that will hold Sulliden's stake in a East Sullivan prospect in Val-d'Or, Quebec.

  • May 21- Lowe's Cos Inc said its sales picked up in May, after the company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results as a severe winter in the United States hurt traffic to its stores. Larger rival Home Depot Inc also said on Tuesday that its sales in May were "robust."

  • Floods inflict grievous blow on frail Balkan economies Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 6:38 AM ET

    MAGLAJ, Bosnia/ BELGRADE, May 20- When the waters receded, hundreds of employees at the paper and pulp factory in the Bosnian town of Maglaj turned up for work.

  • LONDON, May 21- Some Bank of England policymakers think the case for raising interest rates is becoming stronger as Britain's economy gets closer to operating at full steam, minutes of their last meeting showed on Wednesday.

  • SINGAPORE, May 21- Singapore is approaching its yearly "haze" season, when smoke from forest clearing in Indonesia chokes the air, with this year likely to be worse than 2013' s record pollution thanks to lack of action in Jakarta and an expected El Nino weather pattern.

  • Platinum rose to near a two-month high, and palladium touched a near three-year high as labour strikes in top producer South Africa dragged on for a 17th week and after an industry report said a shortage of both metals was set to widen this year.

  • EU takes Russia to WTO over commercial vehicle trade row Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 6:13 AM ET

    BRUSSELS, May 21- The European Union took another trade dispute with Russia to the World Trade Organisation on Wednesday, seeking to force Moscow to lift duties against German and Italian light commercial vehicles that Brussels says are illegal.

  • METALS-Nickel, copper fall following recent gains Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 6:11 AM ET

    *Copper down 1 pct, neared $7,000/ T last week. LONDON, May 21- Nickel fell on Wednesday as investors cashed in on gains after the price reached a 27- month peak last week, while a shortage of the metal following an ore export ban by Indonesia helped limit the downside.

  • SHANGHAI, May 21- China and Russia signed a long-awaited natural gas supply deal on Wednesday, securing the world's top energy user a major new source of the clean-burning fuel and opening a market to Moscow as Europeans look elsewhere for their energy.

  • Lowe's quarterly sales rise 2.4 pct Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 6:09 AM ET

    May 21- Lowe's Cos Inc reported a 2.4 percent rise in quarterly sales after a severe winter in the United States hit traffic to its home improvement stores. Revenue rose to $13.40 billion in the first quarter ended May 2 from $13.09 billion, a year earlier. The company's net earnings rose to $624 million, or 61 cents per share, from $540 million, or 49 cents per share.

  • Google eyeing up to $30 billion in foreign buyouts Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 6:07 AM ET
    An attendee uses a computer to sign in for the Google I/O developers conference on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, California.

    Google is amassing cash overseas to help finance a foreign shopping spree that could cost the Internet company up to $30 billion.

  • LONDON, May 21- The second round of a battle between banks and bourses kicks off this week when European Union regulators publish proposals for the biggest shake-up of the bloc's securities market in history to increase transparency and investor protection.

  • China, Russia's Gazprom sign gas supply agreement Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 5:42 AM ET

    SHANGHAI, May 21- Russia's state-controlled Gazprom signed a long-awaited gas supply agreement with China on Wednesday. There were no pricing details on the deal, which is believed to involve Russia supplying 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China via a new eastern pipeline linking the countries. It has been unofficially valued at over $400 billion.