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  • *Britain's FTSE lags after HSBC profit falls. Britain's FTSE 100 index was the only major index to trade in negative territory after HSBC reported a 17 percent drop in annual profit. "We have cleared the first hurdle but Greece has to come up with a serious set of measures now," Peter Dixon, equity strategist at Commerzbank, said.

  • European equities saw their largest ever inflows last week, totalling $5.8 billion according to EPFR, and investors are buoyed by improving domestic demand in Europe and a drop in the euro, which should boost export competitiveness. Corporate revenues are still declining, and there are substantial market jitters over the sovereign debt stand-off in Greece...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 23- The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to a state-owned Cuban cigar company on Monday by declining to intervene in its long-running battle with a U.S.-based rival over the Cohiba trademark that both use for their products. Due to the long-running U.S. trade embargo with Cuba, the Cuban company cannot sell its Cohiba cigars in the United States,...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 23- U.S. home resales fell sharply to their lowest level in nine months in January amid a shortage of properties on the market, a setback that could temper expectations for an acceleration in housing activity this year. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales declined 4.9 percent to an annual rate of 4.82 million...

  • Greece will present its economic reform plans on Monday to seal the euro zone financial lifeline, but the government drew criticism from a veteran leftist and ruling party member that the deal let voters down. The deal is conditional on Greece's European and IMF creditors accepting a list of reforms drawn up by Greece. "In spite of Germany taking a hard line, the...

  • BUENOS AIRES, Feb 23- Debt-holders who want to jumpstart restructuring talks with Argentina may have to wait until a court rules next month on whether to let a disputed bond payment go through, further extending a legal feud that has hobbled state finances. The case stems from Argentina's 2002 default on about $100 billion, which has weighed on Latin America's No....

  • LONDON, Feb 23- Oil prices fell on Monday as worries about oversupply and a further rise in dollar exchange rates pushed Brent futures down by over a dollar to around $59 a barrel. This frames the stage for lower prices in 1 Q15, "said Bank of America Merrill Lynch d in a note. Brent crude was trading $1.07 lower at $59.14 at 1430 GMT.

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Monday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 near records levels as investors digested an agreement by euro zone finance ministers to extend Greece's bailout by four months, provided it draws up a list of reforms.

  • *UAE signs $1 bln satellite contract with Airbus, Thales. *UAE spends 9.5 bln dirhams on defense contracts at IDEX. ABU DHABI, Feb 23- The United Arab Emirates is still in talks with both BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation over the possible multi-billion-dollar purchase of fighter jets, a spokesman for a major UAE defense organization said on Monday.

  • Feb 23- Darden Restaurants Inc, the parent of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse chains, said interim Chief Executive Eugene Lee would take over the job permanently, effective immediately. Lee took over as interim CEO in October, replacing Clarence Otis, who stepped down amid pressure from activist investors Starboard Value LP and Barington Capital Group LP.

  • Feb 23- Kimberly-Clark Corp said it is transferring responsibility for payment of pension benefits for its U.S. retirees to two insurers, reducing its projected benefit obligation by about $2.5 billion. The maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers will transfer its pension obligations for about 21,000 retirees to Prudential Insurance Co of America and...

  • Feb 23- AAR Corp said it would sell its cargo handling business, Telair Cargo Group, to TransDigm Group Inc for $725 million in cash to focus on its aviation services business. AAR said the quarter would include an impairment charge of about $40 million related to the discontinuation of the precision systems business. Citi is AAR's financial adviser and Winston&...

  • Feb 23- Target Corp cut its eligibility for free-shipping of online orders by half to $25 as the company focuses more on its online division to better compete against Amazon.com Inc and traditional rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc.. Target's online and mobile offerings include target.com and Cartwheel, a digital coupon app. The company said the cut follows an...

  • *Bidvest seeks role in pharmaceutical market. JOHANNESBURG, Feb 23- South African conglomerate Bidvest has offered about $515 million for the shares it does not already own in drugmaker Adcock Ingram in a new attempt to build a big presence in the pharmaceutical market. Bidvest already owns a 34.5 percent stake in the drugmaker, which it acquired a year ago,...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- U.S. stocks were poised to open modestly lower on Monday, after the Dow and S&P closed at records on the heels of an agreement by euro zone finance ministers to extend Greece's bailout by four months provided it draws up a list of reforms. Greece will present its economic reform plans on Monday to seal the euro zone financial lifeline, but the...

  • Feb 23- Eli Lilly and Co said it would delay its application to market its once-daily diabetes treatment, basal insulin peglispro, beyond the current quarter. The delay stems from a need to generate additional data to evaluate any potential effects on liver fat related to the treatment in late-stage trials, Lilly said. The company said it could not determine the...

  • Feb 23- Keurig Green Mountain Inc, the maker of the K-Cup single-serve coffee pod, will buy back nearly half of Italian coffee maker Luigi Lavazza SpA's stake in the company for about $624 million. Lavazza, the world's seventh-largest coffee maker, has slashed its stake in Keurig to 6.6 percent as of Feb. 4 from 7.8 percent as of Jan. 26 to fund acquisitions.

  • LONDON, Feb 23- HSBC's chief executive said allegations its Swiss private bank had helped clients dodge taxes had brought shame on the bank, after reporting a 17 percent slide in annual profit and cutting its profitability target on Monday. The following are comments by HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver and Chairman Douglas Flint on a call with reporters on a range of...

  • METALS-Copper dips as oil falls, eyes Fed testimony Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 8:49 AM ET

    LONDON, Feb 23- Copper slipped in relatively thin trade on Monday as oil prices dropped, with the market shrugging off a European debt deal for Greece and attention shifting to upcoming testimony by the U.S. central bank chief. I'm not sure, "said Nic Brown, head of commodities research at Natixis in London. On Tuesday, markets will focus on testimony by Federal...

  • Feb 23- Goldman Sachs Group Inc has raised the top end of its estimate of "reasonably possible" legal losses to about $3 billion from $2.5 billion. The estimate accounts for potential losses apart from what is already set aside in reserves, the bank said in a quarterly regulatory filing on Monday. In November, UK and U.S. regulators fined six banks, including JPMorgan...