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  • ABU DHABI, Feb 19- International firms will scramble for new orders at the Middle East's largest arms show which opens in Abu Dhabi next week as oil-rich Gulf states load up on weapons in a region rocked by instability and violence. For the first time, a dedicated exhibition of unmanned systems with 33 exhibitors is being launched at IDEX. IDEX exhibitors include...

  • Bloomberg boosts funding of UK politics Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 5:01 AM ET

    LONDON, Feb 19- A company owned by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has almost doubled its political donations in the UK over the past four years, records of electoral donations show. Bloomberg TradeBook, a British-registered financial markets broker and research firm owned by U.S. financial information giant Bloomberg LP, gave money to all three...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday it will review competition in investment banking and corporate banking services, citing "unanswered questions about potential conflicts of interest and value for money in this market." Personal accounts and small business banking is already the subject to a full investigation by...

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 19- Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, said on Thursday that Greece had asked for a "six-month extension" of its bailout agreement but he gave no details of the terms Athens requested. "Received Greek request for six months extension," Dijsselbloem said on Twitter without elaborating.

  • OSLO/ FRANKFURT, Feb 19- Norwegian fertiliser maker Yara and German chemicals firm BASF will spend $600 million building an ammonia plant in Texas, taking advantage of cheap shale gas to expand their presence in the United States, the companies said. Yara will own 68 percent of the project, to be built on BASF's industrial complex in Freeport, while the German firm...

  • Centrica, oil stocks lead European shares lower Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 4:37 AM ET

    *Centrica falls 7.9 pct as oil slump prompts writedowns. LONDON, Feb 19- European stocks edged off seven-year highs on Thursday after some disappointing updates from utility Centrica and airline Air France-KLM and as a slide in crude prices hit oil shares. Shares in Britain's other large power providers- EDF, SSE, Centrica, E.ON, RWE npower- also fell.

  • EUROGROUP PRESIDENT DIJSSELBLOEM SAYS HAS "RECEIVED GREEK REQUEST FOR SIX MONTHS EXTENSION" OF CREDIT.

  • Greek government denies considering capital controls Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 4:32 AM ET

    ATHENS, Feb 19- Greece's government is not considering capital controls to stem bank deposit outflows, the government spokesman told Reuters on Thursday, calling such a scenario "far from reality". Earlier, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, citing central bank sources, reported that the European Central Bank would feel more comfortable if Greece introduced...

  • LONDON, Feb 18- Sterling trade-weighted index hovered near a six-year high on Thursday, boosted by gains against the dollar as the interest rate gap between U.S. "If the market shifts its pricing in the next few months-- either re-pricing Fed rate expectations down, or bringing forward the expected timing of a UK rate hike-- sterling can easily get back above $1.60,"...

  • FRANKFURT, Feb 19- The European Central Bank on Thursday denied a report in a German newspaper that it would feel more comfortable if Greece introduced capital controls to stem the outflow of deposits from its banks. Responding to the report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which cited central bank sources, the ECB said the Governing Council of...

  • FOREX-Cautious Fed pours cold water on dollar Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 4:19 AM ET

    *Greece expected to ask for extension of loan agreement. LONDON, Feb 19- The dollar slipped on Thursday after minutes from January's Federal Reserve policy meeting showed officials were concerned that hiking interest rates too soon could damage the U.S. economic recovery. "The minutes were a bit on the dovish side compared to what the market was looking for so we...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- Britain's financial watchdog will launch its first review of competition in investment banking and corporate banking services, saying the benefits of improvements could be high. The Financial Conduct Authority said that banks that were bundling and cross-selling their services could be making it difficult for new entrants to compete.

  • PARIS, Feb 19- French consumer prices fell on an annual basis in January, their first decline in more than five years, data showed on Thursday, in another illustration of the challenge the European Central Bank faces in meeting its inflation target. But analysts said the risks of persistent deflation, which would prompt consumers and business to defer spending, in...

  • Negotiators from 12 Pacific nations hope to conclude talks on a Trans-Pacific Partnership within months, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said legislation known as trade promotion authority should pass soon, easing a major hurdle. The TPP pact would link 12 countries from the United States to Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and cover...

  • *Athens to use vital EU wording to request extension- newspaper. ATHENS, Feb 19- Greece is expected to ask on Thursday for an extension to its euro zone loan agreement skirting tough bailout conditions to avoid running out of cash within weeks, but it must overcome resistance from skeptical partners led by Germany. Athens is expected to submit a request to extend...

  • Swiss exports fall in month SNB removes cap on franc Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 4:02 AM ET

    ZURICH, Feb 18- Swiss exports fell 0.8 percent in January in real terms from a year earlier, when adjusted to take account for one less working day than last year, with sales of chemicals and pharmaceuticals hard hit, the Federal Customs Office said on Thursday. The surge in the Swiss franc since Switzerland scrapped the currency's cap in mid-January may also have...

  • *Output from Saudi Arabia may also be rising-PIRA. At 0843 GMT, benchmark Brent crude futures for April were down $1.67 at $58.86 a barrel, extending declines from Tuesday's two-month high of $63. "The inventories were the trigger for the sharp correction lower," Carsten Fritsch, an oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said.

  • LONDON, Feb 19- A softer stance from the Federal Reserves knocked the dollar down on Thursday but failed to lift stock markets in Europe, where the looming deadline for Greece to get a new debt deal kept investors nervous. In Europe, whose barely growing economy could benefit from a weaker currency, the euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1412 and the broader FTSEurofirst...

  • BRUSSELS, Feb 19- Belgian steel wire and cable maker Bekaert said on Thursday that a slowdown in the Chinese market for wire to reinforce tyres meant its 2014 operating profit had risen at a slower rate than expected. "Tyre cord activities in China did deteriorate towards year-end 2014 and impacted our annual results on some key performance criteria compared to...

  • NEW DELHI, Feb 19- Authorities in New Delhi have set Uber Technologies Inc a Feb. 25 deadline to provide supporting details for the online taxi-hailing firm's application to operate in the city. Uber was banned in Delhi in December after one of its drivers was accused of raping a female passenger. Rules set by Delhi's transport department in December require...