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Wires

  • BEIJING, Feb 26- China will focus on stable development of its capital markets this year, but will press ahead to further open its markets to foreign companies, the top securities regulator said on Sunday. "We will not waver from reforms more market-based, law-based and international, Liu Shiyu, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told a news...

  • VATICAN CITY— God's love may be free, but the Vatican says it has a copyright on the pope. Unnerved by the proliferation of papal-themed T-shirts, snow globes and tea towels around the world, the Vatican has warned it intends to "protect" the image of Pope Francis and "stop situations of illegality that may be discovered." "The secretary of state will undertake...

  • BILLINGS, Mont.— The Interior Department has put on hold changes to how the federal government values huge volumes of coal extracted from public lands, primarily in the Western United States, after mining companies challenged the agency in federal court. The changes, crafted under the administration of President Barack Obama, were aimed at ensuring companies...

  • *Month-long tour includes Indonesia, China, Japan and others. KUALA LUMPUR/ DUBAI, Feb 26- Malaysia welcomed Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Sunday for the start of a rare, month-long Asian tour, where the monarch will build ties and seek to draw more investments to the oil-rich gulf nation. King Salman also plans to visit Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and...

  • BEIJING— China needs to do more to stop risky behavior in its stock market, a regulator said Sunday, following a 2015 collapse in share prices and complaints investors are engaged in a dangerous new round of speculative buying. Regulators need to stop "blind expansion" by financial firms, the deputy chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, Li Chao,...

  • BANJUL, Feb 25- The World Bank's Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, said on Saturday he had agreed to give Gambia $60 million in budget support after government allegations that former ruler Yahya Jammeh took tens of millions of dollars in public money, leaving it heavily indebted. "All parastatals, especially the National Water and Electricity Company,...

  • Pruitt added the EPA's focus on combating climate change under former President Barack Obama had cost jobs and prevented economic growth, leading many Americans to want to see the EPA eliminated completely. "I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. Pruitt was confirmed as EPA head last week.

  • PRAGUE, Feb 25- Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis got re-elected on Saturday as chairman of the ANO party which he founded and vowed to cut taxes after the autumn general elections that his party is projected to win. "Let's make the Czech Republic excellent again," he said, before he received 93- percent support from the delegates. The Czech Republic, a European...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 25- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Saturday attacked what he saw as tricks used by U.S. companies to boost earnings and stock prices, but he defended one oft-criticized practice: share buybacks. Some critics, including BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink, think the practice of companies buying back their own shares to boost...

  • BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 25- Blackberry Ltd may have exited the device business, but fans of the pioneering email machine need not despair as Chinese smartphone maker TCL Communication has introduced its first Blackberry-licensed phone with the physical keyboard that was long its key allure. The new BlackBerry KEYone smartphone was unveiled here ahead of the...

  • Feb 25- Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders might have been forgiven on Saturday for looking at the company's annual report and wondering why some $56 billion of cash appeared to vanish. In his annual shareholder letter, Buffett said Berkshire has about $86 billion of cash and equivalents, roughly triple the $28 billion shown on the cash flow statement.

  • Feb 25- Warren Buffett on Saturday used part of his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders to defend the businesses practices of one of his conglomerate's lesser-known but more controversial operating units: Clayton Homes. The mobile home unit, which Berkshire bought for $1.7 billion in 2003, came under fire in reports two years ago in the...

  • Feb 25- Warren Buffett on Saturday mounted a forceful and upbeat defense of the prospects for American business, as his Berkshire Hathaway Inc reported a higher quarterly profit though operating income fell. For the fourth quarter, Berkshire's net income rose to $6.29 billion, or $3,823 per Class A share, from $5.48 billion, or $3,333 per share, a year earlier,...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 25- Highlights from billionaire Warren Buffett's annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders on Saturday:. Starting from scratch, America has amassed wealth totaling $90 trillion. " MARKET SYSTEM TO CONTINUE FAR INTO FUTURE "It's our market system- an economic traffic cop ably directing capital, brains and labor- that has created Americas...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 25- Billionaire Warren Buffett, whose stock picks over several decades have enriched generations of Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders, delivered a black eye to the investment industry on Saturday, urging ordinary investors to buy plain-vanilla index funds. Known to fans as "the Oracle of Omaha," he estimated that the search for outperformance...

  • BISMARCK, N.D.— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has moved into the evacuated Dakota Access pipeline protest camp to finish the cleanup started weeks ago by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Authorities this week cleared the last holdouts from the camp near the Standing Rock Reservation, which straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border.

  • "It's definitely a hand-off to the states," said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who has reviewed the GOP plans and a recent briefing document for members of Congress. As they returned home during the recent congressional recess, some lawmakers received an earful from people concerned about possible GOP health care changes. "I'm really angry about it," said Vicki...

  • Berkshire bought $5 billion of Bank of America preferred stock carrying a 6 percent dividend, or $300 million annually, in August 2011, when many investors worried about the second-largest U.S. bank's capital needs. In his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, Buffett said if Bank of America's current 30 cents per share annual dividend rose above 44 cents...

  • DUBAI, Feb 25- The chairman of Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of the emirate's ruler and a major force in developing the Dubai economy, has resigned to focus on his role in the national government, the conglomerate said on Saturday. As head of Dubai Holding since its founding in 2004, Mohammed Abdullah al-Gergawi came to oversee a $35 billion portfolio of...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 25- Billionaire Warren Buffett, whose stock picks over several decades have turned Berkshire Hathaway Inc into one of the most successful conglomerates, delivered another black eye to the investment industry on Saturday, saying investors should "stick with low-cost index funds." Buffett, whose annual letter is scrutinized by investors who...