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  • CAPE TOWN, Feb 21- South Africa's competition watchdog has granted Barclays Africa conditional immunity from prosecution in return for its continuing cooperation in the rand currency rigging probe, the head of Competition Commission said on Tuesday. Citigroup agreed to pay $5 million as settlement for its role in the cartel, the anti-trust watchdog said on...

  • *Money managers bet OPEC cuts will tighten market. LONDON, Feb 21- Oil rose on Tuesday after exchange data showed hedge funds placing record bets on North Sea and U.S. crude as OPEC production cuts tightened supply. Money managers now hold the highest volume of net long Brent futures and options on record, InterContinental Exchange data showed on Monday, betting on...

  • Europe's benchmark index of 300 leading shares fell 0.2 percent to 1,459 points, with the region's banking index down as much as 2 percent in early trade. The biggest drag was British-based HSBC, Europe's largest bank by assets. Britain's FTSE 100 bore the brunt of London- listed HSBC's troubles, falling 0.4 percent.

  • TOKYO, Feb 17- Japan's Toshiba, scrambling to fill the balance sheet hole left by a $6.3 billion hit to its nuclear operations, is also on the hook to pay billions of dollars for a U.S. natural gas contract. The Toshiba spokesman said the company had an agreement with Japan's Jera, the world's biggest single buyer of LNG, to help sales and marketing of the fuel from 2019,...

  • PARIS, Feb 21- France's second-biggest retail bank BPCE said it would cut 5 percent of its branches and was aiming at 750 million euros in cost savings as part of a plan to boost its digital banking services.

  • LONDON— A closely watched survey is showing that the economic recovery in the 19- country eurozone has accelerated in February and that growth is running at a near six-year high. In its monthly survey of economic activity across the region, financial information company IHS Markit also said Tuesday that job creation was the best for nine-and-a-half years, as...

  • HSBC shares slid more than 6 percent after the company reported revenues fell by a fifth from 2015, underscoring the challenge it faces to boost returns amid low global interest rates and slowing economic growth in its core markets of Britain and China. Europe's biggest bank by assets generated profit before tax of $7.1 billion in 2016 compared to $18.87...

  • BHP's underlying first-half net profit galloped nearly eight-fold to $3.24 billion from $412 million a year earlier, just missing market forecasts for $3.4 billion. It declared a first-half dividend of 40 cents, up from 16 cents a year ago, outpacing a consensus of 34 cents per share. "The numbers are good, eclipsing consensus expectations," said mining analyst...

  • CAPE TOWN, Feb 21- South Africa's competition watchdog said on Tuesday it would be seeking maximum penalties against other local and foreign banks alleged to be involved in colluding to fix the rand currency.

  • *Strong PMI surveys from France, Germany. LONDON, Feb 21- The dollar rose broadly on Tuesday after two Federal Reserve policymakers pointed to the potential for U.S. interest rates to rise next month, returning investors' attention to the bullish fundamentals of the world's biggest economy. Market News International also quoted colleague Patrick Harker...

  • *Net debt drops to $8.5 bln; eyes $7 bln this year. LONDON, Feb 21- Miner Anglo American aims to reinstate dividends at the end of this year after cutting net debt and improving earnings, and says further asset sales will only take place to sharpen its focus and not because it needs the money. Anglo said 2016 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization...

  • TOKYO— Embattled Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. is selling its stake in a medical equipment leasing company to Canon Inc. for 31.4 billion yen. Toshiba said Tuesday it is selling its entire 65 percent stake in Toshiba Medical Finance Co. to Canon, a Japanese camera maker, effective March 31. Tokyo- based Toshiba has been in talks with Canon since late...

  • LONDON, Feb 21- European equities slipped in early trading on Tuesday, with HSBC leading the regional banking index lower after reporting a 62 percent slump in its annual pre-tax profit. Europe's biggest bank dropped 6 percent and was headed for its biggest one-day fall since August 2015 after its results fell far short of analysts' estimates as it took hefty...

  • Beneath the capital's radar looms a vexing problem— a catchall spending package that's likely to top $1 trillion and could get embroiled in the politics of building Trump's wall at the U.S.- Mexico border and a budget-busting Pentagon request. Despite the big power shift in Washington, the path to success— and averting a shuttering of the government— goes...

  • *Singapore is main regional oil trading hub. Monday's announcement that a carbon tax on direct emitters is slated to be introduced from 2019 indicates that Singapore, Asia's main oil trading hub, could be moving towards a longer-term future dominated by cleaner technology and resources. "The proposed carbon tax on emitters would prove a significant drag on...

  • Feb 21- Hong Kong stocks suffered their biggest one-day loss in a month on Tuesday, hurt by index heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC after it posted a bigger-than-expected drop in its 2016 profit. It was a mixed day in Hong Kong, with the financial sector leading the declines. Resource stocks added 0.8 percent as prices of metal and other building-related materials...

  • LONDON, Feb 21- Outsourcing group Capita, under pressure from a slowdown in demand from customers, said it had written off the value of a number of historic contracts, sending its shares down over 4 percent. Shares in the group, which said it was otherwise trading in line with the guidance it gave in December, were down 21 pence at 491 pence at 0806 GMT.

  • MELBOURNE, Feb 21- London copper slipped on Tuesday as the dollar pushed ahead, but ongoing supply concerns from industrial action in Chile and an Indonesian export permit dispute underpinned prices. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped by 0.5 percent to $6,036.50 a tonne by 0720 GMT, paring gains after a 1.9 percent rally in the previous...

  • BEIJING— China's commerce minister has appealed to Washington to negotiate disputes with Beijing and avoid a "trade war" that he warned would hurt both sides. He appealed to Washington to "properly solve" disputes through "dialogue and cooperation. He also promised to declare Beijing improperly manipulated the exchange rate of its yuan to give its exporters a...

  • *Toshiba urged by banks to sell majority of chip unit- sources. TOKYO, Feb 21- Japan's Toshiba Corp wants to raise at least 1 trillion yen by selling most of its flash memory chip business, seeking to create a buffer for any fresh financial problems, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. The beleaguered conglomerate's decision to abandon an initial plan...