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  • MADRID— Spain's National Court has issued hefty prison sentences for politicians and businesspeople involved in a kickbacks-for-contracts scheme that helped fund the governing party. Thursday's decision is a major blow for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party, fined 245,000 euros because it benefited from the illegal scheme, the court...

  • BRUSSELS, May 24- Russian gas giant Gazprom clinched a deal with EU antitrust regulators on Thursday to reform its pricing structure and allow rivals a foothold in eastern Europe, avoiding fines in a case that has dragged on for seven years. Gazprom has denied the charges concerning the three Baltic states, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

  • BENGHAZI, Libya, May 24- Libyan state oil firm AGOCO said it increased its crude production to 180,000 barrels a day on Thursday, after cutting it the previous day when unusually hot weather affected power supplies. AGOCO and Sirte Oil are both subsidiaries of the state-run National Oil Corporation. Libya, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting...

  • LONDON, May 24- Debt of Italian state agency Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is taking a hammering on a par with that suffered by Italy's government bonds on fears the incoming government will use it as a vehicle to fund a borrowing binge. The state-owned institution, which operates as a promotional institution, funding state or local authority projects, is similar to--...

  • LONDON, May 24- Italy's government bond yields tumbled on Thursday, as the market won a respite from the political risks that have dealt investor sentiment a heavy blow over the past week. On Wednesday, President Sergio Mattarella gave political novice Giuseppe Conte a mandate to lead the first government in Italy made up of anti-establishment parties, who have...

  • MOSCOW— Russian aluminum maker Rusal says its CEO and seven board members have quit, a move that comes as the company struggles to survive U.S. sanctions. U.S. has hit Rusal and its major shareholder, billionaire Oleg Deripaska, with sanctions cutting the company off from international financial institutions and spooking international customers.

  • EUROPE'S COMPETITION CHIEF VESTAGER SAYS GAZPROM SETTLEMENT "PROVIDES A TAILOR-MADE RULEBOOK FOR FUTURE CONDUCT".

  • ZURICH, May 24- Jean-Marc Decressonniere is probably the only banker in finance-friendly Switzerland who supports a vote next month that could transform how lenders operate. Supporters say their shake-up will make the financial system safer by ensuring the Swiss National Bank is the only authority permitted to produce new money in Switzerland.

  • ZURICH, May 24- Voters head to the polls on June 10 to decide whether Switzerland should introduce a sovereign money system. The initiants want to limit the credit-granting ability of commercial banks by making the Swiss National Bank the only body authorised to produce all new money in Switzerland. Commercial banks would be able to make loans using only funds...

  • BRUSSELS— The European Union is imposing a series of obligations on Russian energy giant Gazprom to improve the flow of gas at competitive prices in eastern Europe. EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Thursday that Gazprom will have to ease its hold on the market there, giving consumers "an effective tool to make sure that the price they pay is...

  • LONDON, May 24- Deutsche Telekom pledged its business divisions spanning Germany, Europe and the United States would all show growth from next year and said it would tie dividends to rising bottom-line profits in future. Europe's largest telecoms firm announced the shift on Thursday ahead of a two-day investor conference, where it wants to win buyers back to a...

  • BRUSSELS, May 24- Russian gas giant Gazprom welcomed the European Union's decision settle its seven-year-long investigation of the firm without fines on Thursday. "We are satisfied with the commitments decision announced," Gazprom's Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev said in a statement. EU antitrust regulators ended a seven-year-long...

  • BRUSSELS, May 24- EU antitrust regulators ended a seven-year-long investigation into Gazprom on Thursday after the Russian gas giant agreed to reforms aimed at bringing down gas prices and allowing rivals a foothold in eastern Europe. The European Commission, which launched the case with dawn raids at 20 offices in 10 countries in 2011, said Gazprom's...

  • LONDON, May 24- Gold prices rose for a second session on Thursday, lifted by a weaker dollar, worries about renewed trade tensions and volatile emerging markets. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,296.24 per ounce. Trade spats are reoccuring and there's a focus on troubled emerging markets, " Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen, said.

  • BRUSSELS, May 24- The European Commission has opened an investigation into hot-rolled steel sheet piles imported from China to determine whether they are being dumped in Europe, according to a notice in the EU Official Journal on Thursday. The investigation into a form of steel used in construction was launched following a complaint by EU steelmaker group...

  • LONDON, May 24- Lead hit its highest in nearly three months on Thursday as a plunge in available LME warehouse stocks fed into this week's price rally, while copper steadied after the previous session's sharp losses. The price has just closed above the 100 and 200- day moving averages, and it also looks to have exceeded the $2,500 mark, which could lead to some...

  • MOSCOW, May 24- The Russian central bank is sticking to its plan to trim rates further as the economy and the financial system have already adapted to the latest U.S. sanctions, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said in a CNBC interview released on Thursday. The central bank held rates in April, having cut them from 17 percent at the end of 2014 to 7.25 percent...

  • JAKARTA, May 24- A state audit of operations at Indonesia's Grasberg mine has cast a cloud over the government's multi-billion-dollar deal to take a majority stake in the mine from Freeport McMoRan Inc and its partner Rio Tinto, according to government and company officials. And there may be more troubles to come for the Phoenix, Arizona- based company as the...

  • KIEV, May 24- Ukraine has put Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, whose company Rusal owns a large alumina plant in the country, and other prominent Russians on an expanded sanctions list, a document on the president's website showed on Thursday. It was not clear what effect the blacklisting would have as many Russian companies have already sought to wind up...

  • The head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry says the U.S. intention to raise auto tariffs is "another nasty blow to our economic relations" with the United States. Some see President Donald Trump's proposal for tariffs as an attempt to gain leverage in trade talks with neighbors: nearly half of vehicles sold in the U.S. are imported, many...