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Wires

  • *Hong Kong shares fall as much as 3.2 percent. HONG KONG/ LONDON, Feb 20- HSBC Holdings reported a jump in annual pre-tax profit that missed expectations and unveiled a plan to raise up to $7 billion over the next four months to bolster its capital base, as the bank prepares for growth under a new leadership. HSBC reported on Tuesday a profit before tax of $17.2 billion...

  • LONDON, Feb 19- With the dust beginning to settle after a tumultuous start to the year for the U.S. bond market, speculators are scaling back their bets on higher yields. Two factors will have figured largely in the decision of hedge funds and other speculators on the Chicago futures exchanges to cut their short positions in U.S. bond futures: high yields and the...

  • TOKYO— Asian shares were mostly lower Tuesday after a U.S. holiday. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.0 percent to finish at 21,925.10. Markets in mainland China were still closed for lunar new year holidays.

  • *German Bund yields more than double in space of 2 months. *Longest stretch of weekly Bund yield rises since 2007. LONDON, Feb 20- The European Central Bank has its work cut out this year to make sure markets don't jump the gun on its policy normalization.

  • SEOUL, Feb 20- The South Korean government has designated the city of Gunsan as a' crisis zone' for industry and employment, said presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom on Tuesday, after General Motors announced last week it would be shuttering a factory there. Designated crisis zones become eligible for special government subsidies like cheap loans and...

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japanese government bonds were steady to slightly weaker on Tuesday, but trading was extremely thin with many benchmark cash bonds untraded as investors looked for further cues. It was the first time since December 2015 that the 20- year JGBs were not traded during the day. For 30- year JGBs, it was the first time since April 2016.

  • LONDON, Feb 20- British bookmaker William Hill will pay 6.2 million pounds as a penalty for breaching anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations, the Gambling Commission said on Tuesday. Failure in the company's checks resulted in 10 customers depositing large sums linked to criminal offenses, resulting in gains for William Hill of around...

  • JOHANNESBURG, Feb 20- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday his early morning walks gave him time to think about his cabinet amid growing speculation about its composition and the future of the finance minister. In his state of nation address on Friday, Ramaphosa strongly hinted at a cabinet shake-up when he said he would review the make-up...

  • *Moldovan in business dispute with Kazakhstan. *Asked European courts to force Kazakhstan to pay award. LONDON, Feb 20- When a Belgian court ordered a bank to freeze $22.6 billion of assets held in trust for a Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund, it set a worrying precedent for other SWFs.

  • *Economy seen as top concern in Italy before March 4 vote. *Italy has still not recovered from financial crisis. HERCULANEUM, Italy, Feb 20- Roberto Biondi's 89- year-old mother has Alzheimer's, is housebound and no longer recognises her son.

  • *Kiev short of coal due to rebellion, conflict with Russia. On the Ukrainian side the deal helped to win favour with the White House, whose support Kiev needs in its conflict with Russia, as well as opening up a new source of coal at a time when its traditional supplies are disrupted. Trump's campaign call to improve relations with the Kremlin alarmed the pro-Western...

  • *China Enterprises index HSCE eases 0.2 pct. HONG KONG, Feb 20- Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index edged up at midday on Tuesday as the city's markets reopened after the Lunar New Year holiday, while the index of China's H-shares index fell. **Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex- Japan stock index was flat percent while Japan's Nikkei index was down 0.9 percent.

  • TOKYO, Feb 20- Japanese stocks dropped on Tuesday as a combination of a retreat in risk appetite and profit-taking dented the broader market, with financials and index-heavy shares underperforming. The Nikkei dropped 1.0 percent to 21,925.10, after rising 2 percent on Monday. Turnover also dropped 14 percent to the lowest since late December to 2.2 trillion...

  • PARIS, Feb 20- LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods group, named on Tuesday Serge Brunschwig as the new chairman and chief executive of its Fendi fashion house, as part of an internal reshuffle. Brunschwig will replace Pietro Beccari, who will now become the Chairman and CEO of LVMH's Christian Dior Couture arm. Brunschwig will report to Toni Belloni, LVMH Group...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 20- Malaysia- based firm HelloGold has received a sharia-compliant certification for its gold-backed cryptocurrency and plans to launch its online gold platform in Thailand later this year, the company said. Its cryptocurrency product, dubbed GOLDX, was launched at the end of last year and has now received certification from Amanie Advisors, a...

  • SYDNEY, Feb 20- Malaysia- based firm HelloGold has received a sharia-compliant certification for its gold-backed cryptocurrency and plans to launch its online gold platform in Thailand later this year, the company said. Its cryptocurrency product, dubbed GOLDX, was launched at the end of last year and has now received certification from Amanie Advisors, a...

  • NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, Feb 20- Indian billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, one of the prime accused in the country's largest ever bank fraud, denies allegations levelled against him by Punjab National Bank, his lawyer said on Tuesday. "There is nothing, there is nothing in it," Vijay Aggarwal, a lawyer representing Modi, told Reuters, referring to the police complaint filed by...

  • NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, Feb 20- Indian billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi, one of the prime accused in the country's largest ever bank fraud, denies allegations leveled against him by Punjab National Bank, his lawyer said on Tuesday. "There is nothing, there is nothing in it," Vijay Aggarwal, a lawyer representing Modi, told Reuters, referring to the police complaint filed by PNB...

  • It also brushed off calls by activist investor Elliott Advisors to change its structure, with listings in both Britain and Australia, saying that the costs and risks of collapsing the dual listed structure outweigh potential benefits. Underlying profit for the half year ended Dec. 31 rose to $4.05 billion from $3.24 billion a year ago, below a forecast of $4.30...

  • PARIS, Feb 20- French prepaid meal voucher and card provider company Edenred expressed confidence over its prospects for this year, predicting further profit and sales growth. Edenred, which helps firms manage staff expenses and benefits and is best known for its " Ticket Restaurant" vouchers, made the forecast after reporting record 2017 earnings and handing...