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Wires

  • CAPE TOWN, Feb 21- South Africa's new leadership announced on Wednesday it was taking the politically risky step of raising value-added tax for the first time in 25 years, part of efforts to cut the deficit and stabilize debt under new President Cyril Ramaphosa. The government of Africa's most industrialized country has to plug a revenue hole in its budget and...

  • SAO PAULO, Feb 21- Telefonica Brasil SA, the country's largest telecommunications company, on Wednesday reported that fourth-quarter profit rose 25 percent from a year ago as it increased its reliance on higher-end offerings. In a securities filing, the Brazilian unit of Spain's Telefonica SA reported net income of 1.517 billion reais. In a presentation to...

  • *Case centres on Israel's largest telecoms company. Israel's dominant political figure for a generation- in power since 2009 and for 12 years total since 1996- Netanyahu calls the allegations against him a "witch hunt" and has said he will seek a fifth term in a national ballot due in late 2019.. Filber, who was appointed by Netanyahu to head the Communications...

  • FRANKFURT, Feb 21- The European Central Bank appears to have been blindsided by Latvia's banking troubles, highlighting how thinly it is spread in supervising Europe's biggest lenders and raising questions about a system of euro zone supervision just three years old. Latvia's third-biggest bank was accused by U.S. authorities of facilitating large scale...

  • The justices ruled 9-0 in favor of Digital Realty Trust Inc, deciding that the Dodd-Frank Act, a 2010 Wall Street reform law, protects whistleblowers from retaliation only if they have brought their claims of securities law violations directly to the SEC. The Dodd-Frank law explicitly defines whistleblowers as any individual or group of employees who...

  • MUMBAI/ NEW DELHI, Feb 21- An Indian court on Wednesday remanded six people including a general manager at state-run Punjab National Bank in police custody for nearly two weeks, after the latest arrests in a probe into an alleged $1.8 billion fraud. Among those arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation was Rajesh Jindal, currently a general manager with the...

  • TORONTO, Feb 21- Canada's main stock index rose to a 2-1/ 2- week high on Wednesday led by gold producers, as investors sought shelter in the precious metal ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index opened up 0.2 percent and was trading 111.85 points, or 0.7 percent, higher...

  • *UK wants to discuss EU's plan for 21- month transition. *Draft paper says UK still thinks 2 years or so should be enough. LONDON, Feb 21- Britain wants to discuss the length of any post-Brexit transition period with the European Union, but believes that around two years should be enough time to prepare "new processes" and "new systems", according to a draft paper.

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 21- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to broaden protections for corporate insiders who call out misconduct, throwing out a lawsuit brought against a real estate trust by a former employee who had reported alleged wrongdoing internally but not to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • FALKIRK, Scotland/ LONDON, Feb 21- Scotch whisky makers were among the most fervent industry advocates for staying in the European Union, but if Britain has to leave, they prefer a clean break. The industry, already busy preparing for transport and logistical challenges, says it would be happy to stay in the EU single market and the customs union after Britain leaves...

  • JERUSALEM, Feb 21- An Israeli judge ordered the chief executive of Bezeq Israel Telecom to remain in police custody for another six days on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the country's largest telecoms group. Bezeq CEO Stella Handler was arrested on Sunday in connection with an Israel Securities Authority investigation of Bezeq over possible...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 21- Boeing Co sees a "great strategic fit" in a possible acquisition of Brazilian plane maker Embraer SA but the deal is not essential, Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said on Wednesday. "This is actually something we've been working on for many years," Muilenburg said, dismissing reports that Boeing is concerned about a recent tie-up...

  • PARIS, Feb 21- Orange's high investments started to bear fruit in France last year, capping a challenging period for the telecom operator in the face of a price war waged by younger rival Iliad in its home market. Under boss Stephane Richard, awarded a third four-year contract on Tuesday, it has shied away from costly sports rights auctions, betting instead on the...

  • LONDON, Feb 21- A record $49 billion was invested in emerging market private equity deals in 2017, data from industry body EMPEA showed on Wednesday, with Asian private capital fundraising at its highest since 2008.. Capital invested in emerging Asia increased by 57 percent year-on-year, and by 120 percent in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS, but activity...

  • *Broadcom cuts Qualcomm bid to $117 bln. "While the minutes may not generate quite the same response, traders will likely monitor what they say very closely for signs that policy makers are now leaning more towards three-to-four rate hikes this year, rather than two or three," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at online forex broker Oanda.

  • WASHINGTON— U.S. sales of existing homes fell in January from a year earlier by the most in more than three years. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales dropped 3.2 percent from December to January, the second straight monthly decline, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million. Compared with 12 months earlier, sales dropped 4.8...

  • WASHINGTON— US home sales fell 3.2 percent in January, post biggest annual decline in 3 years.

  • Jefferies analyst Scott Goldman said that the numbers for both services beat his estimates, but that Dish's average revenue per user of $84.63 was below his estimate of $85.71 and Wall Street estimate of $86.10. The company added about 39,000 pay-TV subscriber on a net basis in the fourth quarter, including 75,000 reactivations in Puerto Rico and the U.S....

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 21- U.S. home sales unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in January, weighed down by a persistent shortage of houses that is pushing up prices and keeping first-time buyers out of the market. The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday that existing home sales dropped 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38...

  • RIGA, Feb 21- Latvia's commercial banking association called on the European Central Bank on Wednesday to step in and sort out a crisis at lender ABLV Bank. which has asked for emergency funding after being accused by the U.S. Latvia joined the European Union in 2004 and the ECB has been responsible for oversight of its banks since 2014, when the Baltic nation of 2...