Europe Business

Botswana's Debswana to extend life of Jwaneng diamond mine to 2035

18/03 Botswana's Debswana Diamond Mining, a joint venture between De Beers and the government, said on Monday it would invest $2 billion in a project to extend the lifespan of its Jwaneng mine to 2035.  Full story

Oil pulls back from 4-month highs amid economic growth concerns

04h33 Oil prices dipped on Wednesday, retreating from a four-month high as economic growth concerns dampened the outlook for fuel consumption.. . .  Full story

Most base metals ease ahead of Fed meeting result

03h51 Most industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange fell on Wednesday, shrugging off some gains in the previous sessions as investors turned cautious ahead of the result of the U.S. Federal Reserve rate meeting later. . .  Full story

Australia, NZ shares down as trade talks, Fed in focus

03h49 Australian shares eased on Wednesday as investors adopted a cautious approach after reports of tensions in U.S.-China trade talks and ahead of the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day.. . .  Full story

Gold prices slip as dollar firms ahead of Fed decision

03h23 Gold prices snapped three consecutive sessions of gains on Wednesday as the dollar firmed, while investors awaited the results of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the day.. . .  Full story

EXCLUSIVE-KKR, CVC, other PE firms bid for Asian hospital business - sources

02h24 Columbia Pacific Management's Asian hospital business has drawn interest from global private equity players including KKR, CVC and Carlyle, in a sale the U.S. investment company sees fetching about $2 billion, sources with knowledge of. . .  Full story

COLUMN-LME zinc running on empty as stocks keep falling: Andy Home

02h01 Another 100 tonnes of zinc were loaded out of the London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouse system on Monday.. . .  Full story

Finnish crowdfunding firm Invesdor buys Austrian peer, seeks M&A

00h40 Helsinki-headquartered Invesdor has agreed to buy Austrian peer Finnest in an all-share deal, hoping the acquisition will spark further consolidation in the fragmented European crowdfunding market.. . .  Full story

Inmarsat in $3.3 bln go-private transatlantic deal talks

19/03 Inmarsat Plc said on Tuesday it has received a cash takeover offer from a private equity-led consortium, a deal that would value the British satellite company at about $3.3 billion and take it private.. . .  Full story

May's letter to EU on Brexit extension to be sent Wednesday -BBC

19/03 British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday will send a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk seeking an extension of her country's departure from the European Union beyond a March 29 deadline, BBC. . .  Full story

Oil holds near 2019 highs ahead of official U.S weekly data

19/03 Oil prices held close to four-month highs on Tuesday on expectations that OPEC would continue production cuts through the end of the year and ahead of official weekly U.S. crude inventory data.. . .  Full story

U.S. bond yields higher ahead of Fed meeting results

19/03 U.S. Treasury yields were modestly higher in afternoon trade on Tuesday, as investors await insight on the Federal Reserve's policy path when the U.S. central bank ends its two-day meeting on Wednesday, amid broad expectations. . .  Full story

Canadian, Brazilian oil producers lock in revenues as prices rally -sources

19/03 Oil producers in Canada have jumped on an opportunity to lock in revenues for 2019 and 2020 as average crude futures for those years have soared over 20 percent to their highest levels this. . .  Full story

EU, UK market watchdogs clash over no-deal Brexit share trading

19/03 The European Union's markets watchdog published guidance on Tuesday identifying which shares investors in the bloc could no longer trade in London if there is a hard Brexit next week.. . .  Full story

May seeks Brexit delay after third vote on her deal is derailed

19/03 Prime Minister Theresa May will ask the European Union to delay Brexit by at least three months after her plan to hold a third vote on her fraught divorce deal was thrown into disarray. . .  Full story

Auto rally powers European stocks to near six-month peak

19/03 European shares were on course for a fifth day of gains on Tuesday, powered by a strong rally in automakers after Peugeot suggested Fiat Chrysler was among the options for a merger, and as. . .  Full story

Pernod Ricard eyes margin improvement in EMEA-LATAM business

19/03 Drinks group Pernod Ricard , which is being targeted by activist investor Elliott, said its business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America (EMEA/LATAM) was well positioned for "solid top line growth and. . .  Full story

Italy to renew bad loan scheme with higher rating threshold - draft bill

19/03 Italy will renew for up to 36 months a state guarantee scheme to help banks shed bad loans, tightening rules to increase protection for some investors, a draft law decree seen by Reuters. . .  Full story

Kazakhstan's leader Nazarbayev resigns after three decades in power

19/03 Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly resigned on Tuesday after three decades in power, in what appeared to be the first step in a choreographed political transition that will see him retain considerable sway.. . .  Full story

FTSE 100 in seventh heaven as oil, miners gain; Ocado hits life high

19/03 Britain's FTSE 100 extended its winning streak to seven sessions on Tuesday as miners and oil majors boosted the index and Ocado climbed to an all-time high after posting higher first-quarter retail sales.. . .  Full story

Poste positive on 2019 as mail and parcel revenue stabilises

19/03 Poste Italiane expects operating profit and revenue to grow further this year after improving in 2018 as the former postal services monopoly starts to reap the benefits of a restructuring plan for its mail. . .  Full story

Aluminium hits three-month high after Hydro cyber attack

19/03 Aluminium touched a three-month peak on Tuesday after major producer Norsk Hydro was hit by a cyber attack, causing its giant smelters to switch to manual operation and some extrusion plants to be shut.. . .  Full story

French growth seen firming as impact of protests wanes - INSEE

19/03 French quarterly growth will firm in the first half the year as consumer spending benefits from improving household incomes and recovering business confidence after protests at the end of last year, the INSEE statistics agency. . .  Full story

-EU rules Italian bank rescue legal in blow to antitrust watchdog

19/03 European Union judges ruled on Tuesday that Italy's rescue plan for an ailing bank five years ago was legal, prompting calls for compensation for savers who subsequently faced stricter terms because Brussels had rigidly interpreted. . .  Full story

Euro zone bond yields rise on hopes of Brexit delay

19/03 Top-rated euro zone bond yields rose on Tuesday as expectations grew of a delay to Britain's planned exit from the European Union and after a report that the ECB may have to broaden any. . .  Full story

U.S. investor jailed by Russia tells Washington to keep distance - prison monitor

19/03 A prominent U.S. investor being held in Russia on embezzlement charges has asked U.S. diplomats not to defend him because he is worried about his case becoming politicised, a prison monitor who visited him. . .  Full story

UPDATE 9-Aluminium maker Hydro battles to contain ransomware attack

19/03 Norsk Hydro, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, battled on Tuesday to contain a cyber attack which halted parts of its production, the latest example of the damage hackers can cause to business. . .  Full story

-Ferrexpo finds more discrepancies in donations review

19/03 Iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo said on Tuesday an ongoing review of its donations to a charity identified additional discrepancies, forcing it to delay the release of its full-year results for 2018.. . .  Full story

Foreign funds cash up after Ukraine debt surge to sit out election

19/03 A wave of new year optimism towards emerging markets lifted Ukraine's sovereign bonds to multi-month highs just weeks before a closely fought presidential election, but foreign funds are already cashing up and are keen to. . .  Full story

Ship owners worry about clean fuel bill as ports ban "scrubbers"

19/03 More ports around the world are banning ships from using a fuel cleaning system that pumps waste water into the sea, one of the cheapest options for meeting new environmental shipping rules.. . .  Full story

Russia's Evraz says share sales by Abramovich and partners lower sanction risks

19/03 Russian steel company Evraz said a decision by Roman Abramovich and his partners to sell some of their shares in the group would reduce sanctions risks.. . .  Full story

German military helicopters get "mandatory" funding in budget plan

19/03 A German military helicopter tender likely to be fought out between U.S. arms makers Lockheed Martin and Boeing will get "mandatory" funding of 1.61 billion euros ($1.8 billion) under German budget plans, a government document. . .  Full story

LME zinc running on empty as stocks keep falling: Andy Home

19/03 Another 100 tonnes of zinc were loaded out of the London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouse system on Monday.. . .  Full story

UK markets watchdog fines UBS 27.6 million pounds for reporting failures

19/03 Britain's markets watchdog said on Tuesday it had fined Swiss bank UBS a record 27.6 million pounds for failing to report 136 million transactions properly for nearly a decade in a repeat offence.. . .  Full story

Orcel hires Spanish legal adviser over Santander CEO dispute

19/03 Andrea Orcel, who had an offer withdrawn to be CEO of Santander, has hired Spanish legal adviser Decarlos Remon to handle his dispute with the bank, the legal firm told Reuters on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Ex-CEO, seven others responsible for Steinhoff fraud, new CEO tells lawmakers

19/03 Former Steinhoff Chief Executive Markus Jooste and seven others were involved in a 6.5 billion euro ($7.4 billion) accounting fraud at the South African retailer, the new CEO told lawmakers on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

-Wintershall DEA to mandate banks shortly, could speed up IPO plans -sources

19/03 Wintershall DEA's owners are expected to shortly mandate banks for a bumper 2020 stock market listing of the European oil and gas company in a sign that the deal could take place earlier than. . .  Full story

Vitol extends oil demand growth peak estimate to 2034

19/03 Vitol reported higher traded volumes last year on Tuesday, cementing its position as the world's largest oil trader, and said it expected oil demand growth to peak by around 2034.. . .  Full story

EDF Energy extends outages at UK's Hunterston B nuclear plant

19/03 EDF Energy, owned by France's EDF, has extended outages at two nuclear reactors at its Hunterston B plant in Scotland while it waits for Britain's nuclear regulator to assess their safety cases.. . .  Full story

Ahead of election, Polish lawmakers propose to cut copper tax

19/03 Lawmakers from Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party proposed on Tuesday to cut mining tax payments so that major copper producer KGHM could spend more money on investment.. . .  Full story

Indian traders burn Chinese goods in protest over blacklisting veto, trade

19/03 Hundreds of Indian traders burned Chinese goods on Tuesday and urged the government to raise import taxes on them to protest against China's trade and foreign policies.. . .  Full story

New entrant makes early running in German 5G auction

19/03 Germany's auction of spectrum for 5G mobile networks drew brisk initial bidding on Tuesday with prospective new entrant 1&1 Drillisch submitting bold offers for the frequencies it covets.. . .  Full story

Online fashion retailer ASOS hits U.S. warehouse snag

19/03 ASOS's new U.S warehouse struggled to cope with demand in its latest quarter, hitting sales there and adding to challenges in France and Germany, the British online fashion retailer said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Sainsbury's-Asda seek to salvage deal with billion pound price cut pledge

19/03 British supermarket groups Sainsbury's and Asda have committed to deliver 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) of annual price cuts as they attempt to salvage their proposed combination after being dealt a potentially fatal blow by. . .  Full story

Macquarie agrees $1.3 billion sale of Poland's Gdansk port terminal

19/03 A consortium of investors including Poland's sovereign wealth fund PFR has agreed to buy the country's largest container terminal in Gdansk from the infrastructure fund of Australia's Macquarie in a deal worth more than 5. . .  Full story

Advent and Blackstone among bidders for WPP market research arm Kantar - sources

19/03 A series of buyout funds including U.S. firms Advent and Blackstone are in talks with advertising group WPP to explore bids for a majority stake in its data analytics unit Kantar, four sources familiar with. . .  Full story

Fiat Chrysler revs up as Peugeot points to merger potential

19/03 Fiat Chrysler shares jumped on Tuesday to the top of Europe's STOXX 600 after the president of Peugeot family holding company FFP told French daily Les Echos he would support a new deal and. . .  Full story

Antofagasta 2018 dividend beats expectations as profits fall

19/03 Chilean copper miner Antofagasta Plc announced on Tuesday a higher-than-expected dividend for 2018, sending its shares to a seven-month high, though core earnings dropped in line with analysts' projections.. . .  Full story

Danske Bank investors seek $475 mln in damages over money laundering scandal

19/03 Two U.S. law firms have filed a lawsuit against Danske Bank on behalf of institutional investors over a 200 billion euro ($227 billion) money laundering scandal.. . .  Full story

KKR, CVC, other PE firms bid for Asian hospital business - sources

19/03 Columbia Pacific Management's Asian hospital business has drawn interest from global private equity players including KKR, CVC and Carlyle, in a sale the U.S. investment company sees fetching about $2 billion, sources with knowledge of. . .  Full story

-Merkel: Won't take stand on possible Deutsche Bank/Commerzbank merger

19/03 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday only Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank could decide whether they wanted to merge, making clear she would not take a stand.. . .  Full story

German economic advisor opposed to Deutsche, Ccommerzbank merger

19/03 An economic advisor to the German government, Isabel Schnabel, said on Tuesday she strongly advised against a possible merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.. . .  Full story

Britain's Mears hit by profit drop, debt rise as demand wanes

19/03 Mears shares slumped on Tuesday after the British housing and care services provider's pretax profit fell short of estimates and its net debt was higher than forecast.. . .  Full story

HSBC promotes 1300 staff as investment bank overhaul gathers pace -memo

19/03 HSBC is stepping up a root-and-branch overhaul of its global banking and markets division, naming 83 new managing directors in a 1,300-strong promotions spree aimed at revitalising its investment banking franchise.. . .  Full story

Britain's Kier names former Carillion CEO-designate to top job

19/03 British builder Kier Group named former Carillion CEO-designate Andrew Davies to its top job on Tuesday as it strives to cut debt and respond to problems afflicting the wider outsourcing industry.. . .  Full story

China's Evergrande says to start making electric vehicles in June

19/03 Chinese property firm Evergrande Group will start producing its first electric vehicles in June as part of a goal to become the world's largest new energy vehicle (NEV) company within the next three to five. . .  Full story

German investors cheered by hopes of Brexit delay, trade progress

19/03 The mood among German investors improved by much more than expected in March, a survey by the ZEW research institute showed on Tuesday, as a potential delay to Britain's departure from the European Union. . .  Full story

UK employers defy approach of Brexit with hiring spree

19/03 British employers ramped up their hiring at the fastest pace since 2015 in the three months to January as the labour market defied broader Brexit weakness in the overall economy. The. . .  Full story

ING Italy investigated over alleged money laundering -source

19/03 Prosecutors in Milan have begun a formal investigation into alleged money laundering involving Dutch bank ING Groep NV's Italian business, a source close to the matter said.. . .  Full story

Supermarkets Coles, Aldi to raise milk prices by 10 pct in Australia

19/03 Supermarket chains Coles Ltd and Germany's Aldi said on Tuesday prices of home-branded milk sold at their Australian stores would rise by 10 percent from Wednesday, in a push to help farmers impacted by extreme. . .  Full story

German economic advisors slash 2019 growth forecast to 0.8 pct

19/03 A panel of advisers to the German government slashed its growth forecast for this year to 0.8 percent and warned risks related to Britain's departure from the European Union, trade disputes and a sharper. . .  Full story

Antofagasta sees copper deficit of 100,000-300,000 tonnes in 2019- CEO

19/03 Chilean miner Antofagasta expects a deficit of between 100,000 and 300,000 tonnes in the global copper market in 2019, its chief executive Iván Arriagada said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Ocado shares hit record after company plays down fire impact

19/03 British online supermarket Ocado played down the impact of a fire which devastated its flagship distribution centre in southern England, saying the blaze didn't affect its long-term plans and helping send its shares to a. . .  Full story

Standard Life Aberdeen wins $133 bln Lloyds mandate dispute

19/03 Standard Life Aberdeen said it has won a legal battle to stop Lloyds cancelling a 100 billion pound ($133 billion) investment management contract early, a decision which could cost the bank hundreds of millions. . .  Full story

German lawmakers challenge deputy finance minister's Goldman link in bank merger

19/03 German lawmakers have criticised deputy finance minister Joerg Kukies and Goldman Sachs, alleging a conflict of interest in the U.S. investment bank advising state-backed Commerzbank on a possible merger with Deutsche Bank.. . .  Full story

Review of rate to calculate compensation for personal injuries to start on March 19

19/03 The first review of the rate used to calculate compensation for personal injuries will start on March 19, Britain's Ministry of Justice said on Tuesday, following an outcry from auto insurers over a drop. . .  Full story

Wacker Chemie warns of weak Q1 on energy costs, low prices

19/03 German speciality chemicals maker Wacker Chemie on Tuesday warned that core earnings would fall significantly in the first quarter of 2019, blaming high energy costs and lower prices for polysilicon, which it supplies to the. . .  Full story

German bank mergers effective tool in reducing costs: Bundesbank

19/03 Bank mergers in Germany are an effective tool to reduce costs but any deal will require a sustainable business model, Bundesbank board member Joachim Wuermeling said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Firestone Liberia to lay off 800 staff on low rubber prices

19/03 Firestone Natural Rubber Co which operates the world's largest single natural rubber plantation in Liberia, said on Monday it will be laying off 13 percent of its workforce or around 800. . .  Full story

Finland's Solidium acquired 5.1 pct share in Nokian Tyres

19/03 The Finnish government's investment arm has spent around 205 million euros ($232.8 million) to buy a 5.1 percent stake in Finnish tyre maker Nokian Tyres, it said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Bonmarche shares plummet on disappointing full-year forecast

19/03 Bonmarche Holdings Plc shares plunged 31 percent in light early trading after the women's fashion chain warned of a bigger full-year loss and reported quarterly sales below its expectations, as it discounted heavily to clear. . .  Full story

Swiss trainmaker Stadler plans flotation as billionaire owner cuts stake

19/03 Switzerland's Stadler Rail will float on the SIX Swiss Exchange in the next few months, the train builder said on Tuesday, selling shares from the 80 percent stake owned by billionaire Peter Spuhler.. . .  Full story

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 19

19/03 Britain's FTSE 100 is seen opening 9 points lower at 7,290 on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were up 0.01 percent ahead of the cash market open.. . .  Full story

India's civil aviation minister calls for emergency meeting on Jet Airways

19/03 India's civil aviation minister has called for an emergency meeting about Jet Airways Ltd as the cash-strapped carrier struggles to make payments to its creditors and has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights.. . .  Full story

Fosun Tourism to adopt asset-light strategy for new Club Med resorts-chairman

19/03 Fosun Tourism Group will adopt an asset-light strategy and run under management contracts the Club Med resorts it plans to launch in China and other countries over the next few years, its chairman told Reuters.. . .  Full story

-Two die in clashes outside Vedanta's Indian alumina refinery

19/03 A protester and a policeman died in clashes outside Vedanta Ltd's eastern Indian alumina refinery, a police official said on Monday, less than a year after police killed 13 anti-Vedanta protesters in south India.. . .  Full story

UK power demand to soar on plans to end gas home heating - research

19/03 Increasing use of electricity to warm Britain’s homes instead of gas could more than triple power demand from the heating sector by 2050, energy research company Aurora said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Brexit hits ability of UK fintech to lure top talent - report

19/03 Leaving the European Union is making it harder for fintech firms in Britain to recruit top talent, a report said on Tuesday, threatening to slam the brakes on a 7 billion pound ($9 billion)growth. . .  Full story

Goldman Sachs sets targets for Hispanic and black entry-level hires

19/03 Goldman Sachs Group Inc is setting targets for hiring minority groups for the first time as it ramps up efforts to diversify its workforce, according to a memo sent by top executives to employees. . .  Full story

German 2020 budget plan calls for 1.7 pct boost in spending - sources

18/03 The German government's budget plan for 2020 calls for a 1.7 percent hike in spending to 362.6 billion euros and relies on ministries cutting costs to avoid incurring new debt given forecasts for slower. . .  Full story

U.S. firm FIS buys Worldpay for $35 bln in payments deal bonanza

18/03 Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS) said on Monday it has agreed to buy Worldpay for about $35 billion, with the U.S. financial services provider striking the biggest deal to date in the fast-growing electronic. . .  Full story

Danske Bank investors vote against proposal to split up bank

18/03 Shareholders in scandal-hit Danske Bank on Monday voted against a proposal to break up the bank.. . .  Full story

Brotherly love at Reliance? India's Mukesh Ambani provides 'support' to brother Anil as debt paid off

18/03 The Ambani brothers, whose public feud over control of the Reliance empire after their father's death in 2002 led to a split in the conglomerate, may have taken a major step to a more. . .  Full story

Danske Bank investors reject independent investigation into scandal

18/03 Danske Bank shareholders on Monday voted against a proposal from Brussels-based consultancy firm Deminor for an independent investigation into the Danish bank's involvement in alleged money laundering.. . .  Full story

-Danske Bank investors express anger over money laundering scandal

18/03 Danske Bank’s annual shareholder meeting extended into a fifth hour on Monday as retail investors expressed their discontent over the bank’s involvement in one of the world’s biggest money laundering scandals.. . .  Full story

BNP Paribas' insurer Cardif reduces exposure to coal

18/03 The Cardif insurance division of BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, on Monday outlined new targets to reduce its exposure to coal as companies around the world step up fossil fuel divestment plans to improve. . .  Full story

Deutsche merger move takes European stocks rally to fourth day

18/03 European stocks rose for the fourth session in a row on Monday as a flurry of dealmaking, including merger talks between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank , spurred gains in the financial services sector.. . .  Full story

Arabica coffee prices fall, raw sugar rises

18/03 Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell on Monday, approaching last week's 13-year low as the market struggled to absorb excess supplies, while raw sugar prices rose to their highest in more than two weeks.. . .  Full story

U.S. judge says Rio Tinto must face SEC fraud case

18/03 A U.S. judge on Monday rejected Rio Tinto Plc's bid to dismiss a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit accusing the Anglo-Australian mining company of civil fraud in its handling of a failed investment in a. . .  Full story

Alitalia future uncertain after easyJet exits rescue talks

18/03 British budget airline easyJet pulled out of talks to rescue Alitalia on Monday, leaving the Italian carrier's future uncertain only two weeks before a deadline to save it.. . .  Full story

Copper steady as economic concerns jostle with China demand hopes

18/03 Copper prices held steady on Monday, bolstered by expectations of seasonally strong Chinese demand in the second quarter and low stocks but capped by concern over the impact of continuing trade tensions on the global. . .  Full story

FTSE 100 at 5-month high as pound drops amid Brexit chaos

18/03 London's exporter-heavy FTSE 100 surged to a five-month high on the back of a drop in sterling after Britain's parliament speaker struck a fresh blow to Theresa May's EU divorce deal, while a rally. . .  Full story

France tells banks to boost capital buffer

18/03 France's financial stability council ordered banks on Monday to hold extra capital in case a current lending boom turns to bust in the future.. . .  Full story

Algeria's Bouteflika defies pressure to step down immediately

18/03 Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday again defied mass protests calling for his immediate resignation, insisting on a plan to elect a successor only after a national conference and new constitution is approved.. . .  Full story

Swedbank to release external money laundering report on Friday

18/03 Swedbank said on Monday that it will release the results of an external investigation into allegations of involvement in a Baltic money laundering scandal on Friday.. . .  Full story

Fire at Houston petrochemical storage facility rages for second day

18/03 A fire at a fuels storage company along the Houston Ship Channel continued to burn on Monday, spreading to eight massive petrochemical storage tanks, shutting schools in two nearby communities.. . .  Full story

No news is good news for Italian bonds as Moody's holds rating

18/03 No news proved the most important news for euro zone bond markets on Monday after a decision by ratings agency Moody's not to downgrade Italy sparked a strong rally in Italian debt, while Portuguese. . .  Full story

Top Wall Street banks working on Deutsche-Commerzbank merger - sources

18/03 Goldman Sachs and Citi are helping Germany's two biggest lenders work on their potential $28 billion-plus merger, people close to the matter said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Two die in clashes outside Vedanta's Indian alumina refinery

18/03 A protester and a policeman died in clashes outside Vedanta Ltd's eastern Indian alumina refinery, a police official said on Monday, less than a year after police killed 13 anti-Vedanta protesters in south India.. . .  Full story

EU winter grains mostly in good shape, south needs rain -monitor

18/03 Cereal crops in the European Union are generally in decent condition after a mild winter but more rain is needed in a dry swathe of southern Europe, the EU's crop monitoring service said on. . .  Full story

Commerzbank wants clarity on merger in 2-3 weeks - sources

18/03 Commerzbank management wants to decide on whether to go ahead with a potential merger with Deutsche Bank in the next 2 to 3 weeks, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.. . .  Full story

China rejects "abnormal" U.S. spying concerns as EU pushes trade

18/03 China dismissed U.S. security warnings against its telecoms equipment maker Huawei as groundless and "abnormal" on Monday, as the Chinese government's top diplomat went to Brussels to cool growing European frustration over trade.. . .  Full story

Macron woos East Africa but French companies struggle to make inroads

18/03 On a trip to East Africa last week, a beaming French President Emmanuel Macron was driven through the grounds of the Kenyan president's official residence in a locally assembled Peugeot 3008 car.. . .  Full story

Start of Spring warmer and drier for Northern Europe - report

18/03 Northern Europe will have a warm and dry start to the Spring, with more rainfall than normal falling towards the end of the season in May and June, The Weather Company said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story