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(MENAFN - AFP) Greece's top lender National Bank on Wednesday said it would ask its shareholders to approve a capital increase of up to 2.5 billion euros ($3.5 billion) next month.

"The board has decided to call an extraordinary general meeting on May 10 to approve a share capital increase... of up to 2.5 billion euros," the bank said in a statement.

All four of ...


(MENAFN - AFP) The former chairman of the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank was found not guilty Wednesday of providing illegal loans to buy shares in the bank, after an 11-week trial.

Sean Fitzpatrick, 65, was cleared of providing unlawful financial assistance to 10 customers of the bank to buy shares in the lender in 2008.

The bank went bust shortly afterwards, leaving ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Tyres "burn" in a corner, gas masks and truncheons hang from the ceiling: as unrest rocks Ukraine, art from Kiev's Maidan is already making its debut in a Vienna museum.

The exhibit is titled "I Am a Drop in the Ocean" after a slogan used by the protesters on the Maidan, or Independence Square.

Thrown together in just five weeks, the works by some ...


(MENAFN - AFP) A portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, is expected to fetch up to $80,000 for her charity when it is auctioned in New York next month.

By Jonathan Yeo, one of Britain's leading portrait painters, the oil on canvas has been on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London since September.

The picture, ...


(MENAFN - AFP) They fled Algeria to escape the violence ravaging the country in the 1990s, but now more and more young exiled Algerians are returning, lured by better economic prospects linked to government financial enticements.

With unemployment in the oil-rich North African nation hovering at 21.5 percent among under-35s, according to the International Monetary Fund, ...


(MENAFN - AFP) A Saudi man has died of MERS in the western city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry said five more people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, including two medics, all in Jeddah.

The latest death of a 52-year-old brings ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Russia's economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2014 from the previous quarter, a minister said on Wednesday, fuelling concerns the Ukraine crisis could tip it into recession.

Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that Russia's economy grew just 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to activity in the same period last year.

But ...


(MENAFN - AFP) France's new Prime Minister Manuel Valls came under fire Wednesday after unveiling a freeze in state benefits as part of a plan to cut state spending by 50 billion euros ($70 billion).

The Socialist government has pledged to make the savings between 2015-17 to finance a package of payroll and income tax cuts designed to bolster demand, make companies more ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Italy's trade surplus rose to 2.6 billion euros ($3.6 billion) in February thanks to a sharp increase in exports within Europe, particularly of cars, official data showed on Wednesday.

Eurozone countries hit by the debt crisis and economic downturn focused particularly on generating export-led recovery, as a way of boosting later household consumption and ...


(MENAFN - AFP) British fashion group Burberry on Wednesday reported a rise in second-quarter sales, boosted by its online division, but cautioned that currency fluctuations would hit profits this year.

Revenues at the luxury retailer rallied 19 percent to £1.3 billion ($2.2 billion, 1.6 billion euros) in the six months to the end of March, compared with the same part ...

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