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(MENAFN - AFP) Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said Wednesday its first quarter net profit took a heavy hit as its investment bank reeled from slumping trading in bonds.

The bank, the second-biggest in Switzerland after UBS, is facing a US probe over past practices of helping wealthy Americans dodge the US taxman.

It said its net profit plunged by 34 percent year-on-year ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Bank of America reported Wednesday a quarterly loss of $276 million due to $6 billion in legal expenses that included a huge settlement with the US on mortgage-backed securities.

The bank had revenues of $22.8 billion, compared with earnings of $1.5 billion on revenues of $23.4 billion in the period a year ago. Operating results were mixed and included weaker ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Global oil prices rallied on Wednesday on Ukraine tensions and the weak dollar, and before weekly crude inventories data in top consumer the United States.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery, hit $104.82 a barrel -- the highest level since early March.

Brent North Sea crude for May rallied to a similar one month ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low point of 6.9 percent in the quarter to February, as the country's economic recovery picks up speed before next year's general election.

The rate dropped from 7.2 percent in the quarter to January, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement, while the fall was bigger than expected with analysts ...


(MENAFN - AFP) The ultra-deep Angolan offshore oil project called Kaombo generated the third huge contract in three days on Wednesday when French group Total picked two firms to carry out underwater engineering worth $3.5 billion.

The latest groups to win a share of the mega investment are French engineering firm Technip in association with Dutch company Heerema Marine ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Russia's economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2014 from output in the final quarter of 2013, a minister said on Wednesday highlighting the risk of a recession due to the standoff in Ukraine.

Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that the economy grew just 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014 from activity in the same period last year.

But ...


(MENAFN - AFP) RWE, Germany's second-biggest power supplier, expects earnings to stabilise from next year after a difficult time in 2014, its chief executive Peter Terium said on Wednesday.

"We do not expect the dramatic trends of recent years to continue to quite the same extent," he said, referring to growth of renewable energy.

On a wider front, the global energy ...


(MENAFN - AFP) German mechanical engineering group GEA said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell its heat exchangers business to private equity group Triton in a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

Heat exchangers are used in applications such as air conditioning systems and cooling towers.

GEA said it would use the proceeds to invest in its core food ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Failed Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox has given up its plan to rebuild under bankruptcy protection and has asked a Tokyo court that it be liquidated, Dow Jones Newswires reported Wednesday.

Reasons for the decision are the complexity of the procedures involved, including the difficulty of holding meetings with creditors spread around the world, the report said, ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Ancient paintings of fornicating Chinese couples and phalluses made of stone are among items that Dutch art collector Ferdinand Bertholet hopes will help China reconnect with its sexually charged past.

Explicit works spanning from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) are among more than 100 pieces on display in Hong Kong, drawing ...

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