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(MENAFN - AFP) Inflation-weary Russians saw the price of fruit and vegetables increase by 22 percent in January, the government said Wednesday, increasing pressure on households already reeling from an economic crisis.

Prices in the country have skyrocketed in recent months due to the plunging ruble and Moscow's ban on European Union and US food in retaliation for sanctions ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland will axe up to 14,000 jobs by 2019 in a retreat from investment banking, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

The daily business newspaper, which cited people familiar with the matter, said the lender could shed as much as 80 percent of its investment banking division, which employs a total of 18,000 people.

A ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Nearly three-quarters of American firms in Shanghai say China's first free trade zone (FTZ) offers them no business benefits almost 18 months after it was established, according to a survey Wednesday.

The Chinese commercial hub set up the FTZ in September 2013, promising a range of financial reforms, including full convertibility of the yuan currency and free ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Toyota said Wednesday it would appoint a foreigner to the post of executive vice-president and promote a woman into its top ranks, both firsts for the Japanese firm in its nearly 80-year history.

The world's biggest automaker said the moves, part of a wider shuffle, were aimed at promoting diversity among its top management.

The pair will join a handful ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asia-focused Standard Chartered bank said Wednesday net profit fell 37 percent in 2014, the second consecutive year of decline, almost a week after announcing two of its top bosses would leave in a reshuffle aimed at transforming its fortunes.

The troubled British lender said net profit came in at $2.51 billion for the year, down from $3.99 billion in 2013 ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) French nuclear group Areva on Wednesday confirmed record net losses in 2014 of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) after it was forced, to absorb costs linked to project delays.

The mostly state-owned company, which had forecast losses of 4.9 billion euros, said it would see savings worth around one billion euros over the next few years and announce a financing ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The government has reached an agreement to sell its entire stake in the Eurostar train service between London, Brussels and Paris, the treasury said in a statement on Wednesday.

The stake is to be sold for a total of £757.1 million, part of a push to raise £20 billion in privatisation sales to reduce Britain's debt.

Canadian institutional fund manager ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) More than three decades of war have damaged Afghanistan's once-thriving carpet industry, but weavers are tapping into the bloody past to boost their fortunes with "war rugs" depicting guns, tanks and warplanes.

On Chicken Street, the most famous street in Afghanistan during the "hippie trail" tourist days of the late 60s and 70s and still the place to come ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japan has slammed the brakes on a pilot project by taxi service Uber less than a month after it was launched, with a government official saying Wednesday it probably violates transport laws.

The development marked another blow for the web-based taxi app, which has incurred the hostility of traditional taxi companies in many countries.

"Last Friday, we ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Strapped for cash and under pressure to deliver on reforms, Greece's new radical government has ruffled feathers in Brussels by not respecting the diplomatic niceties of the negotiating table.

From 40-year-old Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras downwards, Greek officials have gone into EU meetings in fighting mood, their hard talk taking many by surprise and leaving ...

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