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(MENAFN - AFP) Stricken Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo announced on Wednesday historic losses of 3.57 billion euros ($4.78 billion) in the first half of the year due to exposure to the debts of its holding company.

The result, the largest ever loss of any bank in Portugal, had been widely anticipated by investors worried about the impact of the financial woes of BES's ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Samsung Electronics on Thursday reported a near 20 percent decline in second quarter net profit, due to increased competition from cheap Chinese devices in the key smartphone sector and a surging Korean won.

The South Korean electronics giant posted a net profit of 6.25 trillion won ($6.1 billion) - its lowest figure for two years and down 19.6 percent from ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A US judge Wednesday ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.3 billion penalty for selling bad loans to mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac amid the housing crisis.

The penalty comes after a New York jury in October 2013 found that Bank of America and Countrywide defrauded the two US mortgage giants in a lending program in 2007. Bank of America bought ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce said Tuesday it was investigating the US technology firm for "monopoly actions" related to its flagship Windows ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The EU on Wednesday imposed an asset freeze and travel ban against two close associates of President Vladimir Putin who are leading shareholders in a bank catering to senior Russian officials.

The EU's Official Journal listed eight people and three firms immediately hit by the sanctions due to their alleged involvement directly or indirectly in the crisis in ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Moscow dismisses Western sanctions as mostly bark, but analysts warned the latest measures announced by the EU and US will also bite the Russian economy, which is teetering on the edge of recession.

Washington and Brussels announced on Tuesday the strongest sanctions on Russia since the Cold War over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Last-ditch talks between Argentina and the US hedge funds it has branded "vultures" failed to reach agreement Wednesday, effectively pushing the country into default.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's had already placed Argentina in "selective default" when Economy Minister Axel Kicillof emerged from the New York talks to confirm that no deal had been reached.

This ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Spain's economic growth picked up in the second quarter, official data showed Wednesday, but consumer prices fell in July in a sign that consumer demand remains weak.

The Spanish economy expanded by a better-than-expected 0.6 percent, up from growth of 0.4 percent in the first quarter, according to preliminary figures from the National Statistics Institute.

The ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The US economy rebounded vigorously in the second quarter, growing at a peppy 4.0 percent pace that erased the impact of the sharp winter contraction, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

But the Federal Reserve remained cautious, sticking to its dovish stance after a two-day monetary policy meeting, still seeing some latent weakness that requires keeping ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A senior Turkish minister who caused an outcry by suggesting women should not laugh loudly in public sparked a new controversy on Wednesday by attacking those who he said could not resist pole dancing.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, a co-founder of the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), has strongly criticised in recent days what ...

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