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(MENAFN - AFP) Ireland's government on Tuesday said it had agreed to sell part of state gas firm Bord Gais Eireann under a privatisation programme following Dublin's exit from an EU-IMF bailout.

The company said in a statement that it would sell its gas and electricity arm Bord Gais Energy to a consortium including British energy giant Centrica for 1.1 billion-euros ($1.5 ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Kingfisher, Europe's biggest home-improvements retailer, said Tuesday that it will return cash to shareholders after annual profits rose by a quarter, sending its share price surging.

London-listed Kingfisher said in a results statement that it would return £200 million ($329.9 million, 239 million euros) to investors in its current 2014/2015 financial ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Hungary's central bank cut its main interest rate to a record low 2.60 percent on Tuesday, in an effort to boost the economy before elections on April 6.

The 10-basis-point cut from 2.7 percent was the 20th in a row in an easing cycle begun in August 2012 when the rate was 7.0 percent, and was expected by most analysts despite investor concerns over a weakening ...


(MENAFN - AFP) From collapsing pushchairs to chemical-polluted shoes -- an ever-rising number of toxic toys and skin-irritating textiles are being removed from supermarket shelves by Europe's consumer safety squad.

Products from China top the list of suspect items.

Thanks to better policing, Europe's Rapid Information System (RAPEX) issued 2,364 notifications of ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Greece will be "victorious" in efforts to break out of "encirclement" by its EU-IMF creditors, President Karolos Papoulias said on Tuesday.

"Our people is waging a struggle to break the encirclement of the creditors," the 84-year-old president told reporters after a military parade held annually in Athens to commemorate the Greek independence war against ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Honda will axe 340 jobs by cutting shifts at its factory in western England in response to weak European demand for its cars, the Japanese automaker said on Tuesday.

The firm will cut the production rate at its factory in Swindon from three shifts to two. This would mean that the number of production workers would fall by about 10 percent.

Most cars ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Internet mogul Kim Dotcom, who is fighting US extradition for online piracy, is seeking a "backdoor listing" of his data storage firm on New Zealand's stock market, in a deal that values it at NZ$210 million (US$180 million).

Dotcom -- founder of the now defunct Megaupload sites -- plans to use Mega Ltd to effectively take over listed TRS Investments, both ...


(MENAFN - AFP) The German Ifo business confidence fell for the first time for five months in March, data showed on Tuesday, as the Crimea crisis hurts sentiment in Europe's biggest economy.

The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index fell to 110.7 points this month from 111.3 points in February.

"The crisis of the emerging economies and ...


(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's main postal operator Royal Mail on Tuesday said it planned to axe 1,600 jobs under a fresh cost-cutting drive six months after the group was partly privatised.

Royal Mail said in a statement that most of the jobs to go would be in management, with no delivery staff losing their positions. It added that it would create "300 new or enhanced roles", ...


(MENAFN - AFP) South Africa's platinum producers Monday said a two-month strike was causing "irreparable" damage to the sector, which has to date lost nearly a billion dollars in revenue.

The strike over wages which started over eight weeks ago has halted production at the world's top three producers, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

"The extended ...

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